Gas Drilling’s Environmental Threat

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.

EPA Plans to Issue Rules Covering Fracking Wastewater

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.

Doctors Ask New York to Study Health Impacts Before Allowing Fracking

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 Governor Proposes Fee on Gas Drillers

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.

Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields

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.

Who Are America’s Top 10 Gas Drillers?

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.

Report for Obama Questions Effectiveness of Gas Drilling Regulations

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.

N.Y. Enviro Commissioner Expects Little From EPA Fracking Study

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.

Does an Old EPA Fracking Study Provide Proof of Contamination?

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.

EPA Proposes New Rules on Emissions Released by Fracking

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.

State Fracking Rules Could Allow Drilling Near New York City Water Supply Tunnels

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.

Lawsuits Predicted as New York Towns Ponder Whether to Block Fracking

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.

Oil and Gas Drilling Surges Despite Increased Oversight

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.

EPA Fracking Study to Focus on Five States—But Not Wyoming

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.

Critics Find Gaps in State Laws to Disclose Hydrofracking Chemicals

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 Ad Makes Gas Drilling Seem Simpler—and Safer—Than It Really Is

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.

Forced Pooling: When Landowners Can't Say No to Drilling

Gas drillers are using a powerful legal tool to force reluctant landowners to cooperate.

PA Officials Issue Largest Fine Ever to Gas Driller

Chesapeake Energy is fined more than $1 million after contaminating water supplies in Bradford County.

Gas Drilling Companies Hold Data Needed by Researchers to Assess Risk to Water Quality

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.

Fracking: The Music Video

A great video explaining fracking.

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