Vast deposits of natural gas have brought a drilling boom across much of the country, but the technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing, is suspected of causing hundreds of cases of water contamination. Now environmentalists and lawmakers are pushing for closer oversight of the gas industry, which is pushing back.
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.
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.
In an interview, the commissioner of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation says he is confident underground contamination from hydraulic fracturing is not a risk, and that the Environmental Protection Agency's study of fracking won't yield new information.
A 24-year-old EPA report uncovered this week adds to a list of examples of how water supplies are polluted in natural gas drilling areas and provides the strongest articulation yet by federal officials that fracking has caused the contamination.
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.
The Environmental Protection Agency has picked seven sites in five states that it will focus on for its national study of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The sites do not include two counties in Wyoming, where the EPA has already been collecting data for three years.
Five states have adopted rules requiring drilling companies to disclose what’s in hydraulic fracturing fluids, but critics say they don’t go far enough to protect public health and the environment.
Exxon's full-page ad illustrates how well pipes are protected with casings of steel and cement. But the picture's not as pretty as the company paints it.
Gas drillers are using a powerful legal tool to force reluctant landowners to cooperate.
Chesapeake Energy is fined more than $1 million after contaminating water supplies in Bradford County.
Drilling companies complain that a recent study that linked methane in water wells to gas drilling lacked critical data. Now it turns out that the industry has been collecting that type of data for years but hasn’t made it public.
A great video explaining fracking.
For the first time, a peer-reviewed scientific study has linked natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing with a pattern of drinking water contamination so severe that some faucets can be lit on fire.
Officials say oil and gas inspectors do not need approval from DEP Secretary Michael Krancer to issue violations to companies drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale, contradicting earlier reports and leaked emails.