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.
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."
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.
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, 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.
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.
GUTHRIE, Oklahoma (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded seven small earthquakes shaking central Oklahoma in a span of about 14 hours.
The temblors are part of an increase in earthquakes across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas that some scientists say could be connected to the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, and especially the wells in which the industry disposes of its wastewater.
NEW YORK (AP) — Halliburton said Friday it is entering its first joint venture in China that will use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to unleash energy.
The Houston company, which provides drilling services to oil and gas operators, said it will create the joint venture with an affiliate of SPT Energy Group. The venture will focus on hydraulic fracturing and production enhancement services in Xinjiang, China.
Exxon Mobil Corp. accused Pennsylvania's attorney general of using a criminal case against the company over a waste water spill as part of a larger effort to stop hydraulic fracturing in the state, The Wall Street Journal reports.
New American Petroleum Institute Vice President Louis Finkel protested a number of anti-hydraulic fracturing measures set to appear on ballots across the nation, calling the process "irresponsible," The Hill reports.
Climate analyst Rick S. Piltz has died from cancer at age 71, he quit the George W. Bush administration after he claimed his bosses were tweaking report language to play down climate change risks, The New York Times reports.
Despite a negative assessment from an administrative law judge, the Illinois Commerce Commission has approved Commonwealth Edison’s plan to build the Grand Prairie Gateway transmission line, which could bring 1,000 more megawatts of power to the north of the state and grid operator PJM Interconnection when it’s completed in 2017, Platts reports.
A microbe that eats carbon and releases methane in its place – Methanoflorens stordalenmirensis – is multiplying in the Arctic melt and accelerating the global warming process, according to scientists writing in the journal Nature this week, The Washington Post reports.
The controversial Waters of the U.S. rule has won approval from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, in a review released Thursday that said the proposed measure had “strong scientific support,” according to The Hill.
Reports that Saudi Arabia supplied less oil to the global market in September than it did the month before helped to push oil prices higher Thursday. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery jumped 2 percent, gaining $1.57 to settle at $82.09 on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude picked up $2.12 to finish at $86.83, Bloomberg reports.
Companies that provide equipment and services for oil drillers could lower their fees to maintain market share in the face of falling crude prices, Occidental CEO Stephen Chazen told a conference call Thursday, following an announcement that his company’s profits dropped 24 percent in the third quarter, Bloomberg reports.
Already a big wind farm operator, Warren Buffett could push his investment into renewables up to $30 billion as he continues pouring more money and looking for more acquisitions for Berkshire Hathaway Energy, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Michigan’s clean energy production -- encouraged by the 2008 Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act -- is dominated by wind power, according to a brief from the Pew Charitable Trusts, MLive.com reports.