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Aug 27, 2014
Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty
New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress. In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage Where ice once capped the Sermeq Avangnardleq glacier in Greenland, vast expanses of the Arctic Ocean are now clear. U.N. Draft Report Lists Unchecked Emissions’ Risks AUG. 26, 2014 Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat up for re-election in Colorado, campaigning on Saturday. Democrats See Winning Issue in Carbon PlanJUNE 9, 2014 Duke Energy Agrees to Fund Dan River CleanupJUNE 9, 2014 The Politics of Energy: Why Democrats Have Little to Lose in Taking On the Coal IndustryJUNE 2, 2014 The attorneys general of several states disclosed a settlement with the tobacco industry in 1997. In Debate Over Coal, Looking to Lessons of ’90s Tobacco FightJUNE 3, 2014 To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.  [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2014
Alaskans Uphold Tax System for Oil Companies
New York Times
Kirk Johnson

SEATTLE — A hard-fought ballot referendum that would have overturned Alaska’s system of taxing oil industry profits, put to voters last week but until now considered too close to call, has failed by a narrow margin, with absentee ballots counted this week nailing down the outcome. The referendum, Ballot Measure 1, drew millions of dollars in contributions from oil companies and raised political passions across the state. Former Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican who has rarely commented on Alaskan political issues since resigning in 2009, even waded in with a ferocious and, to some voters, surprising attack on the oil tax policies of her successor, Gov. Sean Parnell. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage Supporters of Dan Sullivan on Tuesday, heading to what turned out to be a victory party in Alaska’s Republican primary for the Senate. He will face Mark Begich, a Democrat. Battle for Senate Control Puts a Spotlight on AlaskaAUG. 20, 2014 Nick Moe, a volunteer for the campaign to reinstate the old tax policy, which has drawn supporters from the left and the right who rarely agree. Sarah Palin’s Attack on Gov. Sean Parnell’s Plan Aligns Her With State DemocratsAUG. 17, 2014 Mr. Parnell pushed his tax overhaul through the state’s Republican-controlled legislature last year, replacing a system called Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share that had been Ms. Palin’s hallmark achievement — signed in 2007, before she became the Republican vice-presidential nominee. Mr. Parnell’s opponents, led by Democrats, said his plan was too generous to the oil companies in tax breaks and incentives, and they gathered enough signatures to put the question of repeal to voters. Supporters of the tax system, in a campaign largely financed by the oil companies, fought back. In a barrage of television ads, supporters said that Mr. Parnell’s plan was showing results in encouraging new investment and oil production, crucial to Alaska’s economy in adding jobs and tax revenue, and that going back to Ms. Palin’s system risked disaster. With the new results posted late Tuesday night, the repeal measure failed by 8,443 votes out of about 172,000 cast. A leader of the repeal drive, State Senator Bill Wielechowski, said the narrow defeat and the pledges the oil companies had made, especially that production would increase, were important in creating pressure to make the new system as good as promised. “We’ve got them on the record now, and we have an army of Alaskans who are going to be ready to hold them accountable,” said Mr. Wielechowski, Democrat of Anchorage. “If they live up to their promises, that’s a victory for Alaska.” For  [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2014
Engineer on Nationwide Tour to Discuss Energy Policy & New Book, 'Just the Fracks, Ma'am'
Market Wired


CHARLESTON, WV -- (Marketwired) -- 08/27/14 -- Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," has unfairly received a bad label in the media, says engineer and environmentalist Greg Kozera, author of the new book, "Just the Fracks, Ma'am," (http://www.justthefracksbook.com/) who's on a nationwide tour to discuss the benefits of fracking and clarify the misconceptions. "Greater independence from foreign oil, job creation, a cleaner environment and a much-needed shot of economic growth is just the beginning of what hydraulic fracturing has meant to us in recent years, yet many think of fracking as the new dirty word, associated only with corporate greed. The reality is that fracking is essential to our existence," says Kozera, a domestic energy expert. "I want to replace the unfounded fears people have about fracking with facts. This is simply too important an issue for so many people to make decisions based on misinformation." Kozera began his tour in Virginia and has been to California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Kentucky and South Carolina. His next speaking engagement this year will be Sept. 3 at Rappahannock, Glade Springs, Va.; his tour ends Oct. 1 and 2 in Abingdon, Va. Fracking is nothing new; in 1947, the oil and gas industry discovered the method as a way of improving production in the country's oil wells, Kozera says. Reviewers find his new book enlightening and easy to read. "Well-written and in terms the average person can understand, Mr. Kozera has presented technical information on the fracking process in a manner that is entertaining and personal," writes Amazon reviewer Kerri Barger. "This is a short read and definitely a book you will want to pass on to others. The points of inspiration were heartfelt and I gained motivation from this book as well as information on the subject at hand." About Greg Kozera Greg Kozera is an engineer with a master's degree in environmental engineering and an environmentalist with more than 35 years of experience in the natural gas and oil industry. He is the immediate past-president of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association and the author of "Just the Fracks, Ma'am." Kozera has a comprehensive understanding of the fracturing process and how important it is to our children, grandchildren and the security of our nation.   [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2014
State determines wastewater from gas drilling contaminated drinking water in Westmoreland County
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

The state Department of Environmental Protection has officially determined that drinking water at a third residence is contaminated by WPX Appalachia LLC’s leaky Marcellus Shale gas drilling wastewater impoundment near Stahlstown, Westmoreland County. Whether that gets any of the three families living along rural Route 711 south of Ligonier any closer to a permanent replacement water supply is another matter. The DEP last week ordered WPX to restore or replace the water supply at the home of Ken and Mildred Geary, both in their 80s, who first complained that their water had a foul, chemical smell and taste a year ago. The order came down two years after the DEP first received a complaint about possible ground water contamination from the impoundment at WPX’s Kelp shale gas drilling pad. The DEP made the contamination determination based on tests done in June, that showed the well water contained higher concentrations of chloride, barium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, strontium and total dissolved solids than it did prior to November 2011 when WPX drilled the Kelp well.   [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2014
FERC staff OKs Texas Eastern project for bidirectional capability near Marcellus, Utica
SNL Financial
Sean Sullivan

FERC environmental staff signed off on a proposed Texas Eastern Transmission LP project that would enable the line to backflow gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales to Midwest markets. The $56.5 million Uniontown-to-Gas City project would modify 23 aboveground compressor stations and other facilities along the Texas Eastern system in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. The modifications would create bidirectional compression capability and provide 425,000 Dth/d of firm transportation for five shippers as production comes online, from southwestern Pennsylvania to Texas Eastern's interconnection near Gas City, Ind. With the exception of a 20-inch-diameter crossover pipeline, project activities would take place within the boundaries of existing facilities on the system right of way. The crossover pipeline would require a fence extension, but no additional land beyond the Texas Eastern easement. The target in-service date for the project is Nov. 1, 2015. FERC Office of Energy Projects staff gave the project a positive review in an Aug. 21 environmental assessment. "Based on the analysis in this EA, we have determined that if Texas Eastern constructs and operates the proposed facilities in accordance with its application and supplements, and the staff's recommended mitigation measures … approval of this project would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment." The staff recommended that any FERC order contain a finding of no significant impacts and include typical construction and mitigation measures as conditions. Texas Eastern is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Spectra Energy Partners LP, which is mostly owned by Spectra Energy Corp. (CP14-104) At a Feb. 5 investor meeting, Bill Yardley, president of U.S. transmission and storage for Spectra Energy, said the project is one of four major system upgrades on the Texas Eastern system. The Ohio Pipeline Energy Network project, or OPEN, Gulf Markets project and TEAM South project are the other three. Together the projects would provide about 1.6 Bcf/d of north-to-south gas transportation under contract. Yardley said support for the projects comes from demand for transportation capacity that can connect the prolific Marcellus and Utica shales with the growing markets on the coast of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. FERC staff gave the OPEN project a passing grade on Aug. 22.  [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2014
Teachout and Wu visit Pennsylvania fracking site
Capital New York
Conor Skelding

MONTROSE, PA.—Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu crossed the state line into Pennsylvania on Wednesday afternoon to view a hydraulic fracturing facility, the third stop on their "whistleblower" bus tour. "Right now, New York is at the crossroads about a very important decision: whether or not we're going to allow hydrofracking in our state," Teachout said, in a brief, unprepared statement. "Nothing compares to actually talking to people and seeing what's happening on the ground." "It poisons our soil," she said. "And as F.D.R. said, 'A nation that poisons its soil poisons itself.'"  [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2014
Fracking rules to be unveiled Friday
Chicago Tribune
Julie Wernau

Highly anticipated rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing in Illinois are to be unveiled Friday. Once the rules go into effect, Illinois hopes to become the center of the next oil boom. Fracking, which involves injecting fluids and chemicals at high volumes to crack open shale rock and unleash oil and natural gas, could bring bring jobs to a struggling southern Illinois economy. Ilinois also is counting on tax revenue on extracted oil and gas to fatten state and county coffers. A year ago a draft version of the proposed rules proved controversial, drawing about 30,000 comments, mostly from anti-fracking groups who sought to delay the law from taking effect.  [Full Story]

Aug 27, 2014
Energy companies in Texas are setting money on fire
Grist
Heather Smith

To some, like President Obama, natural gas is the “bridge fuel” — a readily available energy source that burns cleaner than coal and that’s cheap enough to put coal out of business while we’re waiting for actually renewable energy sources to come online. But what if it’s so cheap it just gets wasted? The bridge just collapses, is what. As an epic series put together by the San Antonio Express News shows, being really, really cheap can also mean “too cheap to sell.” The Express News spent a year going over stacks of documents and data obtained from the Texas Railroad Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the oil and gas industry in the state. What the investigation found was that fracking operations in the remote Eagle Ford shale were keeping the more valuable oil they produced while venting the natural gas into the atmosphere. Sometimes they just released it directly into the air, despite its being one of the nastier greenhouse gases out there. Other times they burned it first, which converted it to carbon dioxide — less climate-change inducing, but not exactly Miss Popularity either. Between 2009 to 2012, they had let go of enough natural gas to keep 335,700 typical Texan households in warm houses and hot dinners for a year.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Fracking boom leaves southwest Miss. with no vacancies for evacuees
wwltv
Ashley Rodrigue

MISSISSIPPI- The early, uncertain track of what has become Tropical Storm Cristobal opened the eyes of many that peak hurricane season is here. And if your family evacuation plan includes heading north to Mississippi, emergency officials there are warning about a kink in that plan. “We encourage anyone that's fleeing from the south during hurricane season to keeping going north, because we don't have the facilities here to house them,” said Wilkinson County Emergency Management Director Thomas Tolliver. The reason is the fracking boom in Amite and Wilkinson counties. Workers have set up shop in every hotel in southwest Mississippi's three border counties, stretching as far north as Natchez and McComb. And the 18-wheelers that go with the fracking operations clog up important escape arteries daily.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Judge Nixes Cove Point LNG Zoning Permit as Dominion Says Will Soon Receive Federal Permit
DeSmog Blog
Steve Horn and Caroline Selle

An August 6 court decision handed down by Calvert County Circuit Court Judge James Salmon could put Dominion Resources’ timeline for its proposed Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in jeopardy. Salmon ruled that an ordinance exempting the Lusby, Md.-based LNG project from local zoning laws — Ordinance 46-13 — violated both a section of a state Land Use law, as well as Maryland's constitution. The facility will be fueled by gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). In the ruling, Judge Salmon described the zoning exemption as “a very unusual situation.” In 2013, the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners and the Calvert County Planning Commission carved out both LNG export and import facilities from zoning laws.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban
JD Supra.com
Gabriel Katz

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two weeks. As we previously reported, three Colorado cities approved bans on fracking in late 2013. In Fort Collins and Boulder, the voters passed a five-year moratorium on in-town drilling, while in Lafayette the voters amended the city charter to ban the practice completely. At the time, the governor of Colorado, along with the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA), threatened a lawsuit claiming the bans violated state law.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
US states debate fracking ‘setback’ rule
Natural Gas Daily
Therese Robinson

With more than 1.1 million active oil and gas well as in the US as of March, according to FracTracker Alliance, regulations for the minimum distance – or setback – between wells and residential buildings such as homes, schools and hospitals has become a contentious issue between landowners and energy companies. Few landowners want oil and gas wells drilled in their backyard, but there are financial incentives that come with granting drilling rights. Unlike many European countries – where landowners own the land but not the mineral rights underneath – US landowners own both land and mineral rights, with the opportunity to reap huge financial benefits by allowing energy companies to drill on their land. The distance a well can be drilled from a residence, school or hospital varies widely from state to state.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
In Grand Junction, natural gas crash still reverberates through struggling economy
Colorado Public Radio
Ben Markus

Editor's note: This is the first in a three-part series examining parts of Colorado left out of the economic boom enjoyed by the northern Front Range. Russell Adams works as a roughneck on drill rigs. When he can find work, it tends to be about 800 miles away from his home outside Grand Junction. The drive to North Dakota’s booming oil fields is not one Adams looks forward to. “Especially when you’re leaving your family and kids,” says Adams. “Anything could happen to one of them, and there ain’t no way you can drop on a dime and come back.” He got his start on drill rigs when natural gas was booming in western Colorado in 2007. By then natural gas prices were on the accent, topping out at $12.69 per million British thermal unit (a standard measure for natural gas) in June 2008. The next year prices would crash, falling 76 percent to $2.99 by September of 2009.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Labour attempts to strengthen regulation of UK fracking industry
The Guardian
Terry McAlister

The Labour party believes the rules covering fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – for gas are not tight enough and will attempt to strengthen regulation of the controversial drilling method by tabling a series of amendments to the infrastructure bill in the House of Lords on Tuesday. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) says there are adequate safeguards covering drilling for shale gas under existing rules or voluntary agreements. However, Tom Greatrex, the shadow energy minister, believes current agreements do not go far enough. The opposition wants to see well-by-well disclosure of the fracking fluid being pumped into the well, baseline monitoring of methane levels in the groundwater and environmental impact assessments for all fracking sites.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Not All Michiganders Want To Be A Dumping Ground For America's Radioactive Fracking Waste
Huffington Post
Kate Abbey-Lambertz

Michigan will take a look at its radioactive waste disposal standards after criticism grew over an out-of-state company dumping fracking byproducts in a landfill near Detroit. On Monday, Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) ordered the Department of Environmental Quality to assemble a panel to review standards for disposal of waste containing low levels of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM). The panel will include experts from environmental groups, the waste disposal industry, the oil and gas industry and academia.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Environmentalist group says health registry needed
Pike County Register
PETER JACKSON

HARRISBURG — Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's administration said Aug. 18 it has enhanced the state health department's handling of complaints involving natural-gas drilling, prompting environmentalists to renew their demand for more aggressive action. Health Secretary Michael Wolf said steps recommended by a departmental working group include implementation of a written-letter response policy to better document correspondence between the department and people who file drilling-related health complaints. Other changes include providing information to doctors about how to file environmental health complaints and making the department's website easier to use, he said.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Campaigners blast censored report on underground gas drilling
Daily Post
Steve Bagnall

Campaigners against underground gas drilling have blasted a report into its impact on rural communities which was heavily censored. The report Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts published by the Government, which is pushing the dash for underground gas, has 63 redactions — where information is taken out. Wrexham council is currently waiting to hear the outcome of an appeal by GP Energy after councillors threw out the company’s plans to test drill for gas at Commonwood Farm, Borras, earlier this year. Councillors’ concerns included its impact on the environment, the pollution of water courses, greenhouse gases being emitted, subsidence and sink holes.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
US shale: What lies beneath
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/e178031e-2cf4-11e4-8105-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz3BXuhb1fj I n a clearing in a cornfield in the Eagle Ford region of south Texas, the rig drilling the Sisti A3 well for ConocoPhillips looks very similar to the ones that have been working in the state’s shale reserves for more than a decade. But a mile or two below the surface, the way the wells operate has changed radically. Since 2012, Conoco has doubled the volume of ceramic proppant – a sand-like material – it uses for hydraulic fracturing. Mixed with water and pumped into wells at high pressure, the proppant forces open the cracks in the rocks where oil and gas is trapped. Using more proppant has increased the output of each well by 30 per cent – giving a healthy boost to Conoco’s bottom line. Now its engineers are examining ways to double the amount of proppant again.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Draft Of Upcoming IPCC Report Presents Stark View Of The Future As Climate Change Rages On
AP via Huffington Post
SETH BORENSTEIN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn't in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Fracking prompts battles for our rural landscape
Yorkshire Post


A TUG-OF-WAR has broken out as energy companies and campaigners fight over the future of some of the most picturesque parts of Yorkshire. Anti-fracking campaigners and energy firms are fiercely lobbying over the rules which will be used to decide applications to carry out controversial ‘fracking’ operations in North Yorkshire, York and the North York Moors National Park. The three authorities asked for opinions on a draft plan for dealing with future proposals connected to dealing with waste or mining minerals – including shale gas which is extracted using the fracking method. Analysis of the responses reveals Dart Energy is arguing against any wholesale move to try and divert gas mining away from the national park or areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) or to apply special restrictions around their borders.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Fracking Link to Birth Defects Probed in Early Research
Bloomberg
saac Arnsdorf

The first research into the effects of oil and gas development on babies born near wells has found potential health risks. Government officials, industry advocates and the researchers themselves say more studies are needed before drawing conclusions. While the findings are still preliminary, any documented hazards threaten to cast a shadow over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking -- the process of blasting chemicals, sand and water deep underground to extract fuel from rock that’s helped push the U.S. closer to energy self-sufficiency than at any time since 1985.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Lawmakers hope to fund monitors for quakes in North Texas fracking areas
Dallas News
Marissa Barnett

AUSTIN — Lawmakers said Monday that they’re looking for money to add seismic monitors in areas with oil and gas production, following concerns about a series of earthquakes that rattled North Texas last winter. For now, at least, it’s just a pipe dream. The Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas production, doesn’t have any plans in the works for more monitors or for permit surcharges to oil and gas operators. That irks some Fort Worth-area residents and environmentalists who say regulators aren’t moving quick enough to address the issue. They contend that the state’s most lucrative industry should be picking up the tab. “If someone told the industry that they couldn’t inject any more fluids into the earth until they got the monitors, you can believe they would get the monitors right away,” Sharon Wilson of the environmental group Earthworks said after a hearing Monday.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Hydrofracking chemicals must be revealed
Herald and Tribune
Frances Lamberts

Three years ago this month, Earthjustice and more than 100 other citizen groups contacted the Environmental Protection Agency with a petition. They urged public-knowledge access, assured through national regulation, to information about the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas production. The groups asked that the nature of the chemicals used be revealed and whether have they been tested for possible health effects. If toxicity testing was not done, they suggested it should be required before the chemicals are widely used for hydrofracking purposes; the results of relevant health and safety studies should be given to the EPA and made public.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Calls for publication of fracking report
Mayo News
Anton McNulty

The Government have been called upon to follow the example of the Northern Ireland executive in relation to fracking after a number of townlands in east Mayo have been listed for preliminary authorisations for hydraulic fracking. Earlier this month, Northern Irish Environment Minister Mark Durkan denied permission to carry out deep bore test drilling in Fermanagh and Sinn Féin have called on the Irish Government to follow a similar stance. Sinn Feín representative in Swinford John Sheahan said the prospect of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is commonly known, occurring in the east of the county was leading to growing concerns locally and has called on the Irish Government to to publish its position in relation to fracking. “The Government needs to make its position in relation to fracking clear otherwise one can only conclude that the Fine Gael and Labour position is the same as that of the previous led Fianna Fáil government which favours the practice of fracking despite major concerns being expressed by farming communities affected by such a practice.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Europe will be Russia's hostage over gas supplies for at least another decade
The Telegraph
Szu Ping Chan

Policymakers will have no choice but to continue buying gas from Russia until at least the mid-2020s and "potentially much longer", according to Fitch. Europe already buys a quarter of its gas from Russia, and analysts expect consumption to increase by a third by 2030 as economies recover from the debt crisis and gas-fired electricity generation replaces old coal and nuclear power.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Labour plans stricter rules for UK’s fracking industry
Blue & Green Tomorrow
Ilaria Bertini

The Labour party has announced it will try to strengthen regulation for the British shale gas industry in the infrastructure bill, said to be too bland in relation to environmental assessment and monitoring of toxic fluids and methane levels.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
3400 oppose Ohio River barge terminal for fracking wastes
ohio.com
Bob Downing

Portland, Ohio – As the comment period closes on a proposed barge dock and pipeline facility on the Ohio River to dump fracking waste from as far as Texas, Americans Against Fracking urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject this dangerous proposal, which would threaten to contaminate the drinking water of 3 million people. Ohio attorney Terry Lodge and the Athens County Fracking Action Network earlier submitted hundreds of comments, successfully urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for an extension. “We were just reminded about the volatility of our drinking water sources when thousands of families in Toledo could not drink the water they depend on after elevated toxin levels were discovered in Lake Erie, and a diesel fuel spill on the Ohio River raised even more concerns last week,” said Alison Auciello of Food & Water Watch in Ohio.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Fracking link to birth defects probed as further studies sought
State Journal Register via Washington Post News Service
Isaac Arnsdorf

NEW YORK — The first research into the effects of oil and gas development on babies born near wells has found potential health risks. Government officials, industry advocates and the researchers themselves say more studies are needed before drawing conclusions. While the findings are still preliminary, any documented hazards threaten to cast a shadow over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the process of blasting chemicals, sand and water deep underground to extract fuel from rock that's helped push the U.S. closer to energy self-sufficiency than at any time since 1985. "It's not really well understood how the environment interacts with genetics to produce these birth defects," said Lisa McKenzie of the Colorado School of Public Health, who conducted research published in January in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. "We really need to do more study to see what the association is, if any, with natural gas development."   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Drinking Diesel? Fracking Companies Use Toxic Substance without Permits
Center for Effective Government
Amanda Frank

When it comes to protecting drinking water, fracking companies have just one federal rule to follow – get a permit if they are using diesel. But a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) indicates that many drillers can’t even abide by this simple requirement. Thanks to an ill-advised loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act – often called the Halliburton loophole – hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activities are exempt from drinking water protection standards – unless the drilling companies use diesel fuel. Diesel is the only fracking fluid that requires a federal permit. Diesel fluids contain toxic chemicals such as benzene and toluene that are harmful, even in small amounts, and are known cancer-causing substances. Even small leaks into groundwater pose serious health concerns. For instance, water containing more than five parts per billion of benzene (equal to five drops in a swimming pool) is considered unsafe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Railroad Commission Proposes Tighter Fracking Regulations
WTAW
Bill Oliver

DALLAS (AP) — The Texas Railroad Commission has proposed tightening regulations for injection wells as scientists explore a potential link between high-pressure wastewater disposal and the earthquakes rattling North Texas. The oil and gas regulator’s newly hired seismologist, Dr. Craig Pearson, testified Monday before a Texas House subcommittee on seismic activity that earthquakes are regularly recorded, though at magnitudes too small to be felt. He says the existing rules for injection wells were designed to protect against groundwater contamination, but not seismic activity. The proposed rules include giving the Railroad Commission the authority to suspend or terminate permits for injection wells if they’re believed to be causing earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Fracking Taxes Help States Now, but What About the Future?
Real Clear Energy


As bad as the federal budget picture looked during the Great Recession, the fiscal climate in the states was worse. The federal government used stimulus spending to prevent many states from having to make sharp cuts in services because of steep declines in sales, income, and corporate tax revenues. However, the state fiscal picture is looking much better. For the third year in a row, state tax revenues increased, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. While things might be looking up for states, there are causes for concern because much of the increase in some states is driven by energy taxation, related to a boom in the fracking industry that won't last forever. State tax revenues went up 6.1 percent in fiscal 2013 to a total of $846 billion, says the NCSL. Personal income tax revenues were up 10.3 percent, while corporate collections surged 7.9 percent. The NCSL urges caution for optimists thinking that the worst is behind states and localities. From 2002 (the end of a recession) to 2007, state tax revenue rose a whopping 42 percent. Since 2008, however, state tax revenues are only up a total of 8.5 percent, showing how tepid the recovery has been.  [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
State Considering Fracking Curbs
woai


The State of Texas, which has seen its economy boom due to hydraulic fracturing, is considering placing new restrictions on the oil extraction process known as fracking, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports. The concerns are being led by north Texas residents who are concerned about a flurry of earthquakes in their area, and are afraid there is a connection to fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 26, 2014
Hundreds decry fracking
Winston Salem Journal
Bertrand M. Gutierrez

WENTWORTH —Water matters, they said. The water that North Carolina protects now will be worth more than any quantity of shale gas that energy companies may discover by fracking, they said. More than 100 likeminded people – many from Stokes, Forsyth and Yadkin counties – signed up to speak during a four-hour public hearing Monday of the state Mining and Energy Commission at Rockingham County High School, one of three public hearings held in North Carolina this month on proposed rules that will govern shale-gas exploration.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Fracking takes toll in Pennsylvania, but New Jersey gets bargain
North Jersey.com
James M O'Neill

The recent boom in natural gas drilling across Pennsylvania has turned some property owners into millionaires. It also has forced some rural communities there to endure swaths of denuded forest, fumes from diesel engines, the rattle of equipment, midnight skies lit up by the lights for well pads, spills of dangerous wastewater, and the leak of explosive methane into their drinking water wells. One state away, New Jersey residents have enjoyed significant benefits from the gas being mined from the Marcellus Shale Formation through fracking. With an abundance of gas on the market, New Jerseyans have seen significant drops in the price of gas to heat their homes and cook their food – price cuts that are likely to continue this winter. And many coal-fired power plants in the Midwest have switched to natural gas, which has improved the air quality downwind in New Jersey.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Eye on Energy: Gas Processing
kxnews


Oil wells in North Dakota are burning off natural gas produced in the fracking process at a high rate. It's an issue environmentalists are concerned about and state regulators are dealing with - trying to reduce flaring. In this week's Eye on Energy, Jim Olson reports on a new gas plant near Tioga designed to help in that effort. It sits right across the road from the huge Hess gas plant - an unassuming complex that may make a big difference in the battle to make oil exploration in North Dakota more environmentally friendly. "It" is the Tioga Liquid Natural Gas Plant - operated by Plum Energy. It will take processed gas from the Hess plant, clean it up a bit, and cool it down - in a big way.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Washinton County, Va., Planning Commission recommends no drilling
Tricities.com
ALLIE ROBINSON GIBSON

ABINGDON, Va. — Members of the Washington County Planning Commission voted 5-2 Monday night to recommend that the county Board of Supervisors not change the county’s zoning ordinance to permit gas well drilling. Thirty people spoke at a public hearing held Monday on the issue.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Man-Made Earthquakes Are Proliferating, but We Won’t Admit Fault
Newsweek
Zoe Schlanger

f you jabbed at the center of a map of Oklahoma, your finger might land on Jones City, population 2,500. “Just a little piece of Americana,” as Lewis Moore, the state representative for the area, calls it—Main Street has a firehouse, a pharmacy and a Sonic Drive-In, and beyond downtown are vast, flat fields of pasture. Jones City also happens to be at the epicenter of an unprecedented spate of earthquakes. From 1978 until 2008, Oklahoma averaged only two earthquakes over magnitude 3.0 per year; midway through 2014, the state has already registered 230 quakes of that strength, easily surpassing California as the most earthquake-prone state in the country. These quakes seem to be induced by a step in the hydraulic fracturing process—the disposal of vast volumes of salty, chemical-laced wastewater by injecting it deep into the ground. Texas, Arkansas and Ohio have also recently seen spikes in earthquakes in the vicinity of wastewater injection wells. The tremors are unprecedented—they are making ground shake that scarcely did before—and the evidence pointing to fracking disposal is piling up. But Moore is skeptical. “The Earth, and the science of how everything works, is so big. We are so minute,” he says. “For us to think that we have so much to do with these things is almost ludicrous.”  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
AfriForm, TKAG appeal to public protector over fracking
News 24


Cape Town – AfriForum and the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) have confirmed that they will be submitting a written complaint to the Public Protector to address President Jacob Zuma’s exploration of shale gas mining.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Opposition calls on mining companies to do more to allay fracking fears
The Standard
Sean McComish

BOTH the government and Labor plan to keep quiet on the issue of fracking until after the state election. Neither party is yet to completely support or condemn the controversial mining method, with each side calling for more studies.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Up In Flames
San Antonion Express
Jennifer Hiller and John Tedesco

"I would roll my windows down and smell the fresh country air," Lyssy said. But lately, she's not sure what she's breathing as oil wells and natural gas flares from the Eagle Ford Shale boom creep up to the farm's property line. "The flaring is ridiculous," Lyssy said. She and husband Fred raise cattle, lambs, goats and pigs on a 564-acre property owned by Fred's mother, who has turned down repeated offers from oil and gas companies to drill. "There's millions of acres, and they want it all," Fred Lyssy said.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Dept. Of Health Improves Drilling-Related Health Complaint Processes
PA Environment Digest


Secretary of Health Michael Wolf Monday announced enhancements to the department’s internal processes for responding to environmental health concerns and complaints specifically related to Marcellus Shale drilling.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Rep. Vitali To Ask Environmental Committee To Consider Drilling-Related Health Bill
Pa Environment Digest


Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said Wednesday it is time for the legislature to enact his legislation that would require the Department of Health to do more to protect the public from Marcellus Shale drilling hazards.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
DEP Fines Cabot Oil More Than $76,000 For Susquehanna Well Control Incident
Pa Environment Digest


The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has fined Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. of Pittsburgh $76,546 for a January well control incident at the company’s Huston well pad in Brooklyn Township, Susquehanna County. “Cabot lost control of the Huston J1 gas well for 27 hours, to which the department responded to promptly to ensure there were no significant environmental impacts,” DEP Director of District Oil and Gas Operations John Ryder said. “In this incident, mostly gas was released, which dissipated quickly to background levels within 100 feet from the well.”   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Danger Beneath: 'Fracking' Gas, Oil Pipes Threaten Rural Residents
NBC NEWS
LISA RIORDAN SEVILLE

construction boom of pipelines carrying explosive oil and natural gas from “fracking” fields to market -- pipes that are bigger and more dangerous than their predecessors -– poses a safety threat in rural areas, where they sometimes run within feet or yards of homes with little or no safety oversight, an NBC News investigation has found. The rapidly expanding network of pipes, known as “gathering lines,” carry oil and gas from fracking fields in many parts of the country to storage facilities and major “transmission lines.” They are subject to the same risks – corrosion, earthquakes, sabotage and construction accidents -- as transmission lines. But unlike those pipelines, about 90 percent of gathering lines do not fall under federal safety or construction regulations because they run through rural areas, the Government Accountability Office reported in 2012. Safety advocates and regulators have called for new regulations on the pipelines, but energy industry interests have pushed back. Any changes could be years away, if they happen at all, according to an analysis from the Congressional Research Service released early this month.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Fracking threat wiped £535,000 off my home's value
The Daily Mail
James Tozer

The potentially massive impact of fracking on house prices was revealed yesterday – with one woman saying the value of her home has been cut by £535,000. Dianne Westgarth told how the price of her five-bedroom house had plummeted by over 70 per cent as a result of a proposed fracking site nearby. In 2012, the property – which comes with two-and-a-half acres of land – was valued at £725,000.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Health Benefits of Reducing Emissions Outweigh Costs Involved, Study
Headlines & Global News


Many states have backed out from implementing carbon emission reduction policies because of high costs involved. However, a new study suggests that the health benefits that comes from breathing cleaner air more than makes up for these costs. For the study, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology looked at three policies achieving the same reductions in the U.S. They found that the savings on health care spending and other costs related to illness can be big - in some cases, more than 10 times the cost of policy implementation.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Did everyone Forget about that Gas Pipeline in the Rockaways?
Curbed
Jeremiah Budin

There was some public outcry against the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project, the natural gas pipeline that will run from the Atlantic Ocean, under the Rockaways and Jamaica Bay, and into to southeast Brooklyn, when it was proposed in August of 2012. However, the project was approved shortly thereafter and, since then, we've heard very little about it, despite the fact that construction has been ongoing. Now, an article in Al Jazeera America suggests that the concerns of Rockaways residents still protesting the project are a good deal more founded than run-of-the-mill NIMBYism. Williams Companies, the company installing the pipeline, is currently "the subject of a U.S. Chemical Safety Board probe because of a recent string of incidents," including a 2013 petrochemical facility explosion in Louisiana that killed two, a 2013 gas facility fire in New Jersey that injured 13, and, this year, a gas plant explosion in Washington state that injured five and forced the evacuation of an entire town, and a pipeline explosion in West Virigina, a pipeline fire in Wyoming, and a compressor station fire in Pennsylvania. "The string of incidents was very uncharacteristic," said a Williams spokesperson, adding, "Safety is not a destination you reach. It's an ongoing journey."  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Pittsburgh airport gas drilling project set for official kickoff
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Kaitlynn Riely

Ground was broken months ago at Pittsburgh International Airport for Consol Energy’s natural gas development project, and drilling began Aug. 15.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Fracking Boom Waste: Flares Light Prairie With Unused Natural Gas
NBC News
Brad Quick & Morgan Brennan

From his driveway, farmer Tom Wheeler's view of North Dakota's grasslands seems endless. Fields of soy, wheat and canola stretch to the horizon in all directions. But as drillers flock to cash in on the state's booming shale gas industry, that horizon has become increasingly marked by natural gas flares.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Danger Beneath: ‘Fracking’ Gas, Oil Pipes Threaten Rural Residents
Time
NBC News

A construction boom of pipelines carrying explosive oil and natural gas from “fracking” fields to market — pipes that are bigger and more dangerous than their predecessors -– poses a safety threat in rural areas, where they sometimes run within feet or yards of homes with little or no safety oversight, an NBC News investigation has found.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
U.S. Study Finds Boomtown 'Curse'
Daily Yonder
Tim Marema

Energy boomtowns in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas might be better off economically in the long run if they had never started pumping oil and gas out of the ground. That’s one implication of new research looking at the impact of the “resource curse” in U.S. counties.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Labour attempts to strengthen regulation of UK fracking industry Opposition party to table amendments to Lords infrastructure bill that would tighten rules for companies drilling for shale gas
The Guardian
Terry Macalister

The Labour party believes the rules covering fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – for gas are not tight enough and will attempt to strengthen regulation of the controversial drilling method by tabling a series of amendments to the infrastructure bill in the House of Lords on Tuesday.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Crews now fracking at Pittsburgh International Airport
WGAL


IMPERIAL, Pa. —The start of natural gas drilling near the Pittsburgh International Airport is being cheered by Pennsylvania politicians from both parties.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Anti-fracking alliance takes fight to Public Protector
Mining Weekly
Natasha Odendaal

Anti-fracking lobby group, the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG), and social rights group AfriForum plan to take their fight against hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in South Africa to the Public Protector. The parties said they would submit a written complaint to the Public Protector by Tuesday after a letter sent to the Presidency, dated July 21, seeking a fresh moratorium on fracking went unacknowledged.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Michigan Township Association leery of fracking moratoriums
Michigan Radio
Tracy Samilton

The Michigan Township Association says townships that pass fracking moratoriums could be on shaky legal ground...She says the Association's legal counsel believes the state alone can deny or issue permits for oil and gas drilling, otherwise known as "fracking." That goes for gravel mining, too.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Anti-fracking campaigners to go head to head with energy bosses
Shropshire Star


Anti-fracking campaigners and energy bosses will come face to face when they debate exploratory drilling for gas in the county. Campaign group Frack Free Dudleston has been at loggerheads with Dart Energy after it submitted a planning application for a temporary coal-bed methane (CBM) exploration borehole near Ellesmere.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Inside Energy: Fracking and health, part 1
Prairie Public News
Jordan Wirfs-Brock & Leigh Paterson

The oil and gas boom of the 21st century has been fueled - largely - by a technique called hydraulic fracturing. Its given access to massive shale gas and oil formations in states like Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. But what’s different about this boom, is that drilling is bumping right up against communities. And people are worried about the health impacts. The industry has taken off so quickly that scientific research about those impacts is playing catch up.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Dear Governor Hickenlooper: Fractivists make a documentary What separates activism from electioneering as voting day approaches?
Colorado Independent
Tessa Cheek

AT THE beginning of this month, “Dear Governor Hickenlooper,” a collection of short anti-fracking documentaries and the product of more than a year’s work by Director Stash Wislocki and Producer David Holbrooke looked like it had been beached.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Michigan landfill operator suspends receipt of low-level radioactive waste
Detroit Free Press


A Van Buren Township hazardous-waste landfill operator, slated to receive up to 36 tons of low-level radioactive waste from a Pennsylvania fracking company, announced Monday that it will suspend receipt of such materials from all oil and gas operations pending a review by the state.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Should we "green up" dirty energy technologies?
Greenbiz
Joel Makower

In that light, how does one think about recent efforts to improve the efficiency and reduce the impacts of “bad” energy technologies and techniques such as tar sands oil, natural gas fracking, “clean coal” and nuclear energy? All four are almost uniformly reviled by environmental activists. And yet none of these energy technologies, and the massive, multi-billion-dollar industries that have grown around them, is likely to disappear anytime soon. Given that, what is our responsibility to minimize their impacts? Or should we hold the line, insisting that these technologies simply shouldn’t exist?  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Breaking News: New Hazards with Fracking
Stewart Acuff
Blog

NBC is reporting this morning on their website that government safety officials and others have discovered another major safety issue in fracking, the process of drilling deep into the earth to blow up rock formations to release natural gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Industry must find responsible solution for flaring
Houston Chronicle
Chris Tomlinson

A front-page story made clear this Monday morning the challenge of dealing with natural gas while drilling for oil in the Eagle Ford shale of South Texas. Rather than rail against the local residents who complain about the potential health hazards, hopefully the industry will take up the challenge of capturing this valuable commodity and become better neighbors. The problem is as old as oil drilling itself. Natural gas often occurs where oil is found and it comes up the pipe whether you want it or not. When drilling an exploratory well, there are usually no pipelines installed to carry away the natural gas away for home use, and even with many established wells, the distance to a gas pipeline is too far to economically build a connection. The industry calls this "stranded gas." Releasing it into the atmosphere is dangerous, so operators vent the gas to a corner of the drilling pad where it is ignited and most of it burns off. What remains is a nasty smell, and if it's not burned properly, a lot of smoke and dangerous chemicals.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
White House won't use NEPA effectively on climate and clean energy -- Part 2
CLimate Science Watch
Rick Piltz

Draft guidance to federal agencies on environmental impact assessment of proposed federal actions such as energy development permits, which the White House has allowed to languish for four years, could move the system toward analyzing specific proposed projects within a larger context of cumulative global warming impacts. The 2010 draft guidance on implementing the National Environmental Policy Act also called for a comparison of the emissions associated with proposed projects with the emissions associated with potential alternatives, such as renewable energy development, and with the alternative of no project development at all.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Carmel says PG&E likely broke law with explosion
Monterey Herald News
Tom Leyde

CARMEL >> The Carmel City Council on Monday took Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to task, alleging the utility broke state law when a natural gas explosion destroyed a home in the city on March 3. The city also seeks a formal investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission. On a 4-0 vote, with Councilman Kenneth Talmage absent, the council, in a special session, approved a resolution that states PG&E appears to have violated the California Public Utilities Code, covering the safe distribution of natural gas.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
UVA scientist warns of dire environmental impacts if the proposed natural gas pipeline goes through Highland County
Allegheny Mountain Radio
Heather Niday

At their meeting on August 19th, Highlanders for Responsible Development [HRD] chairman Lewis Freeman said their group had yet to take a formal position on the Dominion Resources Southeast Reliability Project, a natural gas pipeline that would run through parts of West Virginia and Virginia, including Highland County. Rick Webb, a member on the board of directors for HRD, a Highland County resident, and a senior scientist at the University of Virginia, has taken a formal position on the pipeline, one that is firmly in opposition. Webb sees the pipeline putting the natural resources of the county in peril. Referring to a map of the proposed pipeline, Webb told the large crowd gathered at the Highland center that it would cross a considerable amount of sensitive habitat including sections of the George Washington national forest and Virginia wildlife management areas.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
SHUMLIN TO STEP IN IF VERMONT GAS PURSUES EMINENT DOMAIN
vtdigger.org
John Herrick

The Shumlin administration intends to hire an independent appraiser to assess the value of landowners’ property taken through eminent domain for the construction of a natural gas pipeline through Addison County. Gov. Peter Shumlin sent a letter to three lawmakers on Monday stating his concern and disappointment with Vermont Gas’ rollout of its natural gas pipeline. The company has started construction of a 41-mile pipeline extension from Chittenden and Franklin counties to Middlebury.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
How Dow Chemical's league-leading lobbying against free trade illuminates the folly of export subsidies
Washington Examiner
Opinion - Timothy P Carney

Usually General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Comcast or Northrop Grumman lead the U.S. in federal lobbying. So far this year, though, Dow Chemical is the King of K Street. The reason: advocates of free trade are threatening one of Dow's profitable privileges. The investor site Motley Fool explains: The company's position is clear: LNG exports beyond a certain level are bad for business, and the economy at large, though this is a debate that may not be resolved anytime soon. So Dow is probably lobbying to limit LNG exports.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Other 2014 Environmental and Land Use Legislation: Fracking, Brownfields, State Land Conservation, Private Easements, Wood Burning Furnaces and Running Bamboo
Land for Love and Money
Reid - Pullman & Comley LLC

Hydraulic Fracturing Waste A deceptively simple bill concerning hydraulic fracturing waste, PA 14-200, emerged as a synthesis of multiple options presented by competing proposals. Senate Bill 237 would have banned fracking waste outright. House Bill 5308 would have regulated it as hazardous waste. House Bill 5237 proposed to institute a fee on processing, sale, exchange or disposal, presumably on the salutary basis that a new waste stream represents an opportunity to spin off a revenue stream. A fourth, House Bill 5409, would have directed DEEP to “ensure” that transport of fracking waste was “subject to the same rigorous standards and transparencies governing the transport and handling of all hazardous waste,” and to study and provide a report to the General Assembly assessing such waste and recommending handling standards. The solution that emerged was a heavily amended version of the fourth option. PA 14-200 provides that no person may accept, receive, store, treat, transfer or dispose of fracking waste, including by discharging it into a pollution abatement facility, until DEEP adopts regulations on the subject. The regulations must first address the State’s incorporation, under its delegated RCRA authority, of 40 CFR §261.4(b)(5), which exempts “drilling fluids” associated with oil and gas exploration from the definition of “hazardous waste,” and classify these materials as state-regulated waste. The regulations must also ensure that radioactive constituents in fracking waste do not pose a hazard, and require disclosure of the composition of such waste. Once the regulations are duly adopted, “no person shall” collect, store, etc., without a permit to do so.   [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Michigan landfill operator suspends receipt of low-level radioactive waste
Detroit Free Press


By Keith Matheny Detroit Free Press Staff Writer FILED UNDER Local News Michigan News ADVERTISEMENT A Van Buren Township hazardous-waste landfill operator, slated to receive up to 36 tons of low-level radioactive waste from a Pennsylvania fracking company, announced Monday that it will suspend receipt of such materials from all oil and gas operations pending a review by the state. EQ, a USEcology company, made its determination as Gov. Rick Snyder announced plans to form a panel of experts to look at Michigan’s standards for disposing of low-level radioactive waste. EQ has accepted the waste — known as technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive materials, or TENORM — from Michigan and other states at its Wayne Disposal landfill, located between Willow Run Airport and I-94 near Belleville.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Impacts of Fracking
Sustainable Transition


Here is the latest on fracking - This time from Ohio... Operators of an Ohio wastewater injection well sue individuals over billboards criticizing the project, in what advocates say is part of a broader pattern of industry quieting opponents in the state. Actions by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) have also thwarted citizens' attempts to speak out against fracking and related activities, Johnson said. ODNR staffers showed up with at least 14 armed personnel and a dog at one 2013 meeting in Portage County.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
NIOSH: Workers face chemical exposure during fracking August 25, 2014
Safety and Health


Washington – Workers who gauge tanks during oil and gas extraction flowback procedures may be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene and other volatile chemicals, according to NIOSH. The agency released its findings in an Aug. 21 blog post that detailed exposure assessments for workers involved in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Fifteen of 17 samples exceeded NIOSH’s recommended exposure limit for benzene, a known carcinogen, while direct reading instruments indicated an elevated risk for fires during flowback operations.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Refracking brings ‘vintage’ oil and gas wells to life
Bakken.com
ZAch Koppang

NORTH DAKOTA Aug 20 – A fracking boom isn’t enough for U.S. oil and gas producers – they’re now starting the re-fracking boom. Wells sunk as little as three years ago are being fracked again, the latest innovation in the technology-driven shale oil revolution. Hydraulic fracturing, which has upended global energy markets by lifting U.S. crude oil output to a 25-year high, has been troubled by quick declines in oil and gas output. The development highlights how producers must constantly invest and tinker, both to raise overall oil recovery rates that can be as low as 5 percent and to limit steep drops in production suffered by wells drilled into tight oil deposits.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
AWWA comments address fracking fluids rulemaking
American Water Works Association


In recent comments to the US Environmental Protection Agency, AWWA detailed its interests in an Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics rulemaking regarding the use of the Toxic Substances Control Act for collecting information on hydraulic fracturing chemicals and their use. There are numerous questions answered in the comments, but most connect with these central themes: Water utilities need to have information about processes ongoing in their watersheds, such as oil and gas operations, to help manage water resources and protect water supplies The information currently available (in most cases through FracFocus) is a good start, but ultimately insufficient given a number of limitations in the data and the lack of any way to export or thoroughly analyze the information. Information on what chemicals are used (and in what quantities) is useful, but needs to be supplemented with other information such as the physical properties of the chemicals, fate and transport information, detection methods, and clean-up procedures.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Anti-fracking Teachout gets Sierra Club endorsement over Cuomo
Newsday
Michael Gormley

ALBANY — Zephyr Teachout and her underdog campaign to take on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in the Democratic primary snagged another endorsement once expected to go to Cuomo. The York Chapter of the Sierra Club endorsed Teachout on Monday. She is a Fordham law professor who strongly opposes drilling for natural gas trapped in a vast upstate shale deposit. The primary is Sept. 9. Cuomo has declined to authorize or reject the drilling by a method called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. For Cuomo, it’s a politically dicey proposition because many upstate communities he hopes to win see fracking as a potential economic boon. But environmentalists in Cuomo’s base of voters strongly oppose fracking as a threat to the environment and public health.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Fracking part of Astorino's jobs plan
Legislative Gazette
David Klepper AP

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino unveiled a plan to boost New York's economy Tuesday that calls for lower taxes, less red tape, hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and incentives for high-tech industries and agriculture. One of Astorino's more unusual proposals is no highway tolls for farmers taking their goods to market.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
Fracking Beyond the Law
Dallas Observer
Amy Silverstein

Regulation of the mysterious chemicals used in fracking fluid used in drilling for oil and gas has been pretty much off limits to the Environmental Protection Agency ever since Congress in 2005 stripped the EPA of its authority to regulate fracking fluid under the Safe Drinking Water Act. In a meager win for people who like water, the 2005 loophole at least was supposed to discourage oil companies from fracking with diesel chemicals, which are especially toxic. Because the diesel chemicals weren't included in that special exemption, anyone who wanted to frack with diesel was, in theory, supposed find some other volatile chemical to use instead, or at least ask the EPA for a special permit first. Naturally, that didn't happen, and the EPA missed out on its one exciting chance to regulate fracking fluid, the secret sauce of water and other stuff drillers use in hydraulic fracturing. A 2011 congressional investigation found that companies kept using diesel anyway. The EPA didn't do anything to stop them or clarify its diesel guidelines until recently. Thanks to all that, a new report now shows that Texas has been collecting quite a lot of diesel in our fracking wells. In fact, we lead the nation in diesel.  [Full Story]

Aug 25, 2014
What the Anti-Fracking Movement Brings to the Climate Movement
Resilience
Sandra Steingraber

These are my prepared remarks for a speech I gave at the Boston stop of the People’s Climate March tour, “Building a Movement of Movements: Towards the People’s Climate March in NYC.” Hi, everyone. My name is Sandra Steingraber, and I inhabit the anti-fracking wing of the climate movement. Only a few years ago, that sentence would have sounded strange, even to me, because the fight against fracking has its roots in another place.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Methane in the Water Part II: Fires and Explosions
Chapelboro
Jeff Danner Opinion

This is the conclusion of a two-part series of the implications and potential hazards of methane contamination of drinking water wells due to fracking. Part I explained how we know that fracking allows methane to infiltrate drinking water aquifers, and reviewed the associated toxicity implications. For the purposes of this week’s column, the key point to know is that a recent Duke University study demonstrated that drinking water wells near to fracking operations in New York and Pennsylvania had methane concentrations of up to 70 mg/L, a level many times greater than normal.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Oil and gas ‘conversation’ covers health, fracking, water
Post Independent


RIFLE — Health, fracking and water were the main topics of discussion at Saturday afternoon’s “Community Conversations” event held by Colorado Mountain College at the West Garfield County Campus in Rifle.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
How Much Longer Can Low U.S. Natural Gas Prices Last?
Motley Fool
Arujun Streekumar

aolo Scaroni, former chief executive of Italian oil major Eni, believes the price gap between oil and natural gas is an abnormality that will, over time, be corrected by market forces. "These two anomalies, once corrected, move us toward a world in which gas prices are higher and oil prices are lower," he told the Financial Times last year. But what if he's wrong? What if lower gas prices simply reflect changing market dynamics -- a new normal of sorts? Well, that's exactly the finding of a report by IHS, a leading research and consulting firm.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Drilling-related health registry never implemented
Citizens Voice
Robert Swift

That’s the matter of how Pennsylvania should track and evaluate potential public health problems caused by hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking. The issue was thrust into the spotlight again last week with the controversy over the state Health Department’s handling of complaints from citizens about sickness related to drilling activities. Following media reports that employees were told to ignore complaints, the department announced new procedures to make it easier to file a complaint and require a written response to all complaints. Meanwhile, a coalition of health care professionals called for an independent investigation into the department’s actions regarding drilling-related health issues.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Pike County Light & Power to increase natural gas rate 16.4 percent
Pocono Record


The bad news for Pike County Light & Power natural gas consumers is that the distribution rate will increase by 16.4 percent. The good news is that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved a lower increase than requested. The commission voted 5-0 to approve a settlement for an annual increase of $100,000 (16.4 percent). The company had originally requested an increase of $151,000 (24.7 percent) for its natural gas distribution rates.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
What the Anti-Fracking Movement Brings to the Climate Movement
EcoNews
Sandra Steingraber

These are my prepared remarks for a speech I gave at the Boston stop of the People’s Climate March tour, “Building a Movement of Movements: Towards the People’s Climate March in NYC.” Hi, everyone. My name is Sandra Steingraber, and I inhabit the anti-fracking wing of the climate movement. Only a few years ago, that sentence would have sounded strange, even to me, because the fight against fracking has its roots in another place.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Fracking digs deep hole in house values
The Sunday Times
Jonathan Leake and Ellie Thomson

FRACKING could be such a blight on homes near drilling sites that they will be placed into lower council tax bands, the government’s property valuation agency admits. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), which sets the values of properties for council tax purposes, said any industrial or commercial development near homes, potentially including fracking sites, could reduce their value. Some homeowners living near proposed fracking sites say their properties are already worth considerably less than before the plans were submitted.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Flares in Eagle Ford Shale wasting natural gas
San Antonio Express-News
JOHN TEDESCO and JENNIFER HILLER

Oil and gas companies rushing to drill in the Eagle Ford Shale since 2009 have burned and wasted billions of cubic feet of natural gas — enough to meet the needs for an entire year of every San Antonio-area household that relies on the fossil fuel. Faced with a pipeline shortage in rural South Texas, companies bleed off the gas into flares that release air pollutants and greenhouse gases in amounts that collectively rival the output of a half-dozen oil refineries. Not even the state's top regulators at the Railroad Commission of Texas who oversee the oil and gas industry know how much gas is going to waste and polluting the air in the Eagle Ford Shale.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Koch-Tied Roots of Senator Vitter's Green Billionaires Club Environmental Attack Report
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

A DeSmogBlog investigation reveals that Kristina Moore, the Senate staffer listed as the author of U.S. Sen. David Vitter's (R-La.) “green billionaire's club” report published by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) on July 30, has career roots tracing back to the Koch Brothers' right-wing machine. Metadata from Vitter's green billionaire's club report shows Moore's name as the author, though it remains unclear whether or not she authored it alone. Moore did not respond to a question about her authorship sent via email.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Fracking threat wiped £535,000 off my home's value: Five-bedroom home now valued at £190,000 after drilling site was proposed nearby
Daily Mail
James Tozer

The potentially massive impact of fracking on house prices was revealed yesterday – with one woman saying the value of her home has been cut by £535,000. Dianne Westgarth told how the price of her five-bedroom house had plummeted by over 70 per cent as a result of a proposed fracking site nearby.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Fracking pipeline not gushing yet
Philly.com
Andrew Maykuth

Aqua America's $54 million investment in a pipeline to supply water for Marcellus Shale fracking operations has not exactly gushed profits, as hoped. "We've built a pipeline that can carry three million gallons of water a day and we're nowhere close to that," Nicholas DeBenedictis, chief executive of the Brywn Mawr company, said in a recent call with analysts.  [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
What the Anti-Fracking Movement Brings to the Climate Movement
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

Hi, everyone. My name is Sandra Steingraber, and I inhabit the anti-fracking wing of the climate movement....It turns out that the same unfixable engineering problem that sets the table for contaminating our water also contaminates the atmosphere with climate-killing methane.   [Full Story]

Aug 24, 2014
Soon, Europe Might Not Need Any New Power Plants
Think Progress
Jeff Spross

Within a few decades, large-scale, centralized electricity generation from fossil fuels could be a thing of the past in Europe. That’s the word from investment bank UBS, which just released a new report anticipating a three pronged assault from solar power, battery technology, and electric vehicles that will render obsolete traditional power generation by large utilities that rely on coal or natural gas.  [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2014
The Climate Swerve
The New York Times
ROBERT JAY LIFTON

AMERICANS appear to be undergoing a significant psychological shift in our relation to global warming. I call this shift a climate “swerve,” borrowing the term used recently by the Harvard humanities professor Stephen Greenblatt to describe a major historical change in consciousness that is neither predictable nor orderly.  [Full Story]

Aug 23, 2014
Public to get chance to voice its opinion on fracking
Tri Cities
Allie Robinson Gibson

ABINGDON, Va. — Members of the public will get to voice their opinions Monday night on the county’s changes to zoning ordinances to permit natural gas well drilling in certain agricultural zones. The Washington County Planning Commission meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the County Government Center and a public hearing on the ordinance is on the agenda.   [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Maryland takes a public health approach on fracking that Pa. hasn’t tried
State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

Air pollution is among one of the greatest public health concerns related to Marcellus Shale drilling, according to a new health impact assessment released this week by the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Commissioned by the Maryland Department of Public Health through an executive order by Gov. Martin O’Malley, the study assesses potential environmental health impacts should Maryland open up its western edge to Marcellus Shale drillers.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Inside North Dakota's latest fracking problem
CNBC


From his driveway, Tom Wheeler's view of North Dakota's sprawling grasslands seems endless. Fields of soy, wheat and canola stretch to the horizon in all directions. But as drillers flock to the state to cash in on North Dakota's booming shale play, that horizon has become increasingly marked by natural gas flares.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Albany County enlists top legal firm for oil train fight
Capital New York
SCOTT WALDMAN

ALBANY—Albany County has hired a high-powered Boston environmental law firm to help with its battle against a Fortune 500 company that's bringing in millions of gallons of crude oil every day. The county has placed Mintz Levin on retainer, county attorney Tom Marcelle said. The firm will help with a potential legal battle with Global Partners, which has threatened to sue after the county placed a moratorium on expanding crude-handling facilities at the Port of Albany. Marcelle said Albany County has subpeona power and Mintz Levin could be used to enforce the county's right to question top Global officials if they withhold information the county is seeking.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Q Poll: Fracking Opposition Hits New High
State of Politics


Forty-eight percent of New Yorkers are opposed to drilling in the Marcellus Shale due to environmental concerns, a Quinnipiac poll released this morning found. That’s the highest level of opposition to the controversial natural gas drilling technique found by the Q poll since it has been tracking voters’ opinions on this issue. The previous high was in March 2013, when 46 percent said they opposed fracking, while 39 percent were in favor.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Wagner Pledges To Block Parkland From Pipeline Project
Peekskill Daily Voice
Sam Barron

BUCHANAN, N.Y. -- Justin Wagner, Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 40th District, said he would oppose turning over parkland for the Algonquin pipeline expansion. Wagner, at a playground in Buchanan on Wednesday, Aug. 20, said he would block legislation authorizing the transfer of town land to Spectra Energy for the proposed pipeline project.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
How Fracking In Maryland Would Threaten The Health Of Anyone Who Breathes Nearby
Climate Progress
Katie Valentine

Fracking in Maryland would pose a risk of harmful air pollution and would bring jobs that could be dangerous for workers, a new report has found.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Bill would keep other states’ radioactive fracking waste out of Michigan
Michigan News


A state senator says he wants to prevent Michigan from further becoming other states’ dumping ground for low-level radioactive waste from the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Up in Flames
mySA
John Tedesco, Jennifer Hiller

The energy boom that transformed South Texas into an economic powerhouse also has created a prolific source of air pollution and wasted natural gas  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Refracking brings ‘vintage’ oil and gas wells back to life
The Japan Times
Anna Driver and Ernest Scheyder

A fracking boom isn’t enough for U.S. oil and gas producers — they’re now starting the re-fracking boom.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Inside North Dakota's latest fracking problem
CNBC
Brad Quick and Morgan Brennan

From his driveway, Tom Wheeler's view of North Dakota's sprawling grasslands seems endless. Fields of soy, wheat and canola stretch to the horizon in all directions. But as drillers flock to the state to cash in on North Dakota's booming shale play, that horizon has become increasingly marked by natural gas flares.   [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Pa. Auditor General finds state’s fracking oversight a fiasco Probe finds lack of inspections, enforcement, transparency
Shale Gas Review
Tom Wilber

Pennsylvania’s regulation of the shale gas boom has been underfunded, inconsistent and ineffective, according to an investigation by the state’s auditor general released today.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Thanks To The Clean Air Act, We Breathe 3 Million Fewer Tons Of Toxins Each Year
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

Actions taken by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act have caused U.S. toxic air emissions to drop “significantly” — in some cases by more than half — since the law was amended in 1990, the regulatory agency told Congress in a report Thursday.  [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Global Flaring Visualization
SkyTruth


This tool shows a heatmap of nightly, infrared satellite detections of natural gas flaring across the entire planet, as seen by the VIIRS instrument aboard NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite.   [Full Story]

Aug 22, 2014
Satellite Map Shows Fracking Flares in Texas and North Dakota Equal to Greenhouse Emissions From 1.5 Million Cars
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Earthworks, a nonprofit which works to protect communities from the impacts of mineral and fossil fuel extraction and promote sustainable energy development, has released a new report showing that the flaring of natural gas waste in just two shale plays, or exploration areas, is the equivalent of an additional 1.5 million cars on the road. The flares occur when natural gas is burned rather than captured.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
State cites fracking operation for taking water from area lake
WFAA-TV ABC
DAVID SCHECHTER

DALWORTHINGTON GARDENS -- The state of Texas has cited a large natural gas driller for improperly drawing water from a Tarrant County lake for use in the hydraulic fracking of natural gas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says XTO, owned by ExxonMobil, was not entitled to the water, and residents of Dalworthington Gardens say their lake has never been the same.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Major fossil fuel companies see need for climate action
U-T San Diego
John H. Reaves & Len Hering

Major fossil fuel companies have spent much energy to determine whether the fuels they sell actually cause climate change. The bottom line? They do and, perhaps surprisingly, many of them own up to it and are calling for federal action. The fossil fuel finding offers another firm reason to move forward to safeguard our future. Even if we’re uncertain of the potential worst effects, we need an insurance policy. There is growing concern among these major companies over climate change and a call for equitable federal action.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Refracking tech rejuvenates wells after fracking peters out
Akron Beacon Journal
Jim Mackinnon

What comes after fracked oil and gas wells start running dry? Refracking, according to The American Interest blog, The Feed. The Feed: "Critics ... have pointed out that these new wells often give way to a rapid decline in output, arguing that the shale boom isn’t all it’s fracked up to be. The shale drilling industry is working to solve this problem, and one method, which involves tiny plastic balls added to the slurry pumped underground to break up shale rock, is allowing producers to 'refrack' wells previously thought to be tapped out.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Critics: Ohio case fits wider pattern of quieting fracking foes
Midwest Energy News
Kathiann M. Kowalski

A lawsuit filed by an Ohio company last month seeks to remove two anti-fracking billboards near a wastewater site it operates. While the case is a test of free speech, critics say it also reflects a broader reluctance for businesses and regulatory agencies in the state to adequately inform citizens about shale gas activities and address their concerns.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
At Least 10 Percent Of Fracking Fluid Is Toxic
ThinkProgress
Andrew Breiner

At least 10 percent of the contents of fracking fluid injected into the earth is toxic. For another third we have no idea. And that’s only from the list of chemicals the fracking industry provided voluntarily. That’s according to an analysis by William Stringfellow of Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, reported in Chemistry World. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the practice of injecting fluid at high pressure into the earth, which breaks up oil- and gas-filled rock formations that is then extracted to the surface. The contents and makeup of that fluid have been a subject of controversy, largely because drilling companies are able to keep what’s in it a secret, and because the fluid has been known to leak and spill on a regular basis.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Health alert - fracking’s chemical cocktails
Ecologist
Tim Radford

Scientists in the US have established that chemicals used in fracking to extract gas and oil could represent health and environmental hazards, writes Tim Radford. Among the greatest hazards: biocides and corrosion inhibitors.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Activist sentenced to jail for natural gas protest
Star Gazette
Jeff Murray

Jeremy Alderson, an activist from Hector who has opposed plans to create natural gas storage facilities near Seneca Lake, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 days in jail on a trespassing charge. Alderson was sentenced in Town of Reading Court in connection with a Sept. 6, 2012, protest at the gate of the Inergy LP facility in the Town of Reading, which has since merged with Crestwood Midstream of Texas. His sentence was delayed for months pending appeals.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Governors love this pipeline in the Northeast, residents not so much
Grist
Heather Smith

For months now, I’ve been reading about the 180 miles of gas pipeline that energy giant Kinder Morgan is planning on running between Boston and New York state. First called the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Northeast Expansion Project, then renamed the TGP Northeast Energy Direct Project, the pipeline was originally touted by New England’s governors as part of the area’s transition to clean energy. They wanted it so much that they proposed passing an extra tax on electricity users to pay for it. Not everyone was excited, though. People living along the pipeline’s path worried about gas leaks on their property, as one does. Others pointed out that since the gas that would fill the new pipeline originated in the emissions-heavy fracking fields of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia, its claim to being “clean energy” were a little dubious. Now, reports are that the pipeline is on hold, perhaps permanently.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
COALITION ASKS EPA TO LIMIT SECRECY FOR CRITICAL PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION Petition filed to request time limits for confidentiality claims for chemicals submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act
Earthjustice
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Today, a broad coalition of health, labor and environmental groups represented by Earthjustice filed a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting that the agency establish time limits for confidentiality claims for chemical information submitted by industry under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Researchers will study family income and well-being of children in two states Analysis of data on Marcellus Shale region communities
Penn State News
Vicki Fong

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- It is believed that a family’s income has a powerful effect on shaping a child’s well-being, ranging from behavior, psychological and health factors, and school success. But the impact can be difficult to measure accurately because of other influences such as parents’ values and abilities. An interdisciplinary team of researchers has received a new foundation grant to study the well-being of children in two states: Pennsylvania that allows natural gas drilling and New York that bans such activities.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
North Carolina Newspapers Keep Fracking Data in the Dark
Public Herald
Melissa Troutman

The major newspapers of Raleigh-Durham, Winston-Salem and Charlotte, North Carolina all passed on publishing this editorial about proposed fracking regulations for North Carolina and how it relates to Pennsylvania. Why? I’m not sure, but thankfully I have Public Herald where +Truth is king in the land of the public interest.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
New Bill Would Ban Fracking Waste in New York City
EcoNews
Stefanie Spear

New York City council members Stephen Levin and Corey Johnson introduced legislation today—Introduction 853—that would ban the discharge, disposal, sale or use of any wastewater or natural gas waste produced by fracking.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Environmental Defense Frauds Back Boehner Parrot
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

The Rent-a-Green Environmental Defense Frauds who brought us the Sustainable Shale Shamstitute, are now running industry funded green-washing campaign ads in favor pseudo pro-environmental Republicans, including Boehner Parrot Chris Gibson. The EDF gets donations from the frackers, then run ads in favor of pro-fracking Congressman – that’s how green-washing works.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Colorado Town Sues State, Gov. Hickenlooper and COGA to Protect Right to Ban Fracking
EcoNews
Anastasia Pantsios

In a state wracked with clashes over its explosive expansion of fracking, residents of Lafayette, Colorado just outside Boulder, have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the state of Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) from taking away the town’s right to ban the practice.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Anti-fracking activists rally at New York State Fair, ask Cuomo for statewide ban
The Post-Standard
Glenn Coin

Geddes, N.Y. -- About 100 anti-fracking activists rallied outside the New York State Fair today on the fair's Governor's Day, calling upon Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban the drilling. "Ban fracking now and let's build an energy system that protects the things we love," said activist Jessica Azulay. "We are not trying to kill jobs or economic development -- we are saying yes to renewable energy and the thousands of jobs it will create."  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
State Fair Opens with Gov Cuomo, Lightning and Downpours, Fracking and Common Core Protestors
WEAER
Chris Bolt

Those opposed to hydraulic fracturing for natural gas also greeted the governor. Organizing director with Frack Action Renee Vogelsang feels Cuomo is on their side after he stopped, smiled at them, and said, "Don't frack New York." She says the controversial natural gas drilling process has the potential to threaten the success of much of what Cuomo is trying to promote about New York and the fair. "People are getting sick across the country from contaminated water. Their farm animals are getting sick and dying. We're here to say agriculture, farming, tourism, our wine industry, our beer industry, all of these thriving industries are the most important thing." The other gubernatorial candidates also made their way to the fair Thursday, long after Cuomo departed. The Green party’s Howie Hawkins, Democratic primary challenger Zephyr Teachout, and Republican Rob Astorino each made stops, as did candidate for State Comptroller Bob Antonacci, who’s also Onondaga County’s comptroller.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Tonko: Port spill shows ‘gluttonous dependency’ on fossil fuels
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—A few hours after an oil spill near the Port of Albany released 100 gallons of crude, Rep. Paul Tonko said it was another sign that the nation needs to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. Tonko, a Democrat, had a previously scheduled tour of the port on Thursday morning, where millions of gallons of crude are handled every day.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Natural Gas Production Falls Short in China
New York Times
Keith Bradsher

SHOUYANG, China — Jin Peisheng, a drilling rig foreman, knows the challenges of trying to extract natural gas from a coal seam under the cornfields here in north-central China. Cracks in the subterranean coal are flooded with water that needs to be pumped out before the gas will emerge.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
CSU research could help track fracking fluid
Denver Business Journal
L Wayne Hicks

Research now underway at Colorado State University could eventually help track where chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing wind up once they're injected into the ground. Vivian Li and William Sanford are partnering on research, which received its funding from the CSU Water Center. Li  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
FEMA halts flood assistance for properties with gas leases
The Times-Tribune
BRENDAN GIBBONS

MESHOPPEN TWP. — In fall 2011, about a month after the flooded Meshoppen Creek spilled over its banks and into their basement, Pete and Sharon Morgan applied for federal flood assistance to help them move out of their home. They won’t get it, at least not anytime soon, due to a little-known policy the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued May 5. It’s because of their gas lease with Chief Oil & Gas LLC. FEMA indefinitely banned the use of hazard mitigation assistance money for properties that could eventually host horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, even if the leases don’t allow for development on the surface. Under its hazard mitigation assistance program, FEMA pays to acquire properties in flood zones or reduce flood risks by raising or relocating structures. The agency creates these incentives so it doesn’t have to return with disaster dollars after every flood event.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Fracking claims refuted by opponent groups
The Press


A REPORT claiming a controversial drilling technique would not be as visually intrusive as a wind farm or solar farm has been slammed by those against the process. Professor David McKay, the Government’s former chief scientific advisor, also said a wind farm would need 700 times more land compared to a fracking site, where drills are used to extract shale gas from deep below ground by blasting chemicals and water into the earth to hydrualically fracture or "frack" the rock.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
UK Anti-Fracking Protests Get Creative
Rianovosti


Activists super-glued their hands to the main door of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Blackpool this week. Other protesters brought major traffic disruption to Swansea after blockading a new university building.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
State bundles solar programs into $1 billion initiative
Capital New York
SCOTT WALDMAN

ALBANY—The state will bundle a variety of solar programs into a single $1 billion initiative to add 3,000 megawatts of installed solar capacity by 2023. The NY-Sun Incentive Program targets regions across the state to grow solar power. Once solar capacity is reached in each sector of the state, incentives will be reduced. The goal is to transform the solar market, which largely relies on government incentives for growth, into a self-sustaining market as quickly as possible. The additional megawatts will be enough to power about 400,000 homes.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Maryland Fracking Study Cites Toxic Air Emissions as Top Concern Drilling-wary Maryland is one of several East Coast states considering whether to open their lands to fracking as public health concerns mount.
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

A state-commissioned report found that air emissions trump water pollution and drilling-induced earthquakes as a top public health threat posed by future fracking projects in Maryland.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Denton, Texas City Council Rejects Fracking Ban
Heartland
H. Sterling Burnett

The city council of Denton, Texas rejected a proposed citywide ban on producing oil and natural gas through hydraulic fracturing techniques. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, entails injecting water, sand, and small amounts of other chemicals deep underground under high pressure to open seams in rock formations, thereby releasing oil and gas deposits for production.  [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Fracking supporters and opponents sound off
WNCT
Ryan Peterson

Both sides spoke at a public hearing held on NC State's campus Wednesday. They addressed members of the state mining and energy commission, who must come up with the rules for how North Carolina will permit fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
Doctors Want State Investigation Into Fracking Claims Does Pa. Department of Health have policy to play down health complaints from gas drilling?
Philly Mag
Joel Mathis

ThinkProgress reports that doctors from around the state are urging an investigation into reports that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has a policy “never to talk to residents who complain of negative health effects from fracking.” The call for investigation was made in a letter sent Tuesday to Gov. Tom Corbett and other elected officials.   [Full Story]

Aug 21, 2014
EPA Testing Methods To Detect Fracking Chemical Contamination
KUNC
Stephanie Paige Ogburn

Residents living in the midst of the oil and gas boom often wonder if their drinking water may be contaminated by the drilling process. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working on improving ways to test for that. Agency scientists recently published results of a method to test for five chemicals that often appear in fracturing fluid.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Over 400 Health Professionals Call For Investigation Into Pennsylvania DOH's Handling Of Fracking-Related Calls
Medical Daily
Anthony Rivas

Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on linkedinShare on google_plusone_shareMore Sharing Services 3 Fracking Over 400 health professionals are calling for an investigation into the Pennsylvania Department of Health, saying that it avoided calls regarding fracking's health concerns. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock It’s the type of drama only conspiracy theorists love. Two months after an NPR State Impact report found that Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) officials were told to keep their mouths shut about residents’ questions regarding Marcellus Shale drilling, also known as fracking, a group of some 400 health professionals are now calling for an investigation.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Hundreds gather to debate fracking
My Fox 8
Michael Hennessey

RALEIGH, N.C. — Nearly 600 people on Wednesday showed up at North Carolina State’s McKimmon Center to voice their opinions about fracking to the state’s Mining and Energy Commission for the first time since Gov. Pat McCrory signed the “fracking bill” into law in January.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Oil and Gas Companies Are Illegally Using Diesel Fuel in Hundreds of Fracking Operations
Pacific-Standard
Naveena Sadasivam

A new report charges that several oil and gas companies have been illegally using diesel fuel in their hydraulic fracturing operations, and then doctoring records to hide violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard
Modesto Bee
Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS, OHIO — An Ohio man who uses a biblical reference and a statement against "poisoned waters" on billboards opposing wells for disposal of gas-drilling wastewater is fighting a legal threat from the Texas well owner on free-speech grounds.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
VIDEO: Teachout talks education, energy in run vs. Cuomo
Poughkeepsie Journal
Emily Stewart

Improving education, promoting transparency in government and changing how campaigns are funded are priorities of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Crews respond to Port of Albany crude oil leak
News 10 ABC Albany
Rachel Yonkunas

ALBANY, N.Y. – Several crews responded to a crude oil leak at the Port of Albany Wednesday. The Department of Environmental Conservation said a crude oil leak was reported at the Global site at the Port of Albany. Around 100 gallons of crude oil leaked in an area 10 feet in diameter from a service pipe that runs between two large storage tankers. Albany Fire Chief Warren Abriel said the fire department received a call about the leak around 3:45 p.m. He said the leak occurred in an area with six pipes that come from different locations.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Hundreds of Lancaster County residents swarm federal agency with environmental concerns about pipeline
Lancaster Online
AD CRABLE

Lancaster city officials fear a “devastating” gas pipeline explosion near the city’s main water line near Columbia that could sever drinking water to 100,000 people. A 13-year-old Martic Township girl vowed to chain herself to a tree or camp inside the gas pipeline to stop it from running through her family’s “pristine” land. And Gov. Tom Corbett, while touting the “significant benefits” of increased natural gas production in Pennsylvania, urged federal officials be sensitive to the “unique concerns and questions for communities who host these pipelines.” To read the entire letter, click here.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
In the Rockaways, pipeline debate takes a contentious turn
Al Jazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

FAR ROCKAWAY, N.Y. — On the night of Sept. 9, 2010, a 30-inch natural gas pipeline buried underneath the city of San Bruno, California, exploded. The fire was so large and the corresponding roar so loud that many residents thought a plane from the nearby San Francisco International Airport had crashed. The next morning, state Sen. Jerry Hill walked through the Crestmoor neighborhood and surveyed the damage: eight people dead, dozens of houses leveled, an entire neighborhood transformed overnight.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Big Rail Cites Bin Laden, Al Qaeda to Fend Off Oil-by-Rail Route Transparency
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA AND STEVE HORN

While many states around the U.S. have released information to the public about the frequency and routes of trains carrying oil obtained from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin, holdouts still remain. Why the delay? Homeland security concerns, claim some companies. In an ongoing Maryland court case over the issue of transparency for in-state oil-by-rail routes, a July 23 affidavit from Carl E. Carbaugh — director of infrastructure security for Norfolk Southern — goes into extensive detail about the supposed risk presented by terrorism attacks on “Bomb Trains.” In so doing, Carbaugh mentions Al-Qaeda.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
US: 100% of new generating capacity in July renewable
PV Magazine
JONATHAN GIFFORD

FERC figures reveal that last month renewable sources accounted for 100% of new generating capacity added to U.S. electricity grids. Solar accounted for 21 MW of the 405 MW of capacity added in July.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Drilling looms at Halladale gas project
abc.net.au


The project will extract natural gas located under Bass Strait. Origin estimates the well contains 100 billion cubic feet of gas worth hundreds of millions of dollars. A drill rig was transported to Nirranda South earlier this month and will take at least a fortnight to construct. The Victorian Government currently has a moratorium covering onshore gas drilling and exploration. However, the Government says because the gas is located offshore, the moratorium does not apply.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Not at Home on the Range: Subsidized Fracking Hits Colorado
Oil Change International


general contractor in Colorado’s Grand Valley, Duke Cox says the first time he became aware that drilling for gas might be a problem was back in the early 2000s when he happened to attend a local public hearing on oil and gas development. A woman who came to testify began sobbing as she talked about the gas rigs that were making the air around her home impossible to breathe. “There were 17 rigs in the area, at that time,” Cox says. “And they were across the valley, so I wasn’t affected. But she was my neighbor.” The incident led Cox to join the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, a group of activists concerned about drilling policies in his area on Colorado’s Western Slope. Within months he became the group’s President and public face. And as fracking for gas became more common across the state, he has found more and more of his time taken up with the cause.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Oklahoma Gets Hit With 20 Earthquakes In One Day
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

Oklahoma’s Geology Survey recorded an unprecedented 20 small earthquakes across the state on Tuesday, highlighting the dramatic increase of seismic activity that has occurred there as the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing — otherwise known as fracking — has spread across the state. Though 18 out of the 20 earthquakes that occurred Tuesday were below Magnitude 3, rendering them mostly imperceptible, the largest one registered as a 4.3 near Guthrie, a city of more than 10,000 residents. And while U.S. Geological Survey scientists have said that Oklahoma is historically known as “earthquake country,” they also warn that quakes have been steadily on the rise; from 1978 until 2008, the average rate of earthquakes registering a magnitude of 3.0 or more was only two per year.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Leechburg Area postpones decision to lease property for natural gas drilling
Trib Live
Braden Ashe

The Leechburg Area School Board has postponed until September its decision to lease district property in West Leechburg for natural gas drilling. A vote was scheduled for Tuesday to enter into an oil and natural gas agreement with EQT Production Co. for an 8.3-acre tract at Main and Giron streets. It was postponed, according to board member Megan Hamm, to allow officials more time to gather information and collaborate with other organizations that also have agreements pending with EQT.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
INSIGHT-Refracking brings 'vintage' oil and gas wells to life
Reuters
ANNA DRIVER AND ERNEST SCHEYDER

NORTH DAKOTA Aug 20 (Reuters) - A fracking boom isn't enough for U.S. oil and gas producers - they're now starting the re-fracking boom. Wells sunk as little as three years ago are being fracked again, the latest innovation in the technology-driven shale oil revolution. Hydraulic fracturing, which has upended global energy markets by lifting U.S. crude oil output to a 25-year high, has been troubled by quick declines in oil and gas output.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Rally planned ahead of public fracking hearing
wral.com


ALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina officials will hear from the public Wednesday morning on proposed rules for the oil and gas drilling method known as fracking. The first of four public meetings on the issue is scheduled for 10 a.m. at North Carolina State University. In June, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law clearing the way for permits to be issued for hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – as soon as next spring. The drilling method involves injecting mixtures of water, sand gravel or other chemicals to break apart underground rocks to allow oil and gas to escape.   [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Microsoft Leaves Lobbying Group (ALEC) Over Opposition to Renewable Energy
Bloomberg
Ari Natter

Aug. 20 — Microsoft Corp. has left the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) because of concerns about the lobbying group's opposition to renewable energy, a coalition of activist investor groups said. The Sustainability Group and Walden Asset Management, asset management companies that describe themselves as focused on sustainable investing, said Microsoft confirmed in e-mails that it's no longer a part of ALEC after the groups pressed the company to abandon it.  [Full Story]

Aug 20, 2014
Doctors Outraged By Claims That Health Officials Ignored Residents Sickened By Drilling
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

Pennsylvania doctors, nurses, and health policy experts are calling for a statewide investigation into claims that the state Department of Health has a policy of telling its employees never to talk to residents who complain of negative health effects from fracking, according to letter sent to state Gov. Tom Corbett and other elected officials on Tuesday. The letter — spearheaded by the groups Physicians for Social Responsibility, Alliance of Nurses for Health Environments, and PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, and signed by more than 400 individual health professionals — says doctors and nurses statewide are “very concerned” about a story published in NPR’s StateImpact Pennsylvania this June. In that story, two retired employees of the health department said they were instructed not to return phone calls from citizens who said they may be experiencing sickness from fracking and other natural gas development.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Fracking wastewater proposal for Dieppe will see public input
cbc news


The New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government says public consultations will be held soon about a proposal to dispose of fracking wastewater in Dieppe's sewage system. Atlantic Industrial Services, a company that takes wastewater from other companies and treats it, would like to ship 30 million litres of the water currently being held in Debert, N.S  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
STUDY SHOWS AQUIFERS THREATENED BY FRACKING
earthjustice
Dru Marion

Throughout the U.S. oil and gas boom, frackers have countered public concerns about water contamination with the assurance that drilling operations target deposits that sit much deeper than drinking-water aquifers. This picture is not entirely accurate, according to recent research. A study presented by Stanford researchers at the American Chemical Society conference last week showed that hydraulic fracturing is employed at two geological formations in Wyoming containing both natural gas reserves and underground sources of drinking water (USDWs). Contrary to industry claims that thousands of feet and layers of impenetrable rock isolate USDWs from drilling and toxic fluid injections, this study found that some of the gas production was occurring at the same depths as the aquifers.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Bold plan to expand New England gas pipeline capacity on hold [Portland Press Herald, Maine
Bloomberg Businessweek


A first-of-its kind effort by the six New England governors to expand natural gas pipeline capacity in the region has stalled and may be dead for the time being, a consequence of Massachusetts politics that deals a blow to efforts to save Maine homes and businesses $120 million a year. The plan, announced with great fanfare in January, would increase gas pipeline capacity by nearly 20 percent within three years and build at least one major electricity transmission line to bring renewable energy from Canada. Utility customers would be asked to help pay for the projects through electricity rates. The costs, though, would soon be recovered through savings on energy bills, according to advocates.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Report: Landfill near Willow Run Airport receives fracking waste form Pennsylvania
The Ann Arbor News
Ben Freed

A landfill just south of Willow Run Airport in Wayne County was scheduled to receive 36 tons of low-level radioactive waste last week from a fracking operation in Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Fracking Fluid Survey Shows Missing Information
Scientific American
Philip Robinson and ChemistryWorld

A US survey of almost 250 chemicals used in fracking has identified potentially harmful compounds and exposed a lack of information about them that is hampering efforts to understand fracking’s environmental impact. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, involves pumping high-pressure water into shale formations kilometres beneath the ground to break the formations apart, releasing the gas and oil they contain. In the US, fracking operations have regenerated the domestic oil and gas industry, boosting production and driving down energy prices. The US chemical industry has also benefited from cheaper feedstocks, such as ethene, giving it a competitive edge over other regions.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Watkins Glen Village Board Passes Resolution Against LPG Storage Facility
WETM
Ben Amey

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (18 News) – The Watkins Glen Village Board has voted in favor of a resolution that opposes Crestwood’s proposed Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) facility along Seneca Lake. The Village Board took the vote on Monday night, just a little while after hundreds rallied against the facility on Route 14. The vote was three in favor of the resolution, none opposed, and two abstaining. The main concern for the trustees who voted for the resolution: the increased truck traffic through the Village of Watkins Glen, which can already be heavy with the bottleneck of Routes 14 and 414.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Britain’s Day of Action Against Fracking
Oil Change International
Andy Rowell

The UK had never seen a day like it. Yesterday, there were over a dozen protests against fracking across the country, from Wales to the North West, from London to Manchester. Starting as dawn broke at 6am, activists from the anti-fracking group, Reclaim the Power, who are holding a week-long anti-fracking camp near one drilling site in the North West of the country, joined local residents and students in the Welsh town of Swansea to shut down the construction of the town’s University’s Bay Campus.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Study Finds 8 Fracking Chemicals Toxic to Humans
Op Ed News
Eco Watch

Fracking is once again in trouble. Scientists have found that what gets pumped into hydrocarbon-rich rock as part of the hydraulic fracture technique to release gas and oil trapped in underground reservoirs may not be entirely healthy. Environmental engineer William Stringfellow and colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of the Pacific told the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco that they scoured databases and reports to compile a list of the chemicals commonly used in fracking. Such additives, which are necessary for the extraction process, include: acids to dissolve minerals and open up cracks in the rock; biocides to kill bacteria and prevent corrosion; gels and other agents to keep the fluid at the right level of viscosity at different temperatures; substances to prevent clays from swelling or shifting; distillates to reduce friction; acids to limit the precipitation of metal oxides.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Pennsylvania fracking wells to be built within ‘explosion range’ of school buildings
blue and green tomorrow
Richard Heasman

Middlesex council, in Pennsylvania US, have voted in agreement to place six fracking wells within 3,000 feet of Mars School District, a campus of 3,200 children. The wells will be built by Rex Energy, and if their permits are approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, residents have argued that the school would be in the blast radius of a drilling well explosion. The plans triggered local protests, which have been subsequently ignored by the council as it approved changes to the town’s zoning laws. The changes now allow drilling to take place on residential and agricultural land, regardless of local objections.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Native Americans Launch ‘Love Water Not Oil’ Ride To Protest Fracking Pipeline
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Winona LaDuke, executive director of Native environmental group Honor the Earth, launched the “Love Water Not Oil” horse ride this week to draw attention to the group’s continued opposition to the Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline. It would carry fracked oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale oil fields through the Sandy Lake and Rice Lake watersheds in northern Minnesota. The area is not only rich in recreational fishing facilities but it is also home to vast fields of wild rice or manoomim, a Native American staple.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
One third of fracking chemicals are of unknown toxicity
ZME Science
Tibi Puiu

A while ago I wrote about the disheartening status quo of energy today: frack now, ask questions later. In the article, I argue that there’s a disproportion between the amount of hydraulic fracturing (9 out of 10 wells in the US are fracking wells) and the number of research articles that discuss the bio impact of the practice in the long term. A new study presented by William Stringfellow of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at 248th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society seems to echo these notes. Stringfellow warns that one third of the fracking chemicals he found (remember there are many chemicals that makeup fracking fluid that are undisclosed and are kept this way under government protection – yes, trade secrets) are of unknown toxicity. In other words, oil and gas companies are dumping chemicals in the ground and they have no idea what might happen.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Some Milford Township residents oppose compressor station changes
Pocono Record
Beth Belje

The state Department of Environmental Protection held a public hearing Monday on a proposed compressor station modification on Schocopee Road in Milford Township. More than 120 members of the public attended and at least 35 were prepared to speak. The meeting was also attended by representatives of Columbia Gas Transmission Co. and DEP. Columbia Gas is seeking permission to increase the capacity of gas that flows through its pipeline by installing two new Solar Centaur natural gas-fired compressor turbines and an emergency generator at the Milford Compressor Station.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Frack again? That is the question drillers are asking in the Marcellus
Power Source
Anya Litvak

In 2009, Consol Energy Inc. drilled half a dozen natural gas wells in Center Township, Greene County, that weren't its best producers. The Cecil-based energy company was a novice in the Marcellus Shale at the time, as were most companies tapping the largest and then newest shale play in the United States. With five years of experience and leaps in data and technology under its belt, Consol decided to give those old wells another go this year. It hired oil and gas services companyHalliburton, which re-entered the horizontal wells, shot more holes through them, fracked those holes and forced out far more gas than the wells ever produced before. When Consol revealed its success to investors last month, it said 200 other wells have refracking potential and it is evaluating starting a program to move those forward.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Exploding Marcellus Has More in the Tank
Investing Daily
ROBERT RAPIER

In last week’s Energy Letter, I discussed the one million barrel per day (bpd) milestone for North Dakota oil production, and provided a refresher on the geology and the players in North Dakota’s Williston Basin. Another energy production milestone was recently announced by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and it is just as amazing as North Dakota’s rise as a major oil producer. In an Aug. 5 report, the EIA noted that natural gas production in the Marcellus Formation has exceeded 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) for the first time. This amounts to nearly 23% of all US natural gas production, and some 40% of all US shale gas production.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Frackers are sending sludge to the Mitten State
Grist
Heather Smith

About a week ago, LuAnne Kozma got an email from a friend. “Have you seen this?” the friend wrote. It was the sort of message that usually accompanies, say, an animated GIF of a pug dancing with a vacuum cleaner. But in this case it was an article from the Observer-Reporter, a newspaper in Pennsylvania. “Drilling Sludge to be Shipped to Michigan,” the title read. The article was about some leftover fracking sludge that had been hanging out in Pennsylvania. Back in 2002, the state, concerned that people were dumping radioactive medical waste, equipped all the state’s landfills with radiation detectors. Since then, deliveries of sludge and drill cuttings from the Marcellus Shale had been triggering the alarms several hundred times a year.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Potential oil window is last gasp for Utica Shale
vindy.com
Burton Speakman

YOUNGSTOWN Jim McKinney, senior vice president and general manager from EnerVest, a Houston-based company, said his company believes that with changes in drilling techniques, activity will increase in the oil-rich northern part of the Utica Shale, which includes Trumbull County. “When companies first drilled, they were using the same techniques they were using in the dry- and wet-gas areas of the Utica,” he said. EnerVest has found in Tuscarawas and Guernsey counties that by using more water and sand in the fracking process, there can be success in the oil-rich portions of the Utica, McKinney said. “Oil has different molecules than gas,” he said.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Pa. fines gas driller for losing control of well
WHTM


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State environmental regulators have fined a gas drilling company for allowing natural gas to escape a well in northeastern Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday it fined Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. more than $76,000 for losing control of a well at its Huston pad in Brooklyn Township, Susquehanna County. Regulators say the well released natural gas for about 27 hours before it was brought under control on Jan. 6.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Major Court Ruling Clears The Way To Let Renewables Into The Grid
Climate Progress
Ari Phillips

Building wind farms and huge solar arrays means nothing if they cannot transmit that energy to homes and businesses, and a recent court ruling just made connecting to the grid a lot easier. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, commonly known as FERC, doesn’t often draw headlines for fulfilling its duty of regulating electricity, gas, and oil transmission. However a Friday ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirming a 2011 FERC order is poised to usher in major changes in the way utilities and regulators consider transmission and to open pathways for more renewables to enter the grid.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Report: Human error, lax rules led to Canadian oil train crash
Capital
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Human error, lax regulation and an indifference to safety were among the reasons an oil train derailed and exploded in Canada last summer, killing 47 people and displacing 2,000 others, a report released Tuesday concluded.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Gas storage opponents asked to risk arrest
Star Gazette
Ray Finger

WATKINS GLEN Opponents of a gas storage facility near Seneca Lake have been asked to be willing to be arrested for their cause. More than 300 opponents of a plan by Texas-based Crestwood Midstream, an energy company, to store liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas in underground salt caverns in the Town of Reading protested Monday at the site of the storage facility on state Route 14 along Seneca Lake.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Report: Landfill near Willow Run Airport receives fracking waste from Pennsylvania
MLive
Ben Freed

A landfill just south of Willow Run Airport in Wayne County was scheduled to receive 36 tons of low-level radioactive waste last week from a fracking operation in Pennsylvania. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the Wayne Disposal landfill between I-94 and the airport was approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to accept radioactive material in 2006.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Fracking earthquakes cause less shaking
AP via Spokesman Review
Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON – Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes – those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground – report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Small quakes triggered by Utica shale fracking occur in Harrison County in late 2013
ohio.com
Bob Downing

There is new evidence that small earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing rocked Ohio’s Harrison County in late 2013. The nearly 500 micro-quakes occurred from early October to mid-December about 42 miles southeast of Canton near Clendening Lake in an area with no recorded earthquakes, according to seismologist Paul A. Friberg. Friberg, of the private, New York-based Instrumental Software Technologies Inc., has co-authored a scientific paper on the quakes. The little-known Harrison quakes were the fifth “positive magnitude” quakes in the world to be triggered by hydraulic fracturing and the second in Ohio. Similar quakes were reported in Mahoning County in March.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Rob Astorino's jobs plan: Fracking, flat spending, canal split and more
lohud
Jon Campbell

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino on Tuesday launched a tour of the state to tout his newly unveiled jobs plan, which calls on the state to authorize hydraulic fracturing, hold state spending flat and use part of a financial settlement to take oversight of the state's canal system from the state Thruway Authority. "There is no question that with the right policies in Albany, we absolutely can take New York out of the economic doldrums and get people working again with good paying jobs," Astorino said in a statement. "We can make New York great again and this plan will help us get there."  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
WHY WON’T OUR 'ENVIRONMENTAL PRESIDENT' STOP FRACKING ON PUBLIC LAND?
Vice
Cole Stangler

It has become increasingly fashionable in liberal circles to credit President Barack Obama for doing all he possibly can to combat climate change. Praise reached especially dizzying levels in the aftermath of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposal of new rules to reduce carbon pollution from power plants this June. The EPA plan is hard proof that our nation’s “environmental president” has “done everything within his power to fight the most urgent crisis of our time,” gushed New York magazine's Jonathan Chait. Obama’s actions are “about as much as a president could do on climate change without Congress,” declared Slate’s Will Oremus. Even former President Jimmy Carter, never shy about launching the occasional barb at the White House, said as much at a recent energy conference in that most elite of hangouts, Aspen, Colorado.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Elizabeth slams door on fracking waste; ordinance would prohibit disposal or storage
NJ.com
Tom Haydon

ELIZABETH — City officials want to ban the treatment, disposal or storage of waste from fracking in Elizabeth. Mayor Christian Bollwage said an ordinance enacting the ban will be considered by the city council with the goal of protecting city residents. "Fracking has been known to disrupt the environmental balance, with possible adverse impacts resulting from byproducts and toxins released during the process," Bollwage said in statement today.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
How Fracking In Maryland Would Threaten The Health Of Anyone Who Breathes Nearby
Climate Progress
Katie Valentine

Fracking in Maryland would pose a risk of harmful air pollution and would bring jobs that could be dangerous for workers, a new report has found. The report, published by the University of Maryland and commissioned by a 2011 executive order by Gov. Martin O’Malley, looked at the risks that fracking would bring to Maryland, a state that so far doesn’t have any natural gas wells. The report ranked the likelihood that several risks associated with fracking, including dangers to air quality and occupational health as well as the prospect of worsening noise and the threat of earthquakes, will pose problems in Maryland.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Colorado ‘fractivists’ share views on oil and gas in ‘Dear Governor Hickenlooper’
Aspen Times
Scott Condon

When opponents of hydraulic fracturing geared up for what they thought would be a major election in Colorado this fall, they created a movie for the campaign. “Dear Governor Hickenlooper” was intended to be a tool that activists could take around the state to rally opposition to fracking, with 11 vignettes showing different aspects of oil and gas drilling and how they are affecting Colorado’s residents and landscape. “Each film — documentary, horror movie or love story — conveys to the governor a simple message: This is my Colorado,” the movie website says.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Malloy signs fracking waste moratorium into law
Monroe Courier


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy joined state officials, lawmakers and environmental advocates Monday for a ceremony at Farm River State Park in East Haven to commemorate the passage of a new state law that enacts a three-year moratorium on the handling of waste from hydraulic fracturing in Connecticut while its environmental impact is further researched. The legislation, which has been called one of the strongest in the nation, was approved by the General Assembly with strong bipartisan support and supported by grassroots advocacy across the state. “This law makes Connecticut a national leader in dealing with a material that can have a serious impact on our public health and our environment,” Malloy said. “We must take bold, proactive steps to defend the well-being of our state, remove any loopholes that may exist in environmental protection laws, and protect our citizens from toxic fracking waste. These efforts will assure that Connecticut remains a great place to live, work, and play.”  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Environmental groups: Health department policy improvements for fracking fall short
timesleader.com
Jon O’Connell

Despite efforts this week to improve procedure, environmentalists say the state health department could still do better when handling health complaints related to natural-gas development in Pennsylvania. One day after the department announced improved procedures for handling complaints, the Philadelphia-based group PennEnvironment delivered a petition with bearing 405 health care professionals’ signatures. The petition urged lawmakers to investigate the complaints in order to verify they have all been adequately addressed. It also requests lawmakers write new guidelines for handling future complaints.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Residents concerned about LNG export facility's dredged material, emissions
gulflive
April M Havens

MOSS POINT, Mississippi -- Residents said they're concerned about dredged material, emissions and wastes associated with a proposed $8 billion project that would add on to the existing liquefied natural gas storage terminal in Pascagoula. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a public scoping meeting Monday night at Pelican Landing Meeting and Conference Center for the Gulf LNG Liquefaction Co. project. The company wants to add liquefaction and export capabilities to the $1 billion Gulf LNG Energy storage terminal.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
DOE to streamline export license review for Alaska LNG project
Alaska Journal of Commerce
TIM BRADNER

That’s good news, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said, because it means that the public interest test for the Alaska project won’t get bogged down in controversy as has happened in the Lower 48, where business and community groups worry about the price effects of domestic gas being exported as LNG.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Report: Fracking Would Likely Harm Public Health in Maryland
WYPR-NPR
Tom Pelton

Allowing hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in Western Maryland would result in a high likelihood that public health would suffer, according to a report released on Monday by the University of Maryland.   [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
18 steps to rail inferno Canadian probe reveals no single cause of fiery oil tanker crash in Quebec, killing 47
Times Union
Brian Nearing

The fiery crash of an oil tanker train that killed 47 people in a small Quebec town last summer was the result of a cascade of different causes and failures ranging from the train engineer, the railroad and government regulators, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Canadian government. The report examined the July 5 derailment of a runaway train carrying about 2 million gallons of North Dakota crude oil that exploded in a massive fire in Lac-Megantic, near the border with Maine. Sixty-two of 73 oil tankers derailed and ruptured, fueling a blaze that incinerated much of the community's downtown.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Oil drilling upsets residents in Shelby Township
Click On Detroit.com
Shawn Ley

Backyard oil drilling? It doesn’t sound like the ideal attraction in any neighborhood. But for some Shelby Township residents, that’s exactly what they are getting after an oil rig company decidedly set up shop only hundreds of feet from some front doors – 450 feet to be exact. Residents along with city officials plan to fight this neighborhood eye sore, but it’s a race against the clock as oil could begin pumping at any time.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Michigan landfill taking other states' radioactive fracking waste
Detriot Free Press
Keith Matheny

As other states ban landfills from accepting low-level radioactive waste, up to 36 tons of the sludge already rejected by two other states was slated to arrive in Michigan late last week. Wayne Disposal landfill located between Willow Run Airport and I-94 near Belleville is one of the few landfills in the eastern and Midwestern U.S. licensed to accept the radioactive waste, which has been collected by a Pennsylvania hydraulic fracking operation. As regulations tighten in other states, companies are turning to Michigan as the radioactive sludge’s dumping ground.  [Full Story]

Aug 19, 2014
Supervisors could move to ban pipelines
Times Journal
Jim Poole

Some but not all Schoharie County supervisors favor a ban of gas pipelines across the county. Aware of heightened interest in the county from pipeline companies, supervisors debated a ban at their monthly meeting Friday but failed to take action. They may do so at their September meeting.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Weld County resident says fracking is costing him sleep
bakken.com
Zach Koppang

Mike Lozinski says he’s tired of not being able to get enough of the nighttime sleep he needs in order to be to be alert on his daytime job. The problem, Lozinski said, is that he has frequently been awakened and kept awake by the noise from the drilling and fracking that’s been going on this summer at oil and gas wells near his rural Firestone-area home. That, in turn, has sometimes threatened his ability to be as alert and rested as he must be in order to carry out his daytime responsibilities as an air traffic controller at the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center in Longmont.Mike Lozinski says he’s tired of not being able to get enough of the nighttime sleep he needs in order to be to be alert on his daytime job. The problem, Lozinski said, is that he has frequently been awakened and kept awake by the noise from the drilling and fracking that’s been going on this summer at oil and gas wells near his rural Firestone-area home. That, in turn, has sometimes threatened his ability to be as alert and rested as he must be in order to carry out his daytime responsibilities as an air traffic controller at the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center in Longmont.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Connecticut environmentalists applaud fracking waste ban at East Haven bill signing
New Haven Register
Evan Lips

EAST HAVEN >> Gov. Dannel P. Malloy picked Farm River State Park as the backdrop for Monday morning’s ceremonial signing of legislation that will kick-start a three-year ban on the storage or handling of hydraulic fracturing waste on state grounds._________________________________ “New York has deposits of Marcellus shale which is a major source of natural gas,” said state Sen. Ed Meyer, D-Guilford. “We’re concerned that being so close to New York we would be bombarded with fracking waste.” DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee pointed out that Connecticut cannot produce its own natural gas. Malloy said he signed the measure because the oil and natural gas lobby have “failed to disclose the chemical components of what they put in the ground.”  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Forget Fracking—Wind Energy Prices Hit a Record Low in the U.S.
takepart
Todd Woody

Wind energy is on the verge of becoming competitive with fossil fuels: Prices for the carbon-free electricity fell to a new low last year, according to a study released Monday by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Another sign that wind power is becoming a major power in the United States: Since 2007, wind farms have accounted for a third of the nation’s new electricity capacity, the study states. Nationwide, wind energy only generates about 4 percent of the country’s electricity. But the story is different in individual states. Wind supplied 27 percent of Iowa’s electricity in 2013, 26 percent of South Dakota’s, and 19 percent of Kansas’. Wind farms generated between 12 percent and 17 percent of electricity in six other states.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Fracking's Impact on Animals Still Largely Unknown
Nature World News
Jenna Iacurci Aug 18, 2014 12:03 PM EDT

Fracking's impact on animals is still largely unknown, which scientists see as a real problem given that business is booming. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no signs of stopping. Between 2005 and 2013, some 82,000 fracking wells were drilled into the shale deposits beneath 17 states, according to the environmental advocacy group Environment America. But scientists are concerned about this method of accessing oil and gas beneath the soil - which involves injecting chemicals into the ground. Opponents point out the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, such as potential contamination of ground water, the depletion of fresh water, possible reduction in air quality and triggering of earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
UM study warns of health impacts from fracking
Baltimore Sun
Timothy B Wheeler

A University of Maryland study warns that without adequate safeguards, drilling for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing could harm the health of residents, workers and communities in Western Maryland. The study, released Monday, raises the stakes for a long-running state review of safeguards needed before gas extraction can proceed using fracturing. Also known as "fracking," the technique pumps large quantities of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to free up natural gas trapped in rocks. Produced by the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, part of the university's public health school, the study foresees a "high likelihood" of gas development causing air pollution that could harm nearby residents as well as drilling crews. It also warns of strains on the health care system in Garrett and Allegany counties and increases in crime, drug abuse, traffic accidents and other social problems from the influx of gas industry workers.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Environmentalists Call For Health Registry To Track Natural Gas Drilling Threats
Huffington Post
Peter Jackson

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's administration said Monday it has enhanced the state health department's handling of complaints involving natural-gas drilling, prompting environmentalists to renew their demand for more aggressive action. Health Secretary Michael Wolf said steps recommended by a departmental working group include implementation of a written-letter response policy to better document correspondence between the department and people who file drilling-related health complaints.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Oil train risks push communities to prepare for worst
Lohud
Khurram Saeed

One train hauling oil can have up to 100 cars, and as many as 30 oil trains pass through Rockland each week on the way to refineries. That's twice the number from just six months ago as demand continues to grow for the volatile crude oil drawn from the Bakken region in North Dakota.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Scientists Say Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Wreak Havoc on Climate
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

Two new scientific studies, reported by Climate News Network, have added still more links between human-caused release of greenhouse gases and climate change.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Wall Street Warned About $91 Billion of High-Risk Oil Megaprojects
InsideClimate News
Elizabeth Douglass

Tar sands, deepsea drilling and other projects would lose money if lower demand, CO2 restrictions or other factors forced crude prices below $95.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Pa. health officials promise better response to fracking-related health concerns; advocates say it's not enough
PennLive
David Wenner

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Monday announced changes in its process for handling health-related complaints related to Marcellus Shale drilling. The changes come about two months after a StateImpact Pennsylvania report which said health department workers were ordered not to respond to calls from the public regarding possible health-related impacts from the drilling. State health officials denied that the department handled complaints improperly. Still, the department on Monday said it made changes including:  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
PITTSBURGH: Huge utility line upgrade faces opposition
News & Observer
KEVIN BEGOS

PITTSBURGH — One of the biggest new electric transmission line proposals in decades is turning into a debate over fracking, renewable energy and the future of an aging energy grid. The $4 billion to $6 billion PPL Corp. project is designed to take electricity generated near Pennsylvania's booming shale gas region and deliver it to New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. That's prompting questions from environmental groups. Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said his group "will definitely oppose" the section in that state. Tittel's concerns go beyond the PPL project, which hasn't yet published an exact route. Tittel said the Sierra Club's opposition is "absolutely" a challenge to the existing business model for utilities, which often rely on far-off plants to send power into populated areas.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Gas storage opponents asked to risk arrest
Star Gazette
Ray Finger

WATKINS GLEN Opponents of a gas storage facility near Seneca Lake have been asked to be willing to be arrested for their cause. More than 300 opponents of a plan by Texas-based Crestwood Midstream, an energy company, to store liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas in underground salt caverns in the Town of Reading protested Monday at the site of the storage facility on state Route 14 along Seneca Lake.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Guest Viewpoint: Pa.'s fracking problems compel a N.Y. ban
Press Connects
John Armstrong

The Pennsylvania auditor general's report — the subject of a recent news story and editorial about the state's "fracking problems" and what New York can learn from them — accentuates a simple truth: Regulations don't make fracking safe. The report revealed shocking acts of negligence in Pennsylvania's oversight of shale gas wells: not addressing contaminated water, not informing residents of potential contamination, turning a blind eye to fracking waste and not monitoring a range of health threats. The editorial was right to refer to these revelations as evidence of "astonishing failures." Furthermore, the auditor general's report noted that Pennsylvania's documentation of problems with fracking has been and continues to be "egregiously poor."  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Gov. Patrick backs away from regional effort to expand natural gas capacity
Boston Business Journal
Jon Chesto

The New England governors’ plan to impose a new tax on our electricity market to pay for natural gas pipeline construction was a bold proposal — one that’s never really been tried before — to solve our region’s natural gas constraint issues. But without Massachusetts involved, it’s almost impossible to pull off. Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration has decided to put its support for this massive infrastructure investment on hold. This decision follows the Massachusetts Legislature’s failure to approve Patrick’s “clean energy” bill, a bill that would have allowed utilities in this state to enter into long-term contracts for Canadian hydropower, with a goal of building new power lines into New England. The region’s governors, through the New England States Committee on Energy, had proposed a separate electricity tariff to help subsidize those power lines. Now, the future of both tariff proposals is up in the air.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Harrison County hit by positive magnitude fracking quakes in 2013
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

There is new evidence that small earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing or fracking rocked Ohio’s Harrison County in late 2013.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Fracking the Arctic
EcoWatch
Ed Struzik

Many Dene people living in Sahtu and in other parts of the Canadian North are concerned that this way of life may be at risk now that two energy companies have been given the go-ahead to begin horizontal fracking in a region just south of the Arctic Circle. Conoco-Phillips has already fracked two test wells in the Sahtu, and the company has plans to frack several more in the future.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
UK Fracking Activists ‘Reclaim the Power’
EcoWatch
350.0rg

Early this morning, campaigners from the Reclaim the Power camp at Blackpool unleashed a series of coordinated direct actions against fracking targets around the United Kingdom. Targets range from government departments to universities building new fracking research facilities and a fracking site in East Yorkshire.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Wake-up call on fracking
The Hill
Helen Slottje Blog

In an age when the voices and concerns of average Americans often go unheard in our political system, two small towns in upstate New York recently won an underdog victory against the oil and gas industry that should serve as a wake-up call to government officials across the nation.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
FERC chiefs defend agency's export life-cycle emissions stance
E & E Newswire
Hannah Northey

The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week defended the agency's refusal to analyze life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions from proposed gas pipelines and export infrastructure despite unrest among climate advocates. Cheryl LaFleur, who is slated to serve as chairwoman through April 2015, said during an interview from her Washington, D.C., office that FERC doesn't believe it has the authority or should play the role under federal environmental laws of analyzing cradle-to-grave greenhouse gas emissions from proposed gas projects. The courts agree with that interpretation, she added. "What we have said is that we believe under [the National Environmental Policy Act] that we look at the direct project impacts, we do not do a cradle-to-grave, molecule-by-molecule analysis of where ... a fuel is coming from, what's going to happen at the end of the ship when it goes off to the other side of the Earth and what other fuel it displaces," LaFleur said. "We don't believe that's in our authority or in our role under NEPA. NEPA is a permitting statute." FERC has seen an uptick in protests from groups concerned about the climate implications of liquefied natural gas exports. This summer, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) led a group of picketers in the first of a series of lunchtime rallies outside FERC's Washington headquarters (EnergyWire, June 24). But LaFleur said the agency's approach has been upheld in the courts. The commission, she added, is open to public feedback. "We live in a free society, and if you're going to be in the government, you have to be open to a range of views on whatever you're deciding," she said. "Whether people put comments into the dockets or speak through the media or choose to have a public protest, as long as it's lawful or safe, those are all ways our society allows people to express their views." LaFleur pointed to a federal appeals court's decision in 2012 to dismiss challenges that Earthjustice and other environmental groups raised regarding Crestwood Midstream Partner's Marc 1 natural gas pipeline. The groups argued FERC should have done a more expansive review of the impact of natural gas production, but the court rejected that claim.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Fracking protesters occupy Blackpool office leased by Cuadrilla Stunt part of a day of nationwide direct action against plans to drill for shale gas in the UK
The Guardian
Helen Pidd

At least 10 anti-fracking protesters have occupied an office building in Blackpool leased by the energy firm Cuadrilla. The demonstrators forced their way into the building on an industrial estate near Blackpool airport just before midday on Monday.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Anti-fracking protesters cause disruption in UK cities
BBC


Anti-fracking campaigners apparently super-glued themselves to the doors of a government building as part of orchestrated protests around the UK. Reclaim the Power set up camp in the doorway to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in London.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
California Calls on Big Oil to Halt Fracking During Drought
Ria Novosti


MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - California blames Big Oil’s hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for depleting the state’s limited water supply amid its worst drought in recent history, the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center reported.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Texas Judge Throws Out Family’s Lawsuit That Blames Nosebleeds, Asthma On Fracking Fumes
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

A Texas family claiming they were severely sickened by air pollution from two companies’ hydraulic fracturing operations near their home had their lawsuit against the companies thrown out last week, in the second high-profile decision to come down this year alleging sickness from fracking operations in the state.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Maryland Fracking Impact Report
WBAL
Scott Wykoff

University of Maryland researchers are releasing a report on the potential public health impact of shale gas drilling in the state's far western counties. Dr. Clifford Mitchell, environmental health director with the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, is making a presentation on the report Monday in Frostburg to a state commission charged with recommending safe drilling practices.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
UK energy dependence – five hidden costs expose truth about fracking The shale boom is a bubble waiting to burst as economics of extraction falter and the trickle of bad environmental news starts to swell
The Guardian


Five sets of problems are emerging with the shale narrative: economic risk; local environmental cost; global environmental cost; social cost, and opportunity cost.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
From Pennsylvania to Ukraine and Bulgaria: The toxic aftermaths of fracking
Workers World
Deirdre Griswold

People need to know that the energy companies have big plans to sell a lot of this gas to Europe in the future, which will increase the danger to the land here and also the political pressure on vulnerable politicians in Washington to OK the process.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Is re-fracking the next big trend in the oil patch?
Akken.com
Zachary Toliver

San Antonio — Tens of thousands of new oil and gas wells have been drilled and hydraulically fractured in recent years — part of a shale boom that has spread across the U.S. Could re-fracking some of those existing wells be the next big trend in the oil patch?   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Norman Residents Hear About Possibilities Of Banning Fracking At Public Forum
Public Radio Tulsa
Logan Layden

The Lowry Room at the Norman Public Library filled to capacity Monday night, and a mass of people packed into the hallways to listen to a forum on hydraulic fracturing that included an OU scientist, assistant city attorney, and a lawyer from upstate New York who’s helped communities there ban fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Harrison County hit by positive magnitude fracking quakes in 2013
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

There is new evidence that small earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing or fracking rocked Ohio’s Harrison County in late 2013. The nearly 500 micro-quakes occurred from early October to mid-December near Clendening Lake in an area with no recorded earthquakes, according to seismologist Paul A. Friberg of the New York-based Instrumental Software Technologies Inc., a private company specializing in seismology analysis and equipment, who has co-authored a scientific paper on the quakes.  [Full Story]

Aug 18, 2014
Residents' fracking concerns must be heard - PRD
BN Americas


Mexico's local communities must be heard in order to avoid confrontations in areas where Pemex and the energy ministry (Sener) plan to carry out fracking, according to left-wing PRD party senator Benjamín Robles Montoya, who has called for the creation of a committee to hear citizens' concerns.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Fracking Fluids More Toxic Than Previously Thought
Oil Price
Andy Tully

A new study of the fluids used in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows that several of them may not be as safe as the energy industry says they are, and some are downright toxic.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Report alleges Marcellus drillers lacked permits for fracking with diesel
Times online
Natasha Khan

PITTSBURGH -- A new report from an environmental group says that natural gas drillers, including some in Pennsylvania, are fracking wells with diesel fuel, or fuels similar to it, without required federal permits to protect against potential health hazards.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
A guide to NC’s proposed fracking rules
News Observer
John Murawski

Areas covered by the proposed rules: Geophysical surveys, drilling units, well spacing, permitting, financial assurance, well site construction, well construction, chemical disclosure, baseline water testing, water sourcing, waste disposal, site reclamation, and operation and production. Areas not covered by the proposed rules: Compulsory pooling, air quality, regulatory fees, road use, stormwater control, waste disposal, fees and taxes. Samples of the Mining and Energy Commission ’s Proposed Rules Emergency response planning: Permit holder must identify types and amounts of chemicals, fluids and wastes present at a production facility. Permit holder must submit emergency plans for chemical spills, fires and explosions.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
NC fracking hearings get under way Wednesday in Raleigh
News Observer
John Murawski

Hundreds of residents will try to sway state officials for and against 100-plus proposed safety rules in the coming weeks as North Carolina gets set to lift the state’s moratorium on fracking next year. With four upcoming public hearings across the state, the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission enters its final phase of rule-making, a culmination of two years of research, discussion and compromise.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Fracking may be coming to the Chihuahua border, Mexican officials say
El Paso Times
Diana Washington Valdez

Mexico energy officials said Chihuahua and three other northern border states are ripe for fracking, a controversial and widespread method that is used to extract shale gas and oil from the ground.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Small quakes triggered by Utica shale fracking occur in Harrison County in late 2013
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

There is new evidence that small earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing rocked Ohio’s Harrison County in late 2013. The nearly 500 micro-quakes occurred from early October to mid-December about 42 miles southeast of Canton near Clendening Lake in an area with no recorded earthquakes, according to seismologist Paul A. Friberg.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Environmentalists split over green group's fracking industry ties
Al Jazeera America
Peter Moskowitz

In 2012, when Ohio’s Senate passed a controversial hydraulic fracturing bill that was supported by the oil and gas industry, environmental groups lined up against it, saying it would endanger public health. But during hearings on the bill, it gained one seemingly unlikely supporter: the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), one of the nation’s largest green groups. The bill supported renewable energy development but it also contained several items other environmental groups said were giveaways to the industry: It allowed fracking companies to keep private the chemicals they used in fracking, changed the required distance for contamination testing around a well from 300 feet to 1,500 feet, and prevented doctors from sharing information that might be considered trade secrets, even if it was in the interest of public health.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Is re-fracturing the next big trend in the oil patch?
San Antonio Express-News
Jennifer Hiller

SAN ANTONIO — Tens of thousands of new oil and gas wells have been drilled and hydraulically fractured in recent years — part of a shale boom that has spread across the U.S. Could re-fracturing some of those existing wells be the next big trend in the oil patch? Robert Drummond, president of North America for oil-field service company Schlumberger, said that continually improving fracturing techniques will make companies question whether it makes more sense to spend money drilling a new well or re-fracturing an existing well.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Methane leaking from Sacramento gas pipelines adds to greenhouse effect
Sacramento Bee
Edward Ortiz

The natural gas pipelines snaking under the Sacramento region likely leak a significant amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, scientists say. Methane is a major component of the natural gas that travels from transmission lines to the underground pipelines that deliver it to homes and businesses. The amount that leaks out is relatively small, but scientists say it has a big impact, since methane is about 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide when it comes to trapping heat in the atmosphere. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. says it has 7,100 miles of natural gas pipeline in the Sacramento region.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Natural gas execs fear they’re next for regs
The Hill
Timothy Cama and Benjamin Goad

Natural gas producers are keeping quiet about the controversial power plant rules from President Obama, fearing they could become the next target of federal regulators. At least in the short term, a government-forced shift away from coal power would be a boon for the natural gas industry, which is already experiencing a renaissance thanks to advances in the drilling technique of fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Weld County resident says fracking is costing him sleep Homeowner: When it happens at night, it's 'unreal'
Times-Call
John Fryar

Mike Lozinski says he's tired of not being able to get enough of the nighttime sleep he needs in order to be to be alert on his daytime job. The problem, Lozinski said, is that he has frequently been awakened and kept awake by the noise from the drilling and fracking that's been going on this summer at oil and gas wells near his rural Firestone-area home. That, in turn, has sometimes threatened his ability to be as alert and rested as he must be in order to carry out his daytime responsibilities as an air traffic controller at the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center in Longmont. Lozinski said Friday that his sleep deprivation "has become a safety issue with me" because in his work, "I'm dealing with lives."  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Marcellus Shale Continues to Prove Analysts Wrong
Oil Price
Chris Pedersen

The impact of the Marcellus shale formation on domestic natural gas supply is difficult to overstate. The speed and volume in developing this formation is astonishing. In 2007, Marcellus supplied only 2 percent of domestic supply in the U.S. By the end of 2013 it accounted for nearly 20 percent of total supply. The EIA predicts the formation will produce an average of 15.9 billion cubic feet of gas per day in September, nearly a quarter of all U.S. production. If Marcellus had one constant trait, it would be that it has continued to prove ‘experts’ wrong or extremely conservative in their projections of the formation’s output.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Lake George considers fracking moratorium
PostStar
Amanda May Metzger

LAKE GEORGE — The town may be devoid of shale formations rich in natural gas, but, according to activists, the area does have another resource on which drilling companies are keen: Water. George Mathewson, an attorney retired from private practice who also worked as a DEC regional attorney in the early 1970s, spoke at a recent Town Board meeting urging officials to consider a three-year moratorium on high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking, or any related activities.   [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Methane in the Water Part I: Toxicity
Chapelboro.com
Jeff Danner Opinion

In recent weeks, there have been many reports in both the local and national media regarding a study published by Duke University showing elevated methane levels in drinking water wells located near fracking operations in New York and Pennsylvania. ...I think it is important for this issue to be addressed accurately and comprehensively.  [Full Story]

Aug 17, 2014
Why is Environmental Defense Fund spending $1 million to elect Republicans?
Grist
Ben Adler

As even a casual political observer knows, the era of the moderate Republican is over, especially in the House of Representatives. The Republican House has made a fetish of attacking the environment. It has passed innumerable bills to strip the EPA of its authority and funding and to handicap the regulatory process. Not a single House Republican has a greater-than-50-percent lifetime rating on the League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard. And so it was bewildering on Thursday when the Environmental Defense Action Fund (EDF Action), the Environmental Defense Fund’s campaign arm, began dropping $250,000 on ads supporting Rep. Chris Gibson, a Republican from upstate New York who is facing a self-financing Democratic challenger, Sean Eldridge. (Eldridge is the husband of Facebook cofounder and New Republic publisher Chris Hughes.)  [Full Story]

Aug 16, 2014
Understanding the Dangers of “Fracking”
The Inside Press
Jessica Roff

Many people in New York State have heard about high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, the unconventional natural gas drilling method better known as fracking. But, people may only know some of its dangers. Fracking, including infrastructure such as pipelines and compressor stations, carries many risks: polluting air, poisoning land, and contaminating water and food. Evidence of risks and harms is growing so rapidly that Concerned Health Professionals of New York (CHPNY) recently published a Compendium featuring hundreds of peer-reviewed studies and other findings.  [Full Story]

Aug 16, 2014
Opponents of Minisink pipeline may seek rehearing
Times Herald Record
Richard J. Bayne

The lawyer for a group of Minisink residents who lost a court fight seeking to have Millennium Pipeline's gas compressor station cease operation says she might push for a rehearing or an appeal. On Friday, the federal Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the opponents' arguments and ruled that Millennium and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had sited the $43 million Jacobs Road plant properly.  [Full Story]

Aug 16, 2014
Judge Throws Out Texas Family's Fracking Pollution Case
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

A Texas judge has dismissed a million dollar lawsuit filed by a Karnes County, Texas, family who say their lives have been ruined by noxious emissions from oil and gas facilities near their home. District Judge Stella Saxon apparently accepted the argument made by Marathon Oil Corp. and Plains Exploration & Production (PXP) that Mike and Myra Cerny didn't have enough medical and scientific evidence to prove to a jury that they have been sickened by oil field emissions.  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Mutant fish in the Susquehanna River
Al Jazeera America
Nate Schweber

In Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River, one of the longest in the northeast, male smallmouth bass are sprouting female egg cells in their testes. According to a United States Geological Survey report released in June, these intersex fish appear in water — both in this river and two others in the state — that has become saturated with estrogenic compounds, natural and artificial hormones in animal manure and, to a smaller degree, sewage. Most troubling, biologists say, is that many of these bass, and scores of others, have visible signs of disease — black splotches on their skin and grotesque open sores. “We do think some of the same feminization chemicals are causing immunosuppression,” said Vicki Blazer, a fish biologist for the USGS who helped write the report. “And that disease is having an effect on the population.”   [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Oil companies fracking into drinking water sources, new research shows
Los Angeles Times
Neela Banerjee

Energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed,   [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Last chance to speak on compressor expansion
The Pike County Courier
Anya Tikka

Public hearing on Aug. 18: Community members opposed to the expansion say emissions a threat to health and safety  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Why the Scientific Case Against Fracking Keeps Getting Stronger
Mother Jones
Chris Mooney

Anthony Ingraffea argues that fugitive methane emissions turn natural gas from a climate benefit into yet another strike against fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
America's fracking dilemma: Not in my backyard
CBS
Bruce Kennedy

Fracking isn't only fueling the current energy boom in the U.S., it's also firing up concerns about whether it can be used successfully without creating a long-term environmental and economic threat to the communities and regions where it takes place  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Christie's National Ambitions Seen by Critics as a Factor in Fracking Greenlight
Inside Climate Change
Zara Hirji

Anti-fracking bill would have banned the treatment, storage and disposal of drilling waste in the state. Christie said it was unconstitutional.  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Scottish Government defy Westminster over fracking
The Scotsman
Ilona Amos

The Scottish energy minster has objected to the UK government’s “gung-ho” plans to remove the right of Scots to object to fracking beneath their homes.  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Judge Throws Out Texas Family's Fracking Pollution Case
Inside Climate News
David Hasemyer

Dismissal is in contrast to a case in which a jury awarded $2.9 million to a family who also claimed to be sickened by fracking's emissions.  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Ignoring climate change is risky business
Shale Plays Media
Conor O'Sullivan

A report on risk of inaction unlikely to change those still in denial  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Audit of fracking fluids highlights data deficiencies
Chemistry World
Philip Robinson

A US survey of almost 250 chemicals used in fracking has identified potentially harmful compounds   [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Fracking report 'heavily redacted'
Mailonline
Press Association

The Government has been accused of using "misleading" information in a public consultation over new under-house fracking plans.   [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Sen. Elizabeth Warren: We can do better than pipeline
.berkshireeagle.com/


Massachusetts has distinguished itself as a state with a strong and enduring commitment to environmental conservation, a commitment evidenced in the wetlands, forests, waters, and state and private conservation lands that run from our coastline to the Berkshires  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
New drilling rules to require operators to collect seismic data
Dallas Morning News
Marissa Barnett

State oil and gas regulators proposed new guidelines for injection wells Tuesday after a rash of earthquakes rocked North Texas several months ago.  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
New Jersey Governor Vetoes Fracking Waste Ban Despite Bipartisan Support
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose presidential potential is still being touted by some supporters despite a series of scandals surrounding him, is trying to demonstrate that he’s on the far right fringe of his own party when it comes to the environment, he’s doing a good job of it.  [Full Story]

Aug 15, 2014
Audit of fracking fluids highlights data deficiencies
Chemistry World
Phillip Robinson

A US survey of almost 250 chemicals used in fracking has identified potentially harmful compounds and exposed a lack of information about them that is hampering efforts to understand fracking’s environmental impact.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Fracking opponents target Democrats at state fair event
Herald-Review
Kurt Erickson

SPRINGFIELD – Armed with a 15-foot puppet of Gov. Pat Quinn, groups hoping to stop fracking in Illinois attempted to disrupt a breakfast meeting of top state Democrats on Wednesday. An estimated 100 people opposed to what is known as hydraulic fracturing descended on a gathering of more than 1,000 Democrats in town for Governor's Day festivities at the Illinois State Fair.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Fracking threatens tremors in general election
BBC
Emma Bishop

"Every time ministers open their mouths to claim that fracking must start everywhere around Britain, and not just in carefully selected and remote areas, they lose thousands of Tory votes." These words, from George Osborne's father-in-law Lord Howell in May this year, go some way to explaining why fracking - the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock - is already one of the issues to watch out for in the run-up to next year's general election.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Fracking Success Shut Down US Climate Change Policy
Truth-Out
Paul Jay

Christopher Williams tells Paul Jay that the fabulous profits made from fracking oil and gas took climate change off Obama agenda, and while coal emissions may be down in the US, coal exports have grown exponentially.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Fracking waste / Toxic veto
Press of Atlantic City
Opinion

Once again, Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed legislation that would have prevented New Jersey companies from accepting and treating fracking waste. And once again, we are calling on the Legislature to override the governor's veto.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Some Fracking Fluids Toxic to Mammals
Nature World News
Jenna Iacurci

As the oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, grows in this country, scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential health risks some of these toxic fracking fluids pose to mammals, a new study describes. Of the 200 commonly used compounds shot into the ground during this process, eight of them are toxic to mammals, according to the researchers.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
GAO Faults EPA Program To Protect Water From Fracking
Environmental Working Group
Elizabeth Kerpon

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s capabilities to safeguard underground drinking water sources from hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas. The GAO, Congress’s watchdog arm, said that EPA oversight of fracking wastewater is “not reliable.”   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Report: Drillers Illegally Using Diesel Fuel to Frack An analysis by an environmental group finds hundreds of cases in which drillers used diesel fuel without obtaining permits and sometimes altered records disclosing they had done so
ProPublica
Naveena Sadasivam

A new report charges that several oil and gas companies have been illegally using diesel fuel in their hydraulic fracturing operations, and then doctoring records to hide violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Oil, gas drilling permits under review by state agencies
Augusta Free Press


virginia-blue-oversizeGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that two Virginia agencies have signed an agreement on coordinating environmental reviews of potential permits for oil and gas drilling in the Coastal Plain that includes Tidewater.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
State calls for tests at second salt cavern after tremors
The Advocate
DAVID J. MITCHELL

Days after work on the Bayou Corne sinkhole halted briefly due to increasing tremors, state regulators ordered Texas Brine Co. to stop production at a second salt dome cavern near the underground cavity that failed two years ago and spawned the sinkhole that has driven hundreds of people from their property. Louisiana Conservation Commissioner James Welsh ordered Texas Brine on Monday to perform a round of tests to ensure the integrity of the massive underground cavity, known as Oxy Geismar No. 2, and develop a plan if problems are found.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Fracking Waste Disposal Fuels Opposition in U.S. and Abroad
EcoWatch
Anastasia Pantsios

A poll taken by Public Policy Polling revealed this week that 65 percent of California residents oppose dumping fracking waste in the ocean. The actions of fracking companies in both the U.S. and England, the eagerness of many government bodies and officials to cater to them, and the obfuscation around the disposal of the waste show they have reason to be concerned.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
'FRACKING' PROCEDURE ACCUSED OF POLLUTING CALIFORNIA GROUNDWATER
ABC NEWS


LOS ANGELES -- There has been a lot of controversy about the oil-extraction procedure known as "fracking." Now more questions are being raised about how much water is used for fracking, and whether it's polluting groundwater.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Florida Fracking Fracas
FactCheck


A Florida ad attacking Republican Gov. Rick Scott has touched off claims of lying and illegality. We find both sides are bending the facts.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Environmental groups kick off push for lawmakers to override Christie fracking veto
NorthJersey.com
John Reitmeyer

New Jersey lawmakers have yet to override any of Governor Christie’s vetoes since he took office in 2010, but environmental activists think there may be enough votes to overcome Christie’s recent rejection of a bill intended to ban the treatment and disposal of waste generated by hydraulic fracturing. A coalition of environmental groups and other organizations kicked off a campaign to push for an override with a news conference in front of the State House on Thursday.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Feds act to streamline review process for gas exports
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The Energy Department Thursday made final a new procedure for considering applications to export natural gas, which it said will streamline the process and ensure prompt considerations. Under the new procedure, the Energy Department will not determine whether a proposed export terminal is in the public interest until the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) completes its environmental review for the terminal.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Christie Vetoes Popular Fracking Waste Ban, Saying It's Unconstitutional
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's recent veto of a bill that would have banned the treatment, storage and disposal of fracking waste in the state thrusts the Republican presidential contender and head of the Republican Governors Association into the national debate over fracking, the controversial practice that blasts chemicals, sand and water into a well to crack open bedrock and extract fossil fuels. Christie said the bill was unconstitutional.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Pennsylvania Town Votes To Allow 6 Fracking Wells Within 3,000 Feet Of School Buildings
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

At a township public meeting Wednesday night, Rex Energy came one step closer to having those permits approved. Middlesex supervisors Michael Spreng, Donald P. Marshall, and James Evans voted unanimously to approve changes to the town’s zoning laws that would legally open up residential and agricultural lands for drilling, despite the protests of concerned parents and residents.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Colorado Drops Lawsuit Over Longmont Oil, Gas Rules; Fracking Ban Case Continues
Bloomberg
Tripp Baltz

Colorado is dropping its legal challenge of the City of Longmont's oil and gas regulations following a recent deal struck to avoid a ballot clash over fracking in the November election. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted Aug. 7 to file a motion to dismiss its Longmont oil and gas regulations lawsuit without prejudice, while simultaneously directing its attorney to draft a statement saying the commission will never bring forth the claims asserted in the lawsuit. The commission has not yet filed the motion with the Colorado District Court.  [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Residents in Fracking Epicenter Plan to Weigh In on Industry Rules
Central NC
Julie Fertig

SANFORD, N.C. -- Fracking supporters and opponents will soon have one final chance to help shape rules to govern the state's drilling industry. In one week, the first of four public hearings will be held. The hearings allow the public to weigh in on about 120 rules created by the Mining and Energy Commission.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Predicting fracking policy
PHYS.org


Hydraulic fracturing is emerging as one of the primary methods of drilling for natural gas, yet is equally controversial in its potential to induce harm to humans and the environment. The uncertainties of the health risks associated with horizontal drilling using fluid pressure to break down shale formations for natural gas extraction has pushed countries worldwide to proactively regulate the use of this technology, such as a temporary ban in Germany in 2012 and a ban in France in 2011.   [Full Story]

Aug 14, 2014
Texas Is Actually Considering (Slightly) Tighter Fracking Regulations
Dallas Observer Blog
Emily Mathis

Just a few weeks after Denton failed to pass a ban on fracking, the Texas Railroad Commission is proposing tighter regulation on oil and natural gas drilling in response to the north Texas earthquakes.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Governor Christie Vetoes New Jersey Fracking Ban
JD Supra Business Advisor
Andrew Doggett

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have banned the treatment, discharge, and disposal of fracking wastewater in the state, arguing that the bill violated the United States Constitution. This is the second time the governor has vetoed a prohibition on fracking waste since entering office.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Oil estimates reduced in central California but fracking will continue, website reports
NOLA
Robert Rhoden

Estimates of the recoverable oil in a huge layer of shale in central California have been lowered by some 96 percent, but it hasn't halted oil companies' plans for fracking, according to a story on the website Governing The States and Localities. Also, a proposed moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for oil was rebuffed by the California Senate, the story says.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Albany mayor hits state on oil-project regulation
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—The state relied heavily on data submitted by a private crude oil transporter in determining the environmental impact of a proposed boiler facility in the Port of Albany, Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan contends in a new letter. Calling the state Department of Environmental Conservation's record on enforcement "toothless," Sheehan is now requesting a more extensive environmental review of the project, which is being pursued by Global Partners.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Fracking company responds to cease and desist
Herald Sun
Alex Dixon

Frank Sides, who has been seeking to buy mineral rights in Durham and Chapel Hill for Crimson Holdings Corporation, intends to register with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources after he was issued a cease-and-desist order.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Report Finds Keystone XL Would Be Even Worse Than Predicted
EcoWatch
Nicole D'Allessandro

The final decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is indefinitely on hold, but damning evidence of the pipeline’s potential harm continues to grow. The Big Picture With Thom Hartmann looks at a new report by the Stockholm Environmental Institute finding that, if approved, Keystone XL could be even worse for the environment than we already thought.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Rail CEOs to Investors: "Bomb Trains" Safe At Almost Any Speed
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA AND STEVE HORN

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) recently said it would proceed with plans to increase speeds for oil-by-rail unit trains in Devil’s Lake, N.D. to 60 MPH from 30 MPH, despite opposition from local officials. BNSF’s announcement came merely a week after the Obama Administration announced its proposed regulations for trains carrying oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from North Dakota's Bakken Shale basin. The rail industry’s position on speed limits for “bomb trains” is simple: they continuously claim velocity has nothing to do with oil-by-rail accidents or safety.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Fracking Companies Fight to Toss Out Citizen Lawsuits on Toxic Air Emissions
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

Two major oil companies have asked a Texas judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit that could draw new attention to the toxic air emissions from oil and gas production. The lawsuit was filed last year by Mike and Myra Cerny, who say they can't enjoy the use of their home because of the benzene, toluene and other toxic chemicals released from nearby facilities owned by Marathon and Plains Exploration & Production (PXP). The Cernys are using the same argument that helped another Texas family, Bob and and Lisa Parr, win a groundbreaking, $2.9 million judgment against Aruba Petroleum last April: That the emissions created a nuisance that made their lives unbearable.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Franklin, Forest Hills pass fracking resolutions
Smoky Mountain News
Jeremy Morrison

Two more local governments in Western North Carolina have passed resolutions opposing fracking this month. Franklin and Forest Hills are the most recent to formally oppose the natural gas exploration method green-lighted by state legislators earlier this year.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
A new look at what's in 'fracking' fluids raises red flags
EurekaAlert
Michael Bernstein & Katie Cottingham, Ph.D.

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 13, 2014 — As the oil and gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") proliferates, a new study on the contents of the fluids involved in the process raises concerns about several ingredients. The scientists presenting the work today at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) say that out of nearly 200 commonly used compounds, there's very little known about the potential health risks of about one-third, and eight are toxic to mammals.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Gov. McAuliffe: 2 Va. Agencies to Coordinate Fracking Reviews
Newsplex


RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — Two state agencies will coordinate their reviews of potential permits for hydraulic fracking for natural gas in Virginia's coastal plain.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Fracking expanding to Washington Parish
WWLTV
Ashley Rodrigue

MT. HERMON, La. -- There’s a sprawling property on Hwy. 1056 buzzing with activity. Documents recently filed with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources indicate the work is in preparation for a fracking site. While land in the area has been leased by oil companies in the past, this kind of development appears to be the first actual movement of a potential drilling project in the parish. So far, it's only being met with welcomes.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
A new look at what's in 'fracking' fluids raises red flags
Phys.org


As the oil and gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") proliferates, a new study on the contents of the fluids involved in the process raises concerns about several ingredients. The scientists presenting the work today at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) say that out of nearly 200 commonly used compounds, there's very little known about the potential health risks of about one-third, and eight are toxic to mammals. William Stringfellow, Ph.D., says he conducted the review of fracking contents to help resolve the public debate over the controversial drilling practice. Fracking involves injecting water with a mix of chemical additives into rock formations deep underground to promote the release of oil and gas. It has led to a natural gas boom in the U.S., but it has also stimulated major opposition and troubling reports of contaminated well water, as well as increased air pollution near drill sites.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Parsippany and Montville Twp. residents feel threatened by Pilgrim Pipeline
The Record
Lisa Kintish

Ken Dolsky of Parsippany thought he had a tremendous battle when JCP&L announced plans to put in power lines through his neighborhood, using the PSE&G right of way, where the towers often referred to as the "green giants" already loom over the houses. Now it seems there may be cause for an additional fight, against a proposed oil pipeline from Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings, LLC. Pilgrim maintains that all plans for a 178-mile, bidirectional pipeline running from Albany, NY, to a refinery in Linden, are in the preliminary stages and that an exact route has yet to be determined. It hopes to submit initial permits by the end of this year. The residents in areas of Parsippany from Lake Hiawatha to Troy Meadows, traversed by the PSE&G ROW, are not waiting for the finalized plans. They are expressing outrage against yet another threat to their property values. Banding together in a coalition called Already Devalued and Devastated Homeowners of Parsippany, they have aligned themselves with the NJ Sierra Club, which has voiced its own concerns about the pipeline, stating that the Bakken crude oil, which is produced by fracking in North Dakota, is "highly explosive and toxic."   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Oil companies fracking into drinking water sources, new research shows

LA Times

Energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water, according to research released Tuesday by Stanford University scientists. Though researchers cautioned their study of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, employed at two Wyoming geological formations showed no direct evidence of water-supply contamination, their work is certain to roil the public health debate over the risks of the controversial oil and gas production process. Fracking involves high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals to crack geological formations and tap previously unreachable oil and gas reserves. Fracking fluids contain a host of chemicals, including known carcinogens and neurotoxins. Fears about possible water contamination and air pollution have fed resistance in communities around the country, threatening to slow the oil and gas boom made possible by fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Colorado Court Overturns Ft. Collins Fracking Ban
Heartlander
Alyssa Carducci

The city of Ft. Collins cannot lawfully ban energy production through hydraulic fracturing, a Colorado court has ruled. The court’s decision overturned a city ordinance enacted after voters in the liberal university town approved a November 2013 ballot initiative imposing a five-year ban on fracking. The ordinance stated, “The people of Fort Collins seek to protect themselves from the harms associated with hydraulic fracturing, including threats to public health and safety, property damage and diminished property values, poor air quality, destruction of landscape, and pollution of drinking and surface water.” It also stated the city would study fracking issues during the five-year moratorium. The State of Colorado District Court in Laramie County noted hydraulic fracturing is used in virtually all oil and gas wells in Colorado. Accordingly, banning fracking in Ft. Collins effectively banned oil and natural gas production there, at least under standard industry practices. Home Rule Is Limited The court affirmed Ft. Collins is a “home rule” city with the full right of self-government on local and municipal matters. However, the court explained, the right of full self-government does not apply to issues of mixed local and state concern. Oil and natural gas production, including fracking, are just such a “mixed” issue, the court ruled, as evidenced by Colorado’s Oil and Gas Conservation Act giving the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission authority to regulate oil and natural gas drilling throughout the state.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Former Pennsylvania official: "virtually no protection" for Native American sites from gas pipelines
Lancaster Online
AD CRABLE

Native American sites and other archaeological and historic sites in Pennsylvania have “virtually no protection” but should, according to John Quigley, a former secretary of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “There is virtually no protection for these resources in state law, and little in the way of best industry practice,” Quigley said in an interview with the online blog, AutoKthonous. Native American sites have emerged as a major concern in Lancaster County where a proposed 35-mile Central Penn Line South natural gas pipeline would be built.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Fracking company responds to cease and desist
The Herald-Sun
Alex Dixon

DURHAM — Frank Sides, who has been seeking to buy mineral rights in Durham and Chapel Hill for Crimson Holdings Corporation, intends to register with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources after he was issued a cease-and-desist order. The N.C. Department of Justice wrote to Sides on July 28 telling him he is in direct violation of North Carolina law for not registering as a landman with the NCDENR, which is required to buy mineral rights. He responded Monday. The leases from Crimson Holdings Corporation, which were sent to the town of Chapel Hill for a portion of Meadowmont Park and to the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, offer $5 per mineral acre. The letter from the N.C. Justice Department also spelled out how the leases failed to comply with law, including violations of a maximum lease term of 10 years, landowner education information to be provided with the lease, and lender approval of lease. In the letter, Sides wrote that the lease form “has been amended to comply with North Carolina law.” He writes that he is currently awaiting approval of registration from the NCDENR. Crimson Holdings Corporation was also breaking the law in that it was not registered with the North Carolina secretary of state’s office. Sides wrote that the registration process has been initiated to register Crimson and that the business address of Crimson is 1521 Concord Pike, Suite 301, Wilmington, Delaware. According to the July 28 letter, the N.C. Justice Department could not locate any information on Crimson Holdings Corp. The previous address listed for the company was the address of Campbell Development, LLC, in Pittsburgh, Pa. A spokesperson for Brandywine Executive Center, the space for the listed address, said there is no record of a Crimson Holdings Corp. listed in the center. According to the Delaware Office of the Secretary of State, Crimson registered as a company in April of this year. The registration address is the Delaware address listed in the letter from Sides.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Proposed 105-mile pipeline would bring more shale gas to region
The Inquirer
Andrew Maykuth

The Philadelphia Inquirer has the details on a proposed $1 billion pipeline project to bring natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to customers on the east coast. Wyomissing-based PennEast Pipeline Company said the pipeline would start in Luzerne County and travel about 105 miles to hook up with Transco’s Trenton-Woodbury interconnection in New Jersey. The company estimates the 30-inch diameter line would provide natural gas for about 4.7 million homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. More from the Philadelphia Inquirer: UGI Energy Services, a subsidiary of UGI Corp., of Valley Forge, would build and operate the interstate pipeline. UGI’s gas utilities serve 45 Pennsylvania counties, including outlying portions of Bucks, Montgomery and Chester Counties. Affiliates of South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas, and Elizabethtown Gas in New Jersey are also investors in the project. “This project serves to meet that growing demand in the mid-Atlantic marketplace, while providing greater system resiliency and reliability for local utilities,” John Walsh, UGI’s chief executive, said in a statement. Planning and regulatory approvals are expected to take more than two years. Construction would begin in 2017. Business leaders hailed the plan as a boost to Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. PennEast said the project would employ 2,000 people during construction. The pipeline is expected to face opposition from environmental groups and landowners as similar projects in the region have. “The latest pipeline pronouncement will, as with all pipelines, cut a damaging path through public and private lands for the private profits of industry,” Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum told the Inquirer.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Busting the Bureau of Land Management’s Frackopoly
EcoNews
Wenonah Hauter

Even without looking at a photo album, I can picture in my mind’s eye a vacation photo from the gorgeous BLM-managed (Bureau of Land Management) land near Moab, Utah. That image of my family and friends on a bicycle trip in the red rock lands, perfectly faded by time, carefully preserved for posterity. Nowhere in that photo does a fracking rig, or any telltale signs of industrial activity appear. But skip ahead fifteen or twenty years into the future, and this photo could be telling an entirely different story.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
"Fair And Balanced": Fox News Leans Towards Fracking
Media Matters
DENISE ROBBINS

Fox News segments on a method of natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" gave over five times as much airtime to guests touting the benefits of fracking as it did to one guest warning of its risks. On August 12, Fox News aired three virtually identical segments from correspondent David Lee Miller on fracking that were conspicuously one-sided. The segments compared the economy of Pennsylvania, which has seen a recent boom in fracking, to that of the southern tier of New York, where fracking is currently under a moratorium. The segments' pro-fracking slant is clear from the outset, with Miller stating that the "key reason for the economic disparity" between the two regions is "hydraulic fracking." The segments each featured three guests to tout the benefits of fracking for a total of 21 seconds per segment, against just one guest having four seconds to explain its risks:  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Fracking Disclosures Erased From Website, Group Says
Bloomberg
Mark Drajem

The oil and gas industry is ignoring a requirement to get permits before using diesel in hydraulic fracturing, putting at risk drinking water supplies near wells, an environmental watchdog group reported. The Environmental Integrity Project combed through data on an industry-backed website and found 351 wells since 2010 that were fracked with chemicals that match the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of diesel. In 143 cases, the operator later erased the disclosure from the FracFocus site, the group said in the report released today. The EPA requires companies using diesel to apply for a state or federal permit, and there’s no record that any did, according to the Washington-based environmental watchdog. “Companies that inject diesel without permits should be fined for ignoring the law,” Mary Greene, the group’s managing attorney who wrote the report, said in a statement. “The public deserves more disclosure and transparency about the toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.”  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
The Shale Sugar Lick
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

A well known American comedian, Ron White, quips about the amount of sugar Americans eat by suggesting that certain restaurants install a sugar lick. Patrons can “belly up” and take their fill at the trough. Such an analogy might be apropos of some shale operators with regard to their addiction to debt. A useful metric when evaluating a company is to look at the ratio between interest expense and operating income. A low ratio means that the company has not needed to borrow great sums of money to keep going. It generates sufficient cash to fund future operations without exorbitant levels of debt or shareholder dilution from issuing more stock.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
There’s Still a Lot We Don’t Know About Fracking Chemicals
TIME Magazine
Zoë Schlanger

As the U.S. fracking boom continues to expand, tapping vast deposits of previously unreachable oil and natural gas, scientists, regulators and even the industry itself still do not know much about fracking’s impact on human health or the environment. Study after study has highlighted the lack of toxicity information available on fracking fluid—the mix of chemicals, water and sand injected deep into the ground to fracture oil- and gas-trapping rock. Now a new study, presented Wednesday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, says that out of 190 commonly used compounds, hardly any toxicity information is available for a whopping one-third of them. In addition, another eight fracking fluid compounds, the researchers found, are proved to be toxic to mammals.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Diesel is used in fracking without permits, report says
Los Angeles Times
NEELA BANERJEE

Energy companies have used thousands of gallons of diesel to frack for oil and gas without obtaining the necessary permits required under federal law, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project. The watchdog group's review of industry and federal data from 2010 to 2014, released Wednesday, found 351 wells in 12 states that used diesel in fracking.  [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Fracking's impact on wildlife remains unknown, study finds Lack of data on pollution and habitat loss makes it hard to gauge wider effect of shale gas development in North America
The Guardian
Stephen Leahy

A decade into North America’s fracking boom, the impact on wildlife and the environment remains largely unknown, according to a new study. “We’re conducting a giant experiment without even collecting the important data on the water, air, land or wildlife impacts,” said Sara Souther, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin, one of the co-authors of the peer-reviewed research examining the environmental impacts of shale gas development in the US and Canada.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Obama's Troubled Foreign Policy Enabled By Fracking As Hillary Piles On
Forbes
Chip Register

Decreased dependence on foreign oil due to the fracking boom in the United States has been enabling the Obama Administration’s increasingly isolationist posture on the world stage. Low gasoline and natural gas prices in particular have given the President political cover in pursuing a non-interventionist strategy in conflicts that would have, under different leadership, demanded America’s attention.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
"Fair And Balanced": Fox News Leans Towards Fracking
Media Matters
Denise Robbins

Fox News segments on a method of natural gas extraction called hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" gave over five times as much airtime to guests touting the benefits of fracking as it did to one guest warning of its risks.   [Full Story]

Aug 13, 2014
Texas Regulators Strengthen Fracking Wastewater Disposal Rules Following North Texas Earthquake Swarm
Internation Business Times
Maria Gallucci

The U.S. oil and gas boom is prompting concerns in several states about earthquakes related to wastewater disposal wells. The latest response comes from Texas, where oil and gas regulators are proposing tougher guidelines for well operators following the recent seismic outbreak in North Texas.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Fracking is bad for good spirits
Albany Times Union
Ralph Erenzo Opinion

New York is water rich among the United States. To protect water quality, as well as community character and a multitude of other reasons, more than 170 New York towns have passed bans or moratoria on unconventional natural gas drilling. The right of towns to utilize land use and zoning controls to prohibit fracking stems from "municipal home rule," and was recently upheld by the New York state Court of Appeals. But be warned, the issue is not resolved, not until there is a statewide ban enacted by the Legislature and the governor.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Poll: Most Californians Want Offshore Fracking Ban
Indy Bay
Center for Biological Diversity

SAN DIEGO— As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego this week, a new poll (see PDF) finds that 55 percent of Californians back a ban on offshore fracking and 65 percent want oil companies prevented from dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Anti-fracking group to revive Ready Response Brigade
Athens Ohio Today


A local anti-fracking group is reviving the Ready Response Brigade — a group of residents who will be ready at a moment’s notice to protest injection wells in Southeast Ohio.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Drilling sludge to be shipped to Michigan
Observer Reporter
Emily Petsko

Two roll-off boxes holding waste with detectable levels of radiation at a Marcellus Shale impoundment in Mt. Pleasant Township will soon be trucked to Michigan for disposal. Range Resources, which operates the Carter impoundment on Fort Cherry Road, initially detected “above-background” levels of radiation in about 20 inches of water and four inches of sludge in May. Those materials were found when a contractor cleaned out the impoundment’s weir tank, which allows solids to settle as water flows into the impoundment. John Poister, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the material is being shipped to Michigan because local landfills will not accept such a large quantity of materials containing radiation.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
NC Attorney General Investigates PA Company Offering Fracking Leases
WHQR.org
RACHEL LEWIS HILBURN

Now that hydraulic fracturing is legal in North Carolina, oil and gas companies are soliciting property owners for land leases. But along with the new business opportunities come questionable – and potentially illegal -- proposals for unsuspecting landowners. The regulations that will govern fracking in the state have not yet been developed, and the first permits for oil and gas companies won’t get issued until next spring. But North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has already launched an investigation, through the Consumer Protection Division, into Crimson Holdings of Pennsylvania for pushing potentially illegal fracking leases in Durham County.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
‘All of Us Feel Absolutely Betrayed’
In These Times
COLE STANGLER

Colorado was supposed to be the epicenter of this fall’s ballot box battles on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—the controversial drilling practice that involves shooting chemically-saturated water deep into the ground to blast apart shale rock and expose oil and gas reserves. Deep in the heart of some of the nation’s richest oil and gas fields, voters were gearing up to take part in two state-wide referenda in November. The first would have quadrupled the size of Colorado’s minimum 500-foot “buffer” zone between oil and gas wells and occupied buildings. Another would have established local control of energy resources, paving the way for a future series of bans and moratoria.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
New rules proposed on eminent domain process for new pipelines
Star Telegram
MAX B. BAKER

To be frank, the idea of a pipeline running across his prairie really ticked off cattleman Pete Bonds. But not to be paid a fair price for the land only made him madder. Bonds, who owns 1,000 acres northwest of Fort Worth near Saginaw, said the pipeline company wanted a 50-foot easement and was using the power of eminent domain to condemn and grab it. Eventually Bonds settled out of court — “I got plenty to do besides sit around a courtroom” — but he thought the pipeline’s power to take his land was simply too much.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
New Natural Gas Pipeline Planned for West Virginia, Ohio
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
AP

A company is planning a $1.75 billion project that includes laying 160 miles of natural gas pipeline in West Virginia and Ohio. Columbia Pipeline Group announced the investment in a news release Tuesday. The proposal would help transport up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Columbia expects to start construction in fall 2016 before putting the pipeline in service in the second half of 2017. It will support natural gas development in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
PennEast Pipeline proposed to carry Marcellus Shale natural gas from Luzerne County to New Jersey
Times Leader
Eileen Godin

LUZERNE COUNTY — Plans to construct a 100-mile natural gas pipeline extending from northern Luzerne County to New Jersey were unveiled Tuesday by PennEast Pipeline Company LLC. “I want to stress the project is in the early stages,” Patricia Kornick, PennEast Pipeline project spokesperson, said. “We are gaining input from residents, and conducting environmental and field studies.” The pipeline is being built to transport Marcellus Natural Gas to the Mid-Atlantic region, fueling Pennsylvania and New Jersey homes and businesses while offering consumers lower cost energy and gas transportation savings.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Small Town, Big Fracking Victory
Toward Freedom
John Tarleton

Source: The Indypendent When Deborah Cipolla-Dennis moved to Dryden, New York, she and her wife built a house on the 32 acres of land they had purchased. They looked forward to putting down roots in a small, tight-knit rural community that shares the tolerant values of the nearby college town of Ithaca where she works. However, Cipolla-Dennis soon started receiving visits and phone calls from a representative of the Colorado-based Anschutz Exploration Corporation who urged her to lease her land. He said nothing of fracking — the controversial drilling technique that requires injecting millions of gallons of chemical-laced water and sand deep into the earth to tap hard-to-reach deposits — but Cipolla-Dennis was wary and shooed him away.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Natural gas pipeline explodes in Rusk County
ketknbc.com
Michael Wesp

USK COUNTY, TEXAS (KETK) — Authorities are responding to a natural gas pipeline explosion in Rusk County, southeast of Henderson. According to emergency management officials, the incident took place at FM 1798 East at County Road 366 and at County Road 3122. The approximate location of the explosion is between FM 840 and FM 2867. Gas was leaking following the pipe bursting, but it is unclear at this time if it has been shut off. Firefighter said the gas did not ignite and there is no current fire threat. Several residents in the area have been evacuated to safety. Traffic is shut down on 1798 from 840 to 2687.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Fracking forum exceeds capacity
Norman Transcript
Joy Hampton

A moratorium on hydraulic fracturing is possible in Norman, a New York activist told Oklahomans at a town hall meeting Monday. Interested residents and oil industry stakeholders crowded the Norman Public Library, filling the Lowry Room to capacity and forcing a state trooper working security to bar the door to many. Library staff worked to provide sound for the overflow crowd who waited outside in the hallway. Norman residents weren’t the only ones ousted from the Lowry Room. Several Norman City Council members left the forum on the advice of City Attorney Jeff Bryant, who said their presence could be perceived as a violation of open meetings law, since the topic under discussion could contribute to public policy in the future.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Pavillion water investigation continues at a slow drip -
WyoFile
Dustin Bleizeffer

There were frustratingly few answers for Pavillion-area residents, and interested parties throughout the nation in the most recent report in the ongoing groundwater pollution investigation in central Wyoming. At the same time, industry officials say the report helps to affirm that there’s still no evidence to connect polluted drinking water to oil and gas activity. The latest: There’s missing information both for domestic-water and natural-gas wells, and the investigation requires a “comprehensive geologic and hydrologic study of the Wind River Formation within the Pavillion Field,” according to the report.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Helicopter mission will search for abandoned wells in Potter County
Bradford Era
Alex Davis

Officials will search for long-ago abandoned oil and gas wells in Potter County as part of a low-flying helicopter mission later this month. Abandoned wells pose such serious environmental and economic problems that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory is sponsoring an aerial survey Aug. 15-29. The technology will detect changes in the earth’s magnetic field caused by steel well casings and determine if wells are emitting methane gas.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
State regulators propose changes following North Texas earthquakes
Dallas News
Marissa Barnett

AUSTIN—State oil and gas regulators proposed stricter guidelines for injection wells Tuesday in response to a rash of earthquakes near Dallas-Fort Worth less than a year ago. The suggested changes would require oil and gas companies to provide more information in their permit applications for underground disposal wells used to store waste from oil and gas drilling, including data from the U.S. Geological Survey about area fault lines, past earthquake activity and geologic mapping.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Billionaire Pegula to Own Buffalo Bills? Fracker's Fortune has Sordid History
Niagara Falls Reporter
James Hufnagel

The two wealthiest men in Western New York, Terrence Pegula and Jeremy Jacobs, Jr., both got rich running businesses that have had extremely damaging impacts on society. Presently head of the family dynasty that founded Buffalo-based multinational fast food conglomerate Delaware North Companies, Inc., Jacobs' net worth is estimated to be in excess of $3.1 trillion. Delaware North's unwholesome fare, generally consisting of high caloric, sugary drinks and fat-laden fried finger foods, is purveyed at stadiums, parks and resorts around the world. Like Jacobs, Terrence "Terry" Pegula made billions of dollars by also, essentially, poisoning the multitudes.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Report: Too few safeguards for drinking water near fracking wells
Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

Federal and state governments do not do enough to safeguard drinking water around the nearly 200,000 wells where fracking wastewater is injected deep underground, according to a federal report. The U.S. Government Accountability Office found that existing regulations do not adequately protect against contamination that could occur after earthquakes, which is increasingly a concern at injection wells and fracking sites in Ohio and the West.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
UPDATE: Plant project proponents, foes, react to court action
Bay Net
Marty Madden

An opinion and order issued earlier this month by a Circuit Court judge has drawn reaction from the players involved in the controversial Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export project. After issuing a 17-page opinion regarding the Calvert County Commissioners enactment of a zoning ordinance basically ceding its oversight authority for liquefaction facilities such as the one proposed at the Lusby gas plant, Judge James P. Salmon issued a court order deeming the measure “invalid, having been passed by the board of county commissioners outside the bounds of the board’s authority.” Salmon’s ruling comes just weeks before an anticipated decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the $3.8 billion project.County government officials had drafted and approved the zoning change at Dominion’s request. The proposed amendment, recommended by the Department of Community Planning and Building exempted LNG import and export facilities from county zoning regulations, citing oversight by FERC.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
N.C. AG says Pa. fracking company illegally soliciting leases
Washington Examiner


RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) – North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office recently wrote a letter to an out-of-state fracking company that allegedly engaged in the improper solicitation of fracking leases. The Pennsylvania-based Crimson Holdings allegedly tried to promote potentially illegal fracking leases to landowners in Durham County. The company allegedly proposed paying landowners $5 per acre to explore for gas and oil on their property. Cooper said landowners need to learn about their legal rights and protections as the state moves forward with fracking to extract gas and oil.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
China’s Shale Gas Bust
MIT Technology Review
Mike Orrcut

China is betting long-term on unconventional gas, but it is running into problems developing its vast shale resources. China is finding it harder than it expected to unlock a shale gas boom like the one in North America, calling into question its lofty goals to use natural gas to help clean up its air and control the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Citing complicated geology and high production costs, the Chinese government has cut its ambitious 2020 target for shale gas development roughly in half. In 2013 China became the third biggest user of natural gas behind the United States and Russia, consuming 166 billion cubic meters (bcm). By 2019, the International Energy Agency expects China’s annual natural gas consumption to grow 90 percent, to 315 bcm. Half of that increase is expected to be supplied by domestic gas production, which would come from multiple sources, including shale reserves.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Who rules America?
The Hill
Allan J. Lichtman

A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States. This study should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government. To reclaim the promise of American democracy, ordinary citizens must act positively to change the relationship between the people and our government   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
EIA Corroborates the Work of Energy Policy Forum
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

Over a year ago, on 19 June, 2013, Energy Policy Forum (EPF) wrote a post exposing the explosion of capital expenditure by shale operators to drill and complete wells and the concomitant lack of free cash flow. Unless operations can produce sufficient cash, the exercise is obviously unsustainable. At some point a company simply hits the proverbial financial wall. http://energypolicyforum.org/2013/06/19/huge-capex-free-cash-flow-not-in-shales/ Now EIA, the forecasting arm of the US Department of Energy has corroborated EPF’s work. EIA states:  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Groups to EPA: Stop Muzzling Science Advisers
ABC NEWS
Associated Press

Journalist and scientific organizations accused the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday of attempting to muzzle its independent scientific advisers by directing them to funnel all outside requests for information through agency officials. In a letter Tuesday, groups representing journalists and scientists urged the EPA to allow advisory board members to talk directly to news reporters, Congress and other outside groups without first asking for permission from EPA officials. An April memo from the EPA's chief of staff said that "unsolicited contacts" need to be "appropriately managed" and that committee members should refrain from directly responding to requests about committees' efforts to advise the agency. The scientific advisory board's office had asked the EPA to clarify the communications policy for board members, who are government employees.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
The AMP Creeks Council Wins Cove Point LNG Terminal Court Case Against Calvert County
News Net
Staff

Calvert County Circuit Court Judge James Salmon handed down a decision that has significant implications for the proposed Cove Point LNG export terminal. Judge Salmon found a Calvert County law, passed specifically to clear the way for Dominion Cove Point’s export project, to be in violation of the Maryland Constitution. The decision was the result of a legal challenge brought by the AMP Creeks Council. AMP Creeks filed suit to contest what it claimed was an attempt by Calvert County to illegally enact a “special law” to fast track Dominion’s pet project. Judge Salmon ruled in AMP’s favor and specifically stated that “…Ordinance No. 46-13 is invalid for two independent reasons. First, the Ordinance violates the uniformity provision…of the Land Use article. Secondly, the Ordinance constitutes a “special law” that violates the provision of Article III, § 33 of the Maryland Constitution.”Calvert County Circuit Court Judge James Salmon handed down a decision that has significant implications for the proposed Cove Point LNG export terminal. Judge Salmon found a Calvert County law, passed specifically to clear the way for Dominion Cove Point’s export project, to be in violation of the Maryland Constitution. The decision was the result of a legal challenge brought by the AMP Creeks Council. AMP Creeks filed suit to contest what it claimed was an attempt by Calvert County to illegally enact a “special law” to fast track Dominion’s pet project. Judge Salmon ruled in AMP’s favor and specifically stated that “…Ordinance No. 46-13 is invalid for two independent reasons. First, the Ordinance violates the uniformity provision…of the Land Use article. Secondly, the Ordinance constitutes a “special law” that violates the provision of Article III, § 33 of the Maryland Constitution.”  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
California Senate Rejects Fracking Ban
Heartland
Kenneth Artz

The California Senate declined to pass SB 1132, a bill that would have imposed a statewide ban on energy production using hydraulic fracturing methods. The vote marked the second time in two years California’s Democratic-controlled state legislature rejected a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Fracking: UK’s latest energy absurdity?
International Socialist
Gillian Wales

Britain lags behind other European states in green energy, with only 14.8% of electricity demand being met from renewable sources in 2013. The comparable figure in Germany was 23.9%, for Spain 42.4%, for Sweden 47%, in Portugal 58.3%, while Norway’s hydropower accounted for a full 98.5% of demand. However, as the UK faces up to a looming “energy capacity crunch” resulting from a lack of infrastructural investment, it appears that the Westminster government prefers the route of hydraulic fracking to the significant augmentation of renewable capacity.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Mi’kmaq unanimous in opposition to fracking
Herald News
Selena Ross

Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq will never support fracking in this province, their representatives say. The Native Council of Nova Scotia has left no room for misunderstandings. In recent months the province’s expert panel on fracking set up a meeting with the council, which speaks for all Mi’kmaq living off-reserve in Nova Scotia. The council members arrived with a statement and asked for it to be included, word for word, in the panel’s final report, expected out later this month. The people they represent “oppose the practice of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in Nova Scotia,” said the statement.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Fracking Success Shut Down US Climate Change Policy - Christopher Williams on Reality Asserts Itself (3/5)
The Real News
Paul Jay

Mr. Williams tells Paul Jay that the fabulous profits made from fracking oil and gas took climate change off Obama agenda, and while coal emissions may be down in the US, coal exports have grown exponentially.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Teachout a hit among fracking opponents
North Country Public Radio
Monica Sandreczki

Law professor Zephyr Teachout's campaign for governor survived a court challenge yesterday. That clears the way for Teachout's own challenge: to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in next month's Democratic primary. A New York judge dismissed a suit brought by Cuomo supporters who argued that Teachout didn't meet the state's 5-year residency requirement to run. The Fordham University professor spent last weekend rallying liberal voters against the governor. At a rally in Cooperstown where she said, if elected, she'd ban hydrofracking her first day in office.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Thousands plan to protest against Cuadrilla fracking in Lancashire
Blue and Green Tomorrow
Jemma Collins

Environmental campaign group No Dash for Gas is organising a protest against energy firm Cuadrilla’s plans to drill for shale gas in the area, with hundreds expected to attend. The organisation will be holding an action camp near Blackpool from August 14 – 20.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Poll: Most Californians Want Offshore Fracking Ban
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

SAN DIEGO— As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego this week, a new poll finds that 55 percent of Californians back a ban on offshore fracking and 65 percent want oil companies prevented from dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean. The poll also found almost half of state voters are less likely to visit beaches because of chemical discharge and offshore fracking, which has been used in hundreds of oil wells off the Southern California coast. The poll was commissioned by the Center for Biological Diversity and conducted by Public Policy Polling. “Californians know that offshore fracking poses a toxic threat to our entire coast,” said Miyoko Sakashita, the Center’s oceans program director. “This poll offers the Coastal Commission one more reason to halt fracking in our delicate ocean ecosystems. It’s time to protect our wildlife, beaches and coastal communities from dangerous fracking chemicals and the risk of a catastrophic oil spill.”  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Town council votes against fracking in Westhoughton
The Bolton News
Jeremy Culley

ATTEMPTS to carry out fracking in Westhoughton will be opposed by its town council. Westhoughton Town Council passed a motion opposing drilling into shale rock at a meeting last night. Members also passed a motion urging the Lancashire Association of Local Councils (LALC) to ask central government to oppose the process.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Oil companies fracking into drinking water sources, new research shows
LA Times
NEELA BANERJEE

Energy companies are fracking for oil and gas at far shallower depths than widely believed, sometimes through underground sources of drinking water, according to research released Tuesday by Stanford University scientists. Though researchers cautioned their study of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, employed at two Wyoming geological formations showed no direct evidence of water-supply contamination, their work is certain to roil the public health debate over the risks of the controversial oil and gas production process.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
DWP’s ownership of fracking site could be a liability
LA Biz
Scott Bridges

While it has not engaged in fracking operations, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s partial ownership of Wyoming natural gas reserves where the controversial practice has occurred created cause for concern at City Hall last week. Fracking has been conducted on the Pinedale Anticline but, as the Los Angeles Register reports, the DWP is not currently involved in the technique and told the council on Wednesday that it has no future plans to do so.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
CO Republican: Fracking is okay, it’s natural for water to burn. ‘Indians’ used it for warmth.
News Observer


Robert Jackson and Avner Vengosh of Duke University’s esteemed Nicholas School are viewed by some in the oil and gas industry as enemies. At Duke, they’ve done studies with compelling evidence that shale gas extraction, fracking, causes drinking water problems in other states. The industry, which got North Carolina to lift its moratorium on fracking with drilling next year, has long made the case that drilling is absolutely safe.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Fracking vs. Ohio’s Renewable Energy Portfolio – A False Distinction
Frac Tracker
Ted Auch

Governor Kasich recently signed SB 310 “Ohio’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard” and HB 483.1 This action by all accounts will freeze energy efficiency efforts (such as obtaining 25% of the state’s power from renewables by 20252) and impose a tremendous degree of uncertainty on $2.5 billion worth of wind farm proposals in Ohio.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Colorado Republican: Fracking is fine because water is supposed to burn
Salon
Joanna Rothkopf

In an effort to prove his expertise, Republican Colorado state Sen. Randy Baumgardner has demonstrated how little he really knows. He appeared on conservative activist Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt’s daily show, “Pray in Jesus’ Name,” to discuss why the government seemed to prioritize some forms of energy (clean) over others (dirty). “I’ve been doing a lot of the fracking seminars, and if people haven’t been, then they really don’t understand it,” Baumgardner responded. It is unclear which seminar he attended, since “the fracking seminars” are not a concept that we are all aware of, so it is unclear if his education was extremely biased, or just a little.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Erie board approves 13 new fracking wells
Daily Camera
Alex Burness

To the chagrin of many in the overflowing boardroom, Erie's town trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve 13 new oil and gas wells close to two densely populated subdivisions.  [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Duke scientists' fracking warnings meet deaf ears
News & Observer
Editorial

Robert Jackson and Avner Vengosh of Duke University's esteemed Nicholas School are viewed by some in the oil and gas industry as enemies. At Duke, they've done studies with compelling evidence that shale gas extraction, fracking, causes drinking water problems in other states. The industry, which got North Carolina to lift its moratorium on fracking with drilling next year, has long made the case that drilling is absolutely safe. Jackson and Vengosh have serious doubts about that, and given that the Nicholas School in the field of environmental science is considered among the elite in the county, it would be logical to assume that state officials developing rules to govern shale gas exploration would want to hear from them. But the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission did not invite either Jackson or Vengosh to offer any views while commission members were in the process of determining the rules.   [Full Story]

Aug 12, 2014
Mayor: DEC off on oil
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan sharply rebuked the state Department of Environmental Conservation over its review of a planned oil terminal expansion at the Port of Albany, claiming the state agency has illegally approved a surge in oil shipments piecemeal, rather than taking an overall perspective. In a letter to DEC last month, the mayor accused DEC of something called segmentation, which is a review of a project's environmental impact in isolated segments, rather than as a unified whole. Segmentation is illegal under the state Environmental Quality Review Act.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
NY regulators to discuss Finger Lakes propane storage plan
The Post-Standard
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- State regulators say they'll hold an "issues conference" on a proposed propane storage facility in a depleted Finger Lakes salt cavern to determine if an official hearing before a judge is needed. The Department of Environmental Conservation says Monday that the conference will be scheduled because of extensive public interest in the proposal by Houston-based Crestwood Midstream's Finger Lakes LPG Storage to store propane beside Seneca Lake.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Trains carrying highly explosive Bakken oil coming into N.J. by the dozens every week
The Record
Scott Fallon

Up to 30 trains, each carrying more than a million gallons of highly explosive crude oil in aging tanker cars, are transported into North Jersey neighborhoods from New York every week, according to documents obtained by The Record. Although oil trains have become a common sight from Northvale to Ridgefield along the CSX River Line, the exact number of shipments had not previously been available to the public.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
LPG storage facility: DEC review enters new phase
Steuben Courier Advocate
Derrick Ek

The long saga of the proposed LPG storage facility on Seneca Lake took another turn Tuesday, with the state Department of Environmental Conservation announcing a new step in its five-year review of the project. The DEC will soon hold an issues conference before an administrative law judge, officials said. It’s a somewhat unusual step for the DEC, and is typically for large-scale and controversial projects like the LPG facility, said DEC spokesman Peter Constantakes. A subsidiary of Houston-based Crestwood wants to use salt caverns beneath the U.S. Salt plant on Seneca Lake near Watkins Glen to store and distribute large amounts of LPG, or propane and butane. The fuel would be brought in by rail and distributed by trucks and pipelines.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Cutting Carbon Pollution Will Help Create a Healthier Planet
Huffington Post
Lynn R Goldman and Kathleen A Merrigan

In June, President Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a proposal that would cut carbon pollution from electrical power generators by 30 percent compared to 2005 levels. We should applaud the Administration for taking action that would at once start to address the crisis of global warming and more immediately leave us all with cleaner air. As former regulators we know how hard it can be to craft a plan that will survive the increasingly partisan political environment. But more importantly, we are speaking out today as educators on a college campus. For the millennial generation, climate change isn't an abstract issue but an urgent problem that must be addressed. They are looking to us, the older generation, for leadership on this issue and we do not want to let them down.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
DEP gets second dour report on gas well oversight
PittsburghPost Gazette
Don Hopey

The issuance last week of a second report detailing myriad shortcomings in the state Department of Environmental Protection’s oversight and enforcement of Marcellus Shale gas development might have the agency feeling like a pinata after a party. The latest report, which Earthworks, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental organization, released Thursday, reviewed and analyzed DEP Marcellus Shale gas well drilling files and conducted its own air and water testing to detail how the DEP’s enforcement of shale gas regulations has been less than transparent or effective in controlling the exposure of Pennsylvania residents to unhealthy air and water.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Southwestern Energy fined for drilling unpermitted wells in Bradford County
State Impact Pa
Susan Phillips

Southwestern Energy Production company will have to pay $128,031 for drilling five unpermitted Marcellus Shale gas wells in Bradford County. The state Department of Environmental Protection announced the fine today after the Houston, Texas company continued to drill even after the DEP issued a “notice of violation” in January 2013.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Kitchen Table Kibitzing - 8.11.14....Against Fracking? You are practically an enemy of the state.
Daily Kos
paradise 50

After my KTK diary last Monday regarding how frackers manipulated things to thwart Butte County California from voting this November on whether we wanted fracking or not in the county, I decided to dig a little deeper because I was beyond amazed that a law firm from Sacramento representing frackers interests could completely screw the pooch for Frack Free Butte County by simply lying. I'll give a quick recap of what happened: They lied about a formatting error on the petitions that folks signed to put this on the ballot. Specifically they said some font size was wrong and so all the signatures were therefore invalid. Where did they come up with that?  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Activists happy that Corps of Engineers taking more comments
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Aug. 8, 2014 ––Appalachian region environmental advocates are celebrating the success of their efforts to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to extend the comment period on a frackwaste barge dock permit proposed for Portland, Meigs County, Ohio. The new comment period ends Aug. 24. “We have gained another window for the public to submit additional and we hope more extensive, specific concerns,” said Andrea Reik of Athens County (Ohio) Fracking Action Network. “We urge people to look at the model comments posted at acfan.org and to call on the Corps to conduct both a public hearing and an environmental impact study on this dangerous proposal.”  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
North Dakota tribe wants fees from oil companies for wasting natural gas By James MacPherson
Turtle Island News
James MacPherson Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. - Tribal leaders on an American Indian reservation in the heart of North Dakota's booming oil patch are proposing fees for companies that burn and waste natural gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Fracking dilemma goes on as companies seek to guzzle gas from the ground As testing continues in Fermanagh and is lined up for Leitrim, the debate still rages
Irish Times
Frank McDonald

Something unusual happened in West Sussex last month: a small rural community took on the fracking industry – and won. Indeed, the people of Wisborough Green could barely believe it when their district council’s planning committee unanimously rejected test-drilling plans by Celtique Energie.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Does fracking reduce house prices?
The Guardian
Karl Mathiesen

Research commissioned by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has found evidence that in parts of the US the shale gas boom has significantly affected house prices. A heavily censored version of the report, written in March but not made public, was released in response a freedom of information (FOI) request by Greenpeace.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Oklahoma attorney wants to ban fracking within city limits Strategy to ban fracking being used in 200 New York communities
KOCO
Rob Hughes

NORMAN, Okla. —Residents have a chance to sound off Monday night on a controversial practice that many say has caused Oklahoma's recent earthquakes. Experts are going to talk about the record number of earthquakes this year in Oklahoma at Monday night's forum. Some people, including attorney David Slottje from New York, are claiming that fracking is causing these earthquakes and want it banned within city limits.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Fracked on Their Own Petard: The Self-Implosion of an Industry on the Ropes
Truthout
Adam Briggle

Fracking is the only industrial activity in the city of Denton, Texas that is allowed in residential areas (sometimes less than 200 feet from homes). Not even bakeries are allowed there. Fracking is also the only industry allowed to emit non-disclosed chemicals into the environment. That's why I am helping to lead Frack Free Denton, a citizens' initiative that takes the oh-so-radical step of prohibiting the most toxic, under-regulated and secretive industry from operating the closest to places where children live and play.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Attorney general warns company to stop seeking fracking rights in NC
The State
John Murawski

The state's imminent legalization of fracking is spawning a new round of concerns as the state Attorney General's Office warned a Pennsylvania company this week to stop offering North Carolina landowners money in exchange for fracking rights. The attorney general's cease-and-desist notice sent Monday to Pittsburgh-based Crimson Holdings alleges the company's solicitations are illegal because its land agent is not registered in North Carolina, among a host of other reasons. Crimson's lease offers appear to be a foretaste of rising interest in the state's energy potential in advance of the expected legalization of fracking sometime next year.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
To Resolve Feud Over Fracking, Colo. Democrats Turn To Plan C
NPR
Dan Boyce

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has announced a last-minute compromise to avert a costly political battle over oil and gas drilling. As Dan Boyce of Inside Energy reports, the deal is meant to find a solution to disputes related to fracking — but it also serves the political interests of Colorado Democrats.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Pennsylvania auditor blasts state oversight of fracking
Syracuse.com
Glenn Coin

Harrisburg, Pa. -- Pennsylvania regulators failed to properly supervise drillers during the fracking boom that began several years ago, the state's auditor general has found.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Fracking's latest casualty: The Master Limited Partnership
Al Jazeera America
Gregg Levine

In the 1990s, Kinder Morgan, a multi-billion dollar oil and gas pipeline company, pioneered a bit of corporate gymnastics known as a master limited partnership, or MLP.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Big Trove for Frackers at Airport in Pittsburgh
New York Times
Matthew L. Wald

For salvation, airport officials are looking down — about 6,000 feet. The quiet runways, it turns out, are sitting on enough natural gas to run the whole state of Pennsylvania for a year and a half, and this month, Consol Energy will drill its first well here to tap the gas, which county officials say will bring them nearly half a billion dollars over the next 20 years.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Cumulative Climate Impacts of Tar Sands Pipelines
EcoWatch
Doug Hayes, Sierra Club

While the evidence shows that Keystone XL would result in significant greenhouse gas emissions and should be denied in its own right, it is only one of many proposed tar sands pipelines on the Obama administration’s desk.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
DEC To Hold Issues Conference on Application for LPG Storage Facility in Schuyler County
NYS DEC
Press Release

Based on extensive public interest regarding a proposal to construct and operate an underground facility for storage and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the Town of Reading, Schuyler County, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced that an issues conference will be scheduled through DEC's Office of Hearings to determine if there are any significant and substantive issues that require an adjudicatory hearing. Participation in the issues conference would involve DEC staff, the applicant, and any individual or group that has filed a petition for party status. The schedule for the issues conference, as well as the filing petitions for party status, will be set by an administrative law judge in the near future.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Gas driller fined in Bradford County for expired permit
Star Gazette
Staff

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined Southwestern Energy Production Co. of Houston for drilling five Marcellus shale natural gas wells in Bradford County after drilling permits had expired. A DEP investigation revealed that Southwestern had drilled at the Reeve Sutton 4H well pad in Herrick Township for nine days in October 2012, about 18 months past the permit’s expiration date, according to a news release from the DEP.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
On public land, a gas company takes private control
State Impact Pa
Marie Cusick

On any given day Bob Deering doesn’t know how much trouble he’ll have getting to and from his home. He lives on a mountain in Lycoming County and he’s routinely stopped and questioned by security guards. It’s been happening for the past six years– ever since the natural gas boom began. “I’ve been coming up here with my grandparents since 1953,” he says. “But if I would have known in 2001 what I know now, I’d never have built a house up here.” Deering expected to enjoy a quiet retirement. In the early 2000's, he and his wife built a log home from a kit. Their property is surrounded by state forest and game land. But in recent years their neighborhood has gotten noisy as gas companies drill wells, build pipelines, and move heavy equipment.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Oil and gas company debt soars to danger levels to cover shortfall in cash
The Telegraph
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The world’s leading oil and gas companies are taking on debt and selling assets on an unprecedented scale to cover a shortfall in cash, calling into question the long-term viability of large parts of the industry. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said a review of 127 companies across the globe found that they had increased net debt by $106bn in the year to March, in order to cover the surging costs of machinery and exploration, while still paying generous dividends at the same time. They also sold off a net $73bn of assets. This is a major departure from historical trends. Such a shortfall typically happens only in or just after recessions.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Greenpeace doubts British fracking survey
UPI
Daniel J Graeber

LONDON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Greenpeace said a British survey showing public support for hydraulic fracturing is biased because the industry itself was behind the assessment. Research group Populus conducted a survey for U.K. Onshore Oil and Gas that found more than half of the 4,000 people it surveyed expressed support for hydraulic fracturing in the country, compared with 27 percent expressing no opinion and 16 percent opposed. A spokesman for Greenpeace said the poll was biased because it was backed by the oil and gas industry.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Addison County Lawmakers Urge Caution In Pipeline Approval Process
VPR
Taylor Dobbs

Addison County lawmakers have some big concerns about the Vermont Gas Systems proposed natural gas pipeline expansion project – so big that in a jointly-written letter, three of them urged the Public Service Board not to approve Phase II of the pipeline until the concerns are met. Phase II extends the pipeline from Middlebury to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga, New York.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
DEP Releases After Action Reports On Fatal Chevron Well Fire
PA Environment Digest


The Department of Environmental Protection has completed its After-Action Review of the fatal well fire that occurred on Chevron’s Lanco gas well pad on February 11. The report, released Wednesday, provides a summary of the incident, a chronology of events, a review of the problems encountered during the well incident and recommendations. The report points to possible human error and a failed screw and nut assembly as factors that allowed gas to escape the well and led to the fire. Chevron has since inspected other wells with similar installations and issued guidelines.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Lawmakers, Environmental Groups Urge Protection Of Loyalsock Forest From Drilling
PA Environment Digest


Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, was joined by environmental organizations and legislators at a news conference Monday to urge Gov. Tom Corbett to protect the Clarence Moore Lands in Loyalsock State Forest from natural gas drilling.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Sen. Rafferty To Introduce Bill Supporting Installation Of Forested, Streamside Buffers
PA Environment Digest


Relying upon, current science that shows streamside forest buffers protect communities from pollution and reduce flooding, Sen. John Rafferty (R-Montgomery) plans to introduce a new bill-- Senate Bill 1465 (not yet online) to support protection of forest buffers along streams, creeks and rivers in the state. The new bill is being applauded by both conservation and water research organizations.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
DEP gets 2nd dour report on gas well oversight
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

The issuance last week of a second report detailing myriad shortcomings in the state Department of Environmental Protection’s oversight and enforcement of Marcellus Shale gas development might have the agency feeling like a pinata after a party. The latest report, which Earthworks, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental organization, released Thursday, reviewed and analyzed DEP Marcellus Shale gas well drilling files and conducted its own air and water testing to detail how the DEP’s enforcement of shale gas regulations has been less than transparent or effective in controlling the exposure of Pennsylvania residents to unhealthy air and water.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Groups Sue EPA for Letting Polluters Pass the Bill for Their Spills to the Public Thirty years of delay and exorbitant costs borne by public are unacceptable
Earthworks


Washington, D.C. — Earthjustice on behalf of Idaho Conservation League, Earthworks, Sierra Club, Amigos Bravos, Great Basin Resource Watch, and Communities for a Better Environment filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to issue key rules mandated by the Superfund Act (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or CERCLA).   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Enviros Blamed for Bursting Frack Bubble
EcoWatch
Richard Heinberg

ere’s The Script, in four despicable acts: Act 1. Fracking boom goes bust as production from shale gas and tight oil wells stalls out and lurches into decline. Act 2. Oil and gas industry loudly blames anti-fracking environmentalists and restrictive regulations. Act 3. Congress rolls back environmental laws. Act 4. Loosened regulations do little to boost actual oil and gas production, which continues to tank, but the industry wins the right to exploit marginal resources a little more cheaply than would otherwise have been the case.  [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Penn-led expert panel calls for public health research on natural gas drilling
Eurekalert
Karen Kreeger

PHILADELPHIA – Groundwater and air quality testing before, during, and after natural gas drilling – which includes hydraulic fracturing -- should be key components of efforts to ensure the safety of communities near these sites, according to an expert panel convened to weigh in on public health research needs associated with unconventional natural gas drilling operations (UNGDO). The panel also urges that any research conducted should use "community-based participatory research principles" so that the concerns of the many stakeholders involved in these activities can be addressed.   [Full Story]

Aug 11, 2014
Pastures and pipelines: Projects are not as simple as you think
Farm and Dairy
Clif Little

It has become a common occurrence in eastern Ohio to see oil and gas related pipelines being installed through pastures and crop fields. While many sections of these lines are installed and reseeded to the farmer’s satisfaction, some are not.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2014
Voice of The Southern: Fracking: A second look
The Southern
Opinion

Since it became clear that the oil and gas industry has set its sights on Illinois, fracking has been a contentious issue. And, it is clear that the practice will continue to create friction if and when drills begin burrowing into the shale formations of the region.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2014
Obama, Cuomo waffle on environmental issues
Poughkeepsie Journal
Jimmy Buff

President Barack Obama was interviewed recently in The Economist. Addressing criticism that he wasn't business-friendly, he pointed to the ways he was and then tried to turn the tables on his critics. The president called out business leaders on social issues such as education and the environment, accusing them of saying one thing publicly, "They'll say, you know what, we really care about the environment, and we really care about education, and we really care about getting immigration reform done," and then wondering if those companies' lobbyists were working as hard on those issues as they do on preserving tax breaks for businesses. "And if the answer is 'no,' then you don't care about it as much as you say," Obama said.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2014
The FERC 25
Future Hope
Ted Glick

Just about a month ago, on July 14th, one day after a major demonstration to Stop Fracked Gas Exports at Cove Point and Beyond, 25 people undertook a nonviolent direct action at the D.C. headquarters of FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC does a number of things, but the reason these July 13 and 14 actions happened is because of its role as a virtual rubber stamp--at something like a 98% approval rate--for any interstate pipeline or infrastructure projects proposed to it by the natural gas industry. The likelihood is very high that, absent a much more massive campaign of resistance, FERC is going to approve not just the three gas export terminals approved so far in Louisiana and Texas and the pending Cove Point (Md) proposal but also another dozen or so that are being processed by them as this is written. And there could well be more. What will it mean if FERC approves all, or even most, of these proposals? -It will mean a 50-60% increase in the volume of shale gas produced by the process of hydraulic fracturing—fracking—around the country. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in the number of gas pipelines, compressor stations and other infrastructure built in rural, suburban and urban areas which have never experienced this before. -This will mean many more people sickened by the poisoning of their water supply and/or air who live near the fracking wells or the compressor stations, many more people who see their property values and net worth plummet.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2014
Fracking campaigners criticise 'censored' report on house prices
The Guardian
Rowena Mason

Government urged to publish sections cut from study into impact of shale gas wells on local communities The government has been criticised for censoring a report into the impact of shale gas drilling that examines the effect on house prices and pressure on local services. Campaigners are calling for full publication of the study carried out by Whitehall officials, as the government continues to resist the idea of offering compensation to individual householders near proposed fracking sites. The report, called Shale Gas: Rural Economy Impacts, was written in March and a draft was released under environmental information laws with large portions of the text removed. In particular, the section looking at the effect of drilling on house prices has three missing chunks. The published sections mention a 2010 report about Texas, which found that houses valued at more than £150,000 and within 1,000 feet of a well site had their values decreased by 3% to 14%. Unredacted parts also mention other economic studies showing anything between a small positive impact on property prices for homes within 2km of wells dependent on commercially-piped water in Pennsylvania, to a drop of between 4% and 7% for homes within 4km of sour gas wells and flaring oil batteries in Alberta, Canada.  [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2014
An opportunity to address fracking
Daily Camera
Jared Polis--Opinion

Colorado is at a major crossroads in determining the future of energy development in our state. There are several paths we could go down, none of which are perfect. What is not negotiable, however, is that any path forward must protect our environment and a homeowner's right to be safe, secure, and healthy in their home.   [Full Story]

Aug 10, 2014
Rockingham residents drilling for facts on fracking
Winston-Salem Journal
Danielle Battaglia

Residents along the Dan River overcame a coal ash spill Feb. 2, and now those same people are worrying about another possible threat to their beloved waterway — fracking. Energy companies have announced plans to mine a portion of western Rockingham County for methane gas by using hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — in the next year, and officials are moving quickly to make that process a reality.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2014
Controversy in Spain over Fracking
The Epoch Times
Manuela Arte

MADRID—Spanish President Mariano Rajoy is backing fracking practices—hydraulic fracturing, namely fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid—to obtain oil and shale gas to reduce Spanish energy costs. But a new report by the Geological and Mining Survey of Spain (IGME) states that “Europe has no experience on fracking” and lists some risks that the Spanish government should evaluate before implementing the method, while mentioning less aggressive applications for the environment.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2014
As NC ponders fracking rules, will Duke duo’s research have impact?
The Charlotte Observer
Sarah Wheeler and John Murawski

DURHAM As North Carolina readies for fracking, 2014 could be a productive year for Duke University researchers whose studies have become a regular nuisance for the oil and gas industry. Robert Jackson, professor of earth and ocean sciences, and Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality, have continued pumping out new research in an attempt to seal the case that shale gas extraction is the culprit behind drinking water quality problems in other states.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2014
Oil Industry Denies Climate Change But Demands Taxpayer Money For Climate Change Protection
Politicus USA


Indemnity is security or protection against a loss or other financial burden, and for the American oil industry, taxpayers hand over large amounts of cash to protect oil company profits while eliminating any potential losses; typically through taxpayer-funded subsidies. Interestingly, proponents of funding already profitable oil companies are also avid supporters of free market capitalism where a business either lives or dies of its own accord, but like most things Republicans support, it is only applicable when it fits their agenda. There were a few news reports over the past two weeks that reveal the depth of the entitlement mindset permeating the oil industry as well as their expectation that the government will force taxpayers pay for their malfeasance that Republicans are only too happy to oblige. Sadly, many Americans have bought into the Republican absurdity that it is unpatriotic to hold the oil industry to the same standards as every other American, and the industry is well aware that any demand they make, regardless how obscene, will be granted by Republicans with likely support from voters.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2014
Fracking companies begin slow shift to recycling wastewater
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
James Osborne

With a years-long drought depleting water supplies across prime drilling areas in South and West Texas, pressure on oil and gas companies has been ramping up. Early indications are the industry is slowly turning toward recycling its own wastewater, along with highly salty and undrinkable brackish water, to curb the strain of the hydraulic fracturing boom.   [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2014
Newest frontier offshore: fracking
The Dallas Morning News


HOUSTON — Energy companies are taking their controversial fracking operations from the land to the sea — to deep waters off the U.S., South American and African coasts. Cracking rocks underground to allow oil and gas to flow more freely into wells has grown into one of the most lucrative industry practices of the last century. The technique is also widely condemned as a source of groundwater contamination. The question now is how that debate will play out as the equipment moves out into the deep blue. For now, caution from all sides is the operative word. “It’s the most challenging, harshest environment that we’ll be working in,” said Ron Dusterhoft, an engineer at Halliburton Co., the world’s largest fracker. “You just can’t afford hiccups.”  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2014
Seismic testing, drilling raises concerns and prompts town hall meeting
Macomb Daily News
Sean Delaney

Residents on Pond View Drive and Franklin Park Drive in Sterling Heights were surprised last month when they noticed survey crews testing for seismic vibrations in their neighborhood, but city officials say there’s nothing to be concerned about. “The seismic testing is for oil and gas exploration, and subsurface mapping,” said City Engineer Brent Bashaw. “Metro Detroit has reef structures about 4,000 feet underground. These reef structures can contain petroleum or ore deposits.”  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2014
'Houses are bouncing;' quakes trigger controls on Oklahoma oil industry
Reuters
CAREY GILLAM

(Reuters) - Inside the small U-Haul rental office in Guthrie, Oklahoma, Tami Boxley routinely deals with something that once was rare: the rattling, booming roll of the earth. In the last week alone, residents of Guthrie, pop. 10,191, have felt five quakes rock the town a half hour's drive from Oklahoma City. The most recent rippled through Friday after lunchtime, duly recorded on the "QuakeWatch" application many residents have loaded onto their smartphones. The local newspaper runs a weekly column updating details of the latest quakes.  [Full Story]

Aug 9, 2014
Editorial: N.Y. can learn from Pa.'s fracking problems
Press Connects
Editorial

Pennsylvania's problems in regulating horizontal hydraulic fracturing provide important lessons for New York as it considers whether the controversial drilling method can be used in the state. The recent report by the Pennsylvania auditor general found the state was unprepared to oversee and enforce regulations on hydrofracking from 2009 through 2012, when thousands of oil and gas wells were drilled. That rapid growth left the state's Department of Environmental Protection unable to monitor drilling activity, track the disposal of drilling waste, respond to citizen complaints or protect water supplies.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Colorado's Frack-Free Movement Sacrificed for Democrats Facing Re-election
InsideClimate News
Zahra Hirji

Backed by a wall of suited supporters, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper proudly announced Monday that it was game-over for two popular anti-fracking state ballot initiatives. Among the supporters was Pete Maysmith, executive director of the green group Conservation Colorado. But notably absent from the Denver press conference, however, was the rest of the green scene—members of the state's dozens of environmental grassroots groups. Many had helped collect far more than the 86,105 signatures required to get the two fracking measures on the ballot by the Aug. 4 deadline. On Monday, they waited in their homes and offices to hear the good news—that the signatures numbering more than 250,000 combined–had officially been submitted. Instead, they heard that their long fight was suddenly over.   [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Village hears both sides of gas argument
Observer-Review


WATKINS GLEN-....Hector resident Rob Mackenzie also spoke to the board about how other companies around the country handled their safety issues, saying he calculated a risk of 40 percent over 25 years. He said Crestwood’s initial 2012 review was limited to studying the release of gas and their equipment. Mackenzie said it did not address the local risks of propane transportation by road or rail, the risks to the lake by salt brine, the frequency of leaks and explosions at other similar sites or geological concerns with the integrity of the salt caverns. Mackenzie said the frequency of incidents involving casualties was 20 times higher in salt caverns than it was in oil or gas fields. He said the tanker truck risks on a normal road is around 5 percent, but added it goes up to 10 percent when you factor in the steepness and sharp curves of the roads coming into the village. After listing several risks associated with similar projects, he said he recommended to Gov. Andrew Cuomo the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) they deny Crestwood the permit for this storage facility during a recent trip to Albany.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
UND professors map dramatic changes to western ND landscape
INFORUM
Anna Burleson

GRAND FORKS – University of North Dakota professor Sebastian Braun points at a satellite map of Fort Worth, Texas, with small white lines and dots splayed thickly across it like veins on the dark green land.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Christie vetoes bill aiming to ban fracking waste in NJ
The Star-Ledger
Brent Johnson

TRENTON — For the second time in two years, Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would have banned the dumping of fracking waste in New Jersey. Environmentalists and lawmakers from both parties had championed the measure, which would have prohibited companies from treating, discharging, disposing, and storing waste from hydraulic fracturing — the controversial practice of pumping water, sand, and chemicals deep underground to harvest natural gas.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Fracking in Fort Collins: 5 things to know
The Coloradoan
Ryan Maye Handy

After a district court judge struck down Fort Collins' five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing Thursday, city residents are left with a host of questions about the controversial oil and gas extraction process. While it's been years since a well was fracked within the oilfield that stretches into the city's northern edge, Fort Collins voters in November opted to halt the process while the city planned to study the health impacts of fracking. The courtroom defeat of the city's moratorium, paired with recent actions that will keep tighter proposed statewide regulations of oil and gas development off November ballots, effectively resets the debate over energy regulation in Fort Collins to where it was before last year's election.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
NJ lawmakers consider overriding Christie veto of ban on fracking waste
The Record


or the second time in two years, Governor Christie has vetoed a bill intended to ban the treatment and disposal of waste generated by a mining technique called hydraulic fracturing, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause. State Sen. Robert Gordon RECORD FILE PHOTO State Sen. Robert Gordon But this time, the state legislature had passed the bill with enough votes to indicate they could possibly hold another vote on the bill and override Christie’s veto.   [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Doddridge process server to handle complaints involving drilling industry
The Exponent Telegram
Darlene J. Swiger

WEST UNION — The Doddridge County Commission on Thursday approved creating the position of process server to address traffic complaints and other issues related to the oil-and-gas industry. “We have a lot of traffic complaints regarding the oil-and-gas industry. We wanted someone to patrol roads but couldn’t afford to hire a civil service deputy,” Commission President Ralph “Butch” Sandora said. “The Sheriff’s Department employee will work part-time. His job is to serve papers, follow up on complaints, and that will free up a deputy for major incidents.”  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Robinson Township amends zoning ordinance
Observer-Reporter
Emily Petsko

Robinson Township officials Thursday passed amendments to the zoning ordinance that in some ways will make it easier for Marcellus Shale companies to do business there. Immediately after a public hearing was held on the topic, the board voted 2-1 to change the process for considering oil and natural gas applications from a special exception process to a permitted use or conditional use process, depending on the district. In effect, power changes hands from the zoning board to the board of supervisors for all conditional use applications in commercial and special conservation districts. Supervisors can set reasonable conditions on those applications.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Oklahoma Earthquake Tied To Fracking Wastewater Draws First Lawsuit, Joins Growing Legal Effort In Arkansas, Texas
International Business Times
Maria Gallucci

Sandra Ladra was sitting in her Oklahoma home on a November morning in 2011 when the walls suddenly shook and her chimney toppled, sending bricks tumbling down on her legs. The earthquake, she later learned, was triggered by injections of oil-and-gas wastewater in a nearby well. Now, nearly three years later, Ladra is suing dozens of energy companies for the damages, seeking at least $75,000 to compensate for her injuries. The lawsuit, first reported by the Journal Record, is the first case related to the 2011 Prague earthquake, according to a search of county court records. It also joins the small but growing legal effort to link damaging earthquakes to wastewater injection wells used in drilling operations like fracking.   [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
China's Huge Shale-Gas Hopes Crash Into Mountainous Reality
Bloomberg Businessweek
Christina Larson

Tapping China’s vast shale-gas reserves has proved more difficult than government planners in Beijing once hoped. In 2012, China’s National Energy Administration projected that, by 2020, from 60 billion to 80 billion cubic meters (bcm) of domestic shale gas would be pumped annually. Earlier this week the country’s energy chief, Wu Xinxiong, slashed the goal in half, to 30 billion bcm by 2020. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China’s holds the world’s largest reserves of theoretically recoverable shale gas. But much of it is locked in mountainous regions in western China.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Man-Made Earthquakes Are Changing the Seismic Landscape
The Atlantic
ADRIENNE LAFRANCE

Scientists say fracking is part of why Oklahoma now rivals California in quake activity.   [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Jail Time for Boss Who Ordered Employees to Dump Fracking Waste in Ohio River
EcoWatch
Andrea Germanos

The owner of a Youngstown, Ohio-based company was sentenced on Tuesday to more than two years in prison for ordering his employees to repeatedly dump toxic fracking waste into a local waterway.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
What’s driving millions of dollars back into energy efficiency?
The Guardian
Chris Hummel

Four reasons energy efficiency financing is back - and here to stay  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
The corporatisation of US green energy: a double-edged sword worth billions
The Guardian
Peter Moskowitz

As tax breaks and incentives for renewable energy increase, corporations are entering the green energy landscape  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Wildfires Cause Nearly a Fifth of Manmade Carbon Emissions
Mother Jones
Alex Parks

Wildfires are raging around the western United States:  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Colorado's Frack-Free Movement Sacrificed for Democrats Facing Re-election
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

Political compromise delivers a sudden slap in the face for green groups behind two ballot initiatives, now derailed.   [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Colorado commission votes to pull lawsuit over Longmont oil, gas rule
The Denver Post
Mark Jeffe

Longmont's adoption of oil and gas rules was the opening shot in Colorado's battle over local control of drilling   [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Fracking slammed as ‘a threat to human health’
Advertiser & Review News
Tom Burton

Environmentalists have raised fears over how drilling for gas and oil will hit food, water and air quality in the region.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Green group labels Rep. Gardner ‘dirty denier’
The Hill
Timothy Cama

he NRDC Action Fund is targeting Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) for his positions on climate change and other environmental causes, calling him a “dirty denier.”   [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Update: Pipeline company bans survey crew for trespassing incidents; residents respond
Lancaster Online
AD CRABLE

Williams Partners has removed the survey crew that trespassed on at least five Martic Township properties Tuesday in laying out a proposed gas pipeline corridor. Williams spokeswoman Cindy Ivey, in an e-mail to Lancaster Newspapers, acknowledged that the trespassing incidents did happen as landowners had alleged on Wednesday. “Our investigations have revealed that the incident did occur despite our strict policies and thorough procedures to avoid trespassing on any properties that have not given our crews permission to survey,” Ivey said.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
State relies on oil train operators to self-report
Capital New York
SCOTT WALDMAN

ALBANY—The state does not independently monitor how much crude oil train operators transport through New York each day, instead allowing them to self-report the total, officials at three state agencies said. CSX and Canadian Pacific transport the crude through western New York and down from the North Country on a daily basis. Though it does not monitor how much is transported, the state does inspect the trains and crude offloading facilities at the Port of Albany, the state officials said. "We have to rely on the railroad—we have to hope they're telling us the truth," state Homeland Security commissioner Jerome Hauer said.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Green Billionaires Club? David Vitter Owns Stock in Coal Utilities Fighting EPA Carbon Rules
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

On July 30, the Republican minority of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, headed by Sen. David Vitter, released a report titled “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA.” Critics of the report say it is propaganda designed to skewer the Obama EPA and environmental philanthropists for “conspiring to help the environment.”   [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Judge Overturns Fort Collins Five-Year Fracking Ban
EcoNews
Stefanie Spear

A judge overturned Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing Thursday, making it the third big blow to efforts by grassroots groups and politicians working to ban fracking in communities throughout the state.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Fracking moves offshore to deepwater Gulf of Mexico, website reports
The Times Picayune
Jennifer Larino

Bloomberg reports energy companies are taking fracking operations offshore.  [Full Story]

Aug 8, 2014
Pipeline will likely lower property values, but not cancel home insurance
Nashoba Publishing
Kelly Carrion

PEPPERELL/TOWNSEND -- Residents in Groton, Pepperell and Townsend cite many reasons for opposing the natural-gas pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan. Among them are a belief that the pipeline will decrease the value of any property it passes through and that it will cancel or increase the cost of house insurance. According to Rich Douglas of L.F. Robbins Insurance, an insurance company that serves Pepperell and Townsend, residents will still be able to get home insurance at the same rate. "I don't think there will be any change," said Douglas. Dennis Murphy, the principal of Murphy Insurance in Groton, said, "I'm not sure it's going to have any effect. It has to be approved by the Commonwealth and the fire commission, so it would be safe," says Murphy.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
After Rancher's Death, Calls for Fracking Health Study Grow Stronger
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

Last month, Terry Greenwood, a Pennsylvania farmer whose water had been contaminated by fracking waste, died of cancer. He was 66 and the cause of death was a rare form of brain cancer. His death drew attention from around the globe in part because Mr. Greenwood was among the first farmers from his state to speak out against the gas industry during the early years of the state's shale gas rush.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
Colorado fracking opponents abandon political fight
Energy Voice
Rita Brown

Opponents on either side of the Colorado fracking debate have abandoned their posts to meet in the middle. The move brings an end to the industry showdown which threatened to curb the $30billion revenue generated through oil and gas exploration in the state.  [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
Stakes are high in fracking debate on Indian reservations
Washington Examiner
Zack Colman

For Native Americans, the debate over fracking on reservations is not much different from the arguments elsewhere. But the stakes are vastly higher. For many tribes in the United States, allowing hydraulic fracturing to drill for fossil fuels offers an economic boost in areas that have few options. But concerns about the damage it may do to the environment are compounded by centuries-old ties to the land.  [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
More Money for Geothermal Fracking
Roll Call
Randy Leonard

The Energy Department will provide $18 million for 32 advanced geothermal research projects, it announced Wednesday. The department will provide $10 million for 12 projects focused on enhanced geothermal systems – the process of using hydrofracturing techniques or other methods to create deep underground reservoirs in rock heated by the earth. The department also announced $4 million in funding to develop advanced liquid technology for capturing heat from rock to generate electricity as well as collecting valuable minerals like lithium from the geothermal brine brought to the surface.  [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
Transparency about fracking chemicals remains elusive
State Impact PA
Katie Colaneri

Today, FracFocus has records for more than 77,000 wells. Pennsylvania is one of 14 states requiring operators to use the website as part of their chemical disclosure laws, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. However, transparency about those chemicals remains elusive.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
BBC Pulls The Plug On Climate Change Deniers
DeSmogBlog
Farron Cousins

Corporate-controlled media outlets have figured out that debate, or more appropriately heated debate and confrontation, can generate larger audiences than a bunch of people sitting around a table agreeing with one another. And this can work for some topics, such as the best way to tackle immigration reform or how to reduce the federal budget deficit.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
New report: Pennsylvania prioritizes fracking at expense of law, health, environment Unprecedented investigation of gas permitting and operations statewide demonstrates that the rush to drill is undermining enforcement of regulations, protection of public
Earthworks


Washington, DC - The environmental and health impacts of gas development have been connected for the first time with a lack of state oversight on a site-by-site basis in a new report released by Earthworks. A year in the making, Blackout in the Gas Patch: How Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement documents and analyzes the permitting, oversight, and operational record of 135 wells and facilities in seven counties--and identifies the associated threats to water and air that are harming the health of nearby residents.  [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
Gas wells hearing set for September
Ellwood City Ledger
eric Poole

ELLWOOD CITY — A twice-postponed public hearing to discuss proposed gas wells in northwestern Lawrence County and southern Mercer County has been scheduled for next month.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
Unprecedented Investigation Finds PA Prioritizes Fracking at Expense of Health, Environment & Law
EcoWatch
Nicole D'Alessandro

Pennsylvania has been a hot spot for fracking—and many consequences of this from of gas drilling in the state have come to light, from social to health to environmental costs, as well as controversies, including contaminated drinking water in the town of Dimock, gag orders on doctors and victims, and the state health department’s enforced silence on the practice.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
Deep Water Fracking Next Frontier for Offshore Drilling
Bloomberg
David Wethe

Energy companies are taking their controversial fracking operations from the land to the sea -- to deep waters off the U.S., South American and African coasts.... Offshore fracking is a part of a broader industrywide strategy to make billion-dollar deep-sea developments pay off. The practice has been around for two decades yet only in the past few years have advances in technology and vast offshore discoveries combined to make large scale fracking feasible.   [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
APNewsBreak: Tribe wants fee on wasted natural gas
Yahoo News
JAMES MacPHERSON

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Tribal leaders on an American Indian reservation in the heart of North Dakota's booming oil patch are proposing fees for companies that burn and waste natural gas. The Three Affiliated Tribes outlined its plan to impose fees in a six-page document sent to oil companies. In it, the tribe said companies would be required to pay royalties for "flaring" natural gas to compensate for lost revenue when the gas isn't brought to market and sold. Oil production on the Fort Berthold Reservation accounts for about a third of the state's oil output of more than 1 million barrels a day, which has made North Dakota the second-largest oil producing state in the country behind Texas.  [Full Story]

Aug 7, 2014
Four Years Later, Systemic Failures That Led To Gas Pipeline Explosion Revealed
DeSmogBlog
Mike G

Last Monday, the mayor of San Bruno stood on the steps of the California Public Utilities Commission offices in San Francisco and called for a complete overhaul of the state agency, including the firing of key CPUC officials. The next day, a federal grand jury indicted PG&E on charges related to its handling of the 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno that destroyed 38 homes and killed eight people.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Don’t let pipelinepollute your land
Republican Herald
Faith Zerbe

On July 13, more than 1,000 people were in Washington, D.C., protesting liquid natural gas exports (liquefied natural gas) proposed for Maryland that would process and export liquid natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania on large ships. On Monday, 24 people, some from Pennsylvania, were arrested for sitting in at the headquarters of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is rubber-stamping a frenzy of fracked natural gas projects throughout the nation while not considering the full and complete environmental impact and community harm to these projects. On June 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit followed this same rationale with a precedent-setting decision. In Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the court held that the commission violated NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) when it reviewed a pipeline project separately from three other projects that together upgraded a large portion of continuous pipeline (http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=076c3bc1-87f0-42bb-bce2-61abe1fcee32). Under NEPA, federal agencies must consider the environmental effects of a proposed major action, like pipeline construction and gas drilling that fueled it, before allowing it to proceed.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Mendocino County supervisors approve fracking for ballot, but may face legal challenges Initiative, if OK'd by voters,
Daily Journal
Adam Randall

The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors voted to put fracking on the November ballot Tuesday, but some of the supervisors said it still may not officially make it.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Real Costs of Fracking and Plastic
Huffington Post
Cylvia Hayes

In a free market economic system the cost of goods and services greatly influences consumer choices and behaviors. A significant problem with our current economic model is that it does not account for the actual costs of many products. Two examples prompted me to write this piece. First is fracked fossil fuel. The technological breakthrough that has allowed for the extraction of oil and natural gas from unconventional sources has certainly reshaped the U.S. energy picture. Despite the additional energy and equipment required for the fracking process, these fossil fuels remains relatively inexpensive.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
$475 million gas processing plant announced
Marlow Review


Last week, ONEOK Partners, L.P. announced plans to construct a natural gas processing plant in Grady County immediately north of Marlow. Company officials say the construction will cost up to $240 million while related infrastructure will require up to an additional $230 million. Total project cost is expected to be up to $475 million.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Wyoming report: Pavillion gas wells properly drilled; more study needed
Casper Star Tribune
Benjamin Storrow

Natural gas wells in the Pavillion Gas Field were properly drilled and maintained, but more study is needed to prove if energy operations contaminated drinking water in the region, according to a draft report released by Wyoming regulators Wednesday.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Gas industry tries to revive case on fracking home rule
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

The trustee for a defunct oil-and-gas company is attempting a last-ditch effort to revive a lawsuit challenging hydraulic fracturing bans by local governments. TomWestHSThe state Court of Appeals in June ruled in favor of the towns of Dryden, Tompkins County, and Middlefield, Otsego County, which saw their local natural-gas-drilling bans challenged by pro-fracking interests. The ruling set a precedent allowing New York’s local governments to use zoning ordinances to ban fracking and gas drilling within their borders.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Pipeline dispute: Martic Township landowners accuse gas pipeline crews of trespassing
Lancaster Online
ernard Harris Ad Crable

B Some Martic Township residents on Wednesday accused survey crews working for gas pipeline builder Williams Partners of trespassing on their properties. Five landowners spoke at an evening press conference contending they returned home Tuesday to find stakes marked with plastic ribbons newly planted on their property. Each said their property is posted with "no trespassing" signs and none had given Williams permission to be on their property.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Natural gas leak forces brief closure of shipping along Delaware River
Daily Times
Tim Logue

A 75-minute natural gas leak at the bottom of the Delaware River prompted the brief closure of the shipping channel Mondaynight but inflicted nodamage to the waterway and required no remediation, according to environmental protection officials.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Vitter Pressures EPA Inspector General To Halt Fracking Inquiry
Environmental Working Group
Elizabeth Kerpon

It’s no secret that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) disparages much of what the Environmental Protection Agency does, and his frequent attacks have garnered him quite the reputation in the environmental community. Recently he took a shot at EPA’s Office of Inspector General for its decision to investigate the agency’s and state governments’ ability to oversee the potential water contamination risks that stem from hydraulic fracturing, the widespread gas and oil extraction technology otherwise known as fracking.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Watch: Will this be the first Texas city to ban fracking? In November, Denton will vote on whether to ban the controversial method, but is the city legally allowed to do that?
Aljazera America
Sarah Hoye

Located 40 miles north of Dallas, Denton sits atop the Barnett Shale, one of the largest natural gas deposits in the nation. The Barnett Shale is also home to the most intensive gas drilling operations ever attempted in an urban area. Now Bush is sandwiched between a gas well and a compressor station, and her family’s dream home has become a nightmare.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Fracking operation must rework application
Associated Press


COVINGTON, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Geological Survey has rendered invalid Helis Oil & Gas Co.'s application for an Army Corps of Engineers' wetlands permit for its proposed oil drilling and fracking project near Mandeville. The move means Helis must submit a revised application for which the public comment period would begin anew. Corps spokesman Rene Poche (POH'-shay) tells NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/1sbUIRP) Helis will have to show the Geological Survey that the drill site will be productive for oil development. He says the agency reviewed the permit application to determine the geological suitability for the proposed drilling. Poche says the new application must be submitted to the corps and to the state Department of Environmental Quality, from which Helis would need a water quality certification. ___ Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
UW Researcher: Too Many Unknowns About Fracking
Public News Service
Tim Morrissey

MADISON, Wis. - It may be a little too much of a gamble. The biological impacts of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" to release pockets of natural gas and petroleum from shale formations underground are still largely unknown, according to University of Wisconsin conservation fellow Sara Souther. In a report to be published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Souther wrote that there are too many things we don't know about the process. "We know that shale development is influencing the landscape in many ways, many of which could be detrimental," she said, "but we don't have the basic data that we need to really understand how those changes are affecting plants and wildlife." Wisconsin produces 75 percent of the sand used in fracking worldwide, and supporters of the process say sand-production jobs have been a boon to the state's economy. Fracking uses a mixture of high-pressure water and sand, and Souther said it's injected with a variety of chemicals. "We don't know what chemicals are in these hydraulic-fracturing fluids; they're not always disclosed," she said. "We don't have the basic data, essentially, to understand the impacts of shale development on our forests, grasslands, streams and rivers." Without more complete and accurate data about the chemicals being used, Souther said, researchers can't get a clear picture of their effects on plants, animals, air and groundwater. She said the past has taught scientists that the environmental impacts of large-scale resource extraction are greater than the sum of their parts. While there are many unknown aspects of fracking, Souther said, a number of things have become clear. "I think there's a critical point that most people don't understand is, shale development is really influencing our ecosystems right now," she said, "There is chemical contamination. There is habitat loss. There is water loss from aquifers and water basins." Her study identifies one of the greatest threats to animal and plant life as the cumulative impact of rapid, widespread shale development, as each well contributes collectively to air, water, noise and light pollution. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-08-06/environment/uw-researcher-too-many-unknowns-about-fracking/a40940-1#sthash.77XQvw2L.dpuf  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
AGL gets nod for CSG fracking in Gloucester
Camden Haven Courier
Peter Hannam

The Baird government has given energy giant AGL approval to conduct fracking of coal seam gas wells within a few hundred metres of homes. Energy Minister Anthony Roberts also renewed AGL’s petroleum exploration licence for the region near the Mid-North Coast of NSW for another six years after “rigorous assessment by the Office of Coal Seam Gas (OCSG)”. “The OCSG recommended the renewal of (the licence) due to AGL’s performance in relation to compliance, environmental performance, safety, its financial and technical capacity and its high level of community consultation,” Mr Roberts said in a statement. However, John Watts, a spokesman for local group Gloucester Groundswell, said community consultation had “been totally disregarded” in the approval process. AGL will be able to proceed with hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – of four existing wells close to homes “without proper scrutiny of the environment impacts”, Mr Watts said. “The community will now view that it has no alternative but to take some peaceful direct action” to prevent the drilling going ahead, he said. In a statement to the stock exchange, AGL chief executive Michael Fraser welcomed the approval for fracking at the Waukivory Pilot wells.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Colo. Democrats avoid fracking fight
Associated Press


DENVER Colorado Democrats avoided a politically costly fight over oil and gas drilling after a quid pro quo deal pitched by the state’s fracking-friendly governor prompted groups to drop their dueling ballot proposals. The cease-fire compromise from Gov. John Hickenlooper was announced with great fanfare at the state Capitol on Monday morning with U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a fellow Democrat who helped finance two initiatives that sought to limit hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. He agreed to back off his proposals, and groups pitching two pro-fracking proposals said later in the day they would end their campaigns as well. A ballot-battle over drilling had Democrats worried about the implications. Taking the issue to voters could have negatively impacted Democrats in November by increasing fundraising for Republicans who favor oil and gas development and possibly boosting GOP turnout. Hickenlooper is running for re-election, and incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is in a closely watched contest against Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner. The race could help determine control of the Senate. As a compromise to avoid the ballot fight, Hickenlooper said an 18-member task force would issue recommendations to the Colorado Legislature next year on how to minimize conflicts between residents and the energy industry. Polis said the governor’s announcement was “truly a victory for the people of Colorado and the movement to enact sensible protections and safeguards around fracking.” Backers of the two measures sympathetic to the industry also declared victory. - See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/aug/06/colo-democrats-avoid-fracking-fight/#sthash.M0e83IDh.dpuf  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Are Cancer Rates Elevated Near Texas Fracking Sites?
EcoNews
Tanja Srebotnjak

For the past four years, residents of Flower Mound—a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas—have been concerned about what they see as an unexplained rise in cancer diagnoses in their community. They wonder if pollution from the many new oil and gas operations nearby could be to blame. Unfortunately, the most recent update to the Texas Department of State Health Services’ investigation still fails to adequately evaluate residents’ concerns and they are left with many unanswered questions.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
State: Fracking waste tainted groundwater, soil at three Washington County sites
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

Leaks of fracking waste water from three impoundments in Washington County have contaminated soil and groundwater, prompting the state to issue a violation notice at one site and increase monitoring and testing at another. John Poister, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman, said the problems at three of Range Resources Inc.’s nine Washington County impoundments have raised concerns and increased regulators’ scrutiny. The impoundments store flowback and waste water from multiple Marcellus Shale well drilling and fracking operations.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Study: Top Fracking States Ignore Findings That Their Drinking Water Is At Risk
Media Matters
DENISE ROBBINS

Fracking Wastewater Injection Linked To Seismic Activity. The hydraulic fracturing process, or "fracking," involves pumping a mixture of fluid chemicals into the earth at a high pressure, creating horizontal fractures that release more oil or natural gas from the rock formations than from vertical drilling alone. The oil and gas industry commonly uses "deep injection wells," also known as "class II" wells, to dump untreated waste fluids after they are used. As the level of fracking production escalates, the wastewater injection process has also increased; it more than tripled from the first half to the second half of 2011, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. With the uptick in fracking comes emerging risks. Scientists have linked the process to seismic activity, specifically to a recent surge of more than 200 earthquakes in Oklahoma so far this year, some of which have been disastrous. [NPR, accessed 8/6/14; Natural Resources Defense Council, May 2012; Scientific American, 7/3/14] This Process Poses A Threat To Drinking Water; California Already Shut Down 11 Wastewater Wells. On July 3, California officials ordered 11 oil and gas waste disposal wells to be shut down anddozensof others to be reviewed out of concern that they may be polluting California's drinking water aquifers. Further, ProPublica investigated over 700,000 wastewater injection wells in 2012 and found that they were "often poorly regulated and experienced high rates of failure, outcomes that were likely polluting underground water supplies that are supposed to be protected by federal law":  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Anatomy of an Industry Front Group How the oil and gas industry runs the show at the Center for Sustainable Shale Development
Public Accountability Initiative


Executive Summry: Last year, the Public Accountability Initiative (PAI) published “Big Green Fracking Machine,” a report on the Center for Sustainable Shale Development, a body created to certify drillers as environmentally sustainable, and its ties to the oil and gas industry. Billed in the press as a collaboration between environmentalists, philanthropists and gas drillers working toward the shared goal of improving the industry’s environmental record, we found that the group bore the hallmarks of a public relations campaign meant to “greenwash” gas drilling.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Sand mines are latest fracking concern
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The backlash against sand used in fracking operations should be a warning to countries looking to replicate North American success, an opposition group said. Energy companies in North America use a silica crystal during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations. The practice involves water mixed with the fine particles and trace amounts of chemicals to create fissures in shale that release trapped oil and gas deposits.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Higher Pacific temperatures bring monsoons to Southland
LA Times
Louis Sahagun, Matt Hansen, Joseph Serna

Flash floods, wilting heat and lightning on the beach. It's monsoon season in a place that's not supposed to have one. Changes in ocean temperature thousands of miles away have delivered Arizona-style summer weather to Southern California, driving up humidity and causing sporadic destruction. Warm equatorial water in the Pacific, from mainland Mexico to Peru, normally pumps monsoonal air up the Sea of Cortez into the Southwest, with mountains blocking it from the coastal plains of Southern California. But this year, the ocean temperatures are higher than normal, climatologists say, producing a more powerful "tropical wave" that made it all the way to the coast. A week after lightning strikes killed one person at Venice Beach, tropical conditions sent flash floods roaring through the San Bernardino Mountains on Sunday afternoon, causing the death of a motorist near Mt. Baldy.  [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
Japanese red cedars to replace Britain's traditional oaks in fight against climate change
The Telegraph
Claire Carter

Trees from America, Japan and southern Europe will be planted in Britain's forests to avoid them shrinking by 40 per cent by 2080 because of climate change Japanese red cedar, giant redwoods and trees from the continent will replace oaks and pines in Britain’s forests as woodlands must adapt to climate change to survive, a study suggests. Species of trees grown in the UK in the Victorian era are also set to return as foresters work to ensure Britain’s woods can survive rising temperatures, frequent droughts and diseases. Experts have warned if nothing is done to change the composition of Britain’s woodlands by 2080, forest production could decrease by more than 40 per cent as current trees struggle to survive.   [Full Story]

Aug 6, 2014
DEP report faults human error in fatal Greene County well explosion
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Molly Born

Human error by an inexperienced natural gas well worker likely led to a February explosion and fatal fire on a Marcellus Shale well site in Greene County, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said today. The findings were part of a report (explore below) released today, following a months-long DEP investigation into the incident on the Chevron Corp.-owned well site in Dunkard that resulted in the death of 27-year-old contractor Ian McKee.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
It's fracking dangerous: practice "poses real problems for our health and environment"
The Mirror
Maurice Fitzmaurice

Fracking could unleash health and environmental disasters while failing to deliver the promised economic boom, reports claimed yesterday Research by US and British scientists and medics warns of potentially lasting damage to tourism and agriculture while bringing only short-term jobs and doing little to cut long-term energy costs. One of the reports, from the Scientists for Global Responsibility and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and published last month, concluded by saying “confidence” in fracking “is undermined by a series of disingenuous claims made by both the Government and industry”. It added: “Virtually all economic analysts refute the claim that fracking will reduce energy bills in the UK. Instead, it will lock us into continued reliance on fossil fuels and the increasingly volatile and expensive international gas market.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Deal will keep fracking battle off Colorado ballot
Chicago Tribune
Maeve Reston

Supporters of two Colorado ballot measures that would have curbed fracking in the state announced late Monday they were standing down, averting an expensive election-year fight that was creating uncertainty in both the governor’s and Senate races. On Monday morning, hours before the deadline to turn in the 86,105 signatures needed to qualify the initiatives for the ballot, the chief proponent and a leading foe unveiled a deal. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who feared the initiatives could harm the economy, and Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, who championed and helped finance the measures, announced a compromise to keep them off the ballot.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
The Biggest Threat from Fracking: We Don't Even Know
Rodale News
JULIA MERZ

U.S. natural gas production has increased 700 percent since 2007. While natural gas promises to be a cleaner burning fuel, new research published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment points out that we don't really know a whole lot about the ultimate impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." "We can't let shale development outpace our understanding if its environmental impacts," says Morgan Tingley, PhD, postdoctoral research associate with Princeton's program in science, technology, and environmental policy. "The past has taught us that the environmental impacts of large-scale development and resource extraction, whether coal plants, large dams, or biofuel monocultures, are more than the sum of their parts."   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
NC officials seek comment on fracking rules
Mountain Express
Susan Foster

After passage of the Energy Modernization Act in June opened the door to fracking in North Carolina, the state’s Mining and Energy Commission is accepting public comment through Sept. 15 on the draft rules for regulating the controversial practice. The law, which lifted the moratorium on fracking enacted in 2012, also prohibits disclosure of chemicals used in the process and bars local governments from banning it. Fracking, in which large amounts of water, sand and chemicals are injected into shale formations to extract natural gas or oil, is exempt from federal Clean Water Act regulations.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
What's fueling the fracking boom? Debt.
Christian Science Monitor
Nick Cunningham

Major oil and gas companies are taking on an increasing share of debt in order to maintain drilling momentum, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. Beginning around 2010, energy companies have been increasing their spending, particularly in the United States, as the tight oil revolution took off. Major firms snatched up acreage in oil-rich shale formations like the Bakken and the Eagle Ford and began drilling at a frenzied pace.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Man who dumped fracking waste into river gets prison term
wkyc


CLEVELAND -- The owner of a Youngstown-based company was sentenced to more than two years in prison for violating the Clean Water Act by dumping fracking waste into a tributary of the Mahoning River, said Steven M. Dettelbach, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Benedict W. Lupo, 64, of Poland, Ohio, was found guilty earlier this year of one count of making an un-permitted discharge.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
NE Ohio man gets 28 months in prison for illegal dumping of fluids from drilling operations
Daily Reporter via AP
Mark Gillispie

CLEVELAND — The owner of a northeast Ohio business that collected and stored toxic fluids from oil and gas drilling operations was sentenced Tuesday in Cleveland to 28 months in federal prison and fined $25,000. Ben Lupo, 64, of Poland, Ohio, had hoped to receive probation or home detention because of his various physical ailments. His attorneys said he had a kidney transplant in 2010 and receives dialysis five days a week. Prosecutors had asked for 36 months and a $250,000 fine. "Clean air and fresh water is the birthright of every man, woman and child in this state," U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said in a statement after the sentencing. "Intentionally breaking environmental laws is not the cost of doing business, it's going to cost business owners their freedom."  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Safety at natural gas drilling site is key
Lancaster Online
Editorial

A performance audit by the state auditor general’s office has set environmental regulators back on their heels. The 150-plus page report says the state Department of Environmental Protection has failed to adequately monitor drilling sites or provide clear and timely information to citizens about natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
The Climate Implications of U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG, Exports
Resources for the Future
Gwynne Taraska and Darryl Banks

As the expansion of shale gas production has positioned the United States to become a potential net exporter of natural gas, the overall effect that increased exports would have on the climate has been in dispute. Many aspects of an increased natural gas exports scenario would affect emissions. On the one hand, natural gas could partially displace the use of coal overseas in the generation of electricity. This would put downward pressure on emissions, as natural gas plants on average emit approximately 50 percent less carbon dioxide, or CO2, than coal plants.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Oil Companies Are Funding Mysterious Angolan Research Center That May Not Exist
Huffington Post
Kate Sheppard

WASHINGTON –- Oil companies BP and Cobalt International Energy agreed in December 2011 to provide $350 million to construct a research institute in Angola, as a condition of gaining drilling rights for an offshore block of the African country's coast. So far, the companies have paid half that amount -- but there's no evidence the project actually exists. The United Kingdom-based nonprofit Global Witness flagged the project in a report released Tuesday, as leaders of African nations are in Washington for a summit with U.S. officials. The payments, the group says, show the need for greater transparency in oil and gas industry transactions abroad, particularly in regions with a history of corruption.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Will Natural Gas Secure A Cleaner Energy Future? Not With Rogue Methane Leaks, Report Finds
Huffington Post
Research Report by Climate Central

If President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is going to work, lots of things will have to fall into place. Perhaps the most important is the reduction in greenhouse gases that is expected from increased use of natural gas to generate electricity. Under the plan, which aims to reduce electricity sector emissions by 30 percent by 2030, the EPA projects that coal-fired power will drop more than a quarter from its current 40 percent share of U.S. electricity generation. Most scenarios project that natural gas will pick up the majority of that gap. The generally accepted climate benefit of natural gas is that it emits about half as much CO2 as coal per kilowatt-hour generated. But this measure of climate impact applies only to combustion, it does not include methane leaks, which can dramatically alter the equation. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that forces about 80 times more global warming than carbon dioxide in its first 20 years in the atmosphere. Methane’s warming power declines to roughly 30 times CO2 after about 100 years.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Colorado deal could kill fracking ballot measures
Politico
Alex Guillen

COLORADO DEAL COULD KILL FRACKING BALLOT MEASURES: Colorado Democrats proposed a last-minute deal on Monday to kill anti-fracking ballot measures that had posed a political threat to Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall. Under the deal with Hickenlooper, Democrat Rep. Jared Polis Polis agreed to withdraw his support for the two anti-fracking ballot initiatives he had helped push in return for the creation of a task force that will issue recommendations to the state legislature. Hickenlooper, who opposed the anti-fracking initiatives, and Polis also called for the withdrawal of two industry-backed pro-fracking ballot initiatives. But so far, proponents of the ballot initiatives have not pulled them from consideration, possibly deflating any deal. Darren Goode has details for Pros:  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Social media providing fracking 'facts'
Fierce Energy
Barbara Vergetis Lundin

We are all too painfully familiar with the controversies surrounding hydraulic fracturing (fracking), but did you ever think about the digital ramifications of fracking? Makovsky & Company Inc., a global integrated communications consultancy, has and details its digital insights in a new report.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
NS: Nova Scotia’s fracking pioneer doubtful province will lift ban
Daily Business Buzz
Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press

[HALIFAX, NS] – The man who pioneered hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia says he doesn’t expect the province to lift a two-year moratorium on the contentious practice, mainly because the government is afraid of upsetting a vocal but misinformed minority. Peter Hill, chair of Denver-based Triangle Petroleum, says the industry could spur Nova Scotia’s stalled economy and reduce its reliance on polluting, coal-fired plants, but he believes fear-mongering by outspoken critics has spooked the province’s politicians.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Colorado Democrats Bury Fracking Fight
Oil Change International
Andy Rowell

Just when fracking was due to take centre stage in Colorado’s November elections, two of the State’s top Democrats have agreed to a compromise deal, which you could argue will leave Colorado’s communities unprotected on the front-line of the fracking boom. The deal means that a pair of controversial anti-fracking ballots, which the party feared would undermine its chances in the November Senate elections, have now been dropped. The Colorado race is seen as important nationally as it might determine overall control of the Senate.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Rockingham residents drilling for fracking facts
Times News
McClatchy News Service

Residents along the Dan River overcame a coal ash spill Feb. 2, and now those same people are worrying about another possible threat to their beloved waterway — fracking. Energy companies have announced plans to mine a portion of western Rockingham County for methane gas by using fracking in the next year, and officials are moving quickly to make that process a reality. Two years ago, the General Assembly legalized hydraulic fracturing or fracking, but the practice won’t begin until the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission establishes a set of rules. Rockingham County Commissioner Keith Duncan serves on that commission.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
As fracking expands in the UK, so does resistance
waging nonviolence
Kate Aronoff

As of last week, energy companies will once again be invited to explore and bid on shale gas reserves in the United Kingdom. Under “exceptional circumstances,” they can even submit applications to drill in national parks and world heritage sites. The decision lifts a three-year, nationwide ban on new licenses, and has prompted a range of responses from British anti-fracking organizers. Clare Welton, an organizer with Fuel Poverty Action, connects this most recent news with broader austerity measures around services like healthcare and education. “First, the national government hugely cut local councils’ budgets and now it’s essentially bribing them to take up fracking by offering lump sums of money,” she said.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Fracking Creates Hot Commodity: Sand
newser
Polly Davis Doig

(NEWSER) – The demand for sand is booming, and while you'll find it in cell phones and solar panels, the real beast driving up prices is the rather controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, which mixes sand with water and chemicals and pumps it underground to force out natural gas. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the fracking industry is a behemoth consumer, expected to gobble some 95 billion pounds of sand this year alone; that's up 30% over 2013 and a 50% hike over a forecast from just last year.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Wetlands permit application for St. Tammany fracking operation ruled invalid
Times Picayune
Robert Rhoden

The Louisiana Geological Survey has rendered invalid Helis Oil & Gas Co.'s application for an Army Corps of Engineers' wetlands permit for its proposed oil drilling and fracking project near Mandeville, the corps said Tuesday (Aug. 5). The move means Helis must submit a revised application for which the public comment period would begin anew. Helis will have to show the Geological Survey that the drill site will be productive for oil development, corps spokesman Rene Poche said. The agency reviewed the permit application to determine the geological suitability for the proposed drilling, he said. The Louisiana Geological Survey, a component of the LSU Office of Research and Economic Development, provides regulatory technical assistance to the corps  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Napthine vows: no fracking on my watch
The Standard
Everard Himmelreich

Fracking will not take place in Victoria under a Coalition government, according to Premier Denis Napthine. Speaking after a meeting in Hamilton yesterday with anti-fracking groups from western Victoria, Dr Napthine said a lot more research was needed on fracking’s impact on underground water supplies before his government would approve the practice.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Natural gas: Massachusetts is ground zero for Northeast's pipeline fight
Alaska Dispatch News
Gram Slattery

Tom Clark, whose family has battled bugs, hungry deer, and early frosts for nearly a century in their peach and apple orchards in the rural western Massachusetts town of Deerfield, now faces a new foe in this area: the natural gas industry. The Clarkdale Farm sits on terraced hillsides on the route of a proposed 180-mile pipeline to be constructed as early as 2018, running from eastern New York to a transmission hub in the Bay State’s northeastern corner. The pipeline, which will carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale Fields across the seam of northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, is drawing intense fire from local landowners, environmental activists, and concerned citizens across the region. They say the construction of new fossil-fuels infrastructure is a step in the wrong direction in an era of increased wind, solar, and hydropower. They also say the pipeline, which will open up a 50-foot-wide gash across Massachusetts, will harm the state’s most pristine forests and increasingly scarce farmlands.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Safety Deeply Embedded In Pipeline, Hazardous Transport Oversight
insurancenews.net
Karen O'Hara

In 2010, two tragic events - a million-gallon crude oil spill near Marshall, MI and a natural gas explosion in a San Bruno, CA neighborhood - occurred within two weeks of each other, focusing the nation's attention on pipeline safety. In both instances, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators cited weak regulations and inadequate oversight by the federal Department of Transportation'sPipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as contributing factors.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Westchester lawmakers call for stricter review process for gas pipeline expansion
Mid Hudson News


WHITE PLAINS – The Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a resolution on Monday calling for a stricter review process and full risk assessments pertaining to the proposed expansion of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline through the county. The line is owned by Houston-based Spectra Gas Corporation. Legislator Catherine Parker, chairwoman of the Environment and Energy Committee, said they have a number of concerns about the pipeline. “Spectra is going to be replacing their 26-inch pipe with a 42-inch pipe that is 1,000 feet away from Indian Point nuclear power plant,” Parker said. “It is going to be crossing two of the seismic fault lines and the gas that is coming through the pipeline and just as a highway to bring gas up to New England. The gas is actually being supplied from Pennsylvania Marcellus shale, and has a very high percentage of radon in the pipeline.”  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Atlantic Sunrise pipeline to take Marcellus gas southeast
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Stephanie Ritenbaugh

A proposed 178-mile pipeline in northeastern Pennsylvania that aims to connect Marcellus Shale production to the Mid-Atlantic and southeast is advancing. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it is preparing an environmental impact statement for the proposed Atlantic Sunrise expansion project. The pipeline, proposed by Tulsa-based midstream company Williams, will connect to the company’s Transcontinental Gas Pipeline (Transco), a 10,200-mile, 10.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) natural gas system that spans South Texas to New York City. The 1.7 Bcf/d Atlantic Sunrise project will include construction in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Leaked EPA Draft Offers Insight Into Upcoming Shale Wastewater Regulations
mondaq.com
Emily V Myers

The rapid expansion of shale drilling in recent years has brought with it an increase in the wastewater that is generated during the fracking process. One fracking well can produce over one million gallons of wastewater in a year. In March of 2011, the EPA released "Natural Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale: NPDES Program Frequently Asked Questions," which explained that because natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale can result in direct and indirect discharges into waters of the United States, those operations are subject to requirements under the Clean Water Act. However, aside from the Clean Water Act requirements, shale drilling was largely exempt from EPA regulation. In response to public concern about the effect of fracking wastewater on human health and the environment, the EPA released a statement in October of 2011 announcing that by 2014, it would propose standards that shale gas wastewater would have to meet before going to a treatment facility. A draft of the rules was recently leaked, and shows the EPA's proposed guidelines on water quality limits, removal of pollutants, and permits for treatment of discharged shale wastewater.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Drilling outpaces scientific studies of fracking, report says
Ohio.com via Bloomberg News
Bob Downing

From Bloomberg News: By Jeremy Hainsworth Bloomberg BNA -- Scientific understanding of the effects of hydraulic fracturing and other methods of extracting natural gas from shale rock has not kept pace with the rapid expansion of the industry in North America, leaving researchers with a limited grasp of what drilling could be doing to wildlife and plants, said a study published July 31. The study in the peer-reviewed journal “Frontiers in Ecology” involved several U.S. and Canadian conservation biologists and organizations, and was led by British Columbia's Simon Fraser University. “Biotic Impacts of Energy Development From Shale: Research Priorities and Knowledge Gaps” said shale development can contaminate surface and groundwater, cause localized pollution and ultimately emit greenhouse gases that lead to climate change.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Corps of Engineers puts fracking permit on hold
wwltv.com
Monica Hernandez

ST. TAMMANY -- The Corps of Engineers has said it will not issue a permit for a controversial fracking well at a site along Hwy. 1088 in St. Tammany Parish. The decision comes after a geological survey on the site of the proposed Helis Oil and Gas drilling well pad, said Corps spokesman Ricky Boyett. The Corps also took public comment into consideration, which included environmental concerns from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Helis can submit an application for an exploratory well to show whether there is oil on the site, said Boyett.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
La. flood board begins legal challenge of law blocking lawsuit over coastal oil, gas drilling
Daily Journal via AP
Kevin McGill

NEW ORLEANS — A south Louisiana flood authority is fighting a new state law aimed at retroactively killing a lawsuit filed last year over coastal damage attributed to oil and gas drilling. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East argues in federal court papers filed Tuesday that the law cannot be used to block the lawsuit, which the authority filed in 2013 against more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies. Lawyers for the flood authority are seeking a judge's ruling upholding their assertion that the bill was so badly drafted during the legislative process that it doesn't achieve the stated aim of its backers.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Flash fire burns four people; methane contamination in water source possible cause
Mineral Wells Index
TODD GLASSCOCK

ORAN – A flash fire in a well house Saturday sent four people to area hospitals with burns. Palo Pinto County Fire Marshal Larry O'Neil said a family of four near Oran was injured by a fire that flared up in their well house. Cody Murray, who was airlifted by helicopter to Parkland Burn Unit in Dallas, remained in fair condition at the hospital, according to hospital officials. Ashley Murray and her 4-year-old daughter, Alyssa, were airlifted to Cooks Children's Hospital in Fort Worth; and James Murray was taken by ambulance to Palo Pinto General Hospital, O'Neil said. A spokesman at Cook's was unable to provide condition reports on Alyssa Murray and Ashley Murray. O'Neil said the family saw water running out of the well house and went to investigate and found the well casing engulfed in flames. The fire's cause was not known, he said, but there is a possibility methane had contaminated the water and had contact with something that caused the gas to ignite.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Environmental Alert: "EPA's Inspector General Says EPA Must Improve Efforts regarding Methane Emissions from Pipelines"
JDSupra
Ragna Henrichs, Ashley Prieto, James Smith

On July 25, 2014, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines.” In this report, OIG cited President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, especially the portion of the plan that estimates methane as causing 9% of domestic greenhouse emissions, due to methane’s global warming potential of 20-25 times that of carbon dioxide.  [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
FERC Should Mull Texas LNG Project's Enviro Effects: EPA
LAW360
Keith Goldberg

Law360, New York (August 05, 2014, 5:16 PM ET) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday raised red flags over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental review of Cheniere Energy Inc.’s proposed liquefied natural gas export project near Corpus Christi, Texas, suggesting that the commission include a cradle-to-grave analysis of the LNG project's greenhouse gas effects. FERC issued its draft environmental impact statement for the Corpus Christi project in June. But the EPA regional office covering Texas and four surrounding states encouraged the agency to consider the environmental impacts of increased gas production as a...   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
New Report Reveals Solar Capacity in New York Grew 30% in 2013
Yonkers Tribune
HEZI ARIS

YONKERS, NY – August 5, 2014 — The Environment New York Research & Policy Center today released a new report: “Lighting the Way” showing strong solar growth across the nation including a 30%increase in New York in 2013. The report emphasizes that it is not availability of sunlight that makes states solar leaders, but the degree to which state and local governments have created effective public policy to help capture the virtually unlimited and pollution-free energy from the sun. New York’s progress on solar has helped fuel a surge in availability of solar energy nationwide between 2011 and 2013. In 2013, solar capacity in New York grew from 175 MW to 250 MW.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
‘Time in New England’ - Resolving the Gas Vs. Hydro Debate
RBN Energy
Housley Carr

The New England states and ISO-New England, which manages the region’s electric grid, are taking steps to keep the lights on during polar vortex events until new natural gas pipeline capacity through New England comes online. They also are making progress on an effort to have electric customers pay to help support new pipeline capacity developed specifically to serve gas-fired units. But while new gas-fired generation is being built in the region to replace older coal (and nuclear) capacity being retired, gas’s role in New England electricity production may well be stymied by a push to import large amounts of eastern Canadian hydroelectric power. Today we examine how New England is playing gas against hydro, and how the outlook for gas consumption by generators may be less bullish than some think.   [Full Story]

Aug 5, 2014
Fracking Compromise May Create a Bigger Fight in 2016
CBS Denver
Dominic Dezzutti

Governor John Hickenlooper earned the headlines and praise he received this week after the compromise he crafted ended the fracking battle on the 2014 Colorado ballot. Hickenlooper could have turned back many times, but he finally brought together the very motley crew of odd bedfellows that was required to craft this 11th hour compromise.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
In San Bruno Gas Blast Case, Cozy Emails Between Judge and Defendant
InsideClimate News
Elizabeth Douglass

The release last week of possibly improper emails between a utility and the California Public Utilities Commission has caused further damage to the credibility of the state's energy regulator and sparked a renewed push to oust the commission's powerful longtime president. The mounting crisis of confidence at one of the nation's most influential state utility commissions comes as communities around the country are demanding more transparency and accountability from the regulators who oversee pipelines, oil and gas hydraulic fracturing wells and oil-filled trains.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Ad campaign blames ‘activist lawyers,’ bad science for looming grouse listing
WyoFile
Scott Streater

An oil and gas industry group has launched an advertising campaign warning that a federal endangered listing for the greater sage grouse would have dramatic economic impacts across the West and undermine already effective state and local conservation programs. The ad campaign orchestrated by the Denver-based Western Energy Alliance also blames “activist lawyers” representing environmental groups for a legal settlement that requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to decide whether to propose listing the grouse by September 2015, before state and local plans have had a chance to fully make a difference. Fish and Wildlife in 2011 agreed to a settlement with WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity that requires FWS to issue binding listing determinations for roughly 250 candidate species through 2018.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
New Drilling Largely Driven By Debt
oilprice.com
Nick Cunningham

Major oil and gas companies are taking on an increasing share of debt in order to maintain drilling momentum, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Beginning around 2010, energy companies have been increasing their spending, particularly in the United States, as the tight oil revolution took off. Major firms snatched up acreage in oil-rich shale formations like the Bakken and the Eagle Ford and began drilling at a frenzied pace. The significant outlays required to ramp up such an operation were offset by the rising price of oil, which allowed oil companies to expand their operations without having to take on substantial volumes of debt  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
No fracking vote "a step in the right direction", says mayor
Northern Star


KYOGLE Mayor Danielle Mulholland says she is disappointed, but understanding that a council motion to endorse revoking all gas exploration licences on the Northern Rivers was watered-down. The original motion, moved at Kyogle Council's meeting on July 14, proposed that the council ask the NSW Government to revoke all PELs and ban any gas field activity in the region. An amended motion was proposed and passed instead, which opposed fracking, and passed eight votes to one, with Cr Maggie Creedy voting against.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Water engineer takes the reins at the Delaware River Basin Commission
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

The Delaware River Basin Commission, the agency that oversees the water supply for more than 15 million people in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware has a new director. In recent years the DRBC has found itself in the eye of the storm over natural gas drilling in eastern Pennsylvania. The new executive director, Steve Tambini, is an environmental engineer who comes from the water utility sector. His recent gig was with Pennsylvania American Water, and he says he’s spent his 30-year career as a water supply engineer primarily in New York and New Jersey. Tambini says his role at the DRBC is to focus on planning to insure supply meets demand.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Colorado Deal Would Keep Fracking Off Ballot Democratic Rep. Polis Will Back Effort by Gov. Hickenlooper for New Advisory Commission
Wall Street Journal
Amy Harder & Dan Frosch

COLORADO FRACKING DEAL -- Amy Harder and Dan Frosch of the Wall Street Journal report that after weeks of intense politicking over the future of hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, Democrats in that state announced a deal that seeks to alleviate much of the back and forth over a series of ballot initiatives being pushed alternatively by environmentalists and pro-fracking groups. “Under the deal, Rep. Jared Polis will drop his support for a pair of ballot initiatives that would limit fracking, even though Mr. Polis has already spent millions of dollars of his own money on the effort. Mr. Polis instead will support a new plan from Governor John Hickenlooper to form a commission to make recommendations to the state legislature on the best ways to address residents' concerns about oil and natural-gas drilling, a compromise that the governor had been seeking for several months.”  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Two Colorado Democrats Reach A Deal On Fracking
ThinkProgress
KATIE VALENTINE

wo Colorado Democrats announced a deal Monday over fracking in the state, an agreement that means Rep. Jared Polis will withdraw his support of two ballot initiatives that would curb fracking in the state, while Governor John Hickenlooper will attempt to get a state oil and gas agency to abandon a lawsuit against a city in Colorado that banned fracking. One of the ballot measures would have required drilling rigs to be located 2,000 feet or more from homes, and the other would have inserted an “environmental bill of rights” into Colorado’s constitution. Polis previously supported the measures, spending millions of dollars to help keep them afloat. The lawsuit that Hickenlooper will seek to discard involves the Colorado Oil & Gas Association suing Fort Collins and Lafayette over their fracking bans, and attempts to block the bans completely.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Deal will keep fracking battle off Colorado ballot
Los Angeles Times
Maeve Reston

Supporters of two Colorado ballot measures that would have curbed fracking in the state announced late Monday they were standing down, averting an expensive election-year fight that was creating uncertainty in both the governor's and Senate races.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Natural gas: Massachusetts is ground zero for Northeast's pipeline fight
Christian Science Monitor
Gram Slattery

They say the construction of new fossil-fuels infrastructure is a step in the wrong direction in an era of increased wind, solar, and hydropower. They also say the pipeline, which will open up a 50-foot-wide gash across Massachusetts, will harm the state’s most pristine forests and increasingly scarce farmlands.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Hurley under mounting pressure to ban fracking
Daily Freeman
William J. Kemble

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing are ramping up the call for the Town Board to institute a ban on the controversial gas-drilling process and associated activities.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Experts will testify in fracking case sentencing
SF Gate


CLEVELAND (AP) — Testimony of several experts are expected highlight a sentencing hearing for the owner of a northeast Ohio oil and gas drilling company accused of dumping large amounts of toxic brine down a storm sewer and into a creek that feeds the Mahoning River. Federal prosecutors are seeking a three-year sentence and a $250,000 fine for 64-year-old Ben Lupo when he is sentenced on Tuesday in federal court in Cleveland.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Gerry Adams visits anti-fracking protest camp
The Impartial Reporter


SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams has called on Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan to ensure that Tamboran’s borehole is subject to a full and rigorous planning process, including a statutory environmental impact assessment, adding that Mr. Durkan is “the first line of defence against fracking.”.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Fracking's Untold Health Threat: How Toxic Contamination Is Destroying Lives
Inside Climate News
Lindsay Abrams

If we’re going to talk about fracking, we can’t just talk about energy independence, or the economy, or the potential for natural gas to act as a “bridge fuel” to help solve the global warming crisis. We also need to talk about the effect that hydraulic fracturing is having on the communities where it’s taking place, and to ask whether that cost — to people’s health and property — is too high.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Report calls for more intensive research on fracking
Denver Business Journal
Caitlin Hendee

Scientists are calling for more research on the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing as using it as a means to obtain natural gas continues to grow. That's according to a report released Monday in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, written by a team of eight conservation biologists.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Teachout campaigns in Sullivan Says Cuomo's response to ethics allegations 'amateurish'
Times Herald Record
Paul Brooks

CALLICOON CENTER — Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout said Sunday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign if allegations of ethical lapses against his administration prove true. Teachout on the issues Teacher tenure: "The key for high quality teachers is a strong mentoring program." Casinos: "The deal is done for some of these. In the long term, it is not the direction we should be going." Economic development: A sampler - support for small family farms, small businesses, broadband for all, agri-tourism, transportation and infrastructure work. "Big business should pay their fair share." Ethics: "We want to break up the old-boy network." Fracking: "We have to ban fracking and move to renewable power." Tax cap: "We should not have a tax cap. It takes away the power of communities to make their own decisions." "He is crumbling, and his response to the pretty scorching New York Times article has been amateurish," Teachout said by phone Sunday.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Makovsky Report: Fracking Is One Of The Three Most Important U.S. Environmental Issues
Nassau News Live


WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2014 /Nassau News Live/ — Makovsky, one of the nation’s leading global integrated communications consultancies, released today a new report providing digital insights into the controversial issue of hydrofracturing (fracking). Survey data in the report shows that 57% of U.S. consumers believe that fracking is one of the three most important environmental issues today. Furthermore, 71% of the survey’s respondents say they hear about the issue at least every week and 79% say they hear about it primarily from social media  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Home of fracking site guard attacked in Co Fermanagh: Petrol bombs thrown
Belfast Telegraph
Cate McCurry

The home of a security guard at a controversial potential fracking site in Co Fermanagh is believed to have been targeted in a petrol bomb attack. Police in Enniskillen have appealed for information following the attack in Letterbreen shortly before 3.30am yesterday.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
As Ballot Deadline Looms, A Muddied Debate Over Colo. Fracking
NPR
Grace Hood

It's a refrain many in the state have grown to loathe this summer — heard outside their favorite grocery store or shopping mall as signature gatherers race toward an Aug. 4 deadline to put four energy-related measures on the November ballot. With two of those measures backed by environmentalists, and the other two by industry-supported groups, all of the energy talk is leading to confusion among potential voters.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Sand Mining Takes Toll on Wisconsin As Fracking Escalates Nationwide
EcoWatch
SkyTruth

Where is all the sand coming from? As you might expect, Texas is one place where sand-mining is booming. But surprisingly, most of this sand comes from a place more famously associated with beer and brauts: Wisconsin. The rapid proliferation of sand-mining operations is getting a lot of attention there and raising concerns about public health and safety, property values, quality of life and environmental impacts.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Ballot Fight on Drilling Is Avoided in Colorado
The New York Times
Jack Healy

DENVER — Seeking to head off a costly election-year fight over oil and gas drilling that could threaten vulnerable Colorado Democrats, Gov. John W. Hickenlooper said Monday that he had reached a deal to keep two antifracking measures off November’s ballots. The fight over fracking in a swing state that prizes its natural beauty and relies on its energy resources for jobs and tax revenues has become a monthslong headache for Democratic leaders, opening fissures within the party and between pro-energy moderates and environmental groups that want to impose tough limits on the oil and gas rigs sprouting up alongside subdivisions.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Natural gas: Massachusetts is ground zero for Northeast's pipeline fight
Christian Science Monitor
Gram Slattery

BOSTON — Tom Clark, whose family has battled bugs, hungry deer, and early frosts for nearly a century in their peach and apple orchards in the rural western Massachusetts town of Deerfield, now faces a new foe in this area: the natural gas industry. The Clarkdale Farm sits on terraced hillsides on the route of a proposed 180-mile pipeline to be constructed as early as 2018, running from eastern New York to a transmission hub in the Bay State’s northeastern corner. The pipeline, which will carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale Fields across the seam of northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, is drawing intense fire from local landowners, environmental activists, and concerned citizens across the region.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Activists try a fourth time to ban fracking in Youngstown -
vindy.com


YOUNGSTOWN — Those wanting city voters to approve a charter amendment to ban fracking in Youngstown are seeking to get on the ballot for the fourth time. The Community Bill of Rights Committee expect to provide petitions with about 1,800 signatures at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to the city council clerk, said Susie Beiersdorfer, a committee member. The three other ballot initiatives were rejected by city voters. Meanwhile, supporters of a charter amendment that would base the number of wards in the city on population — which would reduce the number from seven to five based on current population — are stepping up efforts this week to get the needed signatures to get on the Nov. 4 ballot.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Fracking without fresh water
High Country News
Emily Guerin

In 1913, a Toronto lawyer named David Fasken bought 220,000 acres of ranchland in west Texas, sight unseen. He intended to subdivide the land, on the arid Llano Estacado, into farm plots. But he abandoned that idea once he saw how little water there was. Things worked out, however: The family went into the oil business, and now, 101 years later, Fasken Oil and Ranch is one of the oldest privately owned oil companies in the Permian Basin, a fossil fuel-rich field that underlies west Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Eventually, though, the climate caught up with Fasken – as it has with many other oil companies both in the Permian Basin and beyond. Now, faced with drought and increased competition, Fasken is trying to stop using fresh water for fracking, the injection of pressurized liquids to break underground formations, and for drilling. The company is both a model for other operations and an example of how hard it is to cut back.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Fracking's Unlikely Opponents: German Breweries
Take Part
Willy Blackmore

en the Bavarian Purity Law was first declared in 1487, not a single European had stepped on the land above the Marcellus Shale in the Eastern United States. The First Nations of Canada weren’t fighting natural gas pipelines, because as far as natural resources go, the Alberta tar sands were centuries away from being in the picture—as was the internal combustion engine. Yet the law, the Reinheitsgebot, which strictly dictates the ingredients that can be used in making beer, is giving the powerful German brewing industry historic ammunition against the creeping potential for new natural gas exploration.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Hickenlooper wants four drilling proposals dropped from ballot
Fox 21 News


DENVER (AP) -- Gov. John Hickenlooper is asking for four proposals related to oil and gas drilling to be dropped from November's ballot. Hickenlooper was joined by congressman Jared Polis when he issued the call on Monday. Polis backs two of the measures seeking limits on drilling but it wasn't immediately clear whether the backers of the two measures sympathetic to the industry supported the idea. Hickenlooper also announced his intention to create a task force that will issue recommendations to Legislature aimed at minimizing land-use conflicts. The 18-member task-force will include oil and gas industry, ag industry, local governments, and civil leaders.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Natural gas processing comes to southwest Oklahoma
kswo.com


CHICKASHA, Okla._The landscape of business will be evolving in southern Oklahoma as a new industry moves into the area within the next two years. After several studies, the border between Grady County and Stephens County will the future site of ONEOK’s newest natural gas processing plant. The $470 million plant will be responsible for over one-fourth of the state's natural gas production beginning in 2016 and that could make a direct impact on local residents.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
IMPACTS: Getting Energy From Oil And Gas Doesn’t Require Using Fresh Groundwater, Says Texas A&M Research
Tamu Times


Oil and gas exploration operations can and must operate under environmentally sound practices and according to a research study at Texas A&M University, hydraulic fracturing in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas can lessen its environmental impact by switching from fresh groundwater to abundant supplies of brackish groundwater.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
The country’s largest environmental group is profiting from oil drilling
Salon
Lindsay Abrams

Why did the Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental NGO, permit an oil and gas company to drill a well on land it pledged to protect? The disturbing allegation — verified to the New York Times by the green organization — is revealed in Naomi Klein’s forthcoming book on climate change. In 2007, Klein reveals, the Nature Conservancy allowed the company to drill a well on land that had been set aside to protect the critically endangered Attwater’s prairie chicken, and has since been profiting from the operations. It’s a decision that the group’s framing as the regrettable outcome of a tricky dilemma, but which raises questions about its commitment to conservation.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Experts Call For Ecological Impact Of Fracking To Become A ‘Research Priority
Red Orbit


The amount of natural gas produced from shale rock has increased by over 700 percent in the past seven years, leading the authors of a new Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment paper to call for the practice to become a “top research priority” so that they can better understand its environmental impact. In the study, eight conservation biologists representing a variety of organizations and institutions cite new reasons why the scientific community, shale industry representatives and policymakers need to work together in order to limit the damage to the planet’s ecology resulting from the extraction of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. “We can’t let shale development outpace our understanding of its environmental impacts,” co-author Morgan Tingley, a postdoctoral research associate at the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, said in a statement. “The past has taught us that environmental impacts of large-scale development and resource extraction, whether coal plants, large dams or biofuel monocultures, are more than the sum of their parts.”   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Gas drillers didn’t report half the spills that led to fines
State Impact
Marie Cusick

An investigation by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette found Marcellus Shale drillers didn’t report half of spills that led to fines. The newspaper reviewed records from incidents at wells that led to a fine through the end of 2012: The Post-Gazette investigation using well permit file documents and other DEP data focused on 425 incidents involving 48 companies that resulted in nearly $4.4 million in fines. Of those 425 fines, 137 were due to spills at or near a well site. They ranged from relatively small incidents involving a couple of gallons of diesel fuel on a well pad to larger accidents involving thousands of gallons of hydraulic fracturing flowback fluid that killed vegetation or fish.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Living with fracking – in pictures
Friends of the Earth


What's it like to live next door to the fracking rigs? Six photographers spent two years in gas-rich Pennsylvania trying to find out. The following pictures are a window into the world of people living with shale gas drilling, otherwise known as fracking. This process involves pumping water and chemicals underground at high pressure to break up rocks and force out the natural gas inside them. Shale gas is promoted as a cheap form of home-grown energy, but it's still a fossil fuel and burning it contributes to climate change – just like coal, oil and conventionally extracted gas. And what about its effect on people's lives? In the US there is evidence of contamination of drinking water and air pollution from fracking-related activities.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Siena's Southern Tier fracking poll
Shale Reporter
Suzie Gilbert

A recent poll shows that drilling companies may have misjudged residents of the Southern Tier, the New York counties bordering northern Pennsylvania which are richest in natural gas. Southern Tier residents have long been portrayed by oil and gas companies as poor, salt-of-the-earth people envious of their neighbors in frack-happy Pennsylvania, desperate to lease their land, and contemptuous of the scaremongering tactics of environmentalists and anti-fracking movie stars.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
DCNR To Open 15 Day Comment Period On Loyalsock State Forest Drilling Plan
PA Environment Digest


Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti Wednesday announced the department will seek public comment once a draft Surface Development Management Agreement has been negotiated to protect the natural and recreational resources of a 25,000-acre tract known as the Clarence Moore lands in the Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming County. The state does not own the subsurface rights to this land. Anadarko and Southwest Energy Company each own or lease 50 percent of the subsurface rights and have requested access to extract natural gas.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
More Details Released On DCNR Non-Surface Disturbance Natural Gas Leasing
PA Environment Digest


On Wednesday, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources released more details on how it plans to go about leasing additional State Forest and State Park lands for “non-surface disturbance” natural gas development. Draft leasing criteria and a draft text for a lease were given to the Natural Gas Advisory Committee for discussion. These documents are designed to implement Gov. Corbett’s Executive Order 2014-3 outlining the general ground rules for additional natural gas leasing.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Shale gas: 'The dotcom bubble of our times'
The Telegraph
Tim Morgan

Comment: output from shale wells declines so quickly that they will never be profitable – when investors realise this, the industry will collapse, writes Tim Morgan Public opinion has been divided very starkly indeed by the government’s invitation to energy companies to apply for licences to develop shale gas across a broad swathe of the United Kingdom. On the one hand, many environmental and conservation groups are bitterly opposed to shale development. Ranged against them are those within and beyond the energy industry who believe that the exploitation of shale gas can prove not only vital but hugely positive for the British economy. Rather oddly, hardly anyone seems to have asked the one question which is surely fundamental: does shale development make economic sense? My conclusion is that it does not.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Fracking - US companies and regulators must disclose environmental data
The Ecologist
Kimberly Terrell, Morgan Tingley & Sara Souther

Among the risks of fracking are fragmentation of wildlife habitats, groundwater depletion, surface water pollution. The risks are compounded by a failure among companies and regulators to record or disclose essential information - from the chemicals used, to the time and place of toxic spills.  [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
Paper: Drilling industry using more imported steel
SF Gate


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Recent state data suggests that Marcellus Shale natural gas drillers may be using far more imported steel pipe than previously thought, but the industry is questioning that figure. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1v1uP9u ) reports that Department of Environmental Protection records show that over the last two years 77 percent of the shale wells drilled in Pennsylvania were built with foreign steel, while 12 percent used American steel and 11 percent were mixed.   [Full Story]

Aug 4, 2014
State senator calls for federal earthquake task force
NewsOK
Adam Wilmoth

A state senator and an Oklahoma petroleum geologist on Monday called for a federal task force to develop a statewide emergency action plan in response to the ongoing earthquake swarm.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
'Fracking in the Dark': Why it Must Stop
Nature World News
Brian Stallard

Researchers have found that shale-gas extraction across the globe is severally outpacing an understanding of the industry's environmental impact. Because of this, explores claim that the industry is "fracking in the dark," choosing locations for extraction without considering all the environmental consequences.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Physician fleeing Pennsylvania gas wells fights Berkshire pipeline
The Berkshire Edge
Karen Andrews

Editor’s Note: Karen Andrews has transcribed parts of a Pittsfield Community Television interview of Dr. Mehernosh Kahn on Pittsfield Community Television (see below). He was interviewed by Rachel Branch and Jane Winn of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team. He talked about his assessment of the health and environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the process by which natural gas is extracted from deep within the earth. Because of his experiences as a physician in Pennsylvania, he has become a staunch opponent of the proposed Kinder-Morgan natural gas pipeline network that would transect the Berkshires and Massachusetts in order to bring natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania to the East Coast for export. If for no other reason than to stop and see exactly where we are headed, I think we need to put a halt to all fracking activities going on in this country for at least a year. We need to take a little break. We are not well. We cannot think straight anymore. We are in a panic. We are on a path of not just self-destruction, but extinction. Fracking is just a bad, bad idea. Transporting its offspring is only enabling this insanity.  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Fracking the Farm: Scientists Worry About Chemical Exposure to Livestock and Agriculture
Truthout
Roger Drouin

The fracking boom hadn't begun yet in Pennsylvania when J. Stephen Cleghorn and his wife purchased a rundown 50-acre farm in Jefferson County with the intention of building it up into a certified organic farm selling vegetables and goat dairy products. Four years later, in 2009, when a big rig started horizontally drilling for gas nearby, Cleghorn began to see the effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on his farm. Those effects included health impacts on a neighbor's collies and a polluted spring - the kind of problems that now farmers in many states are experiencing and are indicative of a myriad of possible pathways for exposure to fracking.  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Fracking pioneer doubtful that Nova Scotia will lift ban
CTV
Michael MacDonald

HALIFAX -- The man who pioneered hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia says he doesn't expect the province to lift a two-year moratorium on the contentious practice, mainly because the government is afraid of upsetting a vocal but misinformed minority.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Group Earns Oil Income Despite Pledge on Drilling
The New York Times
JUStIN GILLIS

The nation’s largest environmental group is earning money from an oil well on land it controls in Texas, despite pledging a decade ago not to permit new oil and gas drilling on land supposedly set aside for conservation. That revelation is contained in a forthcoming book about climate change by the writer and activist Naomi Klein, and the essential facts of the case were confirmed last week by the Nature Conservancy, the environmental group in question.  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
WellWiki shines light on North America's oil and gas wells
Miami Herald
Lisa Song

When residents of America's fracking communities want to know if a particular oil or gas well in their neighborhood has a good environmental track record, they usually face the cumbersome task of searching through state records, which can take hours. Now, a new website called WellWiki is trying to eliminate that frustration by making user-friendly data just a click away. Created by Joel Gehman, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta's business school, WellWiki currently lists data on more than 250,000 oil and gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania since 1859.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Marshbanks: Fracking threatens the Cape Fear River
Fayobserver
Burgess P. Marshbanks Opinion

The Harnett County water system has become a model for other county systems around the state. Under careful management by Rodney Tart for more than 33 years, not a day of production has been lost because of impurities in the water. Now, however, we are faced with an unbelievable and dangerous development. The proposed fracking area is located within the watershed of the Cape Fear River basin. And impurities that may be leached into the ground in the basin have the potential of contaminating our river all the way to Wilmington.  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Drillers did not report half of spills that led to fines
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Sean Hamill

Half the spills at Marcellus Shale well sites that resulted in fines weren’t spotted by gas companies, which are required by state law to look for and report spills of drilling-related fluids. That is one of the main conclusions of a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review of hundreds of thousands of state and company documents for every incident at a Marcellus well site that led to a fine against a driller through the end of 2012. The documentation showing that companies often failed to detect spills on their own sites offers a look at self-regulation in the shale gas industry.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Voters to decide on state fracking initiatives
Summit Daily


A Colorado organization supporting two anti-fracking initiatives announced that its petitions had surpassed the signature threshold to place both initiatives on the state’s November ballot. Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy promotes increasing the distance between homes, schools and hospitals and fracking sites from the current 500-foot requirement to 2,000 feet (Initiative 88) and giving local governments more control over energy development (Initiative 89).   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Deploying industry spin tactics
Observer-Reporter


While watching a newscast the other night, I saw U.S. Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania’s 10th District say “there is not one piece of documented evidence that shows that fracking is contaminating the water, the ground, the air.” This statement was made one week after Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale held a press conference and documented 209 cases of water contamination from gas drilling, as determined by the Department of Environmental Protection.  [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
Dispute Flares Over Burned-Off Natural Gas
The Wall Street Journal
Chester Dawson

Mineral Rights Owners Aren't Satisfied With Payment Offer From One North Dakota Driller It isn't every day that an energy company tries to give away cash, but one of the biggest oil producers in North Dakota is trying to do just that. Continental Resources Ltd. CLR -1.00% says it wants to pay state taxes and make royalty payments on natural gas it improperly burned off at dozens of wells in recent years. The company is asking state regulators to approve its plans, including the value it is assigning to the gas that was burned in the controversial practice known as flaring.   [Full Story]

Aug 3, 2014
First expansion starts for Conn. natural gas plan
Miami Herald
Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut's ambitious natural gas expansion plan took its first step with a project announced Monday to establish gas lines in downtown Wilton. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy joined Wilton officials and representatives of Yankee Gas to launch the start of a 3.5-mile natural gas expansion project. Wilton will be the first community in Connecticut to work with a utility using a state plan enacted last year intended to cut energy costs by expanding Connecticut's natural gas distribution systems. First Selectman William F. Brennan said the town approached Northeast Utilities a few years ago. "We mentioned we'd love to expand natural gas to Wilton," he said.   [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2014
Fracking - researching biological fallout of shale-gas production must become a top priority
The Watchers


Natural-gas production from shale rock has increased by more than 700 percent since 2007 in the United States alone. Yet scientists still do not fully understand the industry's effects on nature and wildlife, according to a report in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. As gas extraction continues to vastly outpace scientific examination, a team of eight conservation biologists from various organizations and institutions, including Princeton University, concluded that determining the environmental impact of gas-drilling sites — such as chemical contamination from spills, well-casing failures and other accidents — must be a top research priority. With shale-gas production projected to surge during the next 30 years, the authors call on scientists, industry representatives and policymakers to cooperate on determining — and minimizing — the damage inflicted on the natural world by gas operations such as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." A major environmental concern, hydraulic fracturing releases natural gas from shale by breaking the rock up with a high-pressure blend of water, sand and other chemicals, which can include carcinogens and radioactive substances.   [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2014
Gas Minister's Leaky Well Comments 'Ignorant,' Scientist Says
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

One of North America's top experts on well oil integrity and the mechanics of hydraulic fracturing says recent comments by Rich Coleman, British Columbia's minister of natural gas development, are not only ignorant but delusional.   [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2014
Health risks demand fracking moratorium
Poughkeepsie Journal
Barton Schoenfeld

A rapidly growing body of research demonstrates that hydraulic fracturing poses dangers not only to the environment but to people's health. Once contamination occurs and people become ill, it's incredibly difficult and costly to remedy, and often impossible to reverse. Last week, Concerned Health Professionals of New York released a major new compilation – a compendium – of the scientific, medical and media findings demonstrating the risks and harms of fracking (read it online at ConcernedHealthNY.org/Compendium). Based on the results of hundreds of studies nationwide where fracking already exists, it's clear that permitting fracking in New York could harm the air, water, health and safety of residents statewide.  [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2014
Federal agency considers regulating oil, gas drilling on wildlife refuges
Victoria Advocate
Sara Sneath

Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the same rights as any other surface landowner, which have historically been at the mercy of the mineral rights owner. On refuges, the noise, traffic, lights and possibility of pollution that accompany drilling operations are pitted against the goal of refuges - the conservation of wildlife and habitat.  [Full Story]

Aug 2, 2014
Fracking’s untold health threat: How toxic contamination is destroying lives
Salon
Lindsay Abrams

If we’re going to talk about fracking, we can’t just talk about energy independence, or the economy, or the potential for natural gas to act as a “bridge fuel” to help solve the global warming crisis. We also need to talk about the effect that hydraulic fracturing is having on the communities where it’s taking place, and to ask whether that cost — to people’s health and property — is too high. The main barrier to that conversation, of course, is that it’s one the industry definitely doesn’t want to be having, aside from insisting that fracking is safe. Michelle Bamberger, a veterinarian, and Robert Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell, believe differently, and they have the research to back up their claims. The two have documented cases of contaminated water and air, of sick pets and dying livestock and of similar symptoms experienced by the animals’ owners, all with few apparent explanations. And that, the researchers, argue, is the real scandal: It’s up to the people being affected, and not the industry causing the damage, to prove that something’s wrong.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
The Crude Gamble of Oil by Rail (via Vice)
The Tyee


VICE News traveled to the Pacific Northwest to investigate the rapid expansion of oil-by-rail transport and speak with residents on the frontline of the battle over bomb trains.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Little frack support in Southern Tier Residents fear that air, water will be tainted
Albany Times Union
Brian Nearing

Most people who live in the target zone for potential natural gas hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, understand that a gas boom could provide money and jobs, but still oppose it over concerns of polluted water and air, according to a recent poll from Time Warner Cable News and Siena College.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
EU threatens Poland with environmental court action over fracking defiance
Blue & Green Tomorrow
Richard Heasman

Poland has recently amended its fracking laws to allow shale gas excavation of up to 5,000 feet, without assessing the environmental implications, thus breaking EU law and triggering legal proceedings.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Leaked EPA Draft Offers Insight into Upcoming Shale Wastewater Regulations
JD Supra Business Advisor
Emily Myers

The leaked draft, titled “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permitting and Pretreatment for Shale Gas Extraction Wastewaters: Frequently Asked Questions,” details the EPA’s proposed pretreatment standards for shale wastewater. The document notes that the EPA has identified potential pollutants in shale wastewater, including chlorides, bromide, metals, and organics, based on a limited set of data from the Marcellus shale. The document lists about twenty substances in shale wastewater that the EPA signals might have an impact on water quality and permitting for wastewater. Depending on the contaminants found in the wastewater, drilling companies may be subject to additional permitting or other controls to ensure that pollutants are removed before reaching a water source.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
‘Fracking’ in the dark: Biological fallout of shale-gas production still largely unknown (Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment)
Princeton Journal Watch


With shale-gas production projected to surge during the next 30 years, the authors call on scientists, industry representatives and policymakers to cooperate on determining — and minimizing — the damage inflicted on the natural world by gas operations such as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” A major environmental concern, hydraulic fracturing releases natural gas from shale by breaking the rock up with a high-pressure blend of water, sand and other chemicals, which can include carcinogens and radioactive substances. “We can’t let shale development outpace our understanding of its environmental impacts,” said co-author Morgan Tingley, a postdoctoral research associate in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy in Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
German Beer Industry Takes On Fracking
Newsweek
Allan Hall

Shortly before opening time at Foersters Feine Biere in Berlin, the owner, Sven Foerster, is busy checking the pressure on the pumps and the temperature of the refrigerated cabinets where liquid gold is stored. Foerster is a qualified beer sommelier, a man devoted to the preservation of humankind’s favourite alcoholic brew, proud in the knowledge that he’s a small part of a vast German brewing industry. Yet something is clouding that security. He and thousands of others are concerned the country’s energy needs and the introduction of fracking will collide with the business of producing some of the best beers in the world  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Environment Agency urges fast fracking ban
The Local


Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is encouraging lawmakers to hurry up and ban fracking in all but name, saying the process is too dangerous to even consider allowing.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
FEATURE: As climate talks heat up, experts debate if natural gas, fracking will turn ‘brown’ economies ‘green’
UN News Centre


The world faces a looming energy problem. There’s not enough of it. It also faces a looming climate change problem. Too much of it. Could natural gas and fracking technology be part of the solution to both challenges?  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Political Style: Vivienne Westwood launches anti-fracking clothing collection
The National Student
Chloe Kerr

Vivienne Westwood has launched an a political clothing collection designed to be worn by either men or women. The British designer has launched a unisex clothing line for AW14 featuring political statements, including those on fracking. The clothing range will feature anti-fracking illustrations, jungle prints and slogans with statements including ‘"What’s good for the planet, is good for the economy, what’s bad for the planet is bad for the economy."  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Pennsylvania AG Looking Into Claims That State Willfully Ignores Fracking-Related Health Complaints
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

Are employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Health really being told to ignore complaints from citizens who complain they’re being sickened by hydraulic fracturing and natural gas drilling? If they are, is it criminal?  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
South-west fracking opponents to air their concerns to Napthine, Tehan
The Standard
Everard Himmelreich

SOUTH-west fracking opponents are to meet with Premier Denis Napthine and member for Wannon Dan Tehan on Monday. No Gasfields Lower Glenelg spokesman Michael Greenham said representatives of anti-fracking groups from Portland, Casterton, Dartmoor, Byaduk, Drumborg and Digby would be among those at Monday’s meeting in Mr Tehan’s Hamilton office.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
University Handling Public Fracking Review Owns Firm Training LNG Workers
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

A Maritime university charged with conducting an independent and public review of hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia owns a company that trains oil and gas workers for Exxon Mobil, a key promoter of hydraulic fracturing and one of the world's largest energy companies. And David Wheeler, chair of Nova Scotia Hydraulic Fracturing Review Panel, also serves as the unpaid director and chair of that company.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Drilling in the dark: Biological impacts of fracking still largely unknown
University of Wisconsin
David Tenenbaum

As production of shale gas soars, the industry's effects on nature and wildlife remain largely unexplored, according to a study by a group of conservation biologists published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on August 1. The report emphasizes the need to determine the environmental impact of chemical contamination from spills, well-casing failure, and other accidents.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Residents Furious About Being Force-Pooled Into Idaho’s First Fracking -
EnviroNews


(EnviroNews Idaho) — Boise — Until recently, Idaho had almost no oil or gas wells and didn’t need a regulatory Oil and Gas Commission, but rules allowing the use of new technology including hydraulic fracturing and outlining key industry practices such as waste water disposal and natural gas flaring has industry eyeing Idaho’s possible deposits of fossil fuels. From the turn of the century through 1988, according to the Idaho Geologic Survey, a grand total of a meager 150 holes in the ground had ever been drilled in search of oil and gas in the state. From the turn of the century through 1988, according to the Idaho Geologic Survey, a grand total of about 150 holes were drilled in the ground in search of oil and gas. Besides a lot of dry holes, the result of that limited, historic and exploratory drilling experiment has been only one small patch of productivity in Payette, near the Oregon border, including a small handful of wells drilled recently.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Westerlo narrowly extends gas-drilling moratorium
Altamont Enterprise
Marcello Iaia

WESTERLO — A formerly deadlocked town board extended a moratorium against gas-drilling, 3 to 2, and adjourned a 10-minute meeting on Monday evening.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Fracking Makes California’s Drought Worse
EcoNews
Mike G

California is in the middle of an epic water shortage, with nearly 80 percent of the state experiencing “extreme or exceptional” drought conditions. Check out this animated map to get a sense of how extensively the drought has impacted the Golden State. Things have gotten so bad that California enlisted Lady Gaga to record a public service announcement.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
How Oil & Gas Drilling Impacts the Endangered Greater Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken
EcoNews
Ted Auch

The New York Times’ Diane Cardwell and Clifford Krauss recently published a piece on the interaction between the Greater Sage Grouse (GSG, Centrocercus urophasianus) and fracking in Big Sky country. We thought it might be helpful to dig a little deeper into the issue given the sensitivity of this species’ as well as the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to habitat disturbance and the inevitable conflict between “energy independence” and the Endangered Species Act—the purpose of which “is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.”  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Fracking Makes California’s Drought Worse
DeSmogBlog
Mike G

California is in the middle of an epic water shortage, with nearly 80 percent of the state experiencing “extreme or exceptional” drought conditions. Check out this animated map to get a sense of how extensively the drought has impacted the Golden State.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
'Fracking' in the dark: Biological fallout of shale-gas production still largely unknown
Phys.org


As gas extraction continues to vastly outpace scientific examination, a team of eight conservation biologists from various organizations and institutions, including Princeton University, concluded that determining the environmental impact of gas-drilling sites—such as chemical contamination from spills, well-casing failures and other accidents—must be a top research priority.   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Fracking could come to our doorstep: claim
Burnley Express


Energy companies are now being invited to bid for fracking licences on land across more than half the country, including a large portion of East Lancashire.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
DEP to test Cecil impoundment groundwater
Observer-Reporter
Emily Petsko

For the second time since 2011, high chloride levels were detected in groundwater under a Marcellus Shale impoundment in Cecil Township. Residents closest to the impoundment on Swihart Road were notified Friday after the township caught wind of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s plan to test the groundwater and nearest private wells. Township Manager Don Gennuso said letters were hand-delivered to about 50 residents. “While we are unsure of whether or not anyone’s water supplies may be impacted, if at all, we want to make sure our residents stay vigilant of any changes in their water,” read the letter, which was signed by Gennuso. It was unclear when Range Resources notified the DEP because the inspector handling the case was not available Friday.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Fracking Is Making California’s Drought Worse, Say Activists
DeSmogBlog


California is in the middle of an epic water shortage, with nearly 80% of the state experiencing “extreme or exceptional” drought conditions. Check out this animated map to get a sense of how extensively the drought has impacted the Golden State. Things have gotten so bad that California enlisted Lady Gaga to record a public service announcement (PSA).   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
WV couple claims Chesapeake debt counted as property lien
The State Journal WV
Linda Harris

A Hancock County couple whose mineral rights were used without their knowledge as collateral for a $500 million loan have filed suit against Chesapeake Energy affiliates, claiming Chesapeake’s debt was improperly recorded as a lien against their property. Homeowners John and Jacqueline Bird of New Manchester filed the suit in Hancock County Circuit Court, saying the enormous lien has imperiled their ability as property owners to buy, sell or borrow against their property, “thereby depreciating its market value, restricting plaintiffs’ full use and enjoyment of the property, and hindering plaintiffs’ rights ... .”   [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
North Dakota Town Sees 1st Human Trafficking Case
ABC NEWS
Josh Wood Associated Press

A convicted sex offender from California now living in the North Dakota oil patch town of Williston was charged Friday in what police say is their first human trafficking case. Keith Graves, 38, faces several charges for acts that authorities allege happened over a few days in July. During a hearing Friday, Graves denied any wrongdoing and his bond was set at $2 million.  [Full Story]

Aug 1, 2014
Residents Furious About Being Force-Pooled Into Idaho’s First Fracking
EnviroNews
Blair Koch

(EnviroNews Idaho) — Boise — Until recently, Idaho had almost no oil or gas wells and didn’t need a regulatory Oil and Gas Commission, but new rules allowing for the use of fracking and other technology, while outlining key industry practices like waste water disposal and natural gas flaring, have industry eyeballing Idaho’s potential fossil fuel deposits like never before. From the turn of the century through 1988, according to the Idaho Geologic Survey, a grand total of a meager 150 holes in the ground had ever been drilled in search of oil and gas in the state. Besides a lot of dry holes, the result of that limited, historic and exploratory drilling experiment has been only one small patch of productivity in Payette, near the Oregon border, including a small handful of wells drilled recently. - http://environews.tv/residents-furious-about-being-force-pooled-into-idahos-first-fracking/  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
We're Moving Beyond Energy Efficiency Into 'Demand Destruction'
The Atlantic
DANIEL A. GROSS

Hybrid cars, solar panels, and LED lightbulbs aren't just reducing our energy consumption—they're totally upending it.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
AUDIO: Is Fracking To Blame For Increase In Quakes In Oklahoma?
KQED
NPR

Until very recently, earthquakes in Oklahoma were unheard of. But this year, the state has seen more tremors than California. Why is that?  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Got Science? Ohio Wake-up Call on Fracking Disclosure Laws
Huffington Post
Seth Shulman, Op Ed

At a Halliburton fracking site in Clarington, Ohio, in the southeastern part of the state, a fire broke out on a recent Saturday morning. What happened next should be a wake-up call to every U.S. citizen, especially the millions of Americans who live in communities where fracking is planned or underway.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
How Oil & Gas Drilling Impacts the Endangered Greater Sage Grouse and Lesser Prairie-Chicken
EcoWatch
Ted Auch

The New York Times’ Diane Cardwell and Clifford Krauss recently published a piece on the interaction between the Greater Sage Grouse (GSG, Centrocercus urophasianus) and fracking in Big Sky country. We thought it might be helpful to dig a little deeper into the issue given the sensitivity of this species’ as well as the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to habitat disturbance and the inevitable conflict between “energy independence” and the Endangered Species Act—the purpose of which “is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.”   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
California breaks drought record as 58% of state hits driest level
Los Angeles Times
Joseph Serna

More than half of California is now under the most severe level of drought for the first time since the federal government began issuing regular drought reports in the late 1990s, according to new data released Thursday.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Utica shale development similar to Eagle Ford in Texas, feds say
Akron Beacon Journal
Jim Mackinnon

Utica shale development remains in the early stages but is very similar to how the Eagle Ford shale in Texas grew, the federal government reports. "Production data indicate that natural gas production growth from the Utica is on par with the growth in natural gas production in the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, when comparing the first 20 months of activity in both those plays," the Energy Information Administration reports.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Frackers Spill Olympic Pool’s Worth Of Hydrochloric Acid In Oklahoma
ThinkProgress
ARI PHILLIPS

An acid spill on Monday in rural Kingfisher County northwest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma could turn out to be the largest spill “in relation to fracking materials” in the state according to an Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman. Spokesman Matt Skinner said 480 barrels of fracking-related hydrochloric (HCL) acid, nearly enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, emptied out of a tank where it was stored. Acid is used in the fracking process to both clean wells and stimulate the flow of oil and gas. The cause of the spill, which occurred in an alfalfa field, is under investigation.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
PSEG review finds Caithness II not needed
Newsday


PSEG Long Island has found that the proposed Caithness II power plant in Yaphank "will not be needed" because the Island has enough capacity to meet state requirements for the next five years, according to PSEG officials close to the project. After a monthslong review of Long Island Power Authority power sources, the analysis reached a different, and less dramatic, conclusion than an earlier...  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Forests agency agrees to hear public on agreement to allow drilling in Loyalsock State Forest
The Republic
Associated Press

WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania — A Pennsylvania state lawmaker says it's an important victory that parks and forests officials will accept public comments on the terms of agreement to allow two natural gas exploration companies to drill in Loyalsock State Forest.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Germany moves closer to fracking ban
Euractiv


Maria Krautzberger, the President of the Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA), presented the organisation's new Fracking-II assessment in Berlin on Wednesday (30 July). Her conclusions were clear-cut. "As long as crucial risks related to this technology cannot be predicted and likewise cannot be controlled, fracking should not be used in Germany to extract shale and coalbed gas," she said.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Germany on fracking: "the dangers of this technology are too great"
NRDC Switchboard
Amy Mall Blog

The German federal environment agency just released a report on fracking. I don't speak German, and there is nothing on the agency's English language website yet, but I am going to post some key quotes from articles I have read:   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Inside Energy: Fracking in Texas
Prairie Public News
Lorne Matalon

New technologies to get at hard-to-reach oil and gas reserves have already transformed communities and economies from Pennsylvania to eastern Montana. Now those techniques are reaching into formerly pristine corners of the West. For Inside Energy, Lorne Matalon of Marfa Public Radio reports from southwest Texas.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Is Fracking To Blame For Increase In Quakes In Oklahoma?
NPR
Linda Wertheimer

Until very recently, earthquakes in Oklahoma were unheard of. But this year, the state has seen more tremors than California. Why is that? It's a subject of debate. Some scientists point to the way the oil and gas industry disposes of wastewater, a byproduct of drilling and of the process called fracking. Earlier this month, a study published in the journal Science found what it called a clear link between wastewater wells and earthquakes. But many gas companies and state regulators disagree. They claim it's too soon to say. We turn to energy reporter Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma for an update on the controversy. Joe, welcome to the program.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Polls show little support for fracking
The Guardian


The latest public survey by the Department of Energy and Climate Change found that 70% of the public support onshore wind, compared to 29% supporting fracking. In addition, a recent ComRes poll, commissioned by RenewableUK, found only 13% surveyed supported fracking to deliver the UK’s energy security, compared to 48% for renewable energy. Many polls have asked people what type of generation they would prefer locally, and renewable energy options, including onshore wind, come out ahead of other options such as fracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
State Says Stop To Company Seeking NC Fracking Rights
WFAE 90.7
Ben Bradford

The oil and gas extraction technique known as fracking is not yet legal in North Carolina, but a Pennsylvania company is seeking to buy the rights to oil and gas from landowners in Durham County. The state Department of Justice has told it to stop.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Poll: Majority in S. Tier, Finger Lakes oppose fracking
Press Connects
Jonathon Campbell

ALBANY – For six years, public-opinion polls in New York have shown voters effectively split on the issue of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. But what about voters within the boundaries of the Marcellus Shale, the gas-rich rock formation that covers much of the Southern Tier and Catksills? A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll released late Wednesday showed 51 percent of voters in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes opposed hydrofracking, compared to 39 percent in support. Half of voters in the Catskills and parts of the Hudson Valley opposed hydrofracking, with 35 percent supportive, according to the poll.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Brian Barlow: A simple question on fracking
Daily Camera
Brian Barlow--Opinion

Do you really want a fracking pad with multiple wells near your house, open space and schools? I have worked in the construction equipment industry for more than 23 years and know many people who have benefitted well from fracking, especially in North Dakota, but none choose to live within these areas.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Poland cuts estimate for shale gas exploration wells
Reuters
Anna Koper

WARSAW, July 31 (Reuters) - Poland is seeing less exploratory drilling for shale gas than expected, environment minister Maciej Grabowski told Reuters, dealing a setback to the country's efforts to find a cheap alternative to the natural gas it imports from Russia.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Amid Ukraine crisis, will Europe frack?
Christian Science Monitor
Lucas Schoeppner

The Ukraine crisis has sparked interest in natural gas production on a continent where many oppose new drilling. Hydraulic fracturing – or ‘fracking’ – might help Europeans wean off Russian supplies, but the technology remains publicly unpopular and plays a small role in Europe’s vision of energy security.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Documents: Cheniere Fuels ALEC’s New Push for Fracked Gas Exports
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Today, legislative and lobbyist members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) voted on model legislation promoting both exports of gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). Dubbed a “corporate bill mill” by its critics, ALEC is heavily engaged in a state-level effort to attack renewable energy and grease the skids for exports of U.S. oil and gas. Today's bills up for a vote — as conveyed in an ALEC mailer sent out on June 25 by ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force — are titled “Resolution In Support of Expanded Liquefied Natural Gas Exports“ and “Weights and Measures and Standards for Dispensing CNG and LNG Motor Fuels.”   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Environmentalists pan proposed fracking rules as comment period ends
Michigan Radio
Jake Neher

Michiganders have until the end of Thursday to tell state officials what they think of proposed new rules for fracking. A fracking gas well. The rules would require oil and gas companies to do more water quality testing and provide more information to the public.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Editorial: California needs to overhaul its protection of groundwater
Los Angeles Times
Editorial

There are many environmentally worrisome aspects of oil and gas production, and one is the injection of wastewater back into the ground. This process — a way of disposing of the contaminated water created during the drilling process — is done in conventional oil and gas drilling, and is even more common in fracking, which uses large amounts of water to fracture rock and release oil. The concern is that the injection process can end up poisoning the aquifers that provide drinking water.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Critics ask governor to halt fracking
Reno Gazette-Journal
Jeff DeLong

Insisting Nevada is in a head-long rush to develop oil and gas through environmentally damaging hydraulic fracturing, protesters gathered outside the state Capitol Thursday to ask Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to halt the activity until adequate safeguards are ensured.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Anti-Fracking Laws vs. Property Rights
Ithaca Journal
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – For six years, public-opinion polls in New York have shown voters effectively split on the issue of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. But what about voters within the boundaries of the Marcellus Shale, the gas-rich rock formation that covers much of the Southern Tier and Catksills? A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll released late Wednesday showed 51 percent of voters in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes opposed hydrofracking, compared to 39 percent in support. Half of voters in the Catskills and parts of the Hudson Valley opposed hydrofracking, with 35 percent supportive, according to the poll.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Oregon LNG Export Terminal Wins Federal Permit Amid Rising Pressure to Export US Natural Gas To Europe, Asia
International Business Times
Maria Gallucci

Federal energy officials on Thursday gave an Oregon project permission to ship liquefied natural gas around the world. The rare approval comes as the Obama administration faces growing pressure from natural gas proponents to expedite the flow of LNG exports – especially in the wake of Europe’s growing energy concerns from Russia. Oregon LNG, the project’s developer, won a conditional permit from the Department of Energy to export the equivalent of 1.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day for 20 years. The permit allows the company to ship LNG to countries with which the United States doesn’t have a free trade agreement, including those in Europe, Asia and Latin America.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Wolf Richter: How Fracking Is Blowing Up Balance Sheets of Oil and Gas Companies
Naked Capitalism
Wolf Richter

Fracking has caused an uproar in local communities and split some in two. It has brought environmentalists to a boil. It allegedly caused tap water to go up in flames. A documentary was made in its honor. It caused earthquakes in Oklahoma and other places. It caused Wall Street to froth at the mouth. And now it is causing the balance sheets of oil and gas companies to blow up. It always starts with a toxic mix. Now even the Energy Department’s EIA has checked into it and after crunching some numbers found:   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
PPL proposes new powerline through four states, including New Jersey
New Jersey Herald
MARK SCOLFORO

HARRISBURG, Pa. — PPL Corp. said Thursday it wants to spend billions of dollars to build a 725-mile system of electric transmission lines that will bring energy from the booming Marcellus Shale natural gas fields to customers on the heavily populated Eastern Seaboard. The Allentown-based utility said the 500-kilovolt line would span much of Pennsylvania and reach into New York, New Jersey and Maryland, although the route has not been determined. The cost was expected to exceed $4 billion, and it could take more than a decade to build. PPL said the project was likely to increase reliability during demand-driven power shortages and save money for customers.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Boston protesters rally against Kinder Morgan gas pipeline
FuelFix
Associated Press

BOSTON — Opponents of expanding a natural gas pipeline through northwestern Massachusetts rallied on Boston Common on Wednesday, asking Gov. Deval Patrick to rescind his support for a new tax on New Englanders’ electricity bills to help subsidize it  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Fracking spill dumps 480 barrels of HCL acid SW of Hennessey
The Norman Transcript


HENNESSEY — A fracking-related hydrochloric acid spill southwest of Hennessey is possibly the biggest of its kind in the state, according to an Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Fracking ban court decision pushes conversation toward constitutional rights National attention drawn to Colorado’s oil and gas preemption laws
Boulder Weekly
Elizabeth Miller

The lawsuit to defend Longmont’s voterapproved fracking ban is moving on from the district court, where a judge issued a summary judgment against it, but a stay against fracking in Longmont while the case is appealed to a higher court. It may become increasingly clear as the case advances that the question at stake pits the oil and gas resources under the town against the basic constitutional rights of those who live in the town to determine their exposure to a risk to human health and environment more than half of the town’s voters have said they don’t want in their back yards. The environmental organizations that have signed on as intervenors aren’t going to be shy about framing the debate in terms of whether the state will really choose profits over people.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Can An Anti-Fracking Ballot Question Change Balance Of Power In Washington?
Here and Now


Colorado Democrat Rep. Jared Polis is pushing a statewide ballot initiative that restricts oil and gas fracking locations in ways that the industry says would make drilling virtually impossible in the state.   [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Fracking move reignites concerns
Cumbernauld News


Cumbernauld and Kilsyth sites are in the frame for controversial fracking plans, with the launch of a new onshore oil and gas licensing round from the UK Government.  [Full Story]

Jul 31, 2014
Is the oil industry fracking up California’s drinking water? California officials ordered shutdown and review of dozens of fracking sites out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking-water aquifers
News Review
Abrahm Lustgarten

California officials ordered an emergency shutdown last month of 11 oil and gas waste-injection sites—and a review of more than 100 others—in the state’s drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking-water aquifers there.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Ohio Fire Disaster Spotlights Need for Fracking Info (Op-Ed)
Live Science
Seth Shulman, Op Ed

At a Halliburton fracking site in Clarington, Ohio, in the southeastern part of the state, a fire broke out on a recent Saturday morning. Firefighters battled the blaze for an entire week. Before they managed to fully extinguish it, the fire caused some 30 explosions that rained shrapnel over the surrounding area; 20 trucks on the site caught fire; and tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals — including a toxic soup of diesel fuel, hydrochloric acid and ethylene glycol — mixed with runoff into the nearby creek, killing an estimated 70,000 fish as far as 5 miles downstream. State officials physically removed the decomposing remains of more than 11,000 fish and other aquatic life in their efforts to reduce the damage to the waterway.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Fracking activities, pro and con, gain momentum
Sylva Herald
Quintin Ellison

Minus an approved budget, state geologists have yet to follow through on the General Assembly’s orders to collect rock samples in far Western North Carolina and test them for indications of natural gas. In the meantime, fracking opponents across the region are organizing. In Jackson County, an anti-fracking meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13, in the Community Room at the Jackson County Library.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Drilling, fracking controversial for Va., Hampton Roads
Daily Press


Hydraulic fracturing to squeeze oil and gas from rock buried deep underground is either a financial windfall for landowners and communities or an environmental Pandora's box — depending on whom you ask.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
New report: Incidence of breast cancer much higher than expected
Denton Record-Chronicle
Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

Breast cancer rates in Flower Mound are 22 percent higher than expected, according to a new report from the Texas Department of State Health Services released Wednesday. The state’s new report, which considers cancer data from 2002 to 2011, found women’s breast cancer rates higher than expected in two Flower Mound ZIP codes, 75022 and 75028. The previous report used data from 1998 to 2007 and found higher rates only in 75028. The department revisited its 2010 report on Flower Mound after it was heavily criticized for its methods last year. An independent review of the cancer data, published as part of a fuller review in an environmental law journal, found problems with the state’s analysis.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Major oil field spill in Kingfisher County
KOCO
Kim Passoth

HENNESSEY, Okla. —The cause of a major oil field spill just outside the town of Hennessey in Kingfisher County is now under investigation. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports it may be the biggest spill from fracking they've ever handled. Now there are concerns about tainting the town's water supply. Nearly 500 barrels of acid spilled in an alfalfa field Monday morning. The chemical HCL is used for fracking operations. There’s concern heavy rain will push the runoff into nearby Turkey Creek, which flows into Hennessey’s water system.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
State extends oil plan input time
Albany Times Union
Brian Nearing

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is again extending the public comment period on a proposal by an oil terminal operator at the Port of Albany to build a facility that would heat crude oil for shipment, the agency said Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Vineyards sour on gas storage plan
Albany Times Union
Brian Nearing

The multibillion-dollar wine and tourism industry in the Finger Lakes could be damaged unless Gov. Andrew Cuomo blocks a planned underground natural gas and propane storage facility at Seneca Lake near Watkins Glen, a coalition of vineyard owners said Wednesday at the state Capitol.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Rally reaches Statehouse Gas pipeline protesters meet with Gov. Patrick
The Recorder
Richie Davis

BOSTON — An estimated 400 to 500 people rallied on the Boston Common Wednesday, bringing their “Stop the Pipeline” message to the Statehouse.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Hundreds of opponents rally in Boston against Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas pipeline expansion
Mass Live
Shira Schoenberg

BOSTON — Several hundred people protested on Boston Common on Wednesday against the proposed expansion of a gas pipeline through Western Massachusetts. "We're using too much power and being overpowered by the oil and gas industry," said Martin Schotz, a 71-year-old doctor from Cummington. "We're all personally affected by global warming and the use of fossil fuel."   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Are Siberia’s methane blow-holes the first warning sign of unstoppable climate change?
news.com.us


WHAT do three enormous craters in the Siberian wastelands have to do with a terrified American climate scientist? Methane. And that’s something to scare us all. The end of the world could be starting right now — in a frozen Siberian wasteland known as Yamal. It translates as “The End of the Land”. The first mysterious crater was spotted by oil workers earlier this month. It was an 80m wide cavern that reached deep into the earth. Since then, the Siberian Times reports goatherds have found a further two enormous vents in the ground. RELATED: Are we on the brink of a 6th mass extinction? Russian researchers have returned from their investigation of the first find and taken water and soil samples to help resolve how the hole was formed.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Six Unsung Fracking Fortunes
Forbes
Nathan Vardi

The shale-drilling revolution is quickly transforming the U.S. economy, and the biggest winners are not the only people drilling for oil and natural gas. (Also See: LyondellBasel, The Greatest Deal Of All Time) The Chao Family The family of the late Ting Tsung Chao runs and owns more than a third of Westlake Chemical , the Houston-based chemical producer whose profits are being supercharged now by cheap natural-gas-based feedstock. Siblings James, Albert and Dorothy are worth a combined $4.3 billion after Westlake’s stock rose sixfold in the last five years. Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn Two of the nation’s richest investors have benefited from insufficient pipeline capacity. Millions of barrels of oil are being moved around America by train, and Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns railroad company Burlington Northern and railcarmaker Union Tank Car. Icahn owns railcar producers American Railcar Industries and ACF Industries, together with a huge fleet of oil-carrying railcars. Richard Kinder The billionaire is CEO of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the largest pipeline company in America. The company owns 82,000 miles of pipelines and 180 storage terminals. The empire he cofounded and built is moving around a lot of the oil and gas extracted by horizontal drilling, making him much richer. Kinder Morgan bought El Paso Corp. for $38 billion to increase its role in gas transport. Charif Souki The CEO of Houston’s Cheniere Energy is working to export the shale revolution, building terminal and processing facilities for liquefied natural gas that can be shipped from Louisiana to Europe and Asia. The former banker was the top-paid CEO in America last year, making $142 million. A shareholder lawsuit says Souki is benefiting too much and a big chunk of his pay was improperly awarded. Paul Foster The billionaire is founder of Western Refining, an El Paso, Tex. company that operates two refineries with a combined capacity of 151,000 barrels of crude oil per day. For years the company languished when refining margins were weak, but things turned around big time as the fracking boom opened oilfields situated near its refineries.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
30-day fracking study puts off public vote to 2016 Work continues on Butte County's own fracking ban
EIN Newsdesk
Roger Aylworth

OROVILLE >> A decision to do a 30-day study on what an initiative banning hydraulic fracturing would mean to Butte County will effectively keep the measure off the ballot until June 2016. On a 4-1 vote, with Chico Supervisor Maureen Kirk the lone nay, the Board of Supervisors directed county staff to investigate what the initiative, sponsored by "Frack Free Butte County," will actually do. The measure would prohibit "hydraulic fracturing," a process that involves injecting water and chemicals into the ground to enhance oil and or natural gas production in new or existing wells. It wasn't clear until the supervisors' meeting began whether the initiative would even be discussed. The initiative that was originally submitted to the county Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters office in June. An almost immediate legal challenge to the technical language and formatting of the initiative put it on hold, until last week when Butte County Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman said the technical problems were not adequate to kill the measure. He then directed the county to begin counting and certifying the signatures. Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs, who is also the county's chief elections officer, told the supervisors Tuesday that her office had labored until 7 p.m. Monday night to check and count the signatures. She said there were 11,049 signatures on the petitions, and the sponsors had crossed out 2,300 of those, leaving 8,749 signatures to be corroborated. Grubbs said her office counted and checked all of those signatures twice and eventually found 7,975 of them "sufficient" and the petitions had met the minimum of 7,605 valid signatures. She told the board, with the initiative certified the supervisors could only do three things: adopt the initiative as a county ordinance with no alterations, put it on the next statewide election, or order county staff to conduct a 30-day study of the proposal. At the end of that study, the board would still be required to either adopt the measure or put in on the ballot. However, in order for an item to be put on this November's ballot, the supervisors would have to act no later than Aug. 8. The 30-day study won't be complete until after the deadline. Grubbs said the state law requires the initiative be put on the ballot for the next statewide election that comes 88 days after the board votes to put it on the ballot. Paul Hahn, Butte's chief administrative officer, said the collection of dates and deadlines would result in a vote being delayed until June 2016. For two hours supporters of the petition, who wanted the board to adopt it or put it on the November ballot, and others who wanted the impact of the document studied, urged the board to see it their way. Joni Stellar, the treasurer of Frack Free Butte County and one of the leaders in the petition drive, said, "Asking for a 30-day study is not going to reveal more than we already know."   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Calculating the real costs of fracking
Ian Rotherham
Ian Rotherham

THE announcement that drilling for shale oil would only be allowed in national parks if there were exceptional circumstances begs the question of what circumstances exactly? Who thought that we might allow it? Who amongst the politicians was considering that national parks might be up for grabs for gas fracking? Surely these areas of specially protected countryside should be so far off-screen in this debate that the assurance is unnecessary? This sort of announcement demonstrates how far down the slippery slope of “anything for a price” we have come in recent years. Ever since the serious discussion began on the shale gas issue, I have felt an ominous foreboding that any government, of whatever hue, would be sorely tempted to go down this route for reasons of energy security and also the possibility that Russia might close the gas pipelines to Western Europe. The problem with that sort of situation is that other precautions and logic go out of the window due to the pressures of the moment. However, the situation is not simple, and current political thinking on the environment is not reassuring. When central government views environmental and conservation laws as unnecessary red tape, and seems to have lost touch with sound and sensible countryside management and associated values, then we have cause for concern. This is not to say that fracking could or should never go ahead anywhere, but presently I have many questions about safety and impacts and none has been answered. Perhaps interestingly, my main concerns are not necessarily things like minor earth tremors. No, my own fears are rather more fundamental and concern matters such as visual impact on the landscape and loss of both productive farmland and wildlife habitats. Unlike some forms of energy extraction, fracking appears to involve widely dispersed, relatively small, and as far as I can see, rather inefficient extraction points dotted across a wide landscape. Therefore, I ask, exactly what impact will these industrial structures have? How much “land-take” do they involve for the machinery and plant, for the access roads and cabling and for the pumping operations (for water) and the storage and decontamination of used water? How long do they operate for and what happens when the units are decommissioned? How is the gas transported away, and where is it stored? Indeed, how safe is all this? There are even basic questions of what this will look like in our region. I grew up in the shadow of the coal mines and the dereliction which they brought to the Yorkshire landscape. However, at least they were localised to a specific place. This seems as if it might blight wide tracts of beautiful countryside. Each unit appears to involve a lot of land for operations, for access and storage and other uses; and presumably, there are services, drains, and pipelines constructed around and between sites. So let us imagine these fracking operations scattered across maybe Holderness, the Pennine fringe, or around North Yorkshire, maybe Pickering for example. Clearly, the operations make money or else nobody would be interested and the industry would not be offering cash sweeteners to local communities. However, in assessing the economic benefits, (to us the community rather than to individual operators), we have ?to subtract the “dead weight” and ?the “displacement” effects of the operations. In simple terms, we have to take into account what would happen in that landscape without fracking, and any financial losses due to the operations displacing or compromising other industries. In open countryside, local farming might be affected, and furthermore, impacts on groundwater might affect crops and even summer irrigation, important in many arable areas. More significant though would be a likely adverse impact on the region’s hugely important tourism industries. These are significant questions and important issues, to be answered and tested before we rush in. The shale gas has been there for a long time and it is not about to go away. In which case there is no need for haste beyond the political expediency of central government, so really, we can wait and make sure that we make the right decisions for the right reasons. Professor Ian D. Rotherham is a lecturer at the Department of the Natural & Built Environment at Sheffield Hallam University.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Fracking protesters set to face eviction
Yorkshire Post


ANTI-fracking protesters are expecting to be evicted soon from the entrance to a gas drilling site in East Yorkshire after a court ruling. Campaigners who have been at the site at Crawberry Hill, near Walkington, erected a barricade to stop equipment being carried onto the site where further testing is due to be carried out. The energy firm Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited, which wants to do tests at Walkington and West Newton, were successful yesterday in repossession proceedings at the Royal Courts of Justice. Campaigner Jon Mager, a retired council director, who travelled to London to make representations on behalf of protesters, who believe testing at the sites could be a precursor to full-scale fracking, said: “The judge made it very clear he was in no way suggesting that camping on the verge was other than a protest that could continue. “There is now an eviction order – but they are going to have to be very careful as they will be dismantling a building with people in it. “We now known from papers served as part of the eviction proceedings that Rathlin have 25 years with an option to extend another 25 years – 50 years of exploration and production when all they have ever publicly acknowledged is two years for Crawberry Hill and three years for West Newton.” A spokesman for Rathlin said: “We acknowledge the decision of the High Court. “Our actions are solely to allow us to recover our land and to continue with our lawful business. “Once again, for the avoidance of any doubt, our work is targeted exclusively at the exploration and potential development of conventional oil and gas resources. “Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited has not sought, and has no intention of seeking, any of the permissions required for developing shale or for the fracking of shale.”  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Fracking compromises the future of Pennsylvania Our state officials shouldn’t let oil and gas companies run roughshod over the environment.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Dan Simpson

I guess that having lived in the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia tristate area for decades of my life should have hardened me to the apparently popular concept that it is completely acceptable to rape the environment to make a few people rich. But it hasn’t. The grade school I attended as a child was called Indian Run, based on the red-orange hue of the water in the creek that ran through the neighborhood, thanks to run-off from coal mines. When I read last week that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection would be releasing a report that oil and gas operations in the state damaged people’s water supplies 209 times since the end of 2007, it did not fail to enrage me, even after all these years. I have tried, ever since fracking replaced casinos as Pennsylvania’s supposed El Dorado of unearned wealth, to make light of it. My usual laugh line on the subject is to claim that I won’t mind having to shower with bottled water. But the fact is that, even though the oil and gas companies have made a mighty effort in recent years to buy our support for what they are doing, they still are raping the environment to the profit of very few, with the vast mass of us paying the price, now and in the future. The fact that Gov. Tom Corbett and the Legislature have been entirely complicit, not only in what the companies are doing but also in seeing that they are not adequately taxed for it — even to the level that other gas-fracking states do — makes it worse, although, honestly, we should be paying the taxes we need to meet our needs in education, infrastructure and law and order in any case. These functions should be financed without whatever could be legitimately extracted from the fracking companies. After all, what they are doing to the environment and our future cannot be compensated for by taxes, even high taxes. Normally I don’t write about fracking, which is off my normal beat of international affairs, national politics and economics. Instead, I’ve squirreled away information and brooded on it, until now, when it has made me angry enough to address the subject in a column.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
EPA Considering Steps to Cut Methane Emissions From Oil & Gas Facilities, an Industrial Info News Alert

John Egan

SUGAR LAND, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 07/30/14 -- Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- The Oil & Gas Industry is keeping a close eye on an important summer project under way at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Washington, D.C.). The agency is reviewing public comments and stakeholder input received this spring in response to five technical white papers on reducing methane emissions from all segments of the industry. The public comment period for these white papers ended in mid-June. In the fall, the agency will determine how best to reduce methane emissions from sources in the Oil & Gas Industry. Within this article: Details of the potential impact of plans to reduce methane emissions on the oil and gas industry. For details, view the entire article by subscribing to Industrial Info's Premium Industry News, or browse other breaking industrial news stories at www.industrialinfo.com. Industrial Info Resources (IIR), with global headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas, three offices in North America and 10 international offices, is the leading provider of global market intelligence specializing in the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy markets. Industrial Info's quality-assurance philosophy, the Living Forward Reporting Principle™, provides up-to-the-minute intelligence on what's happening now, while constantly keeping track of future opportunities. To contact an office in your area, visit the www.industrialinfo.com "Contact Us" page.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Five gas wells leaked methane for years
The Times-Tribune
BRENDAN GIBBONS

Five natural gas wells in Bradford County have leaked methane for years because of persistent casing and cement problems, according to state Department of Environmental Protection records. In May, a DEP inspector found combustible gas flowing through vents connected to the cement between layers of pipe. The department issued a notice of violation for each well in June, saying combustible gas outside the well’s surface casing violates state regulations. Houston-based EOG Resources Inc. began drilling the wells in Ridgebury and Springfield townships in late 2010 and early 2011. None of them have reported any production.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Pa. health department reaches out to doctors amid controversy over drilling complaints
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

Are doctors in Pennsylvania seeing patients with possible health effects from natural gas development? The state Department of Health wants to know. The agency reached out to physicians through the Pennsylvania Medical Society this week, following a recent investigation by StateImpact Pennsylvania into how the agency handled drilling-related health complaints.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Water companies warn against shale gas fracking
Farming News


Water companies have issued stark warnings over the government's plans to allow shale gas exploration across half of the UK mainland. Devil's Dyke in the South Downs Natonal Park On Monday, the government opened the fourteenth licensing round, which will enable gas and oil companies to bid for exploration rights and drill for shale gas across vast areas of the British mainland.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Finger Lakes wineries want gas-storage plan rejected
Press Connects
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – More than a dozen winery and vineyard owners were in the state's capital Wednesday, calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration to reject a proposed gas-storage facility near Seneca Lake. A state permit application remains pending for the proposed facility in the town of Reading, Schuyler County, as the state Department of Environmental Conservation completes an environmental review. In Albany on Wednesday, the Finger Lakes winery owners held a news conference to pressure Cuomo to reject the plan, arguing that the potential for accidents and industrialization could threaten the numerous vineyards that surround the southern tip of Seneca Lake.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Exclusive TWC News/Siena Poll Shows Significant Opposition to Hydrofracking
TWC News
Nick Reisman

ALBANY, N.Y. -- More than half of voters in the Southern Tier and the Catskills/Hudson Valley regions are opposed to allowing the natural gas extraction process hydrofracking to move forward, a Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll found. "We've seen these results for years now that people in the areas that would be most affected by the impacts of hydraulic fracturing are opposed and that seems to be growing," said Elizabeth Moran, food and water director for Environmental Advocates of New York.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Groundwater is safe in potential N.Y. fracking area
Phys.org
Blaine Friedlander

Two Cornell hydrologists have completed a thorough groundwater examination of drinking water in a potential hydraulic fracturing area in New York's Southern Tier. They determined that drinking water in potable wells near conventional natural gas wells in Chenango County is safe to drink and within federal guidelines. he researchers report their findings in July's Journal of Hydrology – Regional Studies. "In Pennsylvania, reports of natural gas in the groundwater started to occur after the state began to allow hydraulic fracturing. Nobody had thought to test the well water there beforehand, and no one had a sense of the water quality prior to fracking. We've conducted a comprehensive baseline study of the water," said Todd Walter, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering, the paper's senior author.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
A Public Wiki Shines Light on North America's 4 Million Oil & Gas Wells
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

We're not doing anything the regulators can't do themselves if they were so inclined,' says the founder of WellWiki. When residents of America's fracking communities want to know if a particular oil or gas well in their neighborhood has a good environmental track record, they usually face the cumbersome task of searching through state records, which can take hours. Now, a new website called WellWiki is trying to eliminate that frustration by making user-friendly data just a click away. Created by Joel Gehman, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta's business school, WellWiki currently lists data on more than 250,000 oil and gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania since 1859.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
People’s Climate March—Largest Climate March in World History—Launched in Times Square
EcoWatch


A spirited press conference in Times Square today launched the People’s Climate March, the largest climate action in world history.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Prosecutors seek 3-year sentence in fracking case
Seattle Pi


CLEVELAND (AP) — Federal prosecutors are seeking a three-year sentence and a $250,000 fine for the owner of a northeast Ohio oil and gas drilling company accused of dumping large amounts of toxic brine down a storm sewer and into a creek that feeds the Mahoning River.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Environmental groups take to the sky to prod Christie on 'fracking' waste bill
NJ.Com
Matt Arco

In true Shore fashion, an airplane normally used to drag advertisements high in the sky for beachgoers instead circled over the site of Christie’s summer “no pain, no gain” series with a message for the governor today. “Don’t dump frack waste in NJ’s water,” read the banner , which also included a number for people to call the governor’s office.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
County officials propose to allow county-wide fracking
WJHL
Allie Hinds

WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - After people in Washington County, Virginia fought for months against drilling for natural gas, county officials have now proposed to allow drilling county-wide. Many in Washington County are upset after a meeting Monday night where the Board of Supervisors threw out an ordinance that had been in the works for years.   [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Counties join forces against fracking
Winston-Salem Journal
Lisa O'Donnell

People in Davie and Yadkin counties concerned that fracking may come to the area will come together on Tuesday at a public meeting. A small shale basin that covers parts of both counties has been targeted for test drilling under the proposed Senate budget. If the shale shows the potential for natural gas, it could open the door for hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 30, 2014
Ohio Fire Disaster Spotlights Need for Fracking Info (Op-Ed)
Union of Concerned Scientists
Seth Shulman

At a Halliburton fracking site in Clarington, Ohio, in the southeastern part of the state, a fire broke out on a recent Saturday morning. Firefighters battled the blaze for an entire week. Before they managed to fully extinguish it, the fire caused some 30 explosions that rained shrapnel over the surrounding area; 20 trucks on the site caught fire; and tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals — including a toxic soup of diesel fuel, hydrochloric acid and ethylene glycol — mixed with runoff into the nearby creek, killing an estimated 70,000 fish as far as 5 miles downstream. State officials physically removed the decomposing remains of more than 11,000 fish and other aquatic life in their efforts to reduce the damage to the waterway. What happened in Clarington should be a wake-up call to every U.S. citizen, especially the millions of Americans who live in communities where hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is planned or underway.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Federal report says better oversight needed to protect drinking water from Marcellus shale industry
Penn Live
Barbara Miller

The Environmental Protection Agency needs to ramp up its review of the effect fluid injection into wells in the oil and gas industry has on underground drinking water sources, says a report issued by the Government Accounting Office. EPA is not consistently enforcing and overseeing class II wells in two key areas, said GAO. "First, EPA does not consistently conduct annual on-site state program evaluations as directed in guidance because, according to some EPA officials, the agency does not have the resources to do so," said GAO.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Judge allows use of condemnation for oil pipelines
Great Falls Tribune
Karl Puckett

Phillips 66 now has the final right-of-way needed to continue operation of three oil pipelines that cross the Blackfeet Reservation, carrying Canadian crude to points south. Easements for the pipelines, initially granted in the 1960s and 1970s, had expired.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
InsideClimate News Responds to Steve Everley of Energy in Depth
InsideClimate News
David Sassoon

We believe we've aroused the group's displeasure because our work shines an unwelcome spotlight on these toxic air emissions and the manner in which they are released, with little regulation or regard for neighboring homes and communities. As our stories point out, regulators in Texas claim that the emissions are within safe levels, even though they don't have enough data to make that assertion. Our investigations have also shown that people who believe they have been sickened by the nearby emissions are left to fend for themselves. Energy in Depth did not dispute the evidence we presented. Instead, it published a litany of allegations charging journalistic malfeasance. Not one of the allegations touched on the substance of our reporting, which is based on interviews with more than 30 scientists and technical experts, including some who work for the industry.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Obama To Issue Series Of Executive Actions Tackling Methane Leaks From Pipelines
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

President Obama will announce a series of executive actions on Tuesday designed to tackle the increasing problem of methane leaks from natural gas pipelines, which are significantly contributing to global warming, according to a White House press call. White House Director of Energy and Climate Change Dan Utech told reporters on Monday that the actions would be part of President Obama’s strategy to cut methane emissions, a key directive under his Climate Action Plan announced last summer. Under the plan, Obama vowed to combat climate change despite inaction from Congress by using his executive powers to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Groundwater is safe in potential N.Y. fracking area
Cornell Chronicle
Blaine Friedlander

Two Cornell hydrologists have completed a thorough groundwater examination of drinking water in a potential hydraulic fracturing area in New York’s Southern Tier. They determined that drinking water in potable wells near conventional natural gas wells in Chenango County is safe to drink and within federal guidelines. The researchers report their findings in July’s Journal of Hydrology – Regional Studies. “In Pennsylvania, reports of natural gas in the groundwater started to occur after the state began to allow hydraulic fracturing. Nobody had thought to test the well water there beforehand, and no one had a sense of the water quality prior to fracking. We’ve conducted a comprehensive baseline study of the water,” said Todd Walter, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering, the paper’s senior author.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
White House Issues Bold Climate Change Warning
Huff Post
Roberta Rampton Reuters

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) - Putting off expensive measures to curb climate change will only cost the United States more in the long run, the White House said on Tuesday in a report meant to bolster a series of actions President Barack Obama has proposed to address global warming. "Each decade we delay acting results in an added cost of dealing with the problem of an extra 40 percent," said Jason Furman, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. "We know way more than enough to justify acting today," Furman told reporters. The report drew its conclusions from 16 economic studies that modeled the costs of climate change. It was released as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency holds public hearings on its plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants - the centerpiece of Obama's climate action plan.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Top Scientists Urge Obama Administration to Use Accurate Estimates of Methane's Dangerous Climate Effects
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

WASHINGTON— As the U.S. Department of Energy examines methane pollution from the natural gas industry, a group of prominent climate scientists today urged the Obama administration to update methods for estimating the climate consequences of this dangerously potent greenhouse gas. In a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and other top officials, Drew Shindell of Duke University, Michael Mann of Penn State University, Michael MacCracken of the Climate Institute, Robert Howarth of Cornell University and 17 other leading climate scientists also called for aggressive reductions of methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, the agricultural sector and other sources, because methane leaves the atmosphere much more quickly than carbon dioxide and therefore provides an important opportunity to make significant near-term cuts in greenhouse gas pollution. “This difference means that aggressive mitigation of methane emissions is essential if the near-term pace of climate change is to be slowed,” reads the letter, which notes that such reductions could help slow Arctic sea-ice loss, permafrost melt and other harmful effects of global warming.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Gas industry survey shows job growth slowing
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Job growth in the Marcellus Shale industry continues, but it’s slowing down. That’s according to an annual workforce survey published today by the gas industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Companies expect to hire 2,000 new workers this year– a 50 percent drop from the 4,000 jobs they projected last year. Over the past few years, booming business led to overproduction– producing a glut of gas that caused prices to plummet.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Fracking and methane: Regulators must look upstream
The Hill
Richard Revesz

Natural gas is at the core of President Obama's climate change agenda. Many recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules discourage coal use in favor of natural gas, which emits less carbon dioxide. The administration is hoping to capitalize on the fracking boom to help slow global warming.   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Big Oil's New Pitch: Fracking Means Never Having To Fear Putin
Mother Jones
Mariah Blake

As Ukraine sinks deeper into crisis, the oil and gas industry is pressing the United States to deploy its abundant natural gas supply as a weapon against Russia—and lawmakers of both parties are lining up behind the proposal.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Study finds methane gas leaks throughout Staten Island
Capital Gazette
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Methane gas is leaking from hundreds of natural gas pipelines throughout Staten Island, a study by the Environmental Defense Fund has found. Most leaks don't pose a public safety hazard, but waste fuel and contribute to climate change.   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
IG’s office recommends EPA begin regulating LDC methane emissions
Oil & Gas Journal
Nick Snow

The US Environmental Protection Agency, which does not regulate methane emissions from natural gas local distribution companies (LDC), should start working with the US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to address the problem, EPA’s inspector general’s office said in a July 25 report. Such pipeline leaks led to the loss of more than $192 million of gas during 2011, a cost that was passed on to consumers, in addition to their potential environmental impacts, according to Erica Hauck, a program manager in the EPA IG office’s Program Evaluation Office.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Our Opinion: Beware pipeline spin
Berkshire Eagle
Opinion

The opposition of three Berkshire legislators and a Western Massachusetts colleague to the Kinder Morgan pipeline project strengthens the grass-roots effort that has arisen in response to the proposal. Kinder Morgan may not care, but the people at ground zero should be heard. Signing the statement of opposition on "economic, environmental, public safety and public health" grounds are state Senator Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield and state representatives William "Smitty" Pignatelli of Lenox, Gailanne Cariddi of North Adams, Paul Mark of Peru and Stephen Kulik of Worthington (Eagle, July 27.) Both Representative Pignatelli and Representative Cariddi expressed unhappiness with their inability to get straight answers from Kinder Morgan to their questions. It is safe to say that the company knows that its straight answers would not be welcomed by the representatives or their constituents.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Obama To Issue Series Of Executive Actions Tackling Methane Leaks From Pipelines
Climate Progress
Emily Atkin

President Obama will announce a series of executive actions on Tuesday designed to tackle the increasing problem of methane leaks from natural gas pipelines, which are significantly contributing to global warming, according to a White House press call. White House Director of Energy and Climate Change Dan Utech told reporters on Monday that the actions would be part of President Obama’s strategy to cut methane emissions, a key directive under his Climate Action Plan announced last summer. Under the plan, Obama vowed to combat climate change despite inaction from Congress by using his executive powers to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Public Service Board orders halt to natural gas pipeline digging
Rutland Herald


MONTPELIER — The state Public Service Board has ordered Vermont Gas Systems to stop digging for its pipeline near power lines owned by the Vermont Electric Cooperative because of nearby pesticide concerns. Vermont Public Radio reports the state Agency of Natural Resources alerted the company to the possibility that soil contaminated with Pentachlorophenol, or PCP, could be disturbed by pipeline construction. The cooperative’s poles have been treated with PCP, also used as a wood preservative. The EPA has found it to be toxic.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Western Penn. Residents Request Fracking-Related Illness Probe
Mint Press News
Frederick Reese

In April 2013, a Texas jury awarded Bob and Lisa Parr nearly $3 million on the claim that a nearby hydraulic fracturing operation made them sick. According to the findings, Aruba Petroleum started a fracking operation less than 2 miles from the Parrs’ North Texas ranch in 2009. It was contended that the chemicals that leached into the ground, as well as toxic gases from the operation, migrated onto the Parr property and made the ranch’s livestock and the Parrs ill. Across the nation, communities are challenging claims that fracking is safe. Residents living near the litany of well pods that are being built or are already in operation continue to report nosebleeds, headaches, skin rashes, dizziness and nausea.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Fracking site plans could be scuppered by aircraft radar risk
Click Green


Air traffic controllers have objected to plans by fracking firm Cuadrilla to drill for shale gas at a site in Lancashire saying it will interfere with its aircraft tracking radar systems. National Air Traffic Services (NATS) is responsible for guiding flights through UK controlled airspace and co-ordinates over 6,000 flights every day. However, in a surprise objection to drilling plans NATS says the proposed fracking site in Little Plumpton, Preston, would interfere with its radar equipment, which could “cause serious safety risks for air traffic”. The Cuadrilla site is less than 3 miles from the BAE Systems manufacturing base at Warton airfield, used for the construction of the RAF’s Typhoon attack jet fighter.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Fracking dangers are well documented
Herald Review
Opinion

As concerned citizens, we have appreciated the Herald & Review’s articles about the dangers of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Articles from across the country (see: http://ecowatch.com/news/energy-news/fracking-2/) have exposed fracking as truly dangerous. A Pennsylvania audit reported that since 2009, over 3000 environmental violations caused by fracking have threatened the health, safety and livelihood of residents. Health professionals in New York created to expose fracking dangers. In a recent National Parks magazine, an article describes the negative effects of fracking operations in the area surrounding Theodore Roosevelt National Park and in the park itself. Many North Dakota communities have already suffered adverse effects to infrastructure, citizens’ safety, public services, and their economy.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Deja Vu All Over Again As UK Fracking Follows US Path
Clean Technica


Interestingly, the US natural gas fracking scenario seems to be repeating itself right now in the United Kingdom. BBC News announced this morning that David Cameron’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, in power since 2010, has begun a vast bidding round for fracking permits that could cover around half of the United Kingdom. This is somewhat surprising, because Cameron said in February: “I believe man-made climate change is one of the most serious threats that this country and this world faces.” It seems that has not made much of a difference to his advocacy of a very climate-unfriendly energy source.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Fracking and methane: Regulators must look upstream
The Hill
Richard Revesz

Natural gas is at the core of President Obama's climate change agenda. Many recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules discourage coal use in favor of natural gas, which emits less carbon dioxide. The administration is hoping to capitalize on the fracking boom to help slow global warming. However, the carbon benefits of natural gas might be undercut by emissions of methane, which have a global warming potential 21 to 25 times greater than those of carbon dioxide. Natural gas itself is composed of more than 80 percent methane, and during the production and distribution processes, some portion of that methane leaks (or is vented) into the air. Like carbon dioxide, these "fugitive" methane emissions become well-mixed in the atmosphere, making their harmful effects global rather than local.   [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Drilling, fracking controversial for Va., Hampton Roads
Daily Press
Tamara Dietrich

Hydraulic fracturing to squeeze oil and gas from rock buried deep underground is either a financial windfall for landowners and communities or an environmental Pandora's box — depending on whom you ask. Until now, eastern Virginia hasn't been faced with the prospect of modern horizontal fracking, unlike communities in such states as North Dakota, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, so residents haven't had to choose sides. But now an energy company has leased mineral rights to at least 84,000 acres in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck for possible oil and gas drilling, and the industry is pushing the U.S. Forest Service to allow controversial horizontal fracking in the George Washington National Forest — home of the headwaters of the James River.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Justice Department: Fracking firm violating state law
The Herald Sun
Alex Dixon

The N.C. Department of Justice issued a cease-and-desist order in a letter Monday to a company seeking mineral rights in Durham and Chapel Hill, noting it is in direct violation of North Carolina law. The company, Crimson Holdings Corporation, is soliciting mineral rights for gas and oil exploration in Durham and Chapel Hill through an unregistered landman, Frank Sides. According to the letter, the Justice Department has not been able to locate any information on a Crimson Holdings Corporation and that “we have serious concerns that North Carolina landowners will be unable to conduct any due diligence research or to obtain information on the ostensible company to which they are being asked to lease their oil and gas rights.” Crimson’s address is listed as the address of Campbell Development, LLC, which the department said is also unregistered to do business in North Carolina.  [Full Story]

Jul 29, 2014
Fracking would send province’s emissions through the roof
Chronicle Herald
Yuill Herbert Opinion

David Wheeler’s final report on hydraulic fracturing will be issued just days before world leaders gather at UN headquarters in New York to discuss the urgent need for action on climate change. In the first meeting of its kind, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders to bring bold pledges to kick-start international negotiations that will conclude in Paris in 2015, launching a new global climate agreement. The government of Nova Scotia has initiated a meaningful transition away from fossil fuels, highlighted by efforts such as the COMFIT, renewable energy targets, the Marine Renewable Energy Strategy and Efficiency Nova Scotia.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Officials Mull Schoharie Pipeline Proposals
WAMC
Dave Lucas

A proposed 157-mile natural gas pipeline that would run through several Schoharie County communities, parallel to the proposed Constitution Gas Pipeline, has pitted neighbor against neighbor.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Demonstrators vow to "Up the Noise" to protect Howe Sound
Vancouver Observer
Joshua Hergesheimer

The Future of Howe Sound Society drew boaters to a floating rally at the north end of Gambier Island to raise awareness about the proposed developments along the Sea to Sky corridor, including timber harvesting, a waste-to-energy plant, a gravel crushing facility and an LNG loading terminal. Speakers told attendees that these types of industries are not a good fit for the Howe Sound, an area treasured for its natural beauty. They said that BC and Canada have invested tens of millions of dollars into attracting tourists to the region through the Squamish Visitors Centre, the new gondola near the Chief and the upgrades made to the highway to Whistler.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Joint Landowners Coalition Seeks Appeal In Fracking Lawsuit
State of Politics


A coalition of organizations that support high-volume hydrofracking announced Monday plans to file an appeal in their effort to force the state into making a decision as to whether to allow the controversial natural-gas extraction process. The lawsuit, brought by the Binghamton-based Joint Landowners Coalition of New York in February, argued Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has wrongly delayed making a decision on hydrofracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Health and fracking
The Tap Blog


Silica Silica sand is the main ‘proppant’ used to fracture rocks underground and keep those cracks open. This ‘frac sand’ if not properly controlled can cause lung cancer, silicosis and other fatal diseases in exposed workers. The US has the same occupational exposure limit for silica as the UK. It is a level a study by the US government’s safety research agency NIOSH(11) found could be exceeded by a factor of 10 in fracking operations, prompting an official Hazard Alert.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Fracking go-ahead on UK's National Parks, World Heritage Sites, nature reserves
The Ecologist
Oliver Tickell

The UK has just opened a bidding round for fracking licences. But the rules contain only weak protections against fracking in National Parks and AONBs - and none at all for even the most important wildlife sites and drinking water aquifers.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Fracking: Matthew Hancock fails to name a single village that supports it
The Telegraph
Georgia Graham

The energy minister failed to name a single village in Britain that would welcome fracking as a leading scientist warned 1,000 successful wells a year would be needed to meet the daily demand for gas. Matthew Hancock, the new energy minister, said that exploring for shale gas had to be carried out in a “sensitive way” to reassure concerned communities while companies work out how much gas will be accessible. Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme Mr Hancock that it was “not quite right” that there is widespread disagreement over the fracking process.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
The Gas Trap
Huff Post
Doug Struck

Natural gas is all the rage. Power plants are rushing to convert from coal or oil to gas-fired production. Businesses are converting boilers. Homeowners are switching to gas furnaces. Drillers are sucking it out of shale and pipeline companies are plotting thousands of miles of new pipeline. Natural gas is hailed as a "bridge" from the dirty fossil fuels of coal and oil, embraced as much better for our environment and much cheaper for consumers. But this is a fool's gold rush. We are making a grave mistake in creating an infrastructure built on natural gas, which fails on both environmental and economic grounds.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Federal regulators to hold meetings on proposed pipeline
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is planning to hold four public meetings throughout Pennsylvania next week to discuss a proposed expansion of the Transco natural gas pipeline system. FERC regulates interstate pipelines. Last week the agency announced it would conduct an environmental impact statement on the project and is accepting public comments through August 18th.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
EPA Should Check up on Leaky Methane Pipelines: Inspector General
Bloomberg
Andrew Childers

Bloomberg BNA —Leaking pipelines were responsible for $192 million worth of lost natural gas in 2011, and a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency program to reduce methane leaks has only provided limited emissions reductions, the Inspector General said in a report. The Inspector General's July 25 report, “Improvements Needed in EPA Efforts to Address Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Distribution Pipelines,” also found the emissions factors that the EPA uses to calculate methane emissions from the oil and natural gas system are based on a 1996 study that has a high level of uncertainty. The report recommends the EPA work with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as it considers regulating methane emissions from pipelines.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Pipeline proposals raise questions about safety
The Daily Progress


LYNCHBURG — Within the steady drumbeat of local opposition to a proposed natural gas pipeline that would run through Nelson County, residents have raised many questions publicly, including issues of their safety. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, transmission pipelines are one of the safest ways to transport energy. Experts could recall no regional pipeline-related incidents that resulted in any deaths in Central Virginia.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
The Centerpiece of Obama’s Energy Policy Will Actually Make Climate Change Worse
The Nation
Naomi Oreskes

Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy. The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, many environmental groups and the oil and gas industry all tell us that the way to solve the problem created by fossil fuels is with more fossils fuels. We can do this, they claim, by using more natural gas, which is touted as a “clean” fuel—even a “green” fuel. Like most misleading arguments, this one starts from a kernel of truth.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Battles Continue over Local Bans on Hydraulic Fracturing
National Law Review


In towns across America, hydraulic fracturing continues to be a hot button issue, with municipalities in at least twelve states adopting measures to ban hydraulic fracturing altogether on a temporary or permanent basis.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Landowners group appeals NY fracking lawsuit dismissal
Politics on the Hudson
Jon Campbell

A mid-level state court will have a chance to weigh in on a lawsuit seeking to force Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration into a decision on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Princeton: Town moves to ban fracking
Princeton Packet
Greena Molinaro

Princeton was scheduled to introduce an ordinance at last night’s council meeting prohibiting hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in the town. At a press conference yesterday morning, Mayor Liz Lempert said, "Apparently there was a U.S. Geological survey that came out that showed there is potentially some gas underneath Princeton." According to the proposed ordinance, the survey identified up to 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in the South Newark Basin, which extends under Princeton. The survey has not accessed the North Newark Basin, which the township also expects to have trillions of cubic feet of gas, said the ordinance.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Congressional watchdog urges EPA to step up actions on fracking
LA Times
MICHAEL MUSKAL

The Government Accountability Office is calling on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to step up enforcement of water contamination and seismic activity associated with fracking, the high-pressure injection of fluids into wells to extract oil and natural gas.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
The fracking debate: How communities are trying to control drilling
Cleveland.com
Sara Dorn

GATES MILLS, Ohio — Gates Mills residents are joining what's become a nationwide movement and petitioning to have a bill of rights placed on the November ballot that would attempt to ban more oil and gas wells. The state has exclusive rights to regulate oil and gas drilling, so Mayor Shawn Riley believes local legislation — like a bill of rights — would have little to no effect. Instead, Riley wants property owners to pool their land, decide if and where hydraulic fracturing will be located in the village, and split the royalties.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Beauty spots still at fracking 'risk', say campaigners
BBC News


Fracking licences can only be issued for beauty spots in "exceptional circumstances", according to new rules issued by the government. It said the regulations for the new bidding round for licences - the first in six years - are stricter than before. And companies applying to frack near beauty spots will have additional obligations. But some environmental campaigners say the new rules are not tough enough.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Oklahoma Earthquakes & Fracking. Are They Related?
care2.com
Greeen Divas

Oklahoma has now surpassed California in the number of earthquakes felt this year! Is the steep increase in Oklahoma earthquakes related to fracking? Or is it merely a coincidence? Here’s what makes all this seismic activity a bit suspicious: From two to six normally recorded per year during 1972-2008 and in 2010, 1,047 tremors were recorded with 103 powerful enough to be felt. Oklahoma was ranked 17th in earthquake frequency in 2003, but now, the magnitude 3.0 or stronger quakes they used to experience only twice per year have hit over 253 times already in 2014, more than once per day. Geologists are warning that a big one (bigger than the 5.6 quake in 2011) is on the way.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Why Investors Support a Price on Carbon
World Bank
Stephanie Pfeifer, Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change Opinion

The British economist Lord Nicholas Stern has labelled climate change “the greatest market failure the world has ever seen.” Failing to put a price on carbon emissions leaves the market with no way to address the harm created by these emissions. And with no cost attached to a harmful activity, participants in the market have no incentive to pursue less harmful alternatives. Thankfully, this is changing.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Net-Metering: The Great Debate
Renewable Energy World
Jim Petersen

Effective energy policies, economies of scale and new technologies have achieved something remarkable: solar energy production is now at the scale and cost necessary to be competitive with, if not cheaper than retail electricity from utilities. Solar energy is becoming part of the mainstream. Families, schools and businesses are going solar in record numbers nationwide, even as incentives decrease. Now that we’ve built this new energy economy, it’s critical that we keep the way clear for Americans to keep going solar. Net-metering policies are an instrumental piece to this puzzle that deserve a closer look.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
The Truth About Natural Gas: A ‘Green’ Bridge to Hell
Eco Watch
Naomi Oreskes, Tom Dispactch

Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy. The Obama administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many environmental groups, and the oil and gas industry all tell us that the way to solve the problem created by fossil fuels is with more fossils fuels. We can do this, they claim, by using more natural gas, which is touted as a “clean” fuel—even a “green” fuel.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
BLM director calls for new oil, gas well inspection fee
Albuquerque Journal
Erny Zah

FARMINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management director has called for a new fee to help pay for inspections for oil and gas wells. An oil-field worker prepares to climb a drilling rig in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. (Albuquerque Journal File) An oil-field worker prepares to climb a drilling rig in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. (Albuquerque Journal File) During a speech at the 60th annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in Vail, Colo., earlier this month, BLM Director Neil Kornze said that “while permitting efforts have improved, critical inspections are lagging, and we must do better,” according to a BLM press release.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Painted Post water sale opponents turn to state's top court
Steuben Courier Advocate
Derrick Ek

PAINTED POST | Trains carrying a million gallons of water a day for gas drilling in Pennsylvania are running out of Painted Post again, but opponents have taken their case to the state’s highest court. The trains have been running from a filling station at the old foundry site in Painted Post for more than a month, said Painted Post Mayor Roz Crozier. The operation had been halted for a year due to an ongoing legal fight.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
UK kicks off shale gas bidding round
Energy Global


The UK government has announced that the bidding process for licences to extract shale gas using fracking will begin later today. The Guardian reports that the government will invite oil and gas drilling companies to bid for onshore licences for the first time in six years, with approximately half of the country advertised for exploration.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Government Pushes Ahead with fracking plan despite wide opposition
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

Overwhelming opposition to the government's plans to expanding fracking across britian was expressed by interest groups during and official consultation, whose results were released a day after ministers signaled a go aheard for shale gas drilling around the country.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Hiring in shale industry shifts to engineering, construction workers
Trib Live
David Conti

Gas companies operating in and around the Marcellus shale say they are increasingly hiring skilled workers for engineering and construction jobs as the industry matures beyond the rush to drill wells. The high-paying jobs accounted for 26.5 percent of new hires last year, according to a survey of member companies that the Marcellus Shale Coalition will release on Tuesday. That percentage increased from 10.8 percent in last year's survey by the North Fayette-based group.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Audit: Rapid Shale Gas Development Outpaced DEP’s Ability To Oversee Drilling
PA Environment Digest


Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Tuesday said an audit shows the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry since 2003 caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
DEP: Auditor General Report Focuses On Recordkeeping, Water Kept Safe
PA Environment Digest


The Auditor General's Office Tuesday released the Special Audit of DEP's Performance in Monitoring Potential Impact to Water Quality from Shale Gas Development for the period 2009 through 2012, finding no instances where DEP failed to protect public health, safety or the environment with respect to unconventional gas drilling activities.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Groups React To Auditor General’s Report On Marcellus Shale Drilling Regulation
PA Environment Digest


A number of groups issued statements in reaction to the Auditor General’s report Tuesday on regulating Marcellus Shale drilling by DEP. Here is a sampling of those statements. “While we commend the employees at DEP for their ongoing efforts to address the environmental impacts of Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling boom, it's clear that the Department is not keeping up with its statutory role,” said John Norbeck, vice president and chief operating officer of PennFuture. “The Auditor General noted in his report eight key findings that outlined, among other concerns, the Department's failure to issue administrative orders when violations occurred, effectively allowing the industry to police itself. Further, the report noted that the Department had no clear inspection schedule for gas wells, and evidenced a startling lack of transparency and accountability. When our citizens have greater access to information about kennel inspections and restaurant inspections than they do natural gas well inspections, we have a problem.”  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Hearing On Proposed Changes To Natural Gas Compressor Station In Milford Aug. 18
PA Environment Digest


The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on August 18, to discuss the Air Quality Plan Approval application submitted by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC to modify their existing natural gas compressor station in Milford, Pike County.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Op-Ed: State Is Protecting Public’s Health On Shale Matters By Michael Wolf, Secretary of Health
PA Environment Digest
Op-Ed Michael Wolf

Recently published news concerning Marcellus Shale-related health questions and the work of the Pennsylvania Department of Health has included dangerous allegations that are misleading the public. As the secretary of health and as someone who has been involved with public health reporting when Marcellus Shale-related health concerns became an emerging issue for the state, I am writing to set the record straight with the people of Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Panel to view rail safety Recommendations for solutions to be made by Sept. 2
Albany Times Union
Kenneth C. Crowe II

A blue ribbon panel will make recommendations on rail safety to protect residents from oil trains traveling through the city, officials announced Thursday night. The panel will be appointed to begin work next week, Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin and Council members Vivian Kornegay of the 2nd Ward and Dorcey Applyrs of the 3rd Ward said in a joint statement issued by the mayor's office.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
EnergyBuzz: Key Questions Need Answers in DOE Shake Up of LNG Permit Process
Texas Lawyer
Natalie Regoli, Brian Polley and John McGregor

On May 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) shook up the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry by proposing changes to its permitting process. Instead of being able to directly apply to the DOE for a license to export LNG, LNG exporters would have to first complete the environmental review process administered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This process, required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), has been typically time-consuming and expensive, and the change represents a substantial shift from the first-come-first-served DOE-permitting regime that companies have relied on during the U.S. LNG facility construction boom. The first-come-first-served approach allowed early applicants to secure a place in the DOE queue, where exporters thought earlier queue placements were more likely to receive approval and thus appeared more valuable.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Wishful Thinking About Natural Gas Why Fossil Fuels Can’t Solve the Problems Created by Fossil Fuels
Tom Dispatch
Naomi Oreskes

Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy. The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, many environmental groups, and the oil and gas industry all tell us that the way to solve the problem created by fossil fuels is with more fossils fuels. We can do this, they claim, by using more natural gas, which is touted as a “clean” fuel -- even a “green” fuel. Like most misleading arguments, this one starts from a kernel of truth. That truth is basic chemistry: when you burn natural gas, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced is, other things being equal, much less than when you burn an equivalent amount of coal or oil. It can be as much as 50% less compared with coal, and 20% to 30% less compared with diesel fuel, gasoline, or home heating oil. When it comes to a greenhouse gas (GHG) heading for the atmosphere, that’s a substantial difference. It means that if you replace oil or coal with gas without otherwise increasing your energy usage, you can significantly reduce your short-term carbon footprint.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
DEP must do better: The public is left with too many questions on drilling
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Editorial

In the past seven years, oil and gas operations have damaged Pennsylvania water supplies 209 times. That sounds bad, and it is troubling for sure. But how bad? That’s not clear. The Department of Environmental Protection, in response to an open records request from the Post-Gazette, released a list of cases when oil and gas operations either polluted or reduced water flow in 77 communities across the state, information that the DEP plans to post on its website soon. So far, though, the data is too skimpy on specifics to help residents understand what’s really going on.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
BRITAIN TO EXPAND LAND AVAILABLE FOR OIL AND GAS DRILLING
Columbus CEO
Stanley Reed

LONDON — The British government plans to make more land available for licensing for oil and natural gas exploration in the first such expansion since 2008. The move, which had been anticipated by the oil and gas industry, could prove to be a milestone in efforts by the government of Prime Minister David Cameron to encourage the extraction of natural gas and oil from shale rock.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Arkansas AG asks to help defend drilling tax break after agency says it's unconstitutional
The Republic
Andrew DeMillo

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Attorney General Dustin McDaniel wants to help defend in court a $5 million tax break legislators gave natural gas drillers earlier this year, asking to step in and assist in the case after the state's chief finance officer said he believed the exemption was unconstitutional.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Company finds natural gas in southeastern ND
SF Gate


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A company exploring for natural gas outside of western North Dakota's oil patch says it has found the resource but is far from determining whether it would be economical to start production.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
The Truth About Natural Gas: A ‘Green’ Bridge to Hell
EcoWatch
Naomi Oreskes

Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy. The Obama administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many environmental groups, and the oil and gas industry all tell us that the way to solve the problem created by fossil fuels is with more fossils fuels. We can do this, they claim, by using more natural gas, which is touted as a “clean” fuel—even a “green” fuel.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Fracking: British government has opened the way for energy firms to explore for shale gas
Fox News
Associated Press

LONDON – The British government has reopened the way for energy firms to explore for shale gas, three years after seismic tremors led to the suspension of fracking. Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock says shale gas has the potential to improve energy security but stresses national parks will be protected.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Fracking: it's not just our national parks that need protecting, but our houses too From lorries and water use to small earthquakes, there are numerous local environmental risks associated with fracking
The Guardian
Natalie Bennett

Today the government has announced that fracking will only be allowed in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty under “exceptional” circumstances. That’s not, despite what some news outlets are reporting, a “ban”.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Mexican Fracking Opponents Lose a Big Round in the Senate
Mexidata
Frontera NorteSur

Mexican opponents of the controversial method of extracting natural gas known as fracking lost an important battle in the Mexican Senate recently. As part of a 91-26 vote that approved secondary legislation implementing the Peña Nieto administration’s energy reform, most senators rejected a measure that would have prohibited fracking.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Fracking firm has ignored wildlife near drilling zone
The Argus


SUSSEX Wildlife Trust is delighted at the West Sussex County Council planning committee’s unanimous decision to reject the application by Celtique Energie for exploratory drilling at Boxall Bridge near Wisborough Green....we have been seriously disappointed by the poor standard of information on ecological impacts in support of the application.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Landowners group appeals NY fracking lawsuit dismissal
Lohud
Jon Campbell

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, a Binghamton-based group of pro-fracking property owners, filed an appeal Monday with the state Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, which will decide whether to uphold Acting Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough's decision to toss the group's lawsuit.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Fracking 'a huge load of hype', say Friends of the Earth
BBC


The government claims that tight restrictions in the new licences that have been made available to frack for shale gas across vast sheaths of the UK means areas of outstanding natural beauty and national parks will not be drilled, unless there are 'exceptional circumstances'. Craig Bennet from Friends of the Earth said the concessions indicated that the government recognised the problems involved with fracking and called the process "a huge load of hype".  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Fracking: Campaigners attack 'threat to public health'
ITV


Campaign groups have lined up in opposition to fracking as the bidding process for licences gets underway, with claims that the process is bad for the environment and unsafe to the public.   [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
GAO Report: Drinking Water at Risk from Underground Fracking Waste Injection
EcoWatch


The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released its report today finding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “not consistently conducting two key oversight and enforcement activities for class II programs” for underground fluid injection wells associated with oil and gas production. The report shows that the EPA’s program to protect drinking water sources from underground injection of fracking waste needs improvement.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Congressional watchdog urges EPA to step up actions on fracking
Los Angeles Times
Michael Muskal

The Government Accountability Office is calling on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to step up enforcement of water contamination and seismic activity associated with fracking, the high-pressure injection of fluids into wells to extract oil and natural gas.  [Full Story]

Jul 28, 2014
Guest Viewpoint: No redeeming qualities to fracking
Press Connects
Zephyr Teachout Opinion

I've looked at the scientific evidence — peer-reviewed research that examines the impact of fracking on everything from human health, to drinking water, to climate change – and I've made a decision. If I am elected governor, I will ban fracking my first day in office.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2014
Fracking push gets go-ahead across UK as ministers tighten safeguards Drilling will be allowed in national parks in 'exceptional circumstances' but ministers retain power to veto plans
The Guardian
Rowena Mason

Ministers will give the go-ahead on Monday for a big expansion of fracking across Britain that will allow drilling in national parks and other protected areas in "exceptional circumstances".  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2014
Oil, gas boom taps rush of ordinances and bans across the U.S.
The Denver Post
Mark Jaffe

Development of oil and gas shale formations has sparked drilling from Pennsylvania to California, and that is leading to a new wave of local oil and gas ordinances and bans. Towns and cities — from Robinson Township, Pa., population 13,354, to Dallas, population 1.2 million — are enacting rules to limit or control oil and gas development. Beverly Hills, Calif., home to Hollywood stars and a cluster of wells at Beverly Hills High School, has banned fracking, the technique used to crack shale and free up oil and gas.  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2014
Is the Pennsylvania health department fracking-phobic?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
RUTH McDERMOTT-LEVY and NINA M. KAKTINS

Imagine you’re a parent living near a natural-gas fracking site in Pennsylvania when suddenly your child begins having nose bleeds and skin rashes. The pediatrician suspects some type of exposure from the nearby well, and you’ve heard stories on the news and from neighbors about health issues related to fracking. You decide to call the health department, a trusted source of information. But no one returns your calls and your questions remain unanswered. The Pennsylvania Department of Health is charged with ensuring and protecting the health of all state residents. It fulfills this obligation by partnering with communities to monitor existing and emerging health problems and to establish programs that prevent disease and injury.   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2014
Local legislators say no to Kinder Morgan pipeline project
The Berkshire Eagle
Phil Demers

A group of local and regional lawmakers has gone on record as formally opposing a proposed gas pipeline Kinder Morgan seeks to build across northern Massachusetts. In a statement released Friday, the lawmakers base their opposition on "environmental, economic, public safety and public health" concerns. It follows dozens of meetings around Massachusetts and in Boston -- with utility companies, Kinder Morgan representatives and constituents -- attended by each of these lawmakers. Their conclusion? The proposal "is not in the public interest" and "we can and should do better," according to state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox, state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, state Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru, and state Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington.  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2014
Britain to Expand Land Available for Oil and Gas Drilling
New York Times
Stanley Reed

LONDON — The British government plans to make more land available for licensing for oil and natural gas exploration in the first such expansion since 2008.  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2014
In North Dakota, oil bonanza leaves natural gas going up in smoke
Midland Reporter Telegram
Paresh Dave

KEENE, N.D. — Frank and Wanda Leppell once lived on a quiet cattle ranch in the middle of a rolling prairie, the lowing of cattle and the chirping of sparrows forming a pleasant soundtrack to their mornings. No more. Not since the pasture they’ve leased since 2009 became part of one of the nation’s most productive new oil fields. Not since a well barely 200 yards from their front porch began shooting a torch of burning gas skyward, 24 hours a day, with a force as loud as a jet engine. “My bedroom’s like day — I don’t need a night light,” said Wanda Leppell, who has pleaded with state officials — so far without success — to do something. Her husband minces fewer words. “Rotten noise,” he says. “Rotten smell, and terrible waste.”   [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2014
Lawmakers in Berkshires cite environment opposing gas pipeline planned for northern Mass.
AP via Tribtown.com


PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts — A group of lawmakers in the Berkshires is opposing a gas pipeline proposed for northern Massachusetts. The Berkshire Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/1khyAmJ ) that the lawmakers on Friday cited environmental, economic, public safety and public health concerns. The proposal by pipeline operator Kinder Morgan Energy Services of Texas calls for a section to be built along the northern part of Massachusetts, ending in Dracut, north of Boston, where it would connect with transmission lines owned by other companies.  [Full Story]

Jul 27, 2014
More than 3,000 active wells in Los Angeles County
Los Angeles Daily News
Olga Grigoryants

here are more than 3,000 active oil and gas wells in Los Angeles County. Almost 4,680 new wells were drilled in 2012 across the state, bringing the total number to 210,000, according to the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources of the California Department of Conservation. Oil industry officials argue that drilling in California provides many economic benefits, and they downplay any potential health hazards.  [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2014
Adams couple faces fight in quest to drill on land near Mars schools
Tribune-Review
Bill Vidonic

Kim and Bob Geyer have been in the center of a firestorm as a parents group fights Rex Energy's plans to drill for natural gas on the couple's 150-acre farm. The Geyers say they have a constitutional right to lease their land — which stretches from their home in Adams into adjacent Middlesex — for a Marcellus shale drilling well pad.   [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2014
EPA Is Failing To Stop Methane Leaks From Pipelines, Inspector General Says
ThinkProgress
KATIE VALENTINE

The Environmental Protection Agency isn’t doing enough to prevent methane from escaping from natural gas pipelines, according to a new report from the agency’s internal watchdog. The report, published Friday by the EPA’s Inspector General, stated that in 2011, more than $192 million worth of natural gas was lost due to leaks in pipelines. The report said that the agency, which until now has “placed little focus and attention on reducing methane emissions from pipelines in the natural gas distribution center,” needs to take steps to better prevent methane from escaping. It recommended that the EPA work with the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to try to fix the problem, a partnership President Barack Obama has also called for.  [Full Story]

Jul 26, 2014
Oil drilling in North Dakota raises concerns about radioactive waste
Los Angeles Times
NEELA BANERJEE

Every weekday, about a dozen large garbage trucks peel away from the oil boom that has spread through western North Dakota to bump along a gravel road to the McKenzie County landfill. The trucks drive up to a scale flanked by something seldom found in rural dumps — two 8-foot-tall yellow panels that essentially form a giant Geiger counter. Two or three times a day, the radiation detector blares like a squad car, because under tons of refuse someone has stashed yard-long filters clotted with radioactive dirt from drilling sites.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Texas Border Fracking Standoff: NY Court Ruling May Affect Outcome
FRONTERAS
Lorne Matalon

The Big Bend of Texas, so named for the way the region hugs a massive bend in the Rio Grande, is renown for its desert landscapes, open spaces and tranquility. But parts of it lie within the oil-rich Permian Basin, the nation’s highest producing oil field thanks to fracking technology. Now, Mexico is drilling at least 29 exploratory wells across the border from the Big Bend and saying it wants to jumpstart fracking operations there.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Denton Fracking Ban Could Spur Wider Legal Clash
The Texas Tribune
JIM MALEWITZ

DENTON — Debbie Ingram understands the importance of Texas’ oil and gas industry, and she enjoys the look of a lit-up drilling rig rising in the nighttime sky. But a few months of living about 400 feet from a natural gas well — the source of a cacophony of noises and nauseating fumes that, at times, have overtaken her brick house — prompted her to join hundreds of others pushing back against the industry in this North Texas city.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
EPA IG may have strengthened agency's hand on methane regulation
E & E Newswire
Jean Chemnick

A report released today by U.S. EPA's inspector general may help pave the way for methane regulations for natural gas pipelines. The agency's IG found that EPA is doing too little to limit methane leakage from the natural gas transmission sector, which it estimated to contribute more than 13 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent each year. The report comes as EPA is weighing whether to promulgate new Clean Air Act restrictions to curb leakage of the powerful greenhouse gas from oil and gas systems. The administration has pledged to complete any rulemakings before President Obama leaves office.   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Legal marathon continues over Oregon LNG project in Warrenton
The Oregonian
Ted Sickinger

Clatsop County filed a cross appeal this week to an appeal by Oregon LNG of a decision that had been remanded, after being reversed, the reversal having been upheld after an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn it...and so on. In other words, a decade after Oregon LNG first proposed building a liquefied natural gas terminal near the mouth of the Columbia River in Warrenton, the project remains stuck in legal quicksand. To back up, Clatsop County Commissioners voted last October to deny the Oregon Pipeline Co.'s application to lay 41 miles of pipeline across the county to feed the controversial Oregon LNG gas export terminal in Warrenton. That decision, a potential deal killer for the terminal project if upheld, flip-flopped a 2010 county decision that the pipe was consistent with zoning rules.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Fracking sand spill sparks health advisory in Bashaw, Alta.
CBC News


Officials are warning of a potential public health risk after children were seen playing in spilled fracking sand at an industrial area in the central Alberta town of Bashaw. A container holding the sand collapsed near the CN railway in mid-June and wasn’t cleaned up for a month, Alberta Health Services said.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
University of Colorado Boulder Scientists Link 10,800-Foot-Deep Fracking Wastewater Well to More Than 200 Earthquakes
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

NGL, formerly known as High Sierra Water Services, was given permission to resume its activities at a 10,800-foot-deep well a few weeks later, but the CU findings suggest that shouldn’t have happened. Anne Sheehan and her team found that the well is linked to more than 200 earthquakes, the geophysics professor in the CU Department of Geological Sciences told Boulder County Business Report.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Longmont’s Fracking Ban Tossed as Colorado Vote Looms
Bloomberg
Joel Rosenblatt and Jennifer Oldham

A fracking ban in the city of Longmont, Colorado, was thrown out by a judge amid petition drives to hold a statewide vote in November on restricting oil and gas drilling that generate $30 billion a year. The debate over fracking, in which water, chemicals and sand are injected below ground to extract oil and gas from sand and shale formations, has escalated in Colorado as drilling moves closer to suburbs, raising concerns about water and air contamination. Five communities in the state have voted to ban or put a moratorium on such activity.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Pennsylvania firm seeks mineral and gas rights from Durham, Chapel Hill landowners
Triangle Business Journal
Rebecca Troyer

Pennsylvania-based Crimson Holdings Corp. is looking to buy mineral and gas rights from landowners in Durham and Chapel Hill. In June, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill that allows hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, in North Carolina. While some argue fracking has economic benefits, others are concerned about the environmental impact.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Dangers Inherent In Fracking Jobs
Popular Resistance


Yesterday many of Southern Illinois’s elected officials, and representatives of the fossil fuel industry, held a one-hour press conference to complain about the fact that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has still not completed the rule-making process in order for fracking to begin in Illinois.   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
"Flat Earth" fracking ad on "radical activists" insults some voters
The Denver Post
Lynn Bartels

"Flat Earth Discussion Group," cheese by-products and a man with a sock puppet takes a humorous look at Colorado's fracking battle, but some voters aren't laughing.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Shale Oil May be Making Railroad Oil Transport More Dangerous
Smithsonian.com
Mary Beth Griggs

A train falling off the tracks caused a massive oil spill in Lynchburg, Virginia in April. Last year, a train carrying oil derailed in Québec, killing 47 people and destroying most of downtown Lac-Mégantic. And in North Dakota last December a crash burned more than 20 train cars.   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
China Plans to Construct Huge Methanol Plant in Shale Gas-Rich Texas to Meet Rising Domestic Demand
International Business Times
Jerin Mathew

Chinese firms, Connell Group of China and Sino Life Insurance Co are looking to build a huge methanol production and deep-port export facility in the shale gas-rich US state of Texas.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
It wouldn't be 'sensible' for N.S. to proceed with fracking: panel chair
CTV News
Jason Baxter

The man overseeing a review of fracking in Nova Scotia has concluded it isn’t reasonable to proceed at this point.   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Shale Gas Compressor Proposal Reveals Town’s Divide
CBS Pittsburgh
Andy Sheehan

Marcellus drilling rigs and other shale gas infrastructure is dividing the residents of New Sewickley, Beaver County.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Steam Injection Fracking Caused Major Alberta Bitumen Leak
The Tyee News
Andrew Nikiforuk

Review finds fractures spread like cracks on a frozen lake, resulting in uncontrolled seepage.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Dispute over Seneca Lake gas storage proposal rages on
WRVO Public Media
David Chanatry

The debate over proposals to store natural gas, propane and butane in salt caverns under Seneca Lake has become increasingly vocal, especially after a federal agency approved part of the project last May.   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
CU study links frack-waste wells, quakes
Boulder County Business Report
Steve Lynn

GREELEY – A 10,800-foot-deep well into which NGL Water Solutions DJ LLC injected oil and natural-gas wastewater is linked to more than 200 earthquakes, a University of Colorado Boulder scientist said.   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Report Says EPA Fails to Stem Methane Gas Emissions From Pipelines Inspector General Says Voluntary Program to Spur Energy Companies to Address Leaks Is No Help
The Wall Street Journal
Amy Harder

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to control emissions of methane from inadvertent leaks from natural-gas pipelines, the agency's inspector general said in a report on Friday. The report calls on the EPA to do more to control emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that has a more intense, though shorter, impact on global warming than carbon dioxide, according to the EPA. Natural gas is almost entirely methane.   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
U.S. EPA fails to address methane leaks from gas pipelines -watchdog
Reuters
VALERIE VOLCOVICI

(Reuters) - The internal watchdog of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday that the regulator does not adequately address methane leaks from natural gas pipelines, harming both the economy and environment. The EPA Inspector General said the agency's current voluntary program to address methane leaks from pipelines has yielded only minimal reductions of the potent greenhouse gas. As well as contributing to climate change, the report said, more than $192 million worth of natural gas was lost in 2011 due to such leaks, increasing prices paid by consumers.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
SHALES VS. SOLAR: AN INVESTMENT PERSPECTIVE
Energy Policy Forum
Deborah Lawrence

There are many strident voices in the debate over energy. On the one hand, proponents of shale gas claim the extraction of natural gas from low porosity shale formations to be the energy panacea for which we have all been waiting. They have buzz words and sound bites such as “game changer” and “shale revolution”. On the other hand, proponents of renewable energy post photographs of people gambolling in fields of daisies, the sun shining overhead with the caption, “a solar spill is just another beautiful day”. Actually, one could now argue that a solar spill is becoming just another beautiful wealth creation vehicle.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Pa. landowners scramble to learn how pipeline projects affect insurance coverage
SNL
Mark Hand

Natural gas pipeline companies are playing catch-up with the surge in shale gas production. They are investing billions of dollars on pipeline expansions, ranging from increased compression to looping to greenfield projects, to move the growing gas supplies to market. In the Mid-Atlantic region, pipeline companies are working particularly hard, racing to build new infrastructure that will give natural gas extracted from the prolific Marcellus Shale a way out the region. But as pipeline project filings make their way through the regulatory process at FERC, people who live along the proposed routes are forced to quickly get up to speed and learn how the new gas transportation systems will affect them.   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Fracking: Poster Child for the Corporate Welfare State
Counterpunch
Kevin Carson

Just about every week another story comes to my attention confirming the complete and total government-dependency of fracking  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Colorado Judge Strikes Down Longmont’s Fracking Ban in Favor of ‘State’s Interest’ in Oil and Gas
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

One thing is for sure—you can’t accuse Boulder County District Court Judge D.D. Mallard of being dishonest. Her decision Thursday regarding Longmont, CO’s fracking ban includes no ambiguity. Instead it clearly states that concerns about health risks to residents don’t quite stack up against Colorado’s stake in the oil and gas industries. “While the court appreciates the Longmont citizens’ sincerely held beliefs about risks to their health and safety, the court does not find this is sufficient to completely devalue the state’s interest,” Mallard wrote in the decision, uploaded to Scribd by the Denver Post.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Fracking the Everglades: Texas Oil Prospectors May Sue State Over Drilling Rights
New Times Broward
Fire Ant

Not so fast. That's the message to environmentalists   [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
University of Colorado Boulder Scientists Link 10,800-Foot-Deep Fracking Wastewater Well to More Than 200 Earthquakes
EcoNews
Brandon Baker

When the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission ordered NGL Water Solutions to stop fracking wastewater injection operations a month ago, a team of University of Colorado Boulder researchers began conducting its own investigation. NGL, formerly known as High Sierra Water Services, was given permission to resume its activities at a 10,800-foot-deep well a few weeks later, but the CU findings suggest that shouldn’t have happened. Anne Sheehan and her team found that the well is linked to more than 200 earthquakes, the geophysics professor in the CU Department of Geological Sciences told Boulder County Business Report. She said the group found “quite a few” earthquakes with epicenters within two miles of the well.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Fracking’s hidden toll on rural America
Salon
SCOTT DODD, ONEARTH.ORG

Growing up in northern West Virginia in the 1970s, I remember seeing a lot of big white plastic candy canes sticking out of the ground, marking the natural gas pipelines that ran just below the surface. You’d encounter them along streams and fence lines and the backcountry roads that always made me carsick. What I didn’t realize as a kid was how much of my family history was intertwined with those hidden gas lines. My great-great-grandfather, William Dodd, helped lay some of the first pipe across the state, working for a subsidiary of Standard Oil at a time when John D. Rockefeller craved alternatives to oil (not for any environmental reason, but because even back then he was worried we would run out).  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
All fracked out before we’ve begun? The 130 resistance groups around the country have dealt a blow to those at the heart of shale gas and oil exploration
The Telegraph
Geoffrey Lean

How’s this for a paradox? Fracking has just suffered its greatest setback yet in Britain – in the week that has perhaps done most to make the case for it. For, even as concern about Europe’s energy security escalated following the downing of MH17, a planning application by a shale company was rejected for the first time. West Sussex county council’s planning committee unanimously refused to allow Celtique Energie to drill through shale rocks near the ancient village of Wisborough Green in the shadow of the South Downs – an exploratory exercise that could have led to fracking. And in doing so – exactly a year after protests in nearby Balcombe took off – it put at risk the drive to unleash what ministers planned to be an oil and gas bonanza in the South East. Indeed, the industry is increasingly regretting ever venturing into the home counties.  [Full Story]

Jul 25, 2014
Wine, Not Gas! New York Residents Fight Gas Storage at Lake Seneca
Truthout
Ellen Cantarow

New York's Finger Lakes region is a national treasure: 9,000 square miles of forest, wetlands, streams and lakes, including 10,000 acres of vineyards. The Finger Lakes wine industry now rivals California's and, say some wine-lovers, even France's. Finger Lakes National Forest has 13,232 acres of forest, trails, ponds and wildlife. Just southwest of the forest is Watkins Glen, a geological marvel formed 12,000 years ago, its 19 waterfalls cascading over walls of leafy shale directly into Seneca Lake. The lake is the largest and deepest of the Finger Lakes, furnishing water for 100,000 people. Now this region is in imminent danger of becoming a major gas hub. A five-year-long drive by the corporation Crestwood Midstream Partners (formerly Inergy Midstream LP) to store massive quantities of fracked gas under Seneca Lake, is nearing its conclusion. In May the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), without whose permission the project cannot go forward, approved it despite widespread opposition by the region's residents. Most of the hundreds of comments filed with FERC, which allows the public to submit written statements during its reviews, denounced the project.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Drilling plans for Loyalsock State Forest quietly move forward
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Controversial plans to expand natural gas drilling in the Loyalsock State Forest are quietly moving forward. Last month the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which manages drilling on public lands, met with two gas companies who own mineral rights there. More than a year has passed since DCNR held a contentious public meeting on the issue in Williamsport. Since then, the agency has released very little information publicly. Nearly 500 people attended that meeting, and everyone who spoke over a three-hour period expressed either opposition or concern. In a response to an open records request from the Pennsylvania Forest Coalition, DCNR said it did not keep a record of the comments.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Shale Gas Compressor Proposal Reveals Town’s Divide
cbs Pittsburgh
Andy Sheehan

NEW SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Marcellus drilling rigs and other shale gas infrastructure is dividing the residents of New Sewickley, Beaver County. About 200 people turned out Wednesday night to a public hearing on a proposed compressor station. Shale gas drilling is relatively new in Butler and Beaver Counties, but wherever it goes, it stirs up public debate.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Groundwater Disappearing Much Faster Than Lake Mead in Colorado River Basin
EcoNews
Brett Walton

The mineral-stained canyon walls and the plunging water levels at Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, are the most visible signs of the driest 14-year period in the Colorado River Basin’s historical record.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Study: Colorado River Basin drying up faster than previously thought
The Washington Post
Reid Wilson

About two-thirds of the water lost over the past nine years came from underground water supplies, rather than surface water. “We were shocked to see how much water was actually depleted underground,” Stephanie Castle, a water specialist at the University of California at Irvine and lead author of the report, said in an interview.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Steam Injection Fracking Caused Major Alberta Bitumen Leak
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

Review finds fractures spread like cracks on a frozen lake, resulting in uncontrolled seepage. A new independent technical review on the cause of a large and costly 2013 bitumen leak in northern Alberta found a form of hydraulic fracturing that injects steam into the ground to be the main culprit. The panel, appointed by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. to review its initial findings on the cause of the leak at its Primrose facility, also documented that industry frack jobs, contrary to industry claims, can break caprock, shoot out of zone, link to natural fractures and penetrate into groundwater. Fractures made by CNRL, one of the country's largest bitumen extractors, not only connected to natural fractures in the area, but also cracked their way through several non-targeted formations. These industry-induced fractures then penetrated "generally impermeable shales" and passed through groundwater before erupting to surface more than 500 metres from the original targeted zone in the Cold Lake oilsands region of Alberta.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Drilling plans for Loyalsock State Forest quietly move forward
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Controversial plans to expand natural gas drilling in the Loyalsock State Forest are quietly moving forward. Last month the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which manages drilling on public lands, met with two gas companies who own mineral rights there. More than a year has passed since DCNR held a contentious public meeting on the issue in Williamsport. Since then, the agency has released very little information publicly.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Advocacy Group Looks To Forest Service Solution
Aspen Public Radio
Marci Krivonen

Natural Gas drilling in an area near Carbondale known as the Thompson Divide is still a possibility, despite protest from many local residents. The group trying to stop it is hopeful a Forest Service plan, due out later this summer, will prevent future drilling. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
EU's planned sanctions against Russia to hit South Stream, Yamal LNG
Reuters
Henning Gloystein & Barbara Lewis

LONDON/BRUSSELS, July 24 (Reuters) - The European Union's proposed sanctions against Russia, targeting sensitive technology, take aim at Gazprom's huge South Stream gas pipeline project to Europe and Novatek's Arctic Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Federal government criticized for leaving fracking chemicals off pollutant list
Calgary Herald


OTTAWA - Environmentalists and legal experts are criticizing the federal government's decision to leave toxic fracking chemicals off a list of pollutants going into Canada's air, land and water. "The government doesn't know exactly which chemicals are being used for fracking and as a result doesn't know the risk that may be posed by those chemicals," Joseph Castrilli of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, an Ontario-based legal-aid clinic for environmental issues, said Wednesday.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
It wouldn't be 'sensible' for N.S. to proceed with fracking: panel chair
ctv news


The man overseeing a review of fracking in Nova Scotia has concluded it isn’t reasonable to proceed at this point. David Wheeler has been making his way across Nova Scotia for a series of public meetings in his role as chair of the province’s independent hydraulic fracturing review panel. Wheeler, who is also the president of Cape Breton University, says it became clear by his seventh stop that Nova Scotians are concerned about fracking in their province.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Local Fracking Ban Invalid, Judge Rules
Bond Buyer
Richard Williamson

Oil and gas producers in Colorado won a significant legal victory Thursday, as a state district court struck down a local on hydraulic fracturing within city limits.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Fracking foes pitch moratorium or outright ban
Herald News
Michael Lightstone

The McNeil government’s road-show review of fracking was preceded by dissent Wednesday evening in Halifax. Dozens of fracking opponents gathered prior to the province’s public meeting at a post-secondary school to listen to people criticize hydraulic fracturing. They heard Nova Scotia should forbid or impose a long-term moratorium on the contentious energy-sector technique.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Plenty of opposition at fracking panel meeting
Herald News
Gordon Delaney

WINDSOR — They came armed with signs, pamphlets and even protest songs. Some came hungry for information, but most came to express their opposition. Almost 300 people filled the Hants County War Memorial Community Centre on Thursday night for one of the province’s final public consultation meetings on hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
UPDATE: Fracking Waste Site Not Coming to Barnesville After Company Pulls Out
WTRF


BARNESVILLE, Ohio - A proposed fracking waste site will not be coming to Barnesville after the company in charge of the project pulled out, citing costs.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Judge strikes down Longmont's fracking ban
Colorado Public Radio
Nathaniel Minor

District Court Judge D.D. Mallard struck down the city of Longmont's ban on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in an order issued Thursday. The judge stayed her order though, pending an appeal. - See more at: http://www.cpr.org/node/116017#sthash.icvsCzUT.dpuf  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Aggressive Tactic on the Fracking Front
Daily Yonder
Naveena Sadasivam

For the last eight years, Pennsylvania has been riding the natural gas boom, with companies drilling and fracking thousands of wells across the state. And in a little corner of Washington County, some 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh, EQT Corporation has been busy 2013 drilling close to a dozen new wells on one site. It didn't take long for the residents of Finleyville who lived near the fracking operations to complain 2013 about the noise and air quality, and what they regarded as threats to their health and quality of life.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Push to Ban Fracking Puts Denton in Fight Over Owners’ Rights
The New York Times
JIM MALEWITZ

DENTON — Debbie Ingram understands the importance of Texas’ oil and gas industry, and she enjoys the look of a lit-up drilling rig rising in the nighttime sky. But a few months of living about 400 feet from a natural gas well — the source of a cacophony of noises and nauseating fumes that, at times, have overtaken her brick house — prompted her to join hundreds of others pushing back against the industry in this North Texas city.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Boulder County judge overturns Longmont fracking ban; Polis continues signature push
FOX 31 Denver
ELI STOKOLS

DENVER — Another day in Colorado, another ban struck down by a judge in a ruling accompanied by a stay. But Thursday’s ruling from a Boulder County judge struck down a municipal ban on fracking, not a statewide ban on same-sex marriage. Judge D.D. Mallard issued the summary judgment on Thursday, striking down Longmont’s ban on fracking. In the ruling, she said Longmont’s charter amendment clearly conflicted with the state’s regulations and its interest in the efficient development of oil and gas deposits.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Albany Nears Oil-Hub Status as 100-Car Trains Jam Port
Bloomberg
Caelainn Barr

Albany, New York’s capital city, may join the ranks of U.S. energy hubs such as Houston and Cushing, Oklahoma, as oil-terminal operator Global Partners LP (GLP) pushes an expansion plan after already quadrupling its capacity.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Federal [Canadian] government criticized for leaving fracking chemicals off pollutant list
CALGARY HERALD
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - Environmentalists and legal experts are criticizing the federal government's decision to leave toxic fracking chemicals off a list of pollutants going into Canada's air, land and water. "The government doesn't know exactly which chemicals are being used for fracking and as a result doesn't know the risk that may be posed by those chemicals," Joseph Castrilli of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, an Ontario-based legal-aid clinic for environmental issues, said Wednesday.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Study warns U.S. power grid will become too reliant on gas
The Dallas Morning News
James Osborne

A study by the energy research firm IHS warns the U.S. power grid stands to become far too reliant on natural gas in the decades ahead, as economic factors and new environmental regulations stand to push out power sources like coal and nuclear. The study comes as new EPA regulations on carbon dioxide stand to dramatically shift the power industry, pushing natural gas and alternative energy sources like solar and wind over coal.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Is There Any Scientific Study - Not Sponsored by Industry - that Asserts Fracking is Safe?
Nation of Change
STEVE RUSHTON

A Talk Fracking event in London, which was the finale to a U.K.-wide tour, recently offered the opportunity to ask this burning question. With more than 250 in attendance, the motto of the day was: "Listen to the leading voices on both sides of the argument and have your say.” Talk Fracking had invited experts, industry insiders, environmentalists, politicians and diplomats to debate in a panel discussion format. But amazingly, no one from the industry – that is, no one backing the case to frack – showed up, leaving many questions unanswered. Who Says Fracking is Safe, and Who is Paying Them?  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Oil tank car phase-out sought
Times Herald Record
James Nani

The federal government proposed Wednesday to phase out thousands of older rail tank cars to prevent the repeat of fiery crashes. Local politicians generally supported the changes. But both the rail industry and some environmentalists opposed the suggested regulations — though for different reasons. The shifts in regulations would phase out the DOT-111 tank cars often use to transport oil.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Judge clears way for anti-fracking petition to move forward
chicoer.com
Roger Aylworth

CHICO >> An initiative drive aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing in Butte County has received judicial sanction to move forward. Butte County Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman ruled Wednesday against an effort to halt the petition drive, organized by a group calling itself Frack Free Butte County, voided. The fracking ban could end up in front of Butte County voters in November. On June 5, the petitions with about 10,000 signatures on them were turned in to the Butte County Clerk-Recorder's Office in Oroville. Candace Grubbs, county clerk-recorder, is also the county's chief elections officer.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Albany County pushing tough new oil train law
Capital Gazette
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—Albany County Executive Dan McCoy on Wednesday proposed another tough, local regulation affecting oil trains. During a press conference at a the Ezra Prentice public housing project, just a feet away from a row of tanker cars, McCoy said county legislators are expected to soon approve a law that would fine and criminally charge oil train officials who don't report spills within 30 minutes. Operators would be charged $1,000 in addition to the $5,000 fine levied on the oil transportation companies by the state for each violation that occurs.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
“We are not going to win overnight.” – Anti-fracking activists as company prepares to start drilling
thejournal.ie


NTI-FRACKING CAMPAIGNERS are protesting in a Fermanagh village as exploration company Tamboran attempt to begin drilling to collect rock samples. The town of Belcoo near the Fermanagh-Cavan border is now at the heart of the Irish fracking debate with activists staging protests over the past few days. Speaking to protesters at the steel-gated entrance to the site, Donal Ó Cófaigh told protesters that “we are not going to win overnight”:  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Runaround: Three Months of Correspondence With the EPA EPA's non-responsiveness in the Texas air pollution story is troubling because it keeps taxpayers in the dark about a critical issue.
Inside Climate News
Jim Morris & Lisa Song

For more than a year, InsideClimate News and the Center for Public Integrity have been reporting on air pollution caused by the fracking boom in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas. Despite hundreds of complaints from residents, many of them about noxious air emissions, we discovered that the state knows almost nothing about the extent of the pollution and rarely fines companies for breaking emission laws.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
States Against E.P.A. Rule on Carbon Pollution Would Gain, Study Finds
New York Times
Coral Davenport

WASHINGTON — Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma are among the most vocal Republican skeptics of the science that burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming, but a new study to be released Thursday found that their states would be among the biggest economic winners under a regulation proposed by President Obama to fight climate change.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Clinton County Passes Fracking Waste Ban
WAMC
Pat Bradley

The Clinton County Legislature has approved a law banning the sale, transport, storage and disposal of fracking and other waste. The League of Women Voters had pushed for its passage. The new Clinton County law applies to hydraulic fracturing, natural gas, and oil waste materials. It bans the application of such waste on any road or property. It cannot be brought into or used in any wastewater treatment facilities or solid waste management facility in the county. It also bars all sales, acquisition, storage, handling, treatment and/or processing of the materials within the county.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Report Exposes European Lobby Groups Who Ensure Expansion of Shale Gas
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

A new report from Friends of the Earth Europe aims to expose Shell, Total and ExxonMobil, along with groups like BusinessEurope and OGP, to reveal what it calls a “thick web of lobbying activity.” The report says public relations and law firms, paid-for scientific reports, and even members of Parliament have all been used to advance fracking for shale gas around the continent.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Halliburton Fracking Spill Mystery: What Chemicals Polluted an Ohio Waterway? A recent accident highlights how state fracking laws protect corporate trade secrets over public safet
Mother Jones
Mariah Blake

On the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents. More than 70,000 fish died. Nevertheless, it took five days for the Environmental Protection Agency and its Ohio counterpart to get a full list of the chemicals polluting the waterway. "We knew there was something toxic in the water," says an environmental official who was on the scene. "But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public." This episode highlights a glaring gap in fracking safety standards.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
After Rancher's Death, Calls for Fracking Health Study Grow Stronger
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

But the story of Mr. Greenwood's fight against the drilling industry and lax oversight by state regulators does not stop there. In the weeks since his death, there has been a steady stream of further revelations about ineptitude by state environmental and health officials in protecting the public from the type of threats that may have killed Mr. Greenwood. These revelations are both a reminder of the importance of Mr. Greenwood's fight and an reiteration of how little has changed.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Fracking ban will not be on Butte supervisors' Tuesday agenda
ChicoER


OROVILLE >> An initiative aimed at banning hydraulic fracking in Butte County will not go before the supervisors Tuesday. In June a group called "Frack Free Butte County" submitted petitions to Butte County, seeking to put a measure on the ballot that would ban the use of hydraulic fracturing in the search and or recovery of oil and natural gas in gas in the county.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Anti-fracking group claim legislators put oil, gas interests above workers
The Southern
Nick Mariano

An anti-fracking group Wednesday claimed Illinois legislators are putting oil and gas interests ahead of worker safety, a group spokesperson said in response to calls for faster movement on pending rules needed to regulate the industry.  [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Anti-fracking movement picking up steam in Nova Scotia
CTV News


The anti-fracking movement seems to be picking up momentum in Nova Scotia. Hundreds of Halifax-area residents attended a public meeting on the matter in the city Wednesday evening. The meeting was hosted by a provincially-appointed panel.   [Full Story]

Jul 24, 2014
Clinton County bans hydro-fracking
Press Republican
Joe LoTemplio

PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County legislators agreed to ban a controversial natural gas-seeking method and the disposal of any of its waste in the county.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Californians oppose increased fracking
Central Valley Business Times


As debates continue over drilling for oil and natural gas using the technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at least half of California adults (54 percent oppose, 36 percent favor) and likely voters (50 percent oppose, 40 percent favor) oppose this method of extraction, according to a new statewide poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Agencies concerned fracking site could impact wetlands
Shreveport Times


MANDEVILLE — There have been protests and heated public meetings over a proposal to begin fracking in St. Tammany Parish. Now, the Army Corps of Engineers is spelling out concerns from state and federal agencies in response to a permit application for a drilling well pad along Hwy. 1088.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Pennsylvania Auditor Cites Flaws in Gas Drilling Regulation
Insurance Journal


Strained by the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania and limited resources, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state’s elected auditor said Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Families sick from fracking exposure turn to concerned scientists
Philly.com
Lisa Song

A group of scientists from Pennsylvania and neighboring states have stepped in to fill this gap by forming a nonprofit—apparently the first of its kind in the United States—that provides free health consultations to local families near drilling sites. Instead of waiting years or even decades for long-term studies to emerge, the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) is using the best available science to help people deal with their ailments.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
A generation of emissions takes a toll on Arctic ice
Daily Climate
Douglas Fischer

The impacts are increasingly being felt everywhere – bigger storms in the Midwest, soggy summers in England, drought in Colorado. But nowhere on the planet are the impacts as dramatic as the Arctic, and the ice cap is a prime example.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Oil-Train Spills Are Worse Than Ever, and Obama's New Safety Rules Aren't Enough
New Republic
Rebecca Leber

he oil boom that has anointed the U.S. the top exporter in the world has led to an astounding increase in the amount of the flammable liquid being transported on the country's railways: The number of train cars moving crude oil in America has increased 4,500 percent since 2008. But the quality of the trains themselves has not kept pace. The National Transportation Safety Board has long considered the most common model of car that carries North Dakota's shale oil to be “susceptible to damage and catastrophic loss of hazardous material." In 2013, 1.2 million gallons of oil spilled from train cars in the U.S.—more than every year since 1975 combined.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Pennsylvania Environmental Regulators Flunk State's Own Shale Gas Audit
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

In January 2013, Pennsylvania's auditor general announced that he would conduct an investigation into whether state regulators were effectively overseeing the impacts from the shale gas drilling rush. A year and a half later, the results are in: the state's environmental regulators are failing badly in at least eight major areas, at times declining to cite drillers who broke the law. In a damning 158-page report, the state's auditor general highlighted the agency's wide-ranging failures. The report detailed the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) use of a legal “loop hole” to avoid inspecting wells and described the agnecy's failure to fulfill its duty to track the industry's toxic waste. The report also faulted the agency for a reliance on voluntary measures in policing the industry.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
In Pennsylvania, Dr. Frack will see you now
Grist
Heather Smith

People who live near fracking sites have been complaining for years about headaches, nosebleeds, and birth defects. Now one such population, in Washington County, Penn., is getting some help in the form of free medical consultations — but not from the usual suspects. Washington County is a place known for its many picturesque bridges. It’s also known for its “wet gas” — an underground smorgasbord of methane, propane, butane, and ethane that hasn’t seen daylight since the Devonian era. During the drilling process, most of this gas is captured, but a certain amount does leak into the atmosphere.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Judge clears way for anti-fracking petition to move forward Petition signatures must be authenticated
Oroville MR
Roger Aylworth

Butte County Superior Court Judge Robert Glusman ruled Wednesday against an effort to halt the petition drive, organized by a group calling itself Frack Free Butte County, voided. The fracking ban could end up in front of Butte County voters in November.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Maine Victory: City Council Prevents Tar Sands Oil Exports
Protecting Our Waters
Iris Marie Bloom

The fight against extreme energy extraction, now ongoing in hundreds of communities across the United States and the world, expanded to include another significant victory on Monday night in the town of South Portland, Maine. Townspeople and Maine environmental groups organized a “relentless 18-month campaign,” as the Los Angeles Times put it, resulting in a near-unanimous City Council vote (6-1) passing a Clear Skies Ordinance preventing the export of crude oil from South Portland’s waterfront.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Texas City Council Rejects Fracking Ban
jdsupra.com
Stephanie Noriea Murphy

On July 16, 2014, the City Council of Denton, Texas rejected an ordinance that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing. The initiative will now be considered by the Denton residents in the November election. Earlier this year, the City Council unanimously approved a temporary ban on fracking which is effective through September. The controversial ordinance would amend Chapter 16, “Licenses, Permits and Business Regulation,” of Denton’s Code of Ordinances to add a new Article VII, entitled “Prohibition of Hydraulic Fracturing.” It dictates that “it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in hydraulic fracturing within the corporate limits in the City.”   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
AACOG hears proposal for moderating water concerns in Eagle Ford Shale
ksat
Brian Mylar

SAN ANTONIO - The Alamo Area Council of Governments is mulling over a proposal from the Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center for the center to become a neutral agent in addressing water concerns in the Eagle Ford shale formation. Calvin Finch, from the center, made a presentation to AACOG’s board Wednesday, telling members that the Eagle Ford communities south of San Antonio are wary of what the oil companies are doing regarding their water supply and that the oil companies are wary of telling the communities what they are doing.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Federal government criticized for leaving fracking chemicals off pollutant list
660news.com


OTTAWA – Environmentalists and legal experts are criticizing the federal government’s decision to leave toxic fracking chemicals off a list of pollutants going into Canada’s air, land and water. “The government doesn’t know exactly which chemicals are being used for fracking and as a result doesn’t know the risk that may be posed by those chemicals,” Joseph Castrilli of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, an Ontario-based legal-aid clinic for environmental issues, said Wednesday. “They’re dangerous and they’re extensively used across the country.”  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Californians oppose increased fracking
Central Valley Business Times


As debates continue over drilling for oil and natural gas using the technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at least half of California adults (54 percent oppose, 36 percent favor) and likely voters (50 percent oppose, 40 percent favor) oppose this method of extraction, according to a new statewide poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Statewide meeting focuses on Virginia gas drilling
tricities.com
ALLIE ROBINSON GIBSON

ABINGDON, Va. -- A statewide meeting about natural gas and oil regulations Wednesday had a familiar ring to some Washington County residents, some of whom voiced their opinions on gas drilling. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy hosted a meeting of the Regulatory Advisory Panel, which is looking at the current gas and oil regulations, reviewing best practices, determining whether fluids used in hydraulic fracturing should be disclosed and determining if additional regulations are necessary in different areas of the state.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Four reasons why US fracking could turn out to be a bubble
qz.com
Tim Fernholz

Hydraulic fracturing—the oil drilling technique that unlocks oil and gas tightly trapped in rock formations—has been a recent bonanza for the US, creating economic growth, cheap fossil fuels and even changing the way the earth looks from space. But is it going to last? + Critics looking at the money pouring into oil exploration, the growing political concern with greenhouse gasses and climate change, and the challenge of renewable energy are starting to wonder if this is really a sustainable development or a temporary bubble that, in a worst case scenario, could end in tears for companies with big investments in expensive oil drilling operations and exploration.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Air quality a concern near North Dakota fire
UPI
Daniel J Graeber

BISMARCK, N.D., July 23 (UPI) --North Dakota's Health Department said it's surveying air quality near the site of a fire at an industrial park in Williston, the heart of the state's oil patch. Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing caught fire at an industrial warehouse in Williston. Officials said they're going to let the fire burn out on its own because pouring water on the blaze would create a secondary problem for nearby waterways. The North Dakota Department of Health said it's monitoring air quality around the industrial park for any threats to public health.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Yukon fracking committee hears an overwhelming no
cbc.ca
Phillippe Morin

So far 108 people in nine Yukon communities have spoken to the Yukon government’s select committee on fracking, and the overwhelming majority are against it. The Yukon Legislature's select committee on fracking has published transcripts of its recent community meetings. At least two of the comments came from people who have worked in the oil and gas industry.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
New Safety Rules Proposed For Oil Rail Tanker Cars That Carry Explosive, Fracked Crude
CBS SanFrancisco


WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — Thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude oil would be phased out within two years under regulations proposed Wednesday in response to a series of fiery train crashes over the past year, including a runaway oil train that exploded in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Kochs and Corps Have Bankrolled American Council on Science and Health
Center for Media and Democracy
Rebecah Wilce

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) poses as an independent science-based organization devoted to outing "junk science," but consumer advocates have called it "a consumer front organization for its business backers" that "glove[s] the hand that feeds it." The majority of ACSH's funds have come from corporations and major foundations, but a new review of its funding sources by The Progressive Inc.'s Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) reveals that some of the hands that feed the group that bashes people concerned about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chemicals used in factory farming, for example, are those of the Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, through the Koch family fortune. Koch Industries profits from petroleum products like ammonia fertilizers and other agribusiness-related operations.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Fracking raises public health concerns
The Highlander
Meredith Burns

It will be years before hydraulic fracturing comes to Western North Carolina — if it comes at all — but residents are already considering the practice’s potential effects on public health. At a presentation on July 16 at the Jackson County Public Library, Dr. Graeme Potter, an OB-GYN at Dogwood Women’s Health clinic in Sylva, explained how water and air pollution associated with hydraulic fracturing threatens public health and why so little is known about the practice’s environmental consequences. Read more: Highlands, NC | The Highlander Newspaper | Highlands, North Carolina - Fracking raises public health concerns   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Feds criticized for leaving fracking chemicals off pollutant list
CTV News


OTTAWA -- Environmentalists and legal experts are criticizing the federal government's decision to omit toxic chemicals used in fracking from a list that summarizes pollutants going into Canada's air, land and water.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Yukon fracking committee hears an overwhelming 'No' Overwhelming majority of people speaking to the committee are against fracking
CBC News
Phillippe Morin

So far 108 people in nine Yukon communities have spoken to the Yukon government’s select committee on fracking, and the overwhelming majority are against it.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Moratorium on fracking a ‘no brainer’
Blackpool Gazette


A councillor’s proposal for a moratorium on fracking in the UK has been welcomed as a “no brainer” by campaigners against the controversial process.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Sylva comes out against fracking
Smoky Mountain News
Jeremy Morrison

The town of Sylva is now the second Jackson County locale to formally oppose hydraulic fracturing for natural gas within its boundaries. “I’m concerned about it,” said Commissioner Barbara Hamilton. “It’s not going to affect my life, but it will affect my children’s lives and my grandchildren’s lives, and I’m against it.”   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
New York State of Fracking
Truth-Out
Naveena Sadasivam

New York is one of a handful of states around the country that currently has at least temporarily halted fracking. Since 2008, when the state was first confronted with interest in gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing by energy companies, towns have banned the practice, the state has undertaken environmental and health studies, courts have issued rulings on fracking and concerns have been raised about the state's pristine water supply.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Health report questions regulation on fracking
Blackpool Gazette


A new report from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has called into question the regulatory system over fracking.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
'Saltwater' from fracking spill much different from ocean water
Miami Herald
Lisa Song Inside Climate News

In early July, a million gallons of salty drilling waste spilled from a pipeline onto a steep hillside in western North Dakota's Fort Berthold Reservation. The waste - a byproduct of oil and gas production - has now reached a tributary of Lake Sakakawea, which provides drinking water to the reservation. The oil industry called the accident a "saltwater" spill. But the liquid that entered the lake bears little resemblance to what's found in the ocean. The industry's wastewater is five to eight times saltier than seawater, said Bill Kappel, a hydrogeologist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey. It's salty enough to sting the human tongue, and contains heavy metals in concentrations that might not meet drinking water standards. The briny mix can also include radioactive material. Heavy metals and radioactive materials are toxic at certain concentrations.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Revealed: Sussex’s pension pot funds fracking companies
The Argus
Ben Leo

COUNCIL chiefs have been criticised for ploughing tens of millions of pounds of “unethical investments” into fracking, tobacco and GM food corporations. The Argus can reveal that the East Sussex Pension Fund, which manages pension contributions for Brighton and Hove City Council and East Sussex County Council, has more than £65 million of its pension portfolio invested in overseas energy companies – including £4.2 million in the world’s largest fracking firm ExxonMobil.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Floyd County residents oppose preliminary plan for natural gas pipeline
wdbj7.com
David Kaplan

A proposed natural gas pipeline through the New River Valley and Southern Virginia has residents in one county riled up. The Mountain Valley Pipeline is just an idea right now; still in the planning stages, pending government approval. The companies looking to build the project say a minimal environmental impact is a top priority for them in building these pipelines.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
City wants reason for pipeline route
The Oshawa Express
Geoff Zochodne

The City of Oshawa wants to know why, exactly, TransCanada’s proposed pipeline can’t run through the Hwy. 407 or hydro corridors in the north end of the city. To find out, the Development Services Committee moved to ask the company for more information on the criteria used for the natural gas pipeline’s route, a motion endorsed by the rest of City council. TransCanada’s proposed route starts through northwestern Oshawa, north of Columbus road, and works its way southeast before exiting the city south of Conlin Road.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Ashburnham joins list of towns against pipeline
Sentinel Enterprise
Michael Hartwell

ASHBURNHAM -- At the urging of anti-pipeline activists, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to request that state and federal officials work to prevent a proposed natural-gas pipeline. After hearing from activists at Monday's meeting, Selectmen Chairman Leo Janssens made a proposal to send letters to the U.S. representatives and senators and the state representatives and senators who represent Ashburnham.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Environmental group wants this agency to join climate fight
Washington Examiner
zACK cOLEMAN

One environmental group thinks it knows how to measure the invisible. And if the Obama administration wants to combat climate change, it says what it's doing deserves a look. The Environmental Defense Fund and Google started a project that maps natural gas leaks in Staten Island, Indianapolis and Boston, which form just a snippet of the 1.24 million miles of pipelines that deliver the fuel to homes and businesses. In a new methodology, it also helps determine the amount that escapes into the atmosphere from each leak. Sign Up for the Politics Today newsletter! That's key because many states   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Report Finds DEP Comes Up Short On Gas Drilling
WNEP.COM
Jim Hammill

HARRISBURG — A report out Tuesday from the Pennsylvania Auditor General slams the Department of Environmental protection for how it’s handled the natural gas industry. The report found the DEP wasn’t ready for the industry when it started drilling in the state and it’s not ready now. The auditor general said state environmental regulators need help. He said the DEP is understaffed and underfunded and that 150-plus page report on the state’s handling of gas drilling points out eight ways the agency is coming up short in protecting the environment and the people of this Commonwealth.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Beaver County farmer says Marcellus compressor threatens farm's future
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Don Hopey

This week, for the first time this summer, Don and Becky Kretschmann are pulling an early crop of carrots, and will include them in the overflowing boxes of vegetables, fruits and herbs they‘?ll deliver to the more than 1,000 customers of their Community Supported Agriculture operation 25 miles north of Pittsburgh in Beaver County. But tonight, at a New Sewickley Township supervisors hearing, they‘?ll have a tougher pull as they try to uproot a Marcellus Shale gas compressor station proposal by Cardinal Midstream Inc. that they say is threatening the continued operation of their 80-acre organic farm, their way of life and the agricultural nature of their community. “It’?s an inappropriate use of agricultural land,” said Mr. Kretschmann of the gas compressor proposed for a hilltop upwind and just 2,000 feet from his farm. “Our zoning ordinance is supposed to ensure compatible uses, but this will allow this pristine rural road and community to be converted for industrial use.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Air quality a concern near North Dakota fire Fracking fluid storage facility fire allowed to burn out.
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

BISMARCK, N.D., July 23 (UPI) --North Dakota's Health Department said it's surveying air quality near the site of a fire at an industrial park in Williston, the heart of the state's oil patch. Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing caught fire at an industrial warehouse in Williston. Officials said they're going to let the fire burn out on its own because pouring water on the blaze would create a secondary problem for nearby waterways.   [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Pennsylvania’s Auditor General Faults Oversight of Natural Gas Industry
The New York Times
Jon Hurdle

PHILADELPHIA — Environmental officials in Pennsylvania have failed to adequately regulate the state’s booming natural gas industry, a state report said, reflecting what critics say is weak oversight of the oil and gas industry at a time when drilling is spreading across the United States.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
EPA report shows agency waited 5 days to discover Ohio spill chemical contents
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

A fracking company made federal and state agencies that oversee drinking-water safety wait days before it shared a list of toxic chemicals that spilled from a drilling site into a tributary of the Ohio River.  [Full Story]

Jul 23, 2014
Dominion gains another approval needed to move ahead with LNG facility in Calvert
The Washington Post
Jenna Johnson

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and the two other members of the state Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to give Dominion Resources a tidal wetlands license, one more incremental approval needed by the power company as it aims to build a liquefied natural gas export facility in Calvert County. In doing so, the governor dashed the hopes of a small group of environmentalists who have been passionately fighting the proposed facility, which is expected to receive final federal approval this summer.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
EPA: 70K Fish, Aquatic Life Killed
Wheeling News-Register
Casey Junkins

HANNIBAL - Water samples of runoff taken shortly a June 28 fire at a Monroe County natural gas drilling site show the presence of many fracking chemicals and resulted in roughly 70,000 dead fish and other aquatic life. Regulators counted roughly 70,000 dead fish, frogs, crayfish, salamanders and other aquatic life after the accident at the Statoil Eisenbarth well pad. Environmental Protection Agency documents state tests show the presence of benzene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, toluene, and pyrene - all chemicals commonly used during well fracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Two-thirds Of Britons Favour Wind Power Over Fracking
Urban Times


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]

Jul 22, 2014
Small Colorado Town Picks Big-Time Fight Over Fracking
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

When the people of Longmont voted in November 2012 to ban fracking in their Colorado community, they knew it would put them in the cross hairs of powerful oil and gas interests. The City Council had already been sued by the industry's largest trade group and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the state's oil and gas regulator, for trying to restrict the controversial drilling technique.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
DEP: Oil and gas operations damaged water supplies 209 times since end of ’07
Post Gazette
Laura Legere

Oil and gas operations have damaged Pennsylvania water supplies 209 times since the end of 2007, according to official determinations compiled by the Department of Environmental Protection that the agency is preparing to release for the first time. State environmental regulators are planning to post the information on DEP’s website this month, but an early version of the spreadsheet was provided to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in response to an open records request. The spreadsheet lists the 209 affected water supplies by county, municipality and the date regulators concluded that activities related to oil or gas extraction were to blame for contaminating or diminishing the flow to a water source. The document does not disclose property owners’ names or addresses and it does not detail which companies that were deemed responsible for the damage, what caused the disruptions or what pollutants were found in the water.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Families Sick From Fracking Exposure Turn to Concerned Scientists
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

Instead of waiting years for studies, Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project is using best available science to help people with ailments. Like people in other regions transformed by the shale energy boom, residents of Washington County, Pennsylvania have complained of headaches, nosebleeds and skin rashes. But because there are no comprehensive studies about the health impacts of natural gas drilling, it's hard to determine if their problems are linked to the gas wells and other production facilities that have sprung up around them. A group of scientists from Pennsylvania and neighboring states have stepped in to fill this gap by forming a nonprofit—apparently the first of its kind in the United States—that provides free health consultations to local families near drilling sites. Instead of waiting years or even decades for long-term studies to emerge, the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) is using the best available science to help people deal with their ailments. "As far as unconventional natural gas drilling goes, we are the public health service of the United States right now," said Michael Kelly, the media liaison for the EHP.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Federal Report Details Chemicals Used At Drilling Site
wnbc4i.com
Rick Reitzel

MONROE COUNTY, Ohio - For the first time, we are learning some of the chemicals used to frack an oil and natural gas well that was involved in a huge fire June 28 in Monroe County. But we're learning about the chemicals the hard way, after those products and trucks staged to hydraulically fracture oil and natural wells went up in a giant inferno. An investigation in the explosion and fire is still ongoing, but NBC4's Rick Reitzel was able to get some of those details from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Pollution/Situation Report. The fire was so large it could be seen across the Ohio River in West Virginia. The smoke from it was so thick the Monroe County EMA Director, Phil Keevert said firefighters had to be pulled back three times and it took more than 24 hours to extinguish.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
New Study Indicates Methane Production Could Accelerate Global Warming
knovel


In recent years, many coal fired power plants have been converting their facilities to burn natural gas in order to cut back on carbon emissions. There are problems with this approach, however, considering the potent methane byproducts that are created by burning natural gas. Recently, Robert Howarth, PhD, a professor of ecology and environmental biology at Cornell, has been vocal about the risks of burning propane in lieu of other fossil fuels. Risks of fossil fuels Essentially, it's a zero sum game when it comes to burning fossil fuels. According to Howarth, "While emissions of carbon dioxide are less from natural gas than from coal and oil, methane emissions are far greater. Methane is such a potent greenhouse gas that these emissions make natural gas a dangerous fuel from the standpoint of global warming over the next several decades." His May 2014 study, titled "A Bridge to Nowhere: Methane Emissions and the Greenhouse Gas Footprint of Natural gas" indicates that U.S. and foreign policy has put the horse ahead of the carriage, so to speak, with their clean energy initiatives.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Beaver County farmer says Marcellus compressor threatens farm's future
Post Gazette
Don Hopey

This week, for the first time this summer, Don and Becky Kretschmann are pulling an early crop of carrots, and will include them in the overflowing boxes of vegetables, fruits and herbs they‘?ll deliver to the more than 1,000 customers of their Community Supported Agriculture operation 25 miles north of Pittsburgh in Beaver County. But tonight, at a New Sewickley Township supervisors hearing, they‘?ll have a tougher pull as they try to uproot a Marcellus Shale gas compressor station proposal by Cardinal Midstream Inc. that they say is threatening the continued operation of their 80-acre organic farm, their way of life and the agricultural nature of their community. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/west/2014/07This week, for the first time this summer, Don and Becky Kretschmann are pulling an early crop of carrots, and will include them in the overflowing boxes of vegetables, fruits and herbs they‘?ll deliver to the more than 1,000 customers of their Community Supported Agriculture operation 25 miles north of Pittsburgh in Beaver County. But tonight, at a New Sewickley Township supervisors hearing, they‘?ll have a tougher pull as they try to uproot a Marcellus Shale gas compressor station proposal by Cardinal Midstream Inc. that they say is threatening the continued operation of their 80-acre organic farm, their way of life and the agricultural nature of their community.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Groups React To Auditor General’s Report On Marcellus Shale Drilling Regulation
Pa Environment Digest


A number of groups issued statements in reaction to the Auditor General’s report Tuesday on regulating Marcellus Shale drilling by DEP. Here is a sampling of those statements. “While we commend the employees at DEP for their ongoing efforts to address the environmental impacts of Pennsylvania's natural gas drilling boom, it's clear that the Department is not keeping up with its statutory role,” said John Norbeck, vice president and chief operating officer of PennFuture. “The Auditor General noted in his report eight key findings that outlined, among other concerns, the Department's failure to issue administrative orders when violations occurred, effectively allowing the industry to police itself. Further, the report noted that the Department had no clear inspection schedule for gas wells, and evidenced a startling lack of transparency and accountability. When our citizens have greater access to information about kennel inspections and restaurant inspections than they do natural gas well inspections, we have a problem.”   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Audit blasts state failures on fracking oversight
Philadelphia City Paper
Daniel Denvir

Auditor General Eugene A. DePasquale issued a scathing 146-page audit today accusing the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection of failing to adequately monitor the impact of natural gas drilling on water quality. The DEP failed to order pollutors to remedy water contamination as required by law, according to the audit, and "chose instead to seek voluntary compliance and encouraged operators to work out a solution with affected parties." The soft-touch oversight means that "DEP risks losing the relevance and authority it holds as a regulator. Stated simply, without fear of a 'bite,' DEP's 'bark' will do little to ensure compliance."  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Professor turned NY governor candidate flunks Cuomo on fracking, corruption probe
Daily Freeman
William J. Kemble

KINGSTON >> Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor who is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor, said his first term has been marked by broken promises and favors to corporate leaders who are financing his re-election bid. Speaking Tuesday to a crowd of about 35 at an Ulster County Democratic Women’s gathering, Teachout said Cuomo has failed to take a stand on a number of issues, such as hydraulic fracturing, and has been misleading about others, like medical marijuana.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Sierra Club irked by U.S. LNG export stance
UPI
Daniel J Graeber

WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) --U.S. policies on the export of liquefied natural gas are out of step with renewable and climate protection goals, the Sierra Club said. The Sierra Club announced it filed comments with the Department of Energy on the impacts of LNG. The advocacy group said LNG exports would lead to more domestic gas production, which may cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and inhibit the development of renewable energy projects. Sierra Club attorney Nathan Matthews said Monday the analysis from the Department of Energy falls short.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Post-Gazette: 209 Water Supplies Damaged By Drilling Since Late 2007
Northcentral PA


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported information from the Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday which shows 209 water supplies were affected by drilling since the end of 2007. Bradford County had the highest number of affected wells at 48, followed by Susquehanna County-- 35, McKean County-- 24 and Forest County-- 17. DEP found 18 cases of water supply impacts in 2008, 47 in 2009, 34 in 2010, 34 in 2011, 35 in 2012, 33 in 2013 and five through May of this year out of about 20,000 wells drilled so far.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
New York State of Fracking: A ProPublica Explainer Court cases. A governor’s moratorium. Pending health study. A quick guide to the state of fracking in New York.
ProPublica
Naveena Sadasivam

New York is one of a handful of states around the country that currently has at least temporarily halted fracking. Since 2008, when the state was first confronted with interest in gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing by energy companies, towns have banned the practice, the state has undertaken environmental and health studies, courts have issued rulings on fracking and concerns have been raised about the state's pristine water supply.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
PA Regulators Unprepared for Rapid Shale Gas Development
Marcellus Effect


Today Pennsylvania auditor general Eugene DePasquale told the press that the state’s rapid shale gas development outpaced the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s ability to oversee industry and protect water quality. The department, he said, was hampered in doing their jobs by understaffing, lack of modern technological resources, and inconsistent policies.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Auditor General Issues Critical PADEP Audit Pennsylvania Environmental Organizations Applaud Investigation’s Goals Report's findings mirror concerns raised by Pennsylvanians dealing with water contamination
Riverkeeper et al
Press Release

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania’s Auditor General office released a highly anticipated audit of the Department of Environmental Protection’s performance regarding shale gas development today. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale stated that the audit “...shows that the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints”. The report is available here: http://bit.ly/1rHhXAt  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Massive ND fire triggers evacuations, closes airport
KARE11
AP

WILLISTON, N.D. - A manager at Williston's airport says all flights in and out of the oil patch town have been canceled because of smoke at the scene of a massive fire. Sloulin Field International Airport assistant airport manager Anthony Dudas says the FAA issued a temporary flight restriction at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday until officials determine how hazardous the cloud of smoke is. Department of Health Air Quality Division director Terry O'Clair said local fire departments are letting the blaze at Red River Supply burn itself out   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Opponents petition regulators against Vermont Gas pipeline; cite cost increase
AP via Daily Journal


MONTPELIER, Vermont — Critics of a natural gas pipeline expansion in western Vermont want construction halted while state regulators review a recent 40 percent increase in the project's cost estimate. Anti-pipeline activists say they'll launch a "fish-in" at the Public Service Board on Tuesday afternoon to protest what they're calling a bait-and-switch by project developer Vermont Gas Systems. The company announced earlier this month the estimated cost of phase one of the project had climbed by 40 percent, to more than $121 million. The company attributes higher costs to route changes to accommodate landowners and towns along the route.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Proposed Pipeline Project to Get Federal Scrutiny
State Impact PA
SUSAN PHILLIPS

Federal regulators announced this week that a controversial pipeline expansion project will undergo an extensive environmental review. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees interstate pipelines, will do an environmental impact statement on the $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise Expansion Project. Oklahoma-based Williams has proposed an expansion to their Transco natural gas pipeline, which would run through parts of north and central Pennsylvania. The pipeline has garnered intense opposition in Lancaster County. As a result, the company has changed part of its original route to avoid nature preserves.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Trans Canada proposes natural gas pipeline through Morrow County
morrow county sentinel
Donna Carver

Trans Canada is evaluating the possibility of developing a new natural gas pipeline on its ANR system through Morrow County. This possibility brought Trans Canada representative Peter Jaskoski to meet with Morrow County Commissioners on Wednesday July 16, 2014. When most people who follow pipeline news think of Trans Canada, they think of the proposed northern half of its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. However, ANR is a different Trans Canada pipeline with a similar function as Keystone XL.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Townsend march sends message of opposition to planned pipeline
Sentinel and Enterprise
Chelsea Feinstein

TOWNSEND -- As a group of marchers opposed to a natural-gas pipeline that could cut across the state made a 2.2-mile trek down Route 119 on Monday evening, the drivers of dozens of passing cars honked their horns and waved in support. Halfway through the route, one driver passing by leaned on his horn and gave the group a thumbs-up. About 80 protesters marched from near the Townsend VFW Post to Townsend Common, brandishing signs with such messages as, "Can you hear us now, Gov. Patrick?" and "Only dinosaurs want more fossil fuel."  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Pennsylvania Regulator Faulted for Lax Role in Fracking
Bloomberg
Mark Drajem

Pennsylvania regulators were unprepared for the fracking-fueled boom in natural gas production during the past decade, putting drinking water supplies at risk, the state’s watchdog said. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection failed to order drillers to clean or replace tainted water supplies, or to act quickly on residents’ complaints of contamination, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said today. It also used a 25-year-old inspection policy. “Shale gas development offers significant benefits to our commonwealth and nation, but these benefits cannot come at the expense of the public’s trust, health and well being,” DePasquale, a Democrat, said in a letter to Governor Tom Corbett that accompanied a report with 29 recommendations.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Pa. auditor general finds deficiencies with DEP’s handling of shale gas drilling
Fox 43
Valerie Waltz

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Tuesday that a recent audit shows that the explosive growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints. “There are very dedicated hard-working people at DEP but they are being hampered in doing their jobs by lack of resources – including staff and a modern information technology system — and inconsistent or failed implementation of department policies, among other things, “DePasquale said. “It is almost like firefighters trying to put out a five-alarm fire with a 20-foot garden hose. There is no question that DEP needs help and soon to protect clean water.” The audit spanned 2009 through 2012 and was launched by DePasquale in January 2013, after he became auditor general. The audit’s purpose was to assess DEP’s ability to protect the water quality in the wake of shale gas well drilling.   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
New Poll Suggests LNG Development at Odds with B.C.’s Incredibly High Climate Action Support
DeSmog Canada
Carol Linnitt

Last year B.C. joined Washington State, Oregon and California in an effort to limit the causes and effects of climate change. A new poll released today shows British Columbians are eager to see the government keep its commitments under the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy. The climate plan was designed to respond to “the clear and convincing scientific evidence of climate change, ocean acidification and other impacts from increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which threaten our people, our economy and our natural resources.” The plan was signed in 2013, with little fanfare. Yet, residents of B.C. strongly support the initiative, and the government’s commitments to limit carbon pollution.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Agencies concerned fracking site could impact wetlands
the advertiser
monica hernandez

MANDEVILLE – There have been protests and heated public meetings over a proposal to begin fracking in St. Tammany Parish. Now, the Army Corps of Engineers is spelling out concerns from state and federal agencies in response to a permit application for a drilling well pad along Hwy. 1088. The Environmental Protection Agency, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Army Corps of Engineers expressed concerns about the proposed site and its potential impact on the wetlands in a letter to Helis Oil and Gas.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
New Environment Agency chairman has fracking links
The Guardian
Rowena Mason

Sir Philip Dilley was previously chairman of engineering firm that wrote environmental reports on fracking for Cuadrilla. The government has been criticised for appointing a former business adviser to David Cameron who has had corporate links to the fracking industry as the new chairman of the Environment Agency. Sir Philip Dilley, who will work three days a week on a salary of £100,000, was until April the chairman of Arup, an engineering firm that has been employed to write environmental reports on fracking for Cuadrilla – the company hoping to become the first to exploit Britain's shale gas resources. He will take on his new role in September.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Halliburton takes 5 days to provide chemical information at Ohio fracking explosion that killed 70,000 fish
Ohio Citizen Action


WASHINGTON, DC — “With so many troubling aspects of this disaster, we hope that important lessons are learned regarding the safeguards and regulations that need to be in place to reduce the risks of fracking to human health and the environment, including: Public disclosure of fracking chemicals before fracking is allowed to begin, including chemicals that are in formulas claimed to be trade secrets, so that first responders and regulatory authorities have the information they need to protect the public and the environment. Greater setbacks from homes, schools and other priority areas to adequately protect human life and safety. Such large scale industrial operations involving dangerous chemicals and radioactive materials should not be occurring this close to where people live.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Law professor turned candidate for New York governor flunks Andrew Cuomo on fracking, corruption probe
Daily Freeman
William J. Kemble

KINGSTON >> Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor who is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for governor, said his first term has been marked by broken promises and favors to corporate leaders who are financing his re-election bid. Speaking Tuesday to a crowd of about 35 at an Ulster County Democratic Women’s gathering, Teachout said Cuomo has failed to take a stand on a number of issues, such as hydraulic fracturing, and has been misleading about others, like medical marijuana.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Local lawmakers weigh-in on state lands drilling
Bradford Era
Amanda Nichols

The Corbett administration announced Friday that it has agreed to a partial settlement in the Commonwealth Court case challenging the governor’s plan to lease more state forest and state park land for unconventional natural gas drilling. Local lawmakers talked with The Era Monday about the decision, with some reiterating their support for drilling throughout the state — on private and public land. The administration has agreed not to lease any more state land for gas drilling until the court makes a ruling in the case, and in return the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF) has agreed to drop its request for the court to prevent the state from using revenues from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund to pay for general operations at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Top geologist warns fracking hearing of the dangers of shale gas drilling
Click Green
Staff

Proposals for pilot fracking under consideration by West Sussex County Council have been attacked as “incomplete, incompetent and “disingenuous” by a leading academic. The risk of leakage, odds of contamination, scale of congestion, and potential for house-price erosion are among the various factors that merit rejection. Professor David Smythe, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at Glasgow University and an academic regarded by many of his peers as a world-class star of geological research, gave his devastating assessment of plans by drilling company Celtique Energy at a hearing about proposed oil and gas extraction in Sussex.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Tory MP and scientists speak out against fracking plans in West Sussex
blue and green tomorrow
Ilaria Bertini

Former Tory minister Nick Herbert has criticised plans to ‘carelessly industrialise’ rural West Sussex through shale gas development, as scientists warn that current regulation in place in the UK is inadequate to protect human health and the environment. Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs, said that plans by energy firm Celtique Energie to allow hydraulic fracturing near Wisborough Green in West Sussex would make the landscape become ‘carelessly industrialised’ and would cause huge disruption to locals.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Questions raised over viability of shale gas
Belfast Telegraph
CLARE WEIR

A new report into fracking has questioned whether shale gas will bring down UK energy bills and has claimed that the the process could lead to water shortages. Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health reviewed evidence across several issues linked with shale gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing. The document also highlighted "major shortcomings" in regulatory oversight regarding local environmental and public health risks and said that shale gas exploitation could undermine efforts to tackle climate change.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Fracking Opponents Renew Call for South African Shale-Gas Halt
Bloomberg
Paul Burkhardt

A South African environmental group renewed its call for a moratorium on shale-gas fracking, as the government moves closer to a decision on whether to allow the process opponents say imperils water quality. The Treasure Karoo Action Group, named after the semi-desert area of South Africa that has attracted petroleum exploration companies, started in Johannesburg today the latest phase of a campaign to block the drilling technique.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers
Mother Jones
Abrahm Lustgarten Pro Publica

This story was originally published on ProPublica. California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state's drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there. The state's Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal "poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources." The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Massive industrial fire shuts down state highway
Billings Gazette
Associated Press

A massive fire is burning outside of Williston, North Dakota at a supply company for drillers: "Red River Supply provides services to oil companies working in North Dakota's oil patch. It has rail spurs for loading and unloading liquids such as crude oil, and dry goods like drill pipes and casing, according to its website. The company's website also says it provides storage, blending and delivery of drilling fluids, such as calcium chloride, calcium bromide, calcium nitrate and pot ash."  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Company argued capacity from pipeline not needed
Midland Daily News
AP

DETROIT (AP) — Documents say an energy company that wants to build a new natural gas transmission pipeline that could pass through Michigan on its way to Ontario, Canada, argued about two years ago that capacity from an existing pipeline wasn't needed. The Detroit Free Press reports (http://on.freep.com/1rigLnS ) Energy Transfer Partners argued before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to convert the natural gas Trunkline pipeline to one that transports oil. The 770-mile Trunkline conversion was approved. The new ET Rover pipeline has raised concerns among some residents whose properties have already been dug up for an ongoing oil pipeline project.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
VIDEO: News 8's Mike Straub walks proposed pipeline path Pipeline would cut through natural areas, private property
wgal
Mike Straub

News 8's Mike Straub talks to the people who would be giving up the most if a natural gas pipeline is built in Lancaster and Lebanon counties   [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Study into fracking nearing completion
NGNEWS


Fracking is a contentious issue. While Dr. David Wheeler, President of Cape Breton University, prepared to talk about his findings from a government commissioned study into the topic in one of the upstairs rooms at the Pictou County Wellness Centre Monday, downstairs opponents to fracking were handing out information of their own. © ADAM MACINNIS – THE NEWS Dr. David Wheeler speaks to a group gathered at the Pictou County Wellness Centre about a study he's leading about hydraulic fracturing. The province commissioned an independent review of the effects of hydraulic fracturing last summer, which was mandated to include public consultations and a panel of experts  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Report cites damage to Pa. water supplies
Seattle Pi


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Newly released records show that gas and oil extraction has damaged Pennsylvania water supplies more than 200 times since 2007. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1ub6Vb6 ) the information Tuesday, based on a Department of Environmental Protection spreadsheet that it obtained through a Right-to-Know Law request.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
New York State of Fracking: A ProPublica Explainer
Pro Publica
Naveena Sadasivam

New York is one of a handful of states around the country that currently has at least temporarily halted fracking. Since 2008, when the state was first confronted with interest in gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing by energy companies, towns have banned the practice, the state has undertaken environmental and health studies, courts have issued rulings on fracking and concerns have been raised about the state's pristine water supply. Here's a rundown of what you need to know about the current status of fracking in New York, the protections available to the state's major watershed and the implications of the most recent court ruling for local municipalities.  [Full Story]

Jul 22, 2014
Families sick from fracking turn to scientists
Public Integrity
Lisa Song

Like people in other regions transformed by the shale energy boom, residents of Washington County, Pennsylvania, have complained of headaches, nosebleeds and skin rashes. But because there are no comprehensive studies about the health impacts of natural gas drilling, it's hard to determine if their problems are linked to the gas wells and other production facilities that have sprung up around them.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Anti-frackers slightly outnumber proponents, according to latest Siena poll
Legislative Gazette
Luke Parsnow

A new poll, released Monday by the Siena College Research Institute, reports that more New Yorkers still oppose hydrofracking than those who support it. While the number of those who oppose fracking still stand steady at 43 percent, as it has since February, the percentage of supporters has dropped from 41 percent to 40 percent since April. frack_sign shadow While the number of those who oppose fracking still stand steady at 43 percent, as it has since February, the percentage of supporters has dropped from 41 percent to 40 percent since April. Photo by The Legislative Gazette. In addition, 51 percent of upstate voters say they oppose the industry, compared to 40 percent of New York City and 35 percent of the New York City suburban area. Forty-one percent of upstate voters support it.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Company proposing natural gas pipeline called it 'unneeded' in 2012
Detroit Free Press
Keith Matheny

The energy company that wants to build a mega, multi-state natural gas pipeline through six southeast Michigan counties on its way to Sarnia, Ontario, because of what it called “growing markets,” had argued just the opposite when it sold an existing line to another company less than two years ago because it said the capacity wasn’t needed. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners argued before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to convert its major north-south natural gas transmission Trunkline pipeline to one that transports oil, in a partnership with Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Maine town fights plan to use pipeline to export oil sands crude
LA Times
NEELA BANERJEE

m Blake, like thousands of his neighbors in this coastal town, is used to living alongside the oil industry. Tank farms cluster in neighborhoods, by the park where families watch the movie "Frozen" on a summer night, next to schools and senior citizens apartment buildings. As a child, Blake, the town's former mayor, used to jump into high snow drifts from the massive oil tank next door. Now, after decades as a New England hub for importing crude oil and distributing fuel, South Portland is enmeshed in a dispute with the oil industry that echoes far beyond southern Maine.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Pipeline consortium files LNG export license application
Alaska Journal of Commerce
Tim Bradner

KENAI — The consortium planning the North Slope gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas export project has taken another major step. An application was filed Friday for the U.S. Department of Energy export permit for the project. North Slope producers, TransCanada Corp. and the state of Alaska asked for permission to export up to 20 million metric tons yearly of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from Alaska, the group announced in a press release. Larry Persily, federal Alaska gas coordinator in the U.S. Department of the Interior, has reviewed the 212-page filing and said the consortium has purchased about half the property it needs for a large LNG plant at Nikiski, or about 200 acres.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Mapping Project Highlights Natural Gas Leaks Under U.S. Cities
Public CEO.com


Using Google Street View cars equipped with methane sensing technology, the first phase of a pilot between the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Google Earth Outreach has pinpointed natural gas leaks under Boston, Indianapolis and New York City’s Staten Island. EDF – a Council Advisor –unveiled interactive online maps this week to help utilities and regulators accelerate system upgrades.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Fracking for Oil Leads to a Lot of Natural Gas Waste
governing.com
McClatchy News Paresh Dave

Frank and Wanda Leppell once lived on a quiet cattle ranch in the middle of a rolling prairie, the lowing of cattle and the chirping of sparrows forming a pleasant soundtrack to their mornings. No more. RELATED America Risks Wasting Fracking’s Potential Fracking Wells State Map Not since the pasture they've leased since 2009 became part of one of the nation's most productive new oil fields. Not since a well barely 200 yards from their front porch began shooting a torch of burning gas skyward, 24 hours a day, with a force as loud as a jet engine. "My bedroom's like day _ I don't need a night light," said Wanda Leppell, who has pleaded with state officials _ so far without success _ to do something. Her husband minces fewer words. "Rotten noise," he says. "Rotten smell, and terrible waste."  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Group seeks full disclosure of drilling chemicals
Washinton Post
AP

CUMBERLAND, Md. — A group of doctors is demanding full public disclosure of chemicals that would be used to drill for natural gas by hydraulic fracturing in western Maryland. The Cumberland Times-News (http://bit.ly/Un0SQ7 ) reported Monday that the Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility say rules proposed by state regulators would impede research and public discussion about possibly hazardous chemical formulas.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
GOP Senators Question Inspector General's Right To Probe Fracking
Forbes
Jeff McMahon

The Environmnental Protection Agency’s inspector general defended Friday his right to investigate pollution risks from hydraulic fracturing, after a posse of Republican senators from petroleum-rich states questioned his authority. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, Thomas Coburn and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and David Vitter of Louisiana sent a letter in May to EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins asking why he was investigating fracking instead of investigating the EPA itself.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Poll: Still even split
Times Union
Brian Nearing

New Yorkers appear solidly entrenched — and nearly evenly divided — over whether natural gas hydraulic fracturing ought to be allowed in the state, according to an opinion poll released Monday by the Siena College Research Institute. A narrow plurality remains opposed to the controversial drilling technique known as "hydrofracking." The slim margin between opponents and supporters has remained essentially unchanged over five separate polls since the institute first asked the question in October 2013.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste into Ground
Scientific American
Abraham Lustgarten & Pro Publica

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state's drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there. The state's Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal "poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources." The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Corps of Engineers raises questions about St. Tammany fracking permit
nola.com
Kim Chatelain

The Army Corps of Engineers has raised concerns about a controversial proposal to frack for oil near Mandeville, stating among other things that steps to avoid wetlands impacts have not been taken and noting other possibly less problematic drilling sites have not been considered. The letter the corps issued to Helis Oil & Gas details concerns raised by the corps, EPA, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that must be addressed by Helis Oil & Gas before water quality and wetlands permits for the project can be issued.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Corralling Carbon Before It Belches From Stack
The New York Times
HENRY FOUNTAIN

Even the abundant natural gas unleashed by fracking, while cleaner than coal, is a major source of greenhouse gases. Ultimately, many scientists say, those emissions will need to be trapped and stored, too. “If you want to carry on using those fossil hydrocarbons, that means cleaning up their emissions,” said Stuart Haszeldine, a geologist at the University of Edinburgh. Capturing carbon, he said, “is the single best way of doing that.”  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Amid the oil boom, fear Residents near the Port of Albany say they dread the possibility of an oil train explosion
Albany Times-Union
Brian Nearing

Like it or not, Albany — with little initial fanfare — is part of a U.S. oil boom that began on New Year's Eve 2009, when the first train hauling crude oil rolled out of the Bakken fields of North Dakota some 1,800 miles away.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Regulator: New oil train rules could have wide reach
Fuel Fix
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx suggested Monday that coming mandates to boost the safety of hauling oil by train will take a comprehensive approach, going beyond requiring changes to the tank cars that carry crude across the country. The issue “has to be dealt with comprehensively,” Foxx said, after a speech at the National Press Club. “So many folks out there say ‘just figure out what the tank car should look like,’ and that’s one piece of it, but speed is an issue and there are several other components that matter.”  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
PROTESTERS SHUT DOWN CONSTRUCTION OF A FRACKED GAS PIPELINE IN NEW YORK CITY
Vice
Nick Pinto

Construction on the Rockaway Lateral natural gas pipeline in Brooklyn was briefly halted on Saturday when protesters entered a gate and stormed into the drilling site while chanting, “Go home, go home!” Saturday’s protest was the latest escalation in an 11th-hour campaign to halt the construction of the 26-inch pipeline, which will carry fracked natural gas under high pressure from an interstate transmission line off the coast into Brooklyn. The pipeline will run under the Rockaway beaches of Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis and through the heretofore federally protected Gateway National Recreation Area before terminating in a metering and regulation station being built in a hangar at Floyd Bennett Field. There, the pressure will be stepped down and the gas will flow into NYC electric giant Con Edison’s distribution network.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Lightning Threatens Fracking Water Disposal Sites
Chem.Info
Josh Wood & James MacPherson

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Three massive fires since the beginning of June have highlighted the threat lightning poses in the North Dakota oil patch, and in each case it was tanks that store the toxic saltwater associated with drilling — not the oil wells or drilling rigs — that were to blame. The lightning-sparked fires destroyed the groups of silo-like storage tanks at the three locations, which are among more than 440 sites in North Dakota where so-called saltwater is stored before being pumped into permanent disposal sites miles underground. In each case, the fires burned for days, spewing noxious black smoke into the air and literally salting the earth.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Why scientists have started connecting earthquakes to fracking
Market Realist
Kshitija Bhandaru

A few studies and other empirical evidence have tied seismic activity to fracking over the past few years. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a technique applied to wells in order to extract shale gas, tight gas, and tight oil. The procedure injects water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a well, cracking the rock to release natural gas and oil.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
GOP Senators Question Inspector General's Right To Probe Fracking
Forbes
Jeff McMahon

The Environmnental Protection Agency’s inspector general defended Friday his right to investigate pollution risks from hydraulic fracturing, after a posse of Republican senators from petroleum-rich states questioned his authority.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Must-know: Why upstream players like ExxonMobil rely on fracking
Market Realist
Kshitija Bhandaru

For upstream companies, fracking has turned prospects that were previously considered non-viable into profitable opportunities. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing apply the latest technologies and make it commercially viable to recover shale gas and oil. According to the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2014 Early Release, shale oil (or “tight oil”) and shale gas developed with hydraulic fracturing will be significant contributors to U.S. oil and gas output over the next couple of years.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Town Of Manheim Residents Demand Fracking Project Be Rejected
WIBX
Luke Tubla

Residents of the Town of Manheim are calling on the Mayor of Dolgeville to reject a proposed hydrofracking project that would be the first of its kind in the state. Members of the newly launched group ‘Protect Manheim’ are gathering at the Village of Dolgeville meeting at 5:30 tonight to ask Village Mayor and Manheim Zoning Board Chair Bruce Lyon to reject the compressed natural gas fracking project.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Shale's "Ground Zero" Moves To Ban Drilling
Oil Price
Dave Forest

Namely, a grassroots backlash against fracking. The drilling technique that's been largely responsible for the shale production boom the last few years. Last week, Pennsylvania courts once again upheld the right of individual municipalities to set their own fracking rules. Meaning cities and towns are now able to impose fracking bans--regardless of laws set by the pro-shale state government.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
UK Shale Regulation Fails To Ensure Public Safety, Report Claims
London South East


LONDON (Alliance News) - A report carried out by the Scientists for Global Responsibility and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, published on Monday, has found that regulation of shale gas exploration in the UK has failed to protect public health or satisfy key environmental concerns.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Anti-frackers slightly outnumber proponents, according to latest Siena poll
Legislative Gazette
Luke Parsnow

A new poll, released Monday by the Siena College Research Institute, reports that more New Yorkers still oppose hydrofracking than those who support it. While the number of those who oppose fracking still stand steady at 43 percent, as it has since February, the percentage of supporters has dropped from 41 percent to 40 percent since April.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Health officials want disclosure from drilling companies
Times-News
Matthew Bieniek

— CUMBERLAND — A group representing some doctors, along with a coalition of health and environmental groups, are calling for disclosure from companies that would drill for natural gas in Maryland’s Marcellus Shale should the state allow drilling in the future.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota:Boom has brought prosperity, but critics wonder about the costs
Center for Public Integrity
Nicholas Kusnetz

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s Heritage Center makes for a jarring sight in this Midwestern prairie capital. The newly-expanded museum consists of four interlocking cubes of stone, steel and glass, a gleaming architectural statement poking out of the otherwise drab Capitol grounds. Each cube features a gallery devoted to an era of North Dakota’s history, but the state’s present is everywhere.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Fracking focus on our farming communities
Sunraysia Daily
Graeme O'Neill

That question is about to loom large for farming communities in the Millewa and south-western Mallee as the Victorian Government holds meetings in Cullulleraine and Murrayville this week to seek community views on the likely presence of “unconventional gas” beneath­ the region’s grain farms.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Halliburton delayed releasing details on fracking chemicals after Monroe County spill
Columbus Dispatch


A fracking company made federal and state agencies that oversee drinking-water safety wait days before it shared a list of toxic chemicals that spilled from a drilling site into a tributary of the Ohio River. Although the spill following a fire on June 28 at the Statoil North America well pad in Monroe County stretched 5 miles along the creek and killed more than 70,000 fish and wildlife, state officials said they do not believe drinking water was affected.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Exxon, OMV start drilling Black Sea's Domino 2 well
Reuters


(Reuters) - ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom announced the start of drilling at a well that will help it assess the size and commercial viability of its Domino 1 Black Sea well, the most significant gas discovery in the region to date.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
GUEST COLUMN: Ban fracking in Pa. state parks, forests
Lehigh Valley Live
Donald W. Miles Opinion

On the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett issued an executive order opening our state parks and state forests to Marcellus Shale fracking (natural gas hydrofracturing drilling). Former Gov. Ed Rendell had banned fracking from state lands in 2010. Corbett reversed that action while most Pennsylvanians were distracted by their holiday plans.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Fracking Effort Draws Concern in North Orange County
Voice of OC
Nick Gerda

Residents in North Orange County are starting to organize against the controversial oil extraction method known as fracking, which has been conducted near homes just north of Brea.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Fracking fight headed for the ballot in Colorado
Grist
Ben Adler

The fracking boom has bolstered Colorado’s economy, and twisted its politics. Even many Democrats advocate for oil and gas interests, including Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall, both of whom are up for reelection this year. But many people living near the wells complain of contaminated air and water, noise, health problems, and other adverse effects.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Pro-oil group calls fracking opponents stupid in TV ad
9 News
Brandon Rittiman

DENVER - A conservative group is trying a new tactic in Colorado's war over fracking: Call the other side idiots. That's what a 60-second TV spot launching on cable networks in the state does, in so many words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline EIS: Demand FERC Do it Right!
The Wrench
Wendy Lynne Lee

INTRODUCTORY NOTE: The following is a letter composed by Restoration Ecologist, Kevin Heatley and Philosophy of Ecology Professor/Writer, Wendy Lynne Lee. It's aim is to provide citizens potentially impacted by Williams Partners' proposed construction of a 177 mi. 30-42 inch high pressure natural gas pipeline--the TRANSCO expansion, "Atlantic Sunrise"--with clearly drafted, precise information about the ecological hazards of this project. While this letter's focus is ecological, there are a number of other categories of serious hazard--property rights, the abuse of eminent domain, health hazards, and community division--just to name a few. This set is thus intended neither to be comprehensive nor definitive--but we invite readers to copy it for your neighbors, include it in part or whole in your own comments to FERC, copy it and bring it to read at the scoping hearings listed below. Send it to your legislators, your county commissioners--to whomever you think relevant to this project. Our aim is clear: STOP THE PIPELINE.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Towns can ban fracking, New York’s top court rules
Great Lakes Echo
Eric Freedman

Local governments in New York can use their zoning ordinances to ban drilling for oil and gas, including fracking, the state’s highest court has ruled. By a 5-2 vote, the New York Court of Appeals rejected energy industry arguments that only the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has legislative authority to regulate fracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Yawuru vote to oppose fracking on land near Broome
ABC NEWS
Erin Parke

The traditional owners of Broome have voted to oppose fracking on their land, but have agreed to keep negotiating with the company behind the plans. Buru Energy wants to use the contentious hydraulic fracturing technique at several sites in the West Kimberley next year, and earlier this month secured the support of Aboriginal families in the Nookanbah area.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Fracking Britain: without debate, the Government imposes its 'right to rule'
Ecologist
Paul Mobbs

The UK Government's policy is to frack at all costs, against public opinion and compelling evidence of environmental damage and poor returns, writes Paul Mobbs - a timely reminder that as far as the Government is concerned, it has a God-given right to rule over us, no matter what we think or want.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Rep. Jared Polis’ anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
Washington times
Valerie Richardson

DENVER — Rep. Jared Polis and his personal fortune were instrumental in helping Democrats wrest control of Colorado from Republicans, but now Democrats fear that he may jeopardize everything they’ve worked for with his anti-fracking crusade. The multimillionaire Democratic congressman from Boulder is sponsoring two ballot measures targeting hydraulic fracturing, and, in doing so, he’s awakened a powerful foe that has even more money than he does: the state’s oil and gas industry.   [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Pennsylvanians win in Commonwealth Court ruling
observer-reporter.com
opinion

Municipalities that have been charging the castle over Act 13, the state’s two-year-old oil and gas drilling law, didn’t get everything they wanted in Commonwealth Court last week, but they got enough that they could wave the victory flag. The sense of triumph felt by plaintiffs in the case should, in fact, be shared by all the residents of Pennsylvania. After both the Commonwealth Court and state Supreme Court determined previously that the zoning provisions of Act 13 snatched away the zoning and planning rights of communities and gave too much latitude to the natural gas industry, the Commonwealth Court was asked to re–examine other outstanding issues, such as whether a “gag order” on doctors regarding chemical exposures could remain, and if the Public Utility Commission had the power to review zoning ordinances and withhold impact fees from communities whose ordinances, in the PUC’s determination, didn’t pass muster.  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Natural Gas May Not Help Fight Global Warming
University Herald
J Baulkman

Replacing coal and oil with natural gas will not help fight global warming, according to a recent study. Researchers found that both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger greenhouse gas footprint than coal or oil, especially for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating. "While emissions of carbon dioxide are less from natural gas than from coal and oil, methane emissions are far greater. Methane is such a potent greenhouse gas that these emissions make natural gas a dangerous fuel from the standpoint of global warming over the next several decades," Dr. Robert Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology, said in a statement. "Society should wean ourselves from all fossil fuels and not rely on the myth that natural gas is an acceptable bridge fuel to a sustainable future."  [Full Story]

Jul 21, 2014
Exclusive: E-mails Reveal Feds and Rail Companies Pressured States to Keep Oil-by-Rail Information Secret
DeSmog Blog


Documents released to DeSmogBlog by the Washington State Military Department reveal that both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and rail companies attempted to pressure states including Washington to keep information about Bakken crude oil trains from the public.  [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
OIL RUSH: CAN SAFETY STANDARDS KEEP PACE WITH AMERICA'S FOSSIL FUEL BOOM? [UPDATED]
City & State
Wilder Fleming

Earlier this month, citizens in Albany’s South End held a vigil to mark the anniversary of a disaster that had upended a small lakeside community in Quebec, Canada, the previous year. It was on a warm July night in 2013 that an unattended runaway train loaded with some two million gallons of crude oil careened downhill into the center of the town of Lac-Mégantic and derailed, igniting an explosive conflagration that killed 47 people and leveled nearly 40 buildings. In Albany the observance took place at the Ezra Prentice Homes, a public housing complex located by the tracks along which trains bound from North Dakota’s Bakken region regularly rumble, carrying the same volatile form of crude that upended Lac-Mégantic.  [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
Pa. appeals court issues split ruling on drilling law
Daily Item
David Conti

HARRISBURG — An appeals court has curbed the state’s power over local zoning rules that target the growing gas drilling industry but upheld other parts of Pennsylvania’s revamped oil and gas laws involving notification of spills, eminent domain and medical records.  [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
What the Frack? Udall in Trouble in Colorado
Breitbart
Dan Riehl

As The Hill points out, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.) has been forced to take a side in Colorado's fight over fracking, putting him at odds with his own state party.   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
Fracking protesters get non-violent civil disobedience tips Elsipogtog First Nation hosts session to discuss anti-shale gas tactics
CBC News


The New Brunswick First Nation at the centre of anti-shale gas exploration demonstrations last year hosted protest strategy and civil disobedience training sessions this weekend.   [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
Planned Dominion Pipeline Raises Some Eyebrows
Wheeling News-Register
Casey Junkins

Natural Gas to Run Through West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina  [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
Organic farmer says New Sewickley Twp. compressor station could kill the family business
Times online
J.D. Prose

NEW SEWICKLEY TWP. -- A proposed natural gas compressor station has the owners of a township organic farm worried their longtime business will be threatened if the project is approved, but energy company officials say those fears are overblown. “What we want to do is stop it entirely,” said Don Kretschmann, who has operated the Kretschmann Family Organic Farm, 257 Zeigler Road, with his wife, Becky, since 1978. “This is something that we are not apt to compromise on.” Kretschmann, a former township supervisor, said the Pike Compressor Station proposed by Cardinal PA Midstream of Dallas for Findlay Township-based Penn Energy Resources would be within 2,000 feet of his 80-acre organically certified farm. “We are producing food for hundreds, even thousands of consumers in the Pittsburgh region,” he said.  [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
Chemicals, dust and deaths and the new rush for oil and gas
hazards magazine
Rory O’Neill

With massive reservoirs of oil and gas trapped in the rocks under our feet, the oil industry is eager to get fracking. But Hazards editor Rory O’Neill warns US evidence of chemical related deaths, a soaring fatality rate and widespread over-exposure to lung wrecking, cancer-causing dust, has raised seriously unhealthy questions.  [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
Will federal agency give pipeline foes a fair hearing?
Lancaster Online
Gil Smart

It was early July when Mike Lausch got the letter that shook his West Hempfield Township neighborhood. The letter, from Oklahoma-based Williams Partners, announced that the firm had rerouted its proposed natural gas pipeline. Now it would run through a cornfield paralleling the 196-home Bridge Valley development — and directly across the street from Lausch’s house. Residents were stunned — and angry. Lausch contacted every elected official he could think of to protest. Others began organizing via social media. Many wrote impassioned letters to the federal agency that, as they see it, holds the fate of their modest neighborhood in its bureaucratic hands  [Full Story]

Jul 20, 2014
Natural gas mega-line in Michigan now a necessity or an about-face?
Battle Creek Enquirer
Keith Matheny

DETROIT — The energy company that wants to build a mega, multi-state natural gas pipeline through six southeast Michigan counties on its way to Sarnia, Ontario, because of what it called “growing markets” had argued just the opposite when it sold an existing line to another company less than two years ago because it said the capacity wasn’t needed. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners argued before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to convert its major north-south natural gas transmission Trunkline pipeline to one that transports oil, in a partnership with Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge  [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
Concerns surround Va. gas pipeline survey
News Leader
Calvin Trice

MIDDLEBROOK – Rocky hills are part of the farmland that John and Barbara Anderson have owned more than four decades, but a proposal to run a utility pipeline through it has them feeling a bit flattened. “It just came out of the blue, and all of a sudden, you feel like you’ve been run over,” Barbara Anderson said. Dominion Virginia Power notified the Andersons that their 248-acre property is along the route of a proposed $4 billion natural gas line the company would run from West Virginia to North Carolina. State law allows the company to enter private property without permission to conduct surveys needed to get permits.  [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
California reviews fracking water disposal amid contamination concerns
Reuters
Rory Carroll

(Reuters) - California on Friday said it would review wells where oil drilling waste water from the process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is disposed to ensure they are not contaminating drinking water. The move comes after the state ordered oil companies to shut down 11 wells on July 1 in Kern County, an area in the state’s Central Valley that is home to the bulk of its crude oil production.   [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
Anti-fracking circus rides into Colorado
Chieftain
Anastasia Swearingen Opinion

A traveling troupe of misfits and malcontents have launched a nationwide campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. What they lack in facts and reason they make up for with theatrics, hyperbole and millions of dollars in funding...Under the guise of “local control,” these activists claim to be looking out for Colorado’s interests. But many of the groups don’t just want to give Coloradans the right to decide whether to allow fracking—they want to ban fracking outright.   [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
4 Reasons Fracking Isn't Dead in California
The Motley Fool
Joseph Shupac

One of the big questions about the American energy industry is whether or not California's Monterey formation, which in 2012 the EIA estimated to contain nearly two-thirds of the United States' technically recoverable tight oil reserves, will be developed on a large scale in the relatively near future. Today the Monterey produces only about 3% of American oil that is extracted from shale. The reasons it has not been developed so far are well known; these include California's environmentalism, high state taxes, expensive land, shortage of freshwater (which fracking uses intensively), geological discontinuities, and the possibility that, as a more recent EIA report claims, past estimates of California's shale potential were wildly overblown.   [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
Air monitors provided to residents near Marcellus sites
Observer-Reporter
Emily Petsko

Mickey Gniadek remembers the exact day when he stepped outside his Finleyville home and felt like a fish out of water. It was Dec. 4, 2013. Gniadek, who had no pre-existing conditions, gasped for air and nearly collapsed from what he believes was a suffocating mix of gases in the atmosphere. “When I came out the door I noticed there was a heavy white cloud that just hung across (the property). … It smelled very acidic,” said Gniadek, who lives on Cardox Road.  [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
Amid the oil boom, fear
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Residents near the Port of Albany say they dread the possibility of an oil train explosion  [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
"Tea Party of the Left" wages ferocious battle over fracking
The Denver Post
Lynn Bartels

Not that long ago, nurse Cliff Willmeng would have reacted to a question about hydraulic fracturing with a blank stare. Fracking, oil shale, drilling: those were words used by geologists, not an emergency-room worker. But a notice in his hometown paper in Lafayette about mothers protesting a well site outside Red Hawk Elementary School inErie transformed the 44-year-old Chicago native and father of two.  [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
Officials seek maps for pipeline project
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

Hundreds of landowners in Schoharie County and elsewhere in upstate New York have been contacted in recent weeks by a Texas-based energy company, advising them their property is along the potential route of a new Tennessee Gas pipeline being proposed by the firm, Schoharie Town Supervisor Gene Milone said Friday. Milone said representatives of Kinder Morgan Inc., a Houston firm involved in the natural gas industry, were pressed by members of the Schoharie Board of Supervisors to come up with maps showing exactly which properties would be in the pathway of the underground pipeline. He said company officials advised the supervisors that the firm has recently contacted some 500 landowners in upstate New York, indicating it will want their permission to survey the parcels.   [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
NYC billionaire to spend money in Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Max Radwin

A spokeswoman for NextGen Climate said it is working to show voters how Mr. Corbett “stood up for powerful energy companies (who are significant contributors to his campaign) at the expense of Pennsylvania voters’? best interests.” Last week, NextGen sent a Right-to-Know request for all correspondence between Mr. Corbett and oil and gas companies, plus campaign finance records.   [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
California Shuts Down Injection Of Fracking Waste To Protect Scarce Water
Huffington Post
Abrahm Lustgarten-ProPublica

California officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state's drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.  [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
More Groundwater Contamination from Fracking Accidents
Kansas City Infozone


The oil and gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could potentially contribute more pollutants to groundwater than past research has suggested, according to a new study in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology.   [Full Story]

Jul 19, 2014
Gulf Oil plans LNG facility in Great Bend
The Times-Tribune
BRENDAN GIBBONS

An oil company with Pennsylvania roots plans to have a liquefied natural gas plant up and running in Great Bend, Susquehanna County, by the end of 2015. The plant would accept natural gas from Williams’ Windsor-Montrose-Washington gathering line and compress it for storage and delivery as a liquid, according to a petition the company, Gulf Oil Limited Partnership, filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in April. The plant would produce 100,000 to 300,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas per day, the petition states, using electric compressors. Its target markets are operators of drilling rigs and hydraulic fracturing truck fleets who want to run their equipment on natural gas instead of diesel fuel. The gas would also go to storage facilities operated by utility companies. These plants, known as “peak-shaving plants,” store excess gas until periods of high demand, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Clean up started after fracking operation effects orphan well
Observer-Reporter
Bob Niedbala

A company hydro fracking a conventional oil well in Jackson Township Monday blew out the plug on a nearby unknown “wildcat,” or orphan well, forcing materials in the orphan well to the surface and requiring a cleanup of an unnamed tributary of Long Run. Penneco Oil Co. was fracking the horizontal portion of the well off Long Run Road when the pressure “communicated with an unknown wildcat well,” said John Poister, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.   [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
CA Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning it May Be Contaminating Aquifers
ProPublica
Abrahm Lustgarten

State’s drought has forced farmers to rely on groundwater, even as California aquifers have been intentionally polluted due to exemptions for oil industry.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Fracking will weigh in race for governor
auburnpub.com
Guy Cosentino

It is becoming clear that this year’s race for the Governor’s Mansion is going to sift down to a couple of issues, whether the Empire State should allow fracking is likely to be one.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Fracking wastewater is big business in Ohio
Midwest Energy News
Kathiann M. Kowalski

The oil and gas boom made possible by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of horizontal wells has also led to dramatic growth in Ohio’s injection well disposal industry.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Kansas Shaken By M3.6 Earthquake July 17, 2014: More Fracking Quakes
Decoded Science
Jessica Tucker

A magnitude 3.6 earthquake rattled the state at 5:40am CDT on July 17th, approximately 19 kilometers (12 miles) WNW of Caldwell, Kansas and from a depth of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Hopes of exporting gas to Europe halted by U.S. regulations
Shale Gas Reporter.com
Katie Woods

U.S. natural gas is in demand in Europe, especially as countries search for alternatives to Russian energy  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
State budget cuts river agency aid
citizensvoice.com
Robert Swift

HARRISBURG — The new state budget cuts aid to the Delaware River Basin Commission in half, an unusual move even with the tight finances facing Pennsylvania during the past half-dozen years.   [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Fracking debate heating up in NY?
wbng news
Tyler Race

The fracking debate has caused even more controversy in New York State  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
In US energy boom, who decides if fracking comes to town?
The Christian Science Monitor
Jared Gilmour

Americans across the country are weighing the benefits and downsides of increased domestic energy production, and the controversial new technologies that come with it  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Protecting Western Massachusetts Farms
Lucia Green-Weiskel
huffingtonpost.com

For residents of Western Massachusetts, the famous Shay's Rebellion of 1786-87 has yet to come to an end  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Pa. DEP to hold public hearing on Milford Township compressor station
Pocono Record
Beth Brelje

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection plans a public hearing on a proposed compressor station modification on Schocopee Road in Milford Township. Columbia Gas Transmission Co. is seeking permission to increase the capacity of gas that flows through its pipeline with the installation and operation of two new Solar Centaur natural gas-fired compressor turbines and an emergency generator at the Milford Compressor Station. Compressor stations propel gas along the pipe. In Milford, the Columbia-owned compressor station can send gas onto the Columbia Pipeline or connect the gas to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) on Q2 2014 Results - Earnings Conference Call
Seeking Alpha


Richard D. Kinder - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Well, I think -- and I'll let Tom Martin jump in here, but what's really changed is this is really now 2 projects. One is from the Marcellus to Wright, New York, and that's mostly a supply push project. And then the second project is from Wright across a little bit of New York and Massachusetts to Dracut. And again, the cost of that depends obviously on what the shipment actually is, and the $5 billion to $6 billion would be at the fully utilized percentages. Tom, you want to comment on that?   [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Oklahoma Earthquake Swarm Spurs Fracking Wastewater Disposal Debate
DESMOBLOG.COM
Sharon Kelly

Last weekend, a swarm of seven earthquakes in just 14 hours between Saturday evening and Sunday morning in Oklahoma made national headlines.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Protesters Urge Brown to Protect California’s Water by Banning Fracking
San Diego Free Press
Dan Bacher

As the State Water Resources Control Board approved new emergency regulations to fine residential “water hogs” up to $500 a day, Californians Against Fracking urged Governor Jerry Brown to ban the environmentally destructive, water intensive oil drilling practice known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Fracking contaminates U.S. surface with radioactive waste
Natural News
L.J.Devon

Radioactive Marcellus shale being drilled to the surface   [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Fracking contaminates U.S. surface with radioactive waste
Natural News
L.J. Devon

(NaturalNews) The petroleum and natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing is becoming more common in the United States, especially in the East. This method injects water, sand, and chemicals deep into rock formations, creating fractures that allow petroleum and natural gas to migrate toward the drilled out well.   [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Corbett agrees to hold off on new gas leases on state lands pending lawsuit
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

The Corbett administration has agreed to hold off on leasing any more state land for natural gas drilling until a case challenging the practice is settled. In exchange, the environmental group suing the stateagreed not to challenge the use of state conservation money to fund the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
Pennsylvania cuts funding to Delaware River commission
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI

Pennsylvania is cutting its share of funding to the agency that oversees issues from water quality to flood management in the Delaware River watershed, the Scranton Times-Tribune reports. The Delaware River Basin Commission, or DRBC, is run by the federal government and the governors of the four states that share the watershed – New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Under an agreement, Pennsylvania is responsible for 25 percent of the funding for the commission’s work. Governor Tom Corbett proposed a $500,000 cut in February, which remained in the final budget passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed by the governor on July 10.  [Full Story]

Jul 18, 2014
PA Appeals Court Finds That DEP Was Not Required To Give Notice To Private Well Owners In The Event of a Hydrofracking Spill
Law of the Land
Patricia Salkin

This case was brought to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania on remand from a Supreme Court “mandate” directing it to consider the constitutionality of certain provisions of Act 13. Specifically the court was directed to decide: (1) whether notice to only public drinking water systems following a spill resulting from drilling operations, but not private water suppliers, is unconstitutional because it is a special law and/or violates equal protection; (2) whether those provisions of Act 13 prohibiting health professionals from disclosing to others the identity and amount of hydraulic fracturing additives received from the drilling companies impedes their ability to diagnose and treat patients, is unconstitutional because it is a special law and/or violates equal protection and violates the single subject rule; (3) whether conferring the power of eminent domain upon a corporation empowered to transport, sell, or store natural gas in this Commonwealth to take the property of others for its operations is unconstitutional because it permits a taking for private purpose; (4) and whether 58 Pa.C.S. §§ 3302 and 3305 to 3309, which authorizes the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to review local zoning ordinances and to withhold impact fees from local governments, are severable from the enjoined provisions of Act 13.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Two drilling companies sue Broadview Heights over ban on oil and gas wells
Plain Dealer
Bob Sandrick

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio – Two drilling companies with natural gas and oil wells in Broadview Heights have sued the city over its prohibition against future wells. Bass Energy Co. Inc., of Fairlawn, and Ohio Valley Energy, of Austintown, said the state of Ohio, not Broadview Heights, has sole authority to permit or deny drilling and to regulate wells.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Clean Power, Off the Grid
New York Times
David J. Hayes--Opinion

STANFORD, Calif. — AFTER years of hype, renewable energy has gone mainstream in much of the United States and, increasingly, around the world.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
State Delays “Emergency” Fracking Regulations Another Six Months
AllGov CA


California lawmakers rejected a moratorium last year (and again this year) on hydraulic fracturing at oil and gas drilling sites while regulators decide how to oversee the potentially dangerous, and largely unregulated, extraction process.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Fracking and protecting Pa. residents' health
Lancaster Online
Intelligencer Journal Editorial

Last week, Dr. Eli Avila, Pennsylvania’s former health secretary, accused state leaders of failing to seriously study hydraulic fracturing’s impact on the health of state residents.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
New York Senate Rejects Fracking Ban
Heartland
Alyssa Carducci

The New York Senate has declined to pass a bill extending a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing energy production in the state. Instead, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and local governments will decide the fate of fracking in New York.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Regulators Wrap Up Hearings On "Fracking" Rules
Interlochen Public Radio
Rick Pluta

UPDATE 2:35PM: Our story has been corrected because the ballot campaign is now looking to get a voter initiated law, not a constitutional amendment. State environmental regulators will put the finishing touches on new rules regarding “fracking” now that public hearings have wrapped up. They expect to have the new rules adopted by the end of the year. But the state’s rules may not be the final word on the controversial drilling process  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Protesters Urge Agency to Stop Fracked Gas Exports
Center for Effective Government
Zach St. Louis

On July 13, over 1,000 protestors marched from the U.S. Capitol to the doors of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). They urged the agency to reject a proposal to construct a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Lusby, Maryland, which is just 60 miles south of the White House.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
State appeals court hands down split decision on state's oil and gas law
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura Legere and Don Hopey

A Pennsylvania appeals court today issued a split decision on the state's oil and gas law, rejecting some challenges while holding up other aspects. The Commonwealth Court confirmed that regulators can be required to notify public water suppliers but not private water well owners of drilling-related spills. It also upheld the law's limits on what doctors can disclose about proprietary chemicals used in the gas extraction process and its terms for allowing public utilities to use eminent domain to take property for gas storage facilities.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Commonwealth Court throws out several challenges to Act 13, including ‘doctor gag rule’
NPR State Impact PA
KATIE COLANERI AND SUSAN PHILLIPS

Pennsylvania doctors have nothing to worry about when it comes to the so-called “gag order” on chemical exposures from oil and gas drilling. That’s the message from the Commonwealth Court today in a much-anticipated ruling on provisions of the state’s two-year-old oil and gas law. The court issued the ruling after the Supreme Court passed on the controversy, sending it back to the lower court. The “gag rule” stems from a section of Act 13, which requires nondisclosure agreements from healthcare providers who seek information on chemical exposures, which may be deemed “confidential” by industry. The law, which was drafted without the knowledge or consultation of healthcare providers, forces doctors to sign a nondisclosure agreement, thereby agreeing not to share any ingredients in the industry’s secret sauce used to frack and drill for natural gas.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
In North Dakota's oil bonanza, natural gas goes up in flames
Los Angeles Times
Paresh Dave

Frank and Wanda Leppell once lived on a quiet cattle ranch in the middle of a rolling prairie, the lowing of cattle and the chirping of sparrows forming a pleasant soundtrack to their mornings. No more. Not since the pasture they began leasing in 2009 became part of one of the nation's most productive new oil fields. Not since a well barely 200 yards from their front porch began shooting a torch of burning gas skyward, 24 hours a day, with a force as loud as a jet engine.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
About 1,000 natural gas leaks found on Staten Island; first NYC area mapped in Google
Staten Island Advance
Maura Grunlund

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Staten Island was the first place mapped in the New York City metropolitan area in a project that revealed about 1,000 natural gas pipeline leaks in our borough. The Island was targeted for the Environmental Defense Fund and Google Earth Outreach joint project that mapped natural gas leaks based on methane emissions because our borough "was an easily delineated location within National Grid territory, not overlapping with other utilities," said Lauren Whittenberg, director of natural gas communications for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Fracking Industry Seeks Better Chemicals
Laboratory Equipment
Patricia Waldron

Representatives from the natural gas industry, chemical companies and nonprofits came together in Bethesda, Maryland, at a session of the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, to discuss ways to use fewer and safer chemicals in fracking. Though not yet widely adopted, these strategies are not only good for the environment, but are less risky for their employees and can even save money, said session chair Danny Durham, the manager of Global Upstream Chemicals of the Houston-based Apache Corporation.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Planned fracking sand facility rejected
Times-Tribune
Robert L. Baker

The Wyoming County Planning Commission denied preliminary approval Wednesday for a proposed facility that provides sand for fracking, saying it violated a section of the county code that protects the health, safety and welfare of the community.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Fracking fray heats up Court will hear arguments to save fracking-ban petition
News Review


Joni Stellar, organizer of Frack Free Butte County, appeared at the Butte County Superior Court’s Chico complex Tuesday (July 15) in an attempt to ensure a proposed fracking ban makes it onto the ballot in November.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Fracking-Inspired Artwork At Real Art Ways Artworks By Hilary Brace, Linda Darling, Thom Sawyer, Dennis Pinette
Hartford Courant
Susan Dunne

An exhibit of Pacheco's work, "Extraction," is up now at Real Art Ways in Hartford. The title of the show has a dual meaning. The subject matter is extraction — fracking, offshore oil rigs, natural gas exploration — and the materials he uses are largely petroleum-based.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
In US energy boom, who decides if fracking comes to town?
Christian Science Monitor
Jared Gilmour

Americans across the country are weighing the benefits and downsides of increased domestic energy production, and the controversial new technologies that come with it. Increasingly, they're also debating who gets to decide when and where fracking happens, or if it takes place at all.  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Texas city rejects partial fracking ban
Omaha.com


DENTON, Texas (AP) — The council governing a North Texas city that sits atop a large natural gas reserve rejected a bid early Wednesday that would have made it the first city in the state to ban further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Oklahoma Earthquake Swarm Spurs Fracking Wastewater Disposal Debate
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

Last weekend, a swarm of seven earthquakes in just 14 hours between Saturday evening and Sunday morning in Oklahoma made national headlines. Those seven quakes were immediately preceded by another earthquake that measured 4.3 on the Richter scale in Langston, OK, which struck at noon on Saturday. And on Monday, a quake that measuring 3.9 hit just northeast of Harrah, OK, followed in the same region just hours later by a 3.8 magnitude earthquake, data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows  [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Truth will hurt you if state must divulge radioactivity data
The Morning Call
Paul Carpenter

David Allard, director of the state Bureau of Radiation Protection, came down from the Mount of Olives declaring that, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall not set you free, but shall result in a demonstrable risk of physical harm to you" — or something like that. That harm, he suggested, will be inflicted if evildoers find out where certain gas- and oil-drilling operations are located in Pennsylvania, as if it's possible for anyone not to notice those grotesque blots on portions of our landscape already.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Investigation to continue at site of house explosion
Fox 8
Stacey Frey

ORWELL, Ohio — Investigators were expected to return to the scene of a house explosion Thursday.... There is a well on the property and natural gas would sometimes seep into the water system.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax Tony Abbott Pledged to Get Rid of the Tax Last Year
Wall Street Journal
Rob Taylor & Rhiannon Hoyle

CANBERRA, Australia—After almost a decade of heated political debate, Australia has become the world's first developed nation to repeal carbon laws that put a price on greenhouse-gas emissions.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Battle over local control of drilling leaves statehouse for ballot box
Denver Post
Mark Jaffe

The battle over local control of oil and gas drilling Wednesday swung from the statehouse to the ballot box in what is shaping up as Colorado's most expensive initiative battle ever.   [Full Story]

Jul 17, 2014
Protests grow over proposed pipeline through Mass. Communities raising flags over plan to expand Tennessee Gas network
Boston Globe
Hattie Bernstein

“We know we need energy if we want to keep the lights on,” said Pepperell resident Ken Hartlage, president of the Nashoba Conservation Trust. “What we’re saying is don’t impose a solution on us that doesn’t allow us to be part of the process.”   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Google and EDF Partner to Map Natural Gas Leaks
EcoWatch
Bradon Baker

Natural gas is leaking beneath streets near you, though you might not realize it. While the leaks might not show obvious effects right away, the methane within natural gas warms the planet about 120 more than carbon dioxide. Google and the Environmental Defense Fund entered a partnership to track pipe leak risks with innovative online maps.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Which release is worse – radiation or information on radiation? DEP told to hand over data on well sites
PennLive
Jan Murphy

It's well established that radiation can be harmful. But is it possible that the release of information about radioactive material is dangerous as well? That was an argument that the state Department of Environmental Protection made when it denied a request from an environmental group for recently collected information about radiation levels in and around oil and gas well sites in the Marcellus shale region, along with other related information.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
In North Dakota's oil bonanza, natural gas goes up in flames
LA Times
Paresh Dave

Not since the pasture they began leasing in 2009 became part of one of the nation's most productive new oil fields. Not since a well barely 200 yards from their front porch began shooting a torch of burning gas skyward, 24 hours a day, with a force as loud as a jet engine.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Thousands of gas leaks in Boston area, study finds
Boston Globe
Callum Borchers

An online map published Wednesday by Google and the Environmental Defense Fund reveals thousands of natural gas leaks under the streets of Boston and surrounding cities.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Health chief: No fast answer to drilling questions
Seattle PI
Kevin Begos

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The head of Pennsylvania's Department of Health said Wednesday that its experts are responding to health complaints related to natural gas drilling, but there is no quick and easy way to answer questions about the issue. Health Secretary Michael Wolf told The Associated Press that the department is working to do research with other public and private partners, such as hospitals.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Politicians show glaring inconsistencies on fracking issue
Star Gazette
Bette Ek Opinion

Some candidates' vicious and bizarre campaign ads are frustrating during election years because too often we get unclear or conflicting messages regarding where candidates stand on critical issues. Many of these issues will have far-reaching effects, not only on us but on future generations.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
State to delay gas testing in Cape Fear region
Fay Observer
Andrew Barksdale

Soil testing for natural gas that was to get underway this summer in Cumberland County will be delayed. Scientists with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources were hoping to award a contract this summer to have soil deep below the surface tested for traces of ancient shale formations that could contain natural gas.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
No fast answer to drilling questions, Pa. health chief says
Tribune-Review
Associated Press

The head of Pennsylvania's Department of Health said on Wednesday that its experts are responding to health complaints related to natural gas drilling, but there is no quick and easy way to answer questions about the issue. Health Secretary Michael Wolf said the department is working to do research with other public and private partners, such as hospitals.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Brant proposes law banning hydrofracking
The Sun
Brian Campbell

BRANT — The Brant Town Board took the first steps to adopting new local laws regarding hydrofracking at its July 8 meeting. The proposed law, ‘Horizontal Drilling Law,’ was presented to the Brant town board by the planning board, who offered a number of reasons for its necessity.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
In rare effort, Ohio scientist to test water before fracking soars
Ames Tribune
Lisa Song

As the shale gas boom was making its way into Ohio in 2012, University of Cincinnati scientist Amy Townsend-Small began testing private water wells in Carroll County, the epicenter of the Utica Shale. Her project, which includes samples of more than 100 wells, is one of the few sustained efforts in the nation to evaluate drinking water quality before, during and after gas drilling.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
North Texas Town Rejects Fracking Ban
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Denton was on the brink of becoming the first city in Texas to ban fracking, but city council rejected the measure. Council listened to eight hours of testimony, according to the Associated Press, before voting against the ban by a five-two count. Voters will have their say on the issue during the November election.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Big Fracking Deal For Halliburton In China
China CSR


U.S.-based Halliburton has signed an agreement with a Chinese company for hydraulic fracturing in the oilfields in the Xinjiang area of China. Halliburton inked the deal with an SPT Energy Group Inc. affiliate, Petrotech (Xinjiang) Engineering Co., Ltd., to establish a joint venture company focused on hydraulic fracturing and production enhancement services.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
North Texas city rejects partial fracking ban
Houston Chronicle
EMILY SCHMALL

DENTON, Texas (AP) — The council governing a North Texas city that sits atop a large natural gas reserve rejected a bid early Wednesday morning to ban further permitting of hydraulic fracturing in the community after eight hours of public testimony. Denton City Council members voted down the petition 5-2, sending the proposal to a public ballot in November.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Breaking: Denton City Council Rejects Fracking Ban: Referendum Will Be on November Ballot
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

The failure of the Denton city council to pass a fracking ban in Denton, Texas, after a meeting that went on for over eight hours last night, was no surprise to Cathy McMullen, Denton resident and president of Denton Drilling Awareness Group. “The vote was theater,” McMullen told DeSmogBlog. Councilman Kevin Roden was the only one to call for ban. His motion was not seconded. A motion to deny the ban was approved 5 to 2, followed by an unanimous vote to put the ban initiative on the next ballot.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
The Big One: Russia's Bazhenov shale
Reuters
John Kemp

(Reuters) - As U.S. and EU policymakers have imposed targeted sanctions on Russian individuals and firms in response to the crisis in Ukraine, Western companies have sought to insulate their own projects from the political imbroglio and continue developing the country's vast oil and gas resources. Exxon Mobil and Shell have joint ventures with Rosneft and Gazprom respectively to explore and produce shale oil and gas from beneath the swampy plains of Western Siberia and both want to be allowed to continue operating there. It's easy to see why. The West Siberian basin is the largest petroleum basin in the world, covering 2.2 million square kilometres between the Ural Mountains and Yenisei River, extending from Kazakhstan in the south to under parts of the Kara Sea in the north. The region contains dozens of super-giant and giant oilfields, including Samotlor with 28 billion barrels of oil originally in place, and Urengoy with more than 350 trillion cubic feet of original gas reserves. The first oil discovery in the region was made in 1953. Most of the large oil and gas fields were discovered in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, new field discoveries have been much smaller, which helped fuel the peak-oil panic in the early 21st century. But more than 90 percent of that oil is thought to have come originally from a layer of black shale averaging just 20-40 metres thick and buried almost 3 km beneath the surface. Now oil and gas companies are trying to figure out how to go straight to the source, known as the Bazhenov shale. Tapping shale directly has revolutionised oil and gas production in North America. Western oil companies and their Russian counterparts hope it can do the same in Siberia.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
10 Scientists Want to Educate Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Climate Change
ecowatch
Brandon Baker

The “I’m not a scientist” excuse won’t fly with this group. Ten scientists signed a letter addressed to Florida Gov. Rick Scott this week in hopes that he will meet with them to learn about climate change and its impact on their state. The scientists are professors of oceanography, environmental and atmospheric sciences and more at various universities in the state, including Miami, Florida State, Florida International and Eckerd College, the Tampa Bay Times reported. “Florida is one of the most vulnerable places in the country with respect to climate change, with southeastern Florida of particular concern,” the scientists wrote. “This is not a hypothetical. Thousands of scientists have studied the issue from a variety of angles and disciplines over many decades. “Those of us signing this letter have spent hundreds of years combined studying this problem, not from any partisan political perspective, but as scientists—seekers of evidence and explanations.”  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
'Saltwater' From Fracking Spill Is Not What's Found in the Ocean
Bloomberg
Lisa Song

InsideClimateNews.org -- In early July, a million gallons of salty drilling waste spilled from a pipeline onto a steep hillside in western North Dakota's Fort Berthold Reservation. The waste—a byproduct of oil and gas production—has now reached a tributary of Lake Sakakawea, which provides drinking water to the reservation. The oil industry called the accident a "saltwater" spill. But the liquid that entered the lake bears little resemblance to what's found in the ocean. The industry's wastewater is five to eight times saltier than seawater, said Bill Kappel, a hydrogeologist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey. It's salty enough to sting the human tongue, and contains heavy metals in concentrations that might not meet drinking water standards. The briny mix can also include radioactive material. Heavy metals and radioactive materials are toxic at certain concentrations.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Google Takes On Rogue Methane Emissions With Street View Cars
Huffington Post
Edward McAllister

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc's Street View cars have captured the world's roads, highways and back alleys for years. Now they are being used for something entirely different: detecting the thousands of natural gas leaks blighting major U.S. cities. Google cars fit with air monitors have taken millions of readings along the streets of Boston, New York and Indianapolis over the past two years as part of a program run by the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund to help reduce methane emissions. The results, announced by the fund on Wednesday, reveal how common leaks are in highly populated areas that until now have not been quantified. In central Boston, leaks were discovered every few blocks. While the leaks were small and did not appear hazardous, they have prompted concerns about methane whose global warming impact is 20 times greater than carbon dioxide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The leaks also raise questions about the safety of old pipelines carrying natural gas in growing volumes across North America. A natural gas pipeline leak caused an explosion in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem in March this year, leveling two buildings and killing eight people.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Bradford County commissioners ask feds to investigate Chesapeake Energy
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Bradford County’s three commissioners have reached out to the federal Department of Justice, seeking its help investigating allegations gas driller Chesapeake Energy is cheating Pennsylvania landowners out of royalty money. As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, residents there have been complaining about the issue for more than a year and say they’re disappointed with what they view as a lack of action in Harrisburg.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Texas town goes head-to-head against energy groups over fracking
RT News


The small city of Denton, Texas, which sits on a huge natural gas reserve, lost a bid to halt fracking after many hours of public testimony. The oil and gas companies are now threatening litigation if a ban goes into effect. A citizens’ movement to ban fracking – a mining process, also known as hydraulic fracturing, that involves blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals into underground rock formations to release oil and gas - suffered a setback on Wednesday when Denton City Council members voted down the petition 5-2.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Environmental groups call for investigation into Pa. Department of Health
NPR State Impact PA
MARIE CUSICK

Five Pennsylvania environmental groups are calling for an investigation into the state Department of Health, in the wake of allegations it deliberately ignored public complaints about natural gas operations. As StateImpact Pennsylvania first reported in June, two former state health workers claim they were told not to respond to phone calls from people who complained about gas drilling. Employees also needed high-level permission to attend meetings and forums about Marcellus Shale topics. Representatives from five environmental groups– PennFuture, PennEnvironment, Clean Water Action-Pennsylvania, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, and the Clean Air Council– issued a joint statement Tuesday calling for an investigation into the Department of Health’s handling of the issue.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Thousands of gas leaks in Boston area, study finds
The Boston Globe
Callum Borchers

An online map published Wednesday by Google and the Environmental Defense Fund reveals thousands of natural gas leaks under the streets of Boston and surrounding cities. Just don’t expect a rush by utility companies to repair most of the pipes.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Fracking, Chemicals, and Our Health: EPA Considers a Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Rule
Union of Concerned Scientists
Gretchen Goldman

What’s in the water? What are the chemicals being used? Will they harm me? Or my family? Or my animals? What kind of impacts will my environment experience? These questions have been asked by countless communities since hydraulic fracturing first expanded across the country a few years ago. And during this time period, these questions have often gone unanswered because of a lack of laws to address them. But right now, the EPA has the opportunity to provide some answers.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Effort to Avoid Vote on Fracking Falters in Colorado
The New York Times
Jack Healy

Efforts by leading Colorado Democrats to head off a costly and divisive election-year fight over oil and gas drilling appeared to crumble on Wednesday as Gov. John W. Hickenlooper announced that he did not have enough support to pass a compromise law giving local towns more control over fracking in their backyards.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Natural-Gas Futures Rise on Expected Demand Increases
The Wall Street Journal
Daniel Huang

Natural-gas futures rose Wednesday as traders anticipate increased demand from power generators that have new incentives to switch away from coal.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Fracking talks fail, November vote likely
9 News
Brandon Rittiman

DENVER - Talks aimed at brokering a compromise to allow increased local control over oil and gas drilling operations have failed, Gov. John Hickenlooper's (D-Colorado) office reported Wednesday. The governor's office says there will be no special session - as Hickenlooper had hoped - to pass a compromise law on fracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
McCrory backing fracking
East Carolinian
Sue Book

North Carolina’s governor hopes to move the state forward with help from natural gas energy from offshore drilling, fracking and a pipeline from Pennsylvania.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
K.G. board, residents focus on gas fracking
Fredericksburg.com
Cathy Dyson

King George County residents and officials alike are attempting to educate themselves about fracking, but in different ways....A Texas company has leased 84,000 acres in King George and four other counties in the Taylorsville basin with the hopes of drilling for gas.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
US Should Learn from Germany’s Renewable Energy…Mistakes?
Renewable Energy World
Meg Cichon

A new report finds that Germany has made costly mistakes in its transition to renewable energy, and suggests that the US should heed warnings when developing its own energy future.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
As Fracking Expands, So Does Opposition – Even In Texas
Oil Price
Nick Cunningham

And while some places have been more welcoming to the industry than others, most communities experience mixed effects when fracking moves in. In rural communities, some farmers have been able to pay down debt and even hold onto their multigenerational farms by allowing drillers on their land. But in others, companies have strong armed landowners into giving up mineral rights against their will. Then there is the truck traffic, noise, and air and water pollution that opponents say cause environmental and health problems.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
The gas company that says it can take your backyard
Al Jazeera America
Evan Hill

Sunoco Logistics Partners invokes eminent domain to build a pipeline through Pennsylvania, setting off a legal battle  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Erie [Colorado] Planning Commission approves 13 new fracking wells
Daily Camera
Alex Burness

ERIE — Oil and gas company Encana has taken another step toward securing approval for 13 new hydraulic fracturing wells near a dense residential section of Erie, but affected residents and town officials pressed the company to communicate their plans more clearly going forward. Erie's Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve Encana's plan and send it to the town's Board of Trustees, which will meet Aug. 12 to either OK or reject the project once and for all.  [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
Enbridge raises ‘attack’ concerns in Line 9 pipeline filing as opposition mounts
Financial Post
Jeff Lewis

CALGARY — In a sign of the mounting tensions over new energy infrastructure, Enbridge Inc. has raised the possibility of an “attack” on one of its pipelines.   [Full Story]

Jul 16, 2014
For Rural Texans Overwhelmed by the Fracking Boom, Training to Fight Back
InsideClimate News
David Hasemyer

Workshops will teach residents of the booming Eagle Ford Shale how to report emissions and suspected water contamination.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Manpower shortage impacting pollution investigations
Tribune-Review
Bob Frye

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officers haven't been issuing many citations for Marcellus shale pollution cases. It's not been for a lack of effort. The problem has been a lack of manpower, said Corey Brichter, chief of the agency's law enforcement bureau. The commission is short 16 waterways conservation officers, meaning those left are sometimes covering multiple districts. They can't be everywhere, Brichter told commission board members at their quarterly meeting Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Senate Confirms Two Obama Nominees to FERC
The Wall Street Journal
AMY HARDER And MIKE CRITTENDEN

Norman Bay, Cheryl LaFleur Confirmed at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Atlanta law firm says proposed pipeline threatens Southwest Georgia air quality
WALB 10 Georgia
Shannon Wiggins

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Atlanta non-profit law firm says a controversial natural gas pipeline proposed for South Georgia would pollute the air in our area. Green law is against the proposed 500-mile long Sabal Trail pipeline that would run from Alabama to near Tampa, Florida. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division will determine whether to grant an air permit for a compressor station outside Albany. The law firm says that compressor will impact air quality. "In areas where they have to recompress the gas to keep it moving through the pipeline, it'll be up at the surface and burning the natural gas to recompress it will create additional air pollution near the compressor station if it's built by Sabal Trail,” said Ashten Bailey, GreenLaw Staff Attorney.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Up to 44 oil trains weekly upstate
Times Union
Associated Press

Albany As many as 44 trains a week, each loaded with at least a million gallons of volatile crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region, move through upstate New York, according to documents released Tuesday by the state. CSX Transportation said it hauls an average of 20 to 35 trains a week across 17 New York counties from the west to Albany and then south along the Hudson River. Canadian Pacific said it hauls an average of five to nine crude oil trains a week through five counties from the Canadian border to Schoharie County, according to the documents released to The Associated Press by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in response to a Freedom of Information Law request.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Coming Soon to a country near you: The US Frac phenomenon
Fuel Fix
Jennifer Diouhy

WASHINGTON — The United States’ monopoly on pulling oil and gas out of ultra-dense rock formations is ending, as companies aim to replicate the success in other countries, energy analysts said Tuesday. For several years, the United States has been a laboratory for figuring out how to exploit unconventional tight oil resources on a large scale, but “this is not just a U.S. play,” said Jamie Webster, senior director of the IHS energy research group. By the end of the decade, 10 percent of the world’s tight oil production will come from outside North America, Webster predicted at an Energy Information Administration summit.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
States where hydraulic fracking takes place get more earthquakes: study
Daily News (AP)


States where hydraulic fracturing is taking place have seen a surge in earthquake activity, raising suspicions that the unconventional drilling method could be to blame. Fracking, which is not permitted in New York, generates vast amounts of wastewater. The water is pumped into injection wells, which send the waste thousands of feet underground. No one knows for certain exactly what happens to the liquids after that. Scientists wonder whether they could trigger quakes by increasing underground pressures and lubricating faults.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
More LNG export pipelines in the pipeline
Power Source
Michael Sanserino

As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decides whether to approve Dominion Resources’ plan to convert a liquefied natural gas import facility in Lusby, Md., to an export facility, other LNG export projects are already underway and still more are lining up for permission to start work. FERC last month authorized the construction of an LNG export terminal in Hackberry, La., which is only the second such project to be approved by the commission in the lower 48 states. Cameron LNG, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, will spend between $9 billion and $10 billion to convert its existing import terminal.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Protesters arrested opposing natural gas exports
State Impact PA
Marie Cusik

Two dozen environmental activists were arrested Monday outside the Washington D.C. offices of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They were protesting the proposed Cove Point export terminal for liquefied natural gas. If approved by FERC, the facility would be the closest gas export terminal to the Marcellus Shale. About 40 protesters participated in the demonstration. Some linked arms and blockaded several entrances to the office building in an attempt to keep FERC employees from getting to work. Twenty-four of them were arrested for blocking a public passageway. Monday’s protest followed another D.C. rally on Sunday opposing gas exports.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
The World Is Going Solar
EcoNews
Thom Hartmann

The world is going solar. According to new data released by the Fraunhofer Institute, in the first half of 2014, renewable energy, like solar power, accounted for almost 31 percent of all electricity produced in Germany. In fact, solar power generation was up 28 percent during the first half of 2014, compared to the same time last year.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Groups Call For Investigation Of Dept. Of Health On Fracking Complaints
Northcentral PA


Several environmental groups Tuesday called for a full investigation into actions by the state Department of Health around natural gas drilling complaints. The request is on the heels of the revelation that the health department circulated a list of "buzzwords" to the department's employees with the admonition that calls with drilling-related complaints not be returned. The list of flagged words includes "skin rash," "hair falling out," "drilling," "fracking," and "Marcellus Shale."   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
NY Supreme Court dismisses fracking lawsuit
WBNG
Michelle Costanza

Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Natural gas drilling proponents in New York state suffered another setback Monday when the State Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit. It was the second of its kind brought by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and Norse Energy, and it sought to stop the Department of Environmental Conservation's ongoing review of the environmental effects of hydrofracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Budget bills signed by Corbett getting legal scrutiny over gas drilling, line-item vetoes
AP via the Republic
Marc Levy

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Budget legislation signed last week by Gov. Tom Corbett is the subject of intense legal scrutiny. Parts of the budget package are now an exhibit in a two-year-old lawsuit seeking to stop Pennsylvania state government from allowing more natural gas drilling on publicly owned lands and diverting the drilling proceeds away from a land conservation fund. A Tuesday afternoon status conference was scheduled in the case. The package establishes the state's authority to enact a new round of leasing publicly owned lands for natural gas drilling and authorizes the diversion of another $220 million from the fund into the state government's operating budget.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
New York Court Tosses Property Owners’ Little National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Challenge
National Law Review
Steven Russo

A trial court in Albany, New York has landed another blow against high-volume hydraulic fracturing (“HVHF”) in New York by tossing two lawsuits brought by property owners and a bankrupt operator challenging New York’s failure to complete its environmental review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in a timely manner. This comes a little more than a week after New York’s highest court upheld the right of local governments to use land use laws to restrict or ban HVHF within their jurisdiction. The industry and property owner challenge was brought pursuant to New York’s Little NEPA, known as the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act, or SEQRA. Citing a well-established line of case law, the court found that the petitioners lack standing to bring the action because they did not allege an injury that fell within the “zone of interest” of SEQRA. Specifically, the court held that challenges under SEQRA had to allege an injury that was environmental, and not solely economic in nature. Here, the industry and property owners clearly alleged economic and not environmental injury. While the court observed that application of the rule in this instance might very well lead to the State’s inaction to remain unchallenged, the court found that it was constrained by applicable case law.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Fracking and Earthquakes: Human-Induced Seismicity
decoded science
Jennifer Young

Fracking is an issue – a big issue. The increasing pressure on finding alternative – and preferably clean – sources of energy has led to an expansion of the process of hydraulic fracturing, in which gas trapped in sedimentary rocks is released by means of water injected into the rocks, opening up fractures and allowing trapped gas to escape.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Fracking wastewater spill 'threatens reservoir'
Environmental Technology


Around one million gallons of fracking wastewater has been spilled at a site in North Dakota, US, close to a drinking water reservoir. The reservoir supplies drinking water to the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation; it is not clear yet whether the water quality has been compromised as a result of the spill. The wastewater is a leftover product of hydraulic fracturing - fracking operations - in the area. It was being transported through a pipeline owned by Crestwood Midstream Partners, which runs along the shore of the reservoir. The above-ground pipeline carrying the wastewater ruptured over the July 4th weekend but the spill was not discovered until July 8th. Around 24,000 barrels of the wastewater was released from the pipeline before the spill was stopped. Wastewater from fracking is around ten-times saltier than seawater and contains other potentially harmful components, such as fossil fuel condensates. The water was being removed from the fracking site for disposal at the time of the spill.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Oklahoma earthquakes highlight an inconvenient truth about innovation
Washington Post
Domicic Basulto

The current debate that Oklahoma is having over the potential link between hydraulic fracturing and the unprecedented spike in earthquake activity in recent months offers a warning lesson: every innovation comes with tradeoffs. In this case, the reward of cheaper, more bountiful energy promised by hydraulic fracturing appears to be offset by the risk of increased seismic activity. When it comes to innovation, there is no such thing as a free lunch. While the oil and gas industry rejects any suggestion that fracking might be the root cause of Oklahoma’s earthquake spike, it’s hard to ignore that something very strange is happening in Oklahoma. Over a fifteen-month period from 2010 to 2011, there were 850 earthquakes in Oklahoma – compared to just six in the entire period from 2000 to 2008.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Lights Out for Bakken Oil Industry?
Wall St Daily
Karim Rahemtulla

If you look at a satellite map of the United States at night, you’ll witness a puzzling sight. Of course, the Midwest looks pretty dark – except for some places like Chicago. And vast population centers like the East and West coasts are lit up like a Christmas tree. But you’d also see a huge cluster of light in a rather unexpected part of the country – North Dakota. No, the nation’s third-least populous state isn’t experiencing a surge in population growth. The lights actually represent the state’s booming oil industry. As you’ll see, however, the state could go dark very soon…  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Dristiliaris alone in pipeline opposition
Lowell Sun
John Collins

DRACUT -- Two weeks after Selectman Tami Dristiliaris declared her "strong" opposition to Kinder-Morgan's proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline coming to Dracut, legendary comedian Bill Cosby took an equally firm stand, the Associated Press reported on Sunday. If Dristiliaris was hoping her fellow board members would soon join her and Cosby in opposing the pipeline, however, the first-year selectman may be in for a long wait, the Sun has learned.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Activist details Michigan pipeline concerns
wkar.org
Mark Bashore and Joe Linstroth

Pipelines have been a hot topic in Michigan in the last few years. Very recent developments suggest the issue is intensifying. Canada’s Enbridge is part of a proposal to install about 600 miles of new, interstate natural gas pipelines, about 150 miles of which would run through Michigan. Besides arousing environmental concerns over a possible pipeline rupture, the proposal affects homeowners whose properties were not long ago disrupted by another Enbridge project. Concerns have also grown recently about the company’s 61-year old oil pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac. Last week, a University of Michigan study explored several gloomy scenarios if that line broke.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Flimsy LNG regs won't fly
Times Union
Russ Haven and Keith Schue, commentary

Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves credit for so far resisting the powerful gas lobby's push to frack New York. But where does the governor stand on tying our future to fracked gas? We may soon see by how his Department of Environmental Conservation responds to 50,000 comments from New Yorkers concerned about proposed rules for liquefied natural gas. LNG, essentially liquid methane, is a dangerous, super-cold fuel that at minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit kills flesh on contact. Held in giant cryogenic tanks, it is energy dense at one-600th the volume of methane gas and rapidly expands when spilled. Spills exposed to an ignition source can create "pool fires" that are impossible to extinguish. Even worse, a large spill can form an ignitable vapor cloud that, drifting over a populated area, could be catastrophic. This is why the federal government considers LNG facilities to be terrorist targets.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Effort to put anti-fracking measure on ballot fails
The Gazette
Megan Schrader

DENVER - Backers of a proposed ballot question to increase local regulation over the oil and gas industry threw in the towel Monday, admitting the group was unlikely to collect almost 86,000 signatures by the Aug. 4 deadline. The Colorado Community Rights Network was relying almost exclusively on volunteers to collect signatures to put a question on the November ballot asking voters whether local communities should be able to regulate industries that threaten a community's health or safety. Although the ballot language is broad, it was aimed specifically at the influx of oil and gas development close to urban areas along the Front Range.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Texas town considers becoming first in state to ban fracking
The Navigator Online


DENTON, Texas, July 15 (UPI) — The small city of Denton, Texas, has drawn the attention of the nation as it considers becoming the first place in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Fracking Is Setting Earthquake Records in Oklahoma, Scientists Say. Is a Big One Coming?
The New Republic
Rebecca Leber

Oklahoma had more earthquakes with over 3.0 magnitude this year than California—241 to 140, as of June. And in just 14 hours last weekend, Oklahoma registered three of a total seven quakes over that magnitude. Though a 3.0 quake is barely perceptible, the frequency should be concerning. In nature, smaller quakes can be a warning sign that larger, more severe ones are coming. “If we look at the way natural earthquakes behave, the more smaller earthquakes you have, the more larger earthquakes you have,” Justin Rubinstein, a geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), told me. “If these earthquakes behave the same, you might expect a larger earthquake.” The question is whether these Oklahoma quakes are natural. Scientists increasingly believe that fracking by the oil and gas industry is triggering earthquakes in regions that otherwise should be relatively stable. Fracking itself isn't to blame, they say, but the large amount of wastewater produced in the process.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
New UK energy minister faces fracking battle
The Telegraph
Andrew Critchlow

Matt Hancock's first major task on stepping into Michael Fallon’s shoes at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) will be to persuade world-scale oil and gas companies to bid in the biggest auction yet to develop shale resources. However, the horse racing enthusiast faces a tough challenge convincing a sceptical industry to bet on fracking in Britain. The Conservative MP for West Suffolk , who joins the department with no direct energy experience, will have a steep learning curve getting to grips with Fallon’s old upstream oil and gas beat.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Feds to rule soon on pipe
Times Union
Rich Karlin

Albany Proponents of a proposed $750 million pipeline to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to a Schoharie County pumping station are hoping a key federal decision on the project could come as soon as this summer. "We're optimistic," said Chris Stockton, a spokesman for Williams Partners, which, along with Cabot Energy and a consortium of other companies, wants to construct the 122-mile Constitution Pipeline from Pennsylvania across New York.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
24 Arrested for Anti-Fracking Blockade to Protest Cove Point Terminal
Democracy Now


In Washington, D.C., 24 people opposed to the gas-drilling technique known as fracking were arrested Monday after blockading the entrances to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They were protesting what they call the agency’s rubber stamping of the industry’s push to export natural gas. They focused on Cove Point, a liquified natural gas export terminal proposed by Dominion Resources in Maryland, which the agency is due to issue a final decision on next month. On Sunday, more than 1,000 people joined a "people’s march" against Cove Point and the boom in fracking in the United States, which they say imperils health, safety and the climate.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
BLM begins process to lease oil and gas rights in Payette County
Idaho Statesman
ky Barker

So far Idaho’s natural gas play has been limited to state and private land. Eventually federal mineral rights, both on public land and beneath private lands could go out for leasing. The Bureau of Land Management is beginning the process to consider leasing 5,355 acres of mineral lands in Payette County.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
State should study boom’s health impact
Times Tribune
Editorial

Dr. Eli Avila, Pennsylvania’s former health secretary, once tried to throw his weight around with a Harrisburg restaurant which he allegedly accused of serving old eggs. But when it came to the Legislature, Dr. Avila found that he was powerless against the Legislature’s affinity for the natural gas industry.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
CSX: 20-35 oil trains weekly cross 17 NY counties
WSJ via AP


ALBANY, N.Y. — CSX Transportation says it hauls an average of 20 to 35 trains a week loaded with crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region across 17 upstate New York counties en route to coastal refineries. Canadian Pacific says it hauls an average of five to nine crude oil trains a week through five counties from the Canadian border to Schoharie County. The information was released to The Associated Press Tuesday by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in response to a Freedom of Information Law request.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
LNG plant on fault line is bad idea
The World


he Oregonian’s Ted Sickinger is doing a series of articles about the Jordan Cove LNG export project, and I urge everyone to go online and read them. He interviewed two scientists that recently appeared on NOVA, in a show called “Deadliest Earthquakes.” They spoke of our earthquake/tsunami risk in a segment of that, and what follows is from the Oregonian LNG article of June 26, 2014. “It should be an assumption that this will happen during the lifetime of the facility,” said Chris Goldfinger, a seismologist at Oregon State University and leading authority on subduction zone earthquakes. “You can engineer anything to survive anything if you put enough money into it, but I’ve seen a lot of very well-engineered stuff destroyed as if it were Legos. From my perspective, and the probabilities, I would certainly have reservations about building one of these terminals down there,” he said.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Fracking could be coming to Mid-Michigan
wnem.com
Brianna Owczarzak

Fracking could be coming to local communities and some residents aren't too happy about it. Randy Scott is worried. He's heard about the possibility of fracking coming to his Mid-Michigan backyard. Fracking is a method of using high pressure water, sand and chemicals to free oil and gas from rock from thousands of feet below ground. The Western Land Services company based in Ludington has secured land leases for property in Genesee and Lapeer counties. This creates the possibility of future fracking in the area. That's something Scott doesn't want to see.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Texas judge upholds $3 million fracking verdict
Reuters
Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) - A Texas judge upheld a $3 million jury verdict by ruling in favor of a family who claimed that oil and gas drilling near their land made them sick, in a landmark case hailed as a victory by anti-fracking activists. Last week's ruling, confirmed by lawyers on Tuesday, is the latest step in a three-year case that began when Bob and Lisa Parr filed suit against a handful of oil companies claiming that fumes from drilling around their 40-acre (16-hectare) ranch exposed them and their livestock to hazardous gases and industrial chemicals.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
A large natural gas pipeline might be coming to Michigan
Michigan Radio


"Here we go again." That's what some in Michigan are undoubtedly thinking as they learn of a proposed natural gas pipeline that could run through Michigan on its way to Ontario, Canada. The proposed Rover Pipeline would carry natural gas through about 180 miles of Michigan. Some of it would track the very same route as the controversial Enbridge 6B oil pipeline that was recently replaced. Keith Metheny is a reporter with the Detroit Free Press.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
La Fleur, Bay win senate confirmation to FERC
Natural Gas Intelligence


Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday gave overwhelming support for Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur to serve as a FERC commissioner. Norman Bay squeaked by and could take over either now or later as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, despite fierce opposition from Republicans. The Senate voted 90-7 in favor of LaFleur's appointment to FERC, shortly after Bay also won a commissioner’s post by a 52-45 vote. Although LaFleur has served as acting chairman since last November -- following the departure of Jon Wellinghoff -- President Obama has promised to designate Bay as FERC chairman after he is confirmed (see Daily GPI, June 18; Nov. 21, 2013).  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
TransCanada 'Gag Order' Preventing Mattawa From Talking About Pipeline Rejected
Huffington Post
Daniel Tencer

Under fire from environmental activists, a northern Ontario town has vowed to remove a contract clause that would have prevented it from publicly discussing pipeline builder TransCanada. The town of Mattawa last month agreed to “not publicly comment on TransCanada’s operations or business projects” as part of a contract that saw TransCanada donate a $30,000 emergency fire services vehicle in exchange for the town extending fire services to a company facility. The donation had originally been agreed to in 2012.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Denton mayor leaning towards public vote in fracking fight
wfaa
Lauren Zakalik

DENTON -- James Herbison and Marshall Smith are both Denton residents. But that’s where their similarities end. “Fracking has made major improvements in the U.S. economy,” Herbison says. “If we can stop fracking here, it’ll help people stop fracking other places,” Smith responds. The two men are a microcosm of what’s happening in Denton right now. A community is split by a polarizing proposal to do away with fracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Pair of Lawsuits Brought by Pro-hydrofracking Groups Dismissed
twc news


Two lawsuits challenging New York state's delay in making a decision on hydrofracking have now been dismissed. Those lawsuits were challenging the state's delay in finishing its review on the health and environmental impacts natural gas drilling would have. Bankrupt gas company Norse Energy and the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York brought the lawsuits. They say the state has abused its discretion by delaying a complete environmental review since it began in 2008.   [Full Story]

Jul 15, 2014
Pennsylvania budget lands in legal disputes over gas drilling, vetoed earmarks
Penn Live AP


Budget legislation signed by Gov. Tom Corbett for Pennsylvania state government's two-week-old fiscal year is the subject of intense legal scrutiny. Parts of the $29 billion budget package are now an exhibit in a two-year-old lawsuit that is seeking to stop Pennsylvania state government from allowing more natural gas drilling on publicly owned lands and diverting the drilling proceeds away from a land conservation fund. A Tuesday afternoon status conference was scheduled in the case, which was brought by the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation. A spokesman for Corbett's legal office would not comment, other than to say that the governor's office will respond in court.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Petition Launched to Stop Gas Pipeline Expansion Through Hudson Valley
Scarsdale Patch
Alfred Branch

A petition has been launched to thwart a natural gas pipeline expansion project that winds its way through the Hudson Valley into New England. Texas-based Spectra Energy says it needs to expand the existing Algonquin and Maritimes pipelines "to meet critical demand for reliable electric power generation." The company announced its plans earlier this month. "Spectra Energy stands ready with a unique solution to New England’s need for reliable electricity supply," said Bill Yardley, Spectra Energy’s president of U. S. Transmission and Storage, in a statement. "Our pipelines are in the right place at the right time to supply the region’s electric plants with affordable, clean, domestic natural gas. To enhance the reliability of approximately 60% of these generators, we can expand our mainline and lateral facilities along our existing pipeline footprint while minimizing the effect on communities and the environment."  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Environmental Group Keeps Up Fight to stop Leases in PA Forests
Natural Gas Intelligence
Jamison Conklin

Just hours after Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $29.1 billion state budget last week (see Shale Daily, July 10), the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF) filed a request with the Commonwealth Court asking a judge to declare the move unconstitutional as part of its two-year effort to stop the administration from leasing public forest land for oil and gas drilling. The PEDF continued its claim that Corbett, a Republican, has violated his duty to protect state resources. Corbett signed a budget that calls for generating $95 million in revenue with new leases in state parks and forests, and diverts money from the state's Oil and Gas Lease Fund to pay for the day-to-day operations of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (see Shale Daily, July 1), which oversees state land. The environmental advocacy group had pledged last month to file the request after the budget was signed. At the time, a judge decided that he could not rule on a preliminary injunction filed by PEDF earlier this year to halt the leasing and revenue proposals until the budget was signed (see Shale Daily, May 30). PEDF had sought the injunction to prevent further leasing in state parks and forests until a broader lawsuit, filed in 2012, was resolved (see Shale Daily, March 9, 2012). The lawsuit alleges that both the Corbett administration and the General Assembly have violated state law and the constitution by appropriating money from the Oil and Gas Lease Fund for general purposes. That fund has traditionally been used for conservation efforts, for which it was intended when it was created in 1955. However, in recent years the state has taken to using it for operational purposes. PEDF's 2012 lawsuit also contends that leasing additional forest land for oil and gas drilling violates Article I, Section 27 of the state's constitution, an environmental rights amendment aimed at protecting the right of all citizens to "clean air, pure water, and the preservation of natural scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment." Making good on a promise he made shortly after taking office, Corbett issued an executive order in May that lifted a four-year ban on leasing the subsurface mineral rights in state forests and parks enacted by his predecessor, Democrat Ed Rendell, in 2010 (see Shale Daily, May 23; Oct. 27, 2010). Corbett had hoped to generate $75 million in additional revenue with that proposal (see Shale Daily, Feb. 6), but facing a $1.5 billion deficit the state legislature increased the amount of revenue that could be generated with new leases.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
County upholds decision on Ursa injection well
post independent
John Stroud

A new injection well planned as part of Ursa Resources’ operations near Battlement Mesa will be allowed to proceed, Garfield County commissioners ruled Monday over concerns from some residents about the potential for induced seismic activity.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
City of Denton Could Ban Fracking
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Jess Fields

At next Tuesday’s city council meeting, the Denton City Council will consider a fracking ban brought by petitioners who submitted approximately 2,000 signatures last month to the city. The petition was championed by the Denton Drilling Awareness Group. On their website, in the “Get Educated” section, they link to numerous anti-fracking reports and, in particular, a website with the unambiguous title “Dangers of Fracking.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
CHPNY’s Compendium is a fracking indictment
From the Styx
Peggy Tibbets

Reposted with permission from EcoWatch Less than two weeks ago, local communities triumphed over the fracking industry in a precedent-setting case decided by the New York Court of Appeals. The court ruled that the towns of Dryden and Middlefield can use local zoning laws to ban heavy industry, including oil and gas production within municipal borders. While the court decision is a victory for the two towns, many New Yorkers continue to rally and push for a statewide fracking moratorium. In this vein, on July 10, Concerned Health Professionals of New York (CHPNY) released a major resource to the public, including public officials, researchers and journalists: Compendium of Scientific, Medical and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Fracking: Impacts and Solutions
EarthDay Network


America today stands at a historic crossroads. Our actions in the coming decades regarding energy production, use, and policy will play a critical role in the sustainability of our current ecosystems and earth resources. This past weekend, over a thousand people from across the U.S. joined a first-ever “people’s march” in DC to protest the gas industry’s push to export liquefied natural gas from U.S. coastlines. With a key decision nearing on the Cove Point export terminal, just 50 miles south of the White House, protesters are calling on President Obama and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to halt approval of all liquid natural gas export projects. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas is a high-risk path that’s benefits do not outweigh its consequences. Natural gas is commonly seen as a “cleaner” alternative to coal; this is a dangerous misconception.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
7 Quakes Hit Oklahoma in Less Than a Day
Time
Per Liljas

Oklahoma was rocked by seven small earthquakes in a span of about 14 hours over the weekend, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Three quakes hit between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, centered in the areas of Guthrie, Jones and Langston, and ranging between 2.6 and 2.9 in magnitude. They followed four larger temblors earlier on Saturday, including one near Langston shortly after noon that clocked in at 4.3 on the Richter scale  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
PRINCETON: Council to oppose pipeline plan
Central Jersey.com
Philip Sean Curran

The Princeton Council was expected last night (Monday) to pass a resolution opposing the proposed construction plan a company has for laying a new natural gas pipeline through the Princeton Ridge. Officials said the resolution would ask the federal regulatory agency considering the project to reject the construction plan that Oklahoma-based Williams had submitted. The town also wants the government to require the "safest and most effective construction methods as possible," Mayor Liz Lempert told reporters Monday. Williams, which already operates a pipeline that goes through Princeton, has proposed expansion to increase its capacity to ship natural gas to its customers, despite opposition by some residents.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
North Dakota is poised for more growth in oil production
Star Tribune
David Shaffer

North Dakota is poised for another surge in crude oil output, but new state regulations could soon force well operators to cut oil production unless they reduce wasteful flaring of natural gas. The state’s top oil regulator said Monday that oil production rose 3.6 percent in May to a record 1,039,635 barrels per day, and is poised to increase at a faster pace. The report comes one month after the state for the first time surpassed 1 million barrels of oil production per day. As summer weather allows more well completions, “I am anticipating … 5- and 6-percent production increases, double what we have seen in the last couple of months,” said Lynn Helms, director of the state Department of Mineral Resources.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Has Drilling Holes in the Earth Caused Worldwide Damage to the Planet?
greener ideal
Ant Langston

Oil and products made from oil are such a part of our everyday lives that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. But the first oil well was only drilled in 1858, and offshore drilling only started in 1896. Right from the start there have been concerns about the potential damage caused to the planet by drilling holes and extracting the oil, and these concerns have been brought to public attention in recent years by plans to start fracking for oil on a large scale here in the UK. But is there any basis to worries about drilling and removing oil from the eart  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Anti-fracking protesters arrested in U.S. capital
Chicago Tribune
Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two dozen protesters were arrested in Washington on Monday while demonstrating against hydraulic fracturing and the U.S. gas industry's push to sell "fracked" liquefied natural gas abroad. Protesters blocked entrances to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's headquarters for more than 90 minutes, holding signs calling the agency the "Fracking Expansion Rubberstamp Commission" and chanting "Wake up FERC."  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
PA's Former Health Sec: State Didn't Address Fracking Health Impacts
Inside Climate News (AP)


Pennsylvania's former health secretary says the state has failed to seriously study the potential health impacts of one of the nation's biggest natural gas drilling booms. Dr. Eli Avila also says the state's current strategy is a disservice to people and even to the industry itself because health officials need to be proactive in protecting the public.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Judge considering fate of Longmont fracking ban
Casper Star Tribune


LONGMONT, Colo. — A judge is considering whether to overturn Longmont's fracking ban, which energy companies and state regulators say violates state law and legal precedent. Boulder District Court Judge D.D. Mallard listened to arguments on the 2012 voter-approved ban on Wednesday and said she would issue a written decision later. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that cities can't completely ban drilling although the court said they weren't completely forbidden from regulating oil and gas development. The Longmont Times-Call reports that city attorneys argue companies can still use other drilling methods besides hydraulic fracturing in Longmont.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Exxon battles anti-fracking attorney general in Pennsylvania criminal case
Petro Global news


Exxon Mobil is facing criminal charges over a wastewater spill in Pennsylvania. As a defense, it is arguing that the state’s attorney general illegally singled it out to stop hydraulic fracturing. Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Wednesday Exxon’s claims are false. Prosecutors allege that Exxon subsidiary XTO Energy is criminally liable for a water spill in 2010 at a fracking site in north-central Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Watch a phony petitioner lie to residents of Texas Town that could soon ban fracking
Eco Watch
Brandon Baker

tired of chemically-induced water and the potential for earthquakes, Denton, TX officials are on the brink of banning fracking in their community.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Poll: Anti-Fracking Measures Would Pass In Colorado
Daily Caller
Greg Campbell

Two Colorado ballot measures that would put the screws to the state’s oil and gas industry seem poised for easy passage if backers can gather enough signatures, according to a poll recently released to the Denver Post. Voters were surveyed as to their feelings on two possible measures, one which would require oil and gas operations only be conducted at a distance of 2,000 feet from occupied buildings, an increase of 1,500 feet over current regulations; and one that would add an “environmental bill of rights” to the state constitution.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Oklahoma-firm faces backlash over pipeline public meetings
StateImpact PA witf
Marie Cusick

(Harrisburg) -- A natural gas pipeline company is responding to criticism over how it’s handled public meetings about a pipeline it’s seeking to build through parts of central Pennsylvania. Federal regulators require Oklahoma-based Williams Partners to hold public meetings in communities affected by the pipeline.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
WPS Flares Natural Gas in Three Lakes
wpxr
Natalie Jablonski

Wisconsin Public Service is flaring natural gas in Three Lakes this week to prepare for some pipeline maintenance. WPS Spokesperson Leah Van Zile says some parts of the pipeline are being refitted to allow for easier maintenance, and the natural gas needs to be cleared out first.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
11 earthquakes hit fracking-heavy central Oklahoma over weekend
RT


Eleven minor earthquakes shook central Oklahoma over the weekend, renewing speculation that the area’s oil and gas drilling boom - fueled by controversial hydraulic fracturing, or fracking - is to blame for an increase in seismic activity. During a 14-hour stretch from Saturday evening to Sunday morning, the US Geological Survey recorded seven quakes ranging from magnitude 2.6 to 2.9 in areas northeast of Oklahoma City. In addition, a 4.3-magnitude temblor hit Langston just after noon on Saturday, and three other quakes ranging from magnitude 2.9 to 3.2 occurred Saturday morning.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Huge ND Wastewater Spill Prompts Calls For Fracking Regs
OilPrice
Andy Tully

Beaver dams have so far prevented about 1 million gallons of fracking wastewater discovered spilled July 8 from a rural North Dakota pipeline from spreading too far. But area residents, environmentalists and even a Republican state legislator all want more reliable measures. The spill of the toxic saltwater, a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing, came from gas extraction operations at the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and occurred days before it was discovered.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Michigan to hear from public on fracking rules
Seattlepi


GAYLORD, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials are holding two public hearings on state hydraulic fracturing rules. The state Department of Environmental Quality will hear from Michigan residents about the drilling process known as fracking. The proposed rules released earlier this year address issues such as well location and permit application procedures.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
DC rally focuses on Cove Point project
Baynet.com
Marty Madden

An event billed as an “anti-fracking rally” was held Sunday, July 13 in Washington, DC. Organizers of the protest stated that hundreds of people from the Mid-Atlantic region came to the Nation’s Capital to voice opposition to the gas industry’s push to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States. A prominent pending project in Calvert County was the focus of the protest. The Dominion Cove Point LNG Export project is nearing the completion of the approval process. The entity that will make a final decision on the $3.8 billion project’s fate found itself in the crosshairs of the protestors. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has already given the project a favorable environmental assessment and its final approval is expected late next month. The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has given its approval of the liquefaction facility to be built within the confines of the 40-year old facility.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Judge considering fate of Longmont fracking ban
Casper Star Tribune


LONGMONT, Colo. — A judge is considering whether to overturn Longmont's fracking ban, which energy companies and state regulators say violates state law and legal precedent. Boulder District Court Judge D.D. Mallard listened to arguments on the 2012 voter-approved ban on Wednesday and said she would issue a written decision later.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
ANALYSIS-Fund managers diving into Carbo Ceramics may be overplaying fracking
Reuters
David Randall

(Reuters) - Have mutual fund managers left caution behind when it comes to the fracking boom? Carbo Ceramics Inc, a Houston-based oil services company that is the world's largest producer of tiny ceramic balls that can boost the production of fractured wells, may hold the answer.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
United States: Oil And Gas Development On Public Lands Clears The PA State
Mondaq
Steven Chadwick

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed the Commonwealth's fiscal code by a margin of 26 to 22. Included within the fiscal code, as a companion piece to the legislation, were provisions critical to the Commonwealth's commitment to future natural gas development on state lands. Specifically, the fiscal code included measures which: 1) allow drilling for natural gas on state land; and 2) separate regulations applicable to conventional oil and gas drilling from unconventional drilling. The measure was passed by the Pennsylvania State House last week and is now awaiting the signature of Governor Tom Corbett.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Keystone landfill now allowed to receive waste fracking fluid
Times Leader
Jon O'Connell

The landfill owned by businessman Louis DeNaples has been cleared to accept a different kind of waste from the Marcellus Shale industry. On Wednesday, the Department of Environmental Protection approved a solid waste disposal permit modification allowing Keystone Sanitary Landfill to process water-based drilling fluid waste for the purpose of separating solid material to dump.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
24 Anti-Fracking Activists Arrested in Washington at First-Ever FERC Sit-In Protest
EcoWatch
Brandon Baker

Twenty-four anti-fracking activists were arrested Monday morning in Washington D.C. in protest of proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals in the U.S., according to environmental groups tweeting from the scene.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Sen. Bill Nelson hears Southwest Florida's fracking concerns
News-Press
Mary Wozniak

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, heard today from government and environmental officials as well as citizens that they need to know if fracking and fracking like processes are safe for the environment and the water supply. They asked for more regulations and scientific research at both the state and federal level.  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Anti-fracking groups to stage protest against controversial methods being used in Wirral
Wirral Globe
Emma Rigby

CAMPAIGNERS against underground coal gasification and fracking in Wirral will stage a peaceful protest tonight as councillors discuss the controversial issue.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Thanks to the fracking boom, we’re wasting more money than ever on fossil fuel subsidies
Grist
Ben Adler

You probably know that the U.S. government subsidizes fossil fuel production. But here’s something you probably don’t know: Those subsidies have recently increased dramatically. According to a report released last week by Oil Change International, “Federal fossil fuel production and exploration subsidies in the United States have risen by 45 percent since President Obama took office in 2009, from $12.7 billion to a current total of $18.5 billion.” We are, as the report observes, “essentially rewarding companies for accelerating climate change.”  [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Anti-Fracking Activists in California Take Fight to County Ballots
KQED
Lauren Sommer

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — have pushed for a statewide moratorium on the controversial oil production technique. With those efforts stalled in the state legislature, activists are taking the fight to the county level.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Poll: Anti-Fracking Measures Would Pass In Colorado
The Daily Caller
Greg Campbell

Two Colorado ballot measures that would put the screws to the state’s oil and gas industry seem poised for easy passage if backers can gather enough signatures, according to a poll recently released to the Denver Post.   [Full Story]

Jul 14, 2014
Judge dismisses lawsuits challenging fracking delay
Lohud
Jon Campbell

A state judge on Monday dismissed a pair of lawsuits that sought to force Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration into deciding whether to authorize shale-gas drilling in New York. The Binghamton-based Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and Mark Wallach, the trustee for Norse Energy, separately sued Gov. Andrew Cuomo and members of his administration last year, arguing that Cuomo has acted based on politics -- not science -- in delaying a decision on whether to allow large-scale hydraulic fracturing.