Denton voters ban fracking; leaders vow to defend law

Denton, Texas, becomes the first city in the state to ban fracking, setting the stage for a fight over mineral rights and residents’ rights that could play out in courtrooms and the legislature. Frack Free Denton was jubilant over its resounding victory to keep hydraulic fracturing at bay. But the gas industry promised a fight, claiming the Texas Railroad Commission has the power to say who can drill and where.

Fracking threatens water supplies in several states; Texas is ‘ground zero,’ report concludes

Business investment group CERES sounded the alarm Wednesday, issuing a major report about the billions of gallons of fresh water being lost to natural gas fracking operations across the United States and in Canada. CERES researchers evaluated oil and gas water use in eight regions, concluding that gas companies need to improve their water conservation and investors should take heed of the risks involved with fracking in arid and water-stressed regions.

DOE Secretary Moniz explains the “all of the above” energy plan and defends natural gas fracking

In his first major policy address since taking over at the Department of Energy, Dr. Ernest J. Moniz sought to explain the administration’s “all of the above” energy plan and answered critics who accuse Obama supporting natural gas development despite concerns that fracking contaminates air and water.

Gasland II: America’s fracking nightmare and somnambulent energy policy

One of the talking points that has convinced Americans to look politely away from the muck and dirty water while the oil and gas industry fracks tens of thousands of gas wells in Texas, Pennsylania, New York, Ohio, North Dakota , Wyoming, Colorado and beyond is that the U.S. is “The Saudia Arabia of Natural Gas.”

Obama unveils climate policy: Don’t fear the future, seize it

President Barack Obama delivered a pointed speech on climate change today, which suggested that the Keystone XL pipeline will not be automatically approved and drilled down on the biggest source of carbon emissions, power plants. The highlight of The President’s Climate Action Plan, unveiled before an audience at Georgetown University, will be a move by the EPA to set limits on carbon…

The ‘sad green story’ is a fantasy; green energy is growing

To get back to some non-election topics…A couple weeks ago, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote an op-ed entitled “A Sad Green Story” about the (supposed) travails of the green movement over the last 10 years. The idea that the clean technology sector is failing, or that it’s a bad investment, is common enough in the business world and pundit class. But it’s patently false. So what is Brooks talking about and what’s really true here?

New study: Fluids from deep in Marcellus Shale likely seeping into PA drinking water

New research has concluded that salty, mineral-rich fluids deep beneath Pennsylvania’s natural gas fields are likely seeping upward thousands of feet into drinking water supplies.

Though the fluids were natural and not the byproduct of drilling or hydraulic fracturing, the finding further stokes the red-hot controversy over fracking in the Marcellus Shale, suggesting that drilling waste and chemicals could migrate in ways previously thought to be impossible.

Natural gas: Bridge or detour?

Natural gas is portrayed as the “bridge fuel” that will save the US from uneven electricity supply and prices as we transition off coal and oil on our way toward using renewable biofuels, solar and wind power.

A drilling rig in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo: Green Right Now)

Coalition asks President Obama to listen to the whole fracking story

Dozens of groups appealed to President Obama today to temper his enthusiasm for natural gas drilling until EPA studies on the risks posed by gas drilling are completed.

The appeal, contained in a March 5 letter penned by Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and signed by dozens of environmental and community groups from around the country, also asked the president to realize that industry claims that the US harbors a 100-year supply of natural gas deposits may be overstated.

Methane gas from fracking will worsen climate change, report Cornell researchers

Groups protesting natural gas drilling have focused on the threat to water supplies. They point to the modern drilling or “fracking” methods, which shatter rock deep beneath the earth, opening fissures that threaten water stores; and they cite cases of wells being contaminated near fracking operations in Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
Now new research by three Cornell University scientists suggests that fracking could cause even more havoc with the atmosphere

Rep. Markey asks ‘Why is America rushing to export natural gas?’

Last month I said I thought it would be premature for the Department of Energy (DOE) to rush into authorizing massive exports of natural gas, notwithstanding the amazing recent boom in American shale gas production. My worry was that precipitous large-scale exports could tighten U.S. supplies and raise prices, with negative ramifications for domestic industrial concerns that depend on cheap gas.

My thought: Wouldn’t it be preferable to re-shore good-paying manufacturing jobs rather than serve as a resource colony for the rest of the world? Seems we should be prudent here!

Now, Rep. Ed Markey has weighed in with a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and, to his credit, the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee has expanded on these concerns, added some new ones, and done it with an admirable eye to the long-term economic and industrial interests of the country.

Eco gas for homes a new option for Illinois consumers

Illinois residents and businesses just got more options for heating their homes or workplaces with a new biogas/natural gas mixture.
The new blend, of 8 percent biogas captured from landfills and other sources and 92 percent natural gas, is available from Integrys Energy Services, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group.

A Texas town pushes back against urban gas drilling

The following is a column by Ladd Biro, a sportscaster and member of Flower Mound Cares, a group that organized to stop a natural gas containment facility in that Dallas suburb. The Centralized Containment Facility, was proposed for a site near an elementary school and dozens of suburban homes. It would have allowed the Williams gas company to pipe in “produced water” containing toxics from gas wells in the area. Residents expressed concerns about toxic air emissions, the undisclosed composition of the fluids, the integrity of the pipes running through neighborhoods and the proximity of these industrial operations to residential areas.

When the City Council, two members of which receive gas well royalties, refused to listen to these concerns or to enact a moratorium until more could be learned, voters turned out in record numbers last weekend to elect a new slate of candidates that promised to scrutinize gas drillers more closely. Biro writes about his hopes and concerns for the new council of the town of 60,000, which is just one of many across the nation facing encroachment as gas and oil companies tap the Barnett Shale in Texas, the Marcellus Shale in the Northeast and other veins of gas in the West.

By Ladd Biro
Flower Mound Cares


Ladd Biro

It’s morning again in Flower Mound.