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.
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.
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.
Two of the industries that built Texas, ranching and oil/gas drilling, are now competing for dwindling water. The problem is especially pronounced in drought-stricken West Texas.
Harmful levels of arsenic and selenium found in water near gas fracking operations in North Texas, study reports
Arsenic and selenium, two metals that are toxic in small doses, were found in higher concentrations near gas drilling sites in Texas’ Barnett Shale in a study that begs for more investigation of how fracking may be contaminating drinking water.
Earthquakes often spin off tremors as they realign rock deep beneath the surface. Now get ready to tremble, because a new study shows that areas susceptible to earthquakes include your friendly neighborhood fracked region, which shakes when big earthquakes hit halfway around the globe.
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.”
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 EPA apparently caved to gas industry pressure by dropping a case involving a gas-tainted water well in Weatherford, Texas, according to an AP investigation published today.
The report stems from an EPA finding in 2010 that gas driller Range Resources
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?
Beyond that brief mention at the Republican Convention when Mitt Romney won a laugh for quipping that Obama had promised to keep the oceans from rising, it’s impossible to name one other time when climate change dominated even 15 minutes of the daily election news cycle this past year.
Last February, when Raymond Orbach, director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, announced the release of a major study by UT researchers on the effects of hydraulic fracturing, he noted that public policy should be based on “the very best science.”
ITHACA, N.Y. – No matter how you drill it, using natural gas as an energy source is a smart move in the battle against global climate change and a good transition step on the road toward low-carbon energy from wind, solar and nuclear power.
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 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.
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.
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
Dimock, Pa., residents whose wells have been contaminated with methane gas got word Thursday that the EPA will send water to four of the 11 affected families.
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.
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.
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
It’s morning again in Flower Mound.