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.
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.
A Texas emergency response team was flown in to deal with a recent Pennsylvania gas well accident, even though the state arranged last year for a local team to be available.
The natural gas industry must develop regulations that scale up drilling safely and learn from the mistakes made in the United States.
C. Alan Walker, a former coal baron and prominent Republican donor, gained unanimous support to oversee the PA's Department of Community and Economic Development.
Evidence continues to mount saying that natural gas is not be as clean as we like to think.
Pennsylvania's governor has asked C. Alan Walker to promote job growth by helping companies get the permits that they need. But Walker's personal business history raises a crucial question: How might an anti-regulation coal mogul affect the state's environmental regulations for the Marcellus Shale?
Oil, gas and tainted water can seep through abandoned gas and oil wells into drinking water sources and sometimes into septic systems. But most states don't have enough money to plug them.
A leaked memo says oil and gas inspectors can no longer issue violations to drilling companies in the Marcellus Shale without first getting the approval of top officials.
Pennsylvania’s governor has appointed an energy industry executive to oversee the state’s job creation effort and wants to give him unusual authority to streamline state permits, including for gas drilling.
Benjamin Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the Environmental Protection Agency in the George W. Bush administration, ponders criticism leveled at a 2004 study on hydraulic fracturing and suggests that it's now time for Congress and the EPA to take another look at the practice.
The possible dangers of gas drilling, including the process known as hydraulic fracturing, are drawing more attention from the media as gas drilling expands across the United States. Here’s a quick breakdown of the key issues, drawn from ProPublica’s reporting.
When the well water on Louis Meeks' ranch turned brown and oily, he suspected that the thousands of natural gas wells dotting the once-empty Wyoming landscape were somehow to blame. The hard part was proving it. Meeks' struggle to get the energy companies to take responsibility, meticulously documented through three years of investigative reporting by ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten, coincides with a national uproar over the oil and gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing. The technology, which is explored in the Oscar-nominated film "Gasland," promises to open large new energy supplies, perhaps at the expense of the nation's water.
The former head of Pennsylvania's environmental agency defends his department, but says more work is needed to protect the state's natural resources from gas drilling.
An EPA study would be the most comprehensive investigation yet of whether hydraulic fracturing risks polluting drinking water near oil and gas wells across the nation.
A U.S. Forest Service report chronicles the damage done by a gas well in the Monongahela National Forest, deep in the mountains of West Virginia.
With Pennsylvania not enforcing reporting rules, regulators may lack details on some wells until months after they are drilled.
After three members of Congress found that drilling companies used more than 32 million gallons of diesel fuel to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells between 2005 and 2009, the industry is fighting back, not by denying the accusation, but by arguing that the EPA never fully regulated the potentially environmentally dangerous practice in the first place.
ProPublica responds to a pro-drilling industry group that questioned the veracity of its story on greenhouse gas emissions from gas fields
Philadelphia officials recommended holding off on drilling in the watershed that provides the city’s drinking water until an EPA fracking study is finished. The city is the latest of several local governments to call for drilling bans.