Nicholas Kusnetz was a reporting fellow at ProPublica. He has written for The Nation, Miller-McCune, The New York Times and other publications. He is a graduate of UC Berkeleyâs Graduate School of Journalism.
Booming oil production has brought a flood of toxic waste to North Dakota. Energy companies reported more than 1,000 releases of oil and wastewater last year alone.
With the help of hydraulic fracturing, energy companies have doubled North Dakota's oil production in the past two years. But the oil boom has come at a cost: these companies are spilling and leaking oil and wastewater at an increasing rate.
While furious debate over fracking rages in the U.S., the controversial practice has been embraced across the border. British Columbia and Alberta have offered incentives and loosened regulations to attract drilling. The result: record fracking operations and rising concerns about the environmental cost.
The EPA’s investigation into water pollution near Pavillion, Wyo., produces landmark findings that could erode arguments used to defend safety of the gas drilling process.
A report from a federal panel on shale gas said that without urgent action to improve drilling practices, regulators and the energy industry risk a public backlash that could slow development.
The federal government had left it to states to decide how to regulate wastewater that was discharged from wells to streams, but now says it will develop national standards.
As natural gas pipelines proliferate, a loose web of federal and state rules govern a network of more than 2 million miles.
Medical professionals and environmentalists sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying the state should study the health effects of gas drilling before allowing more of it.
Pennsylvania is the only major oil-and-gas-producing state without a drilling tax. The state’s governor has promised not to raise taxes so he’s proposing a fee instead, angering environmentalists.
People who live close to natural gas drilling in four states complain of similar health symptoms, ranging from respiratory infections to lesions and neurological problems, but there is little science or study to get at the cause of their ailments.
Though the industry sometimes touts natural gas drilling as dominated by small businesses, the 10 largest drillers account for one-third of all domestic production.
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An Energy Department panel said there are serious environmental consequences of drilling for gas in deep shale formations. Without action, the panel said, those problems will worsen.
A recent inspection of a natural gas pipeline stretching across New York found that sections may have been installed without proper evaluation. Without changes, the pipeline could be at risk of rupturing.
New federal regulations would require companies to reduce the amount of smog-forming and toxic pollutants emitted in many stages of the production, transmission and storage of natural gas.
City officials had advocated for a seven-mile buffer. Instead, the state is proposing to allow drilling within 1,000 feet of tunnels that carry water to New York City.
Drilling is still months away, but talk has already begun about legal challenges from energy companies and landowners in the areas where hydraulic fracturing would be prohibited.
The pace of domestic oil and gas drilling is nearing the 20-year high reached before the recession. The growth undermines claims that increased regulation slows drilling.