Archive for May 2011

Break It Down: NYU Students Drop Some Fracking Knowledge

May 27th, 2011 | By Mark

A team of New York University students have produced a video that provides a clear, concise explanation of fracking and the related controversy using animation and pop music to get the facts across. The piece, titled, “My Water’s On Fire Tonight,” represents a collaboration between the students, who are enrolled at NYU’s Studio 20, and
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ExxonMobil Execs Say Fracking is Perfectly Safe and They’re Rolling Out a Big, Expensive Ad Campaign to Prove It

May 26th, 2011 | By Mark

From the Why People Hate Big Energy file: after yesterday’s shareholder meeting, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson stepped in front of the microphones to say that fracking, despite any claims or evidence to the contrary, is perfectly safe, according to a story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal. From the Wall Street Journal story: “There are
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Democracy For America Takes on Pickens and his “Plan”

May 24th, 2011 | By Mark
Democracy for America has appealled to oilman T. Boone Pickens, who's now pushing a plan to convert diesel vehicles to methane, to support the FRAC Act, which would end the technique's exemption from EPA regulation and require drillers to disclose the contents of the fracking fluids used in the controversial process.

If it’s safe, prove it. That’s the simple challenge that Democracy For America, the grassroots PAC put together by former Vermont Governor and Democratic National Committee chief Howard Dean, has issued to T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oilman who’s currently pushing to have American vehicles converted from diesel fuel to methane as part of his
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NYT: Fracking May Affect Drinking Water After All, Former EPA Official Says

May 22nd, 2011 | By Mark
A former EPA official under the Bush Administrion says that fracking may have environmental consequences after all, despite an agency study that concluded the controversial drilling technique had "little or no effect" on drinking water.

Back in 2005, Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing from federal regulation via specific language tucked into the Energy Policy Act, a measure that then-Vice President Dick Cheney personally pushed through the legislative process. At that time, Cheney and other natural gas industry lobbyists leaned heavily on a recent study, done by the Environmental Protection Agency, which
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Friday Funnies: Forced Pooling

May 20th, 2011 | By Mark

Frack You: Natural Gas Drillers Are Going to Drill on Your Land Whether You Want Them to or Not

May 19th, 2011 | By Mark
"Forced pooling" compels land owners to lease their property to natural gas drillers -- whether they want to or not. Cartoon courtesy of J. David Bell at BellsYells.

“I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” — Michael Corleone To many Americans, that’s just one of the more memorable lines from Francis Ford Coppola’s sprawling, 1972 epic, the  Godfather, but to a growing number of homeowners in the United States, that thinly veiled threat is all too real. According to a story published
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PA Dept. of Environment Slaps Chesapeake With More Than $1 Million in Fines; Susquehanna Named “Most Endangered River” in America

May 18th, 2011 | By Mark
The Pennsylvania Dept. of the Environment assessed fines totalling more than $1 million against Chesapeake Energy for contaminating water supplies via hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," natural gas drilling operations.

The Pennsylvania Department of the Environment (PA DEP) levied more than $1 million in fines against Chesapeake Energy for violations in connection with natural gas drilling activities yesterday. According to press release from the PA DEP, the agency imposed an $800,000 fine for contaminating private water supplies in Bradford County over a period of time
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Chesapeake Energy Asks EPA for Extension on Disclosing Fracking Information, Resumes Fracking in PA

May 17th, 2011 | By Mark
Chesapeake Energy has fracking operations throughout the United States. The company has asked the EPA for an extension of the deadline to submit information in connection with the April 19 explosion that blew out a fracking well head in Pennsylvania.

Chesapeake Energy has asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency for more time to provide information about the explosion that sent toxic fracking fluid coursing over Pennsylvania farmland a few weeks ago, yet the company has resumed hydraulic fracturing operations at the site, assuring regulators and residents alike that the process is harmless. Chesapeake voluntarily suspended
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Gas Leaks Documented by Researchers in Boston Extend Throughout the Nation’s Natural Gas Infrastructure, Researchers Say

May 16th, 2011 | By Mark
Methane concentration measurements in Boston displayed in Google Earth. Peaks correspond to methane concentrations up to levels five times background levels. These measurements were typical of measurements made throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. Graphic obtained from abstract of the BU team's research paper to be presented at the NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Annual Conference in Boulder, CO on May 17-18.

Researchers and collaborators at Boston University have documented hundreds of natural gas leaks in the city, many of which constitute an immediate public hazard — and the problem, the researchers say, goes well beyond Boston’s degrading and leaky natural gas infrastructure. “I was surprised that we documented literally hundreds of leaks,” Prof. Nathan Phillips, an
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EPA Orders Frackers to Release More Information About How They Dispose of Toxic Wastewaters

May 13th, 2011 | By Mark
How fracking is done. Graphic obtained from ProPublica.

Just days after a new study found a direct link between natural gas fracking operations and contaminated drinking water, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has ordered six Pennsylvania fracking operations to disclose more information about how they get rid of the toxic water produced by the process. The EPA also ordered a seventh company to
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