High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing
Mar 23, 2012 | Natural Gas Gathering Lines Lack Oversight
Government auditors say federal officials know nothing about thousands of miles of pipelines that carry natural gas released through the drilling method known as fracking, and need to step up oversight to make sure they are running safely.
Nationwide, about 240,000 miles of gathering pipelines ferry the gas and oil to processing facilities and larger pipelines in the major energy-producing states. Many of these pipelines course through densely populated areas, including neighborhoods in Fort Worth, Texas.
Mar 13, 2012 | New Wisconsin Bill Could Weaken Local Defense Against Frack Sand
The state's Senate is considering a piece of legislation today aimed at "limiting the authority" of Wisconsin cities, villages or towns to enact a "development moratorium ordinance" -- a mechanism used recently by several local governments across the state to set aside time so they can investigate the effects of proposed (frack sand) mining on their community.
Sand mining corporations have expanded operations in Wisconsin over the past few years, taking advantage of the lax regulations of non-metallic mining in the state. They are after the state's sand resources, which are high in silica content, for use in the controversial "natural" gas and oil extraction process of "fracking". Wisconsin communities have been caught off-guard as corporations have swooped in to set up shop and begin extracting and processing the sand, without very much oversight to protect the health of neighbors or to protect the natural environment. Dane County, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and the Wisconsin Farmer's Union have all lobbied against this bill. There are about 60 frac sand mines operating in Wisconsin and about 40 more which are attempting to gain permits.
Mar 02, 2012 | Marcellus Shale Activity Seemingly Affecting County-Level Dairy Production
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Natural-gas development appears to be associated with falling dairy production in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region, but the exact reasons for the decline are unclear, according to a report by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Science ...
For example, in Bradford County -- which had more than 500 drilled Marcellus wells and ranked sixth in the state in dairy production -- cow numbers and milk production both fell more than 18 percent during the period. On the other hand, Chester County, the fifth-ranked county in dairy production, had no Marcellus activity and saw cow numbers and milk production rise by 7.4 and 9.3 percent, respectively.
Overall, the report states, only two of the 19 counties with 10 or more Marcellus wells had an increase in cow numbers or milk production between 2007 and 2010. Meanwhile, 15 of the 33 counties with no Marcellus activity experienced an increase in cattle numbers or milk production ...
Feb 29, 2012 | Federal Scientists Warn NY of Fracking Risks
The U.S. Geological Survey has warned New York state regulators that their plan to allow drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale could endanger private water wells, municipal aquifers and New York City’s drinking water supply ...
The USGS went to some lengths to dispute the state agency’s premise that drilling could be safely conducted 500 feet from water supplies. The federal agency said that in some cases, it might be necessary to prohibit drilling within five square miles of aquifers to avoid polluting them.
Feb 24, 2012 | Middlefield, NY Fracking Ban Upheld
Acting State Supreme Court justice, Donald F. Cerio Jr. ruled on February 24th tthat the town of Middlefiel in Otsego County, NYcan ban natural gas drilling within its borders. It was the second court ruling this week that affirmed local authority over the process known as hydrofracking.
In his decision, Justice Cerio said that while the state had regulatory powers over “the method and manner of drilling and the like” so that the gas industry operated under uniform standards statewide, local governments could decide whether they wanted drilling at all.
Feb 23, 2012 | Canada's National Farmers Union (NFU) Calls for Moratorium on Use of Hydraulic Fracturing
From the NFU press release: "The quality of groundwater is critical to raising high quality food. Unfortunately in the experience of too many Alberta farmers and ranchers hydraulic fracturing has been associated with water well contamination and damage. That is why our organization is calling for a moratorium on this technique until these problems can beaddressed."
Feb 21, 2012 | Justice Rules Town of Dryden, NY Can Ban Natural Gas Drilling
State Supreme Court Justice Phillip R. Rumsey ruled on February 20th that the upstate town of Dryden in Tompkins County can ban natural gas drilling within its boundaries. In his decision, he said that state law does not preclude a municipality from using its power to regulate land use to ban oil and natural gas production. The ruling is the first in New York to affirm local powers in the controversy over drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
Feb 18, 2012 | Is the Gas Boom Over in NE Pennsylvania?
Towanda, PA -- As natural gas prices continue to drop, so does drilling in the Northern Tier. Is the natural gas boom over? ...
The biggest change local business owners say they've seen is in the amount of truck traffic, or rather a lack thereof. These streets used to be bumper to bumper, now things travel a lot smoother...
Natural gas prices are at an historic 10 year low. ... As a result, Chesapeake Energy is cutting dry gas production from 47 rigs to 24 in Pennsylvania.Talisman Energy is joining them, saying they too are cutting production, something that could have dire consequences for the county.