Hydraulic Fracturing/Fracking

Pittsburgh airport has high hopes for fracking

The New York Times

Debt-ridden Pittsburgh International Airport hopes that revenue from tapping into the Marcellus Shale gas deposits it sits on will give the facility a new lease on life, The New York Times reports.

Gov. John Hickenlooper/Energy Guardian Photo

Hickenlooper, Polis push Colorado fracking battle to next year

A deal announced Monday by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Rep. Jared Polis to study local oil and gas siting conflicts appears to have averted an intra-party fight over controversial ballot initiatives that would have let communities ban hydraulic fracturing.  

They agreed on the creation of an 18-member task force to make recommendations next year to the governor and state legislature on the regulation of the drilling practice, known as fracking, near homes, businesses and schools.

In return, Polis agreed to drop his support for the two initiatives that would amend the state constitution to set a 2,000-foot minimum setback for wells near occupied buildings, four times the current minimum, and allowed communities to set stricter drilling regulations than the state, including bans.


Britain reopens way for fracking

LONDON (AP) — 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.

Expectations low despite NC efforts to woo natural gas drillers


Despite the concerted efforts of North Carolina lawmakers to create a legal framework to get fracking going, low estimates of the state’s gas reserves mean expectations are “not that high” for attracting the interest of drillers, Mining and Energy Commission Chairman James Womack told E&E.

Pennsylvania DEP can’t handle fracking boom, says state auditor


On the downside of Pennsylvania’s gas drilling boom, an understaffed, unprepared Department of Environmental Protection has failed to follow up on reports of contamination, hasn’t forced drillers to deal with tainted water, and has used an inspection policy that’s a quarter of a century old, according to a report from the state’s Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, Bloomberg reports.

EPA Inspector General ignores GOP request to stop fracking investigation

The Environmental Protection Agency's Inspector General has issued a strong defense of his investigation of hydraulic fracturing, ignoring a Republican request that he stop the probe and rejecting charges that the study is inappropriate and a waste of money.

"This review ls consistent with the OIG's responsibilities to oversee the programs of the EPA," wrote EPA IG Arthur Elkins, Jr., in response to a letter from a group of Republican senators.  "The OIG does not consider its evaluation as a duplication of prior or ongoing work."

Hickenlooper admits defeat on fracking, paving way for Colo. ballot fight

The New York Times

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, D, said he wouldn't be able to win enough support for a measure to give towns more control over hydraulic fracturing, setting the stage for the issue to be decided by a pair of ballot measures in November, The New York Times reports.

North Texas city rejects partial fracking ban

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.

Denton could become 1st Texas city to ban fracking

DENTON, Texas (AP) — A North Texas community that sits on what's believed to hold one of the biggest natural gas reserves in the U.S. could become the first city in the state to ban hydraulic fracturing, with Denton City Council members set to vote Tuesday night on a citizen-led petition.

Industry groups and state regulators warn that such a ban ban could be followed by litigation and a severe hit to the city economy. The City Council is holding a public hearing Tuesday night, with a vote to follow.


Concerns over possible link between injection wells and quakes

FORT WORTH, Texas (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, especially the wells where the industry disposes of its wastewater.

Fracking generates vast amounts of wastewater, far more than traditional drilling methods. 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.


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