Pennsylvania Makes Public 243 Cases of Fracking Contaminated Water

By FishOutofWater, Daily Kos – The state of Pennsylvania has released redacted details of 243 cases of water contamination caused by fracking and related activities by the natural gas industry. Claims made by the fracking industry that they have not contaminated water are utter rubbish. These 243 cases which took place in Pennsylvania between 2008 and 2014 involve a wide range of contamination problems including the contamination of multiple water supply wells by one fracking operation.  State officials did not indicate how many more cases of contamination may have occurred since 2008 that are not included in this list. The 243 cases, from 2008 to 2014, include some where a single drilling operation impacted multiple water wells. The problems listed in the documents include methane gas contamination, spills of wastewater and other pollutants, and wells that went dry or were otherwise undrinkable. Some of the problems were temporary, but the names of landowners...

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Fracking Flares in Texas and North Dakota Equal to Emissions From 1.5 Million Cars

By Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch – Earthworks, a nonprofit which works to protect communities from the impacts of mineral and fossil fuel extraction and promote sustainable energy development, has released a new report showing that the flaring of natural gas waste in just two shale plays, or exploration areas, is the equivalent of an additional 1.5 million cars on the road. The flares occur when natural gas is burned rather than captured. The report, “Up in Flames: U.S. Shale Oil Boom Comes at Expense of Wasted Natural Gas, Increased Carbon Dioxide,” accompanied by an interactive map by SkyTruth, a group that provides aerial evidence of environmental impacts. This map allows people to track flaring activity in the U.S. and around the world based on nightly infrared data collected by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite. SkyTruth’s chief technology officer Paul Woods pointed to the potential impact of this map: This new tool makes the scale and frequency of flaring...

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NY Assembly Overwhelmingly Passes Fracking Moratorium

By Brandon Baker- EcoWatch – New York’s general assembly passed a moratorium on fracking Monday with a sensible question in mind — why rush? “We have heard from thousands of residents across the state about many issues associated with hydrofracking, and prudent leadership demands that we take our time to address all these concerns,” said New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “We do not need to rush into this. The natural gas deposits within the Marcellus Shale are not going to go anywhere.” The assembly passed a three-year moratorium of oil and natural gas drilling permits by an 89-to-34 count to allow for more time to study the environmental impact of the practice. The state has been under a fracking moratorium since 2008, with the most recent one passing in 2013. It would have expired in May 2015. Full passage of the moratorium now depends on the New York State Senate and, ultimately, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Associated...

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Shocking Fracking Film ‘Unearthed’ to Premiere at UK’s Sheffield International Documentary Festival

By Brandon Baker, EcoWatch – Jolynn Minnaar had no intention of making a documentary exposing the evils of fracking. In fact, the Karoo, South Africa native viewed the arrival of a shale gas extraction industry as an exciting opportunity for development and employment in home district. Her opinion changed after visiting the U.S. There, she learned about the fires, dark brown, methane-infused water and many more by-products of fracking. She documented her findings in the appropriately titled, Unearthed, which receives its world premiere June 10 and 11 at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival in Sheffield, a city in the United Kingdom’s South Yorkshire county. If its stunning, action-packed trailer is any indication, Unearthed should live up to the production team’s claim of it being the most extensive collection of material covering fracking. It has already been nominated for Audience and Green film awards. “Despite my optimism for shale gas, after visiting the United States to cross-check the promises made to...

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North Carolina Republicans Want Felony Charges for Those Who Disclose Fracking Chemicals

By Brandon Baker, EcoWatch –  Transparency is the least you could hope for if you’re against fracking for energy. If North Carolina Republicans get their way, such transparency could result in a felony. Three state senators introduced a bill late last week that would charge people with a felony if they disclose what chemicals companies are using to extract dirty energy from shale formations. That might even include the officials who respond to the explosions and other emergencies caused by the dangerous process. “The felony provision is far stricter than most states’ provisions in terms of the penalty for violating trade secrets,” Hannah Wiseman, a Florida State University assistant law professor who studies fracking regulations, told Mother Jones. “I think the only penalties to fire chiefs and doctors, if they talked about it at their annual conference, would be the penalties contained in the confidentiality agreement. But is so poorly...

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64 Groups From Across U.S. Demand Federal Limits on Air Pollution From Fracking Wells

Today, a robust coalition of 64 local, state and national groups filed a petition calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to immediately set pollution limits on oil and gas operations in populous centers around the U.S., according to a joint press release. The petition urges the EPA to exercise its authority under the Clean Air Act and require oil and gas companies to limit toxic air pollution from wells in an effort to protect public health. “More than 150 million Americans now live near oil and gas wells or above shale areas where companies are looking to drill or engage in hydraulic fracturing, and EPA needs to set standards that restrict the hazardous air pollutants they put into the air,” said Earthjustice attorney Emma Cheuse, who filed the petition on behalf of the groups. “Oil and gas wells release chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, and respiratory disease, and EPA should protect our communities, especially...

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Study: Fracking Emissions Up To 1000x Higher Than EPA Estimates

New report suggests highly potent greenhouse gas far more prevalent in gas production than previously thought   By Jacob Chamberlain, Common Dreams staff writer Natural gas drilling is emitting far higher levels of methane into the atmosphere than federal regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency have said, according to the findings of a new study released Monday. “We identified a significant regional flux of methane over a large area of shale gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania in the Marcellus formation and further identified several pads with high methane emissions,” said the report, conducted by a team of scientists led by Purdue University and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While past EPA studies have said gas well sites emit as little as between 0.04 and 0.30 grams of methane per second, this new study found numbers between 100 to 1,000 times higher than what the EPA has calculated,...

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ANR Pipeline: Introducing TransCanada’s Keystone XL for Fracking

When most environmentalists and folks who follow pipeline markets think of TransCanada, they think of the proposed northern half of its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Flying beneath the public radar, though, is another TransCanada-proposed pipeline with a similar function as Keystone XL. But rather than for carrying tar sands bitumen to the Gulf Coast, this pipeline would bring to market shale gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking“). Because of the immense amount of shale gas being produced in the Marcellus and Utica, TransCanada seeks a flow reversal in the Southeast Main Line of its ANR Pipeline System. Like Keystone XL, ANR’s flow reversal will serve — among other things — the global export market.  “This project will … allow more natural gas to move south to the Gulf Coast, where markets are experiencing a resurgence of natural gas demand for industrial use, as well as significant new demand related to natural gas...

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Tough new fracking rules in Colorado draw attention in Texas

By Zahra Hirji, Lisa Song, Jim Morris publicintegrity.org Colorado’s tough, new air pollution rules for the oil and gas industry were approved only a month ago but already are making an impact in Texas, where lawmakers and energy companies have long resisted tightening air standards. Several companies have approached the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund and expressed interest in discussing whether Colorado’s rules make sense for Texas, according to Jim Marston, a vice president at EDF. Marston didn’t name the companies. “The companies are often ahead of the Texas state government,” said Marston, who works in the group’s Austin office. “If some important industry leaders like the idea, it might move state government.” EDF played a leading role among the environmental organizations that helped craft the Colorado rules. Many energy companies participated in Colorado’s rule-making process, but only four of them — Anadarko Petroleum Corp., DCP Midstream, Encana Corp. and Noble...

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Eagle Ford Shale and the Texas Fracking Built

A worker stands among the myriad of pipes needs to get over 500 unknown chemicals into the ground. “From the Desk of NickiLeaks” Much is being written now about the Eagle Ford Shale Formation, so it seemed like the time for a group of journalists to venture into Texas and find what is really going on. To do so, we found a bus load of reporters in the mold of Hunter S. Thompson, people with a tank of nitrous oxide and a tank of oxygen who aren’t ‘t afraid to use them at the drop of a hat. Or the drop of a bird into the open window of their press bus, a bird reeking of toulene and twitching uncontrollably. “Must be getting close,” our intrepid reporter noted. To make sure, they stopped and hailed someone coming out of their drive in a pickup trucked covered in an odd...

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