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Tagged : marcellus-shale


Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food

January 25th, 2013

In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or “fracking”) operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil.

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Fracking opponents suffer setback in New York

September 26th, 2012

Anti-fracking forces in New York suffered a setback this week when a federal judge threw out their lawsuit asking for a full environmental review of possible damages from natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin, a prelude to a potential ban of drilling in the region.

The activists fear that natural gas “fracking” would jeopardize water supplies for the 15 million, including some residents of New York City, who depend on water originating in the Delaware River Basin. Fracking involves deep wells into shale deposits which are blasted open by injecting a water-chemical mix at high pressures. The fissures in the underground rock then release natural gas deposits.

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Wastewater disposal is greatest threat to drinking water from gas fracking operations, say researchers

August 7th, 2012

A new study has found that fracking for natural gas poses the greatest threat to waterways and drinking water via approved, regular disposal of “fracking water” at municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities.

This type of disposal, used in the Marcellus Shale region in the Northeast U.S., is failing to adequately cleanse the wastewater produced by gas wells, according to the study. The result is that ostensibly “treated” water is being discharged into streams and waterways still contaminated with chemicals and minerals that accumulate during the fracking process.

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

July 9th, 2012

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.

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Natural gas: Bridge or detour?

April 5th, 2012

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)

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Government report and think tank also question rosy natural gas estimates

June 27th, 2011

The New York Times threw some water on the natural gas frenzy this weekend with its story about industry insiders questioning predictions for a bountiful U.S. harvest of natural gas, the so-called “bridge” fuel of the future.

We’ve been wondering for a while about why everyone seems to take the industry word on natural gas prospects. The Times story quoted industry insiders with deep concerns about whether hydraulically fractured shale gas operations will produce as promised, and one analyst who likened the “shale gas plays” to “a Ponzi scheme”.

The skeptics point to data showing that many productive wells dwindle after a few years, and that wide regions around successful wells often come up dry.

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Study says North Texas gas drillers could reduce their air pollution — and make money doing it

June 1st, 2011

Pollution from natural gas drilling is a key factor in North Texas’ continuing smog pollution problems, but the skies could be much cleaner if natural gas drilling companies would take a few simple steps, according to a citizens’ clean air group.

The 9-county area around Dallas and Fort Worth has struggled to meet the EPA’s clean air standards set for the region, despite warnings to improve air quality dating to the early 1990s. Now, even though pollution from cars and trucks has been reduced through better tailpipe technology, the region still fails to meet basic clean air benchmarks. The reason, clean air advocates say, is the natural gas industry.

Hundreds of drilling operations in the region release tons of methane gas, a greenhouse gas 21 times as potent as carbon dioxide, as well as Volatile Organic Compounds, like benzene and formaldehyde, every day.

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Marcellus Shale drilling among threats identified in Penn. forest assessment

September 1st, 2010

A first-ever, federally required review shows that Pennsylvania’s 17 million acres of woodlands will face future challenges requiring continued planning and management, State Forester Daniel Devlin said today. Notably, the reports says that “opening extensive new state forest acreage for gas production may threaten publicly held forest resources beyond sustainable limits.”

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Penn State creating new Marcellus Shale education and research center

August 18th, 2010

Penn State University today announced the formation of an education and research initiative on the Marcellus Shale. The university said it will work with state agencies, elected officials, communities, landowners, industry and environmental groups to protect the Commonwealth’s water resources, forests and transportation infrastructure while advocating for a science-based and responsible approach to handling the state’s natural gas deposits.

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Congressmen request fracking fluid info from natural gas companies

February 18th, 2010

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Congressmen Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) are asking for more information about the chemicals used to extract natural gas wells.

urban gas well outside a mall in North Texas

Urban gas well outside a mall in North Texas

Today, the two lawmakers sent letters to eight oil and natural gas companies requesting details of the ingredients used in hydraulic fracturing, a method of accessing natural gas deposits by blasting or fracturing the rock with a high pressure injection of water treated with chemicals.

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Drilling chemicals used in new gas wells remain underground

January 25th, 2010

(From ProPublica, which originally posted this piece, which was co-published with Politico, on Dec. 27, 2009.)

ProPublica

For more than a decade the energy industry has steadfastly argued before courts, Congress and the public that the federal law protecting drinking water should not be applied to hydraulic fracturing [2], the industrial process that is essential to extracting the nation’s vast natural gas reserves. In 2005 Congress, persuaded, passed a law prohibiting such regulation.

Now an important part of that argument — that most of the millions of gallons of toxic chemicals that drillers inject underground are removed for safe disposal, and are not permanently discarded inside the earth — does not apply to drilling in many of the nation’s booming new gas fields.

Three company spokesmen and a regulatory official said in separate interviews with ProPublica that as much as 85 percent of the fluids used during hydraulic fracturing is being left underground after wells are drilled in the Marcellus Shale, the massive gas deposit that stretches from New York to Tennessee.

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