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Fracking

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.

Climate Benefits of Natural Gas May Be Overstated

New emissions estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency cast doubt on the assumption that gas offers a quick and easy solution to climate change.

As Pennsylvania Implements New Wastewater Rules, Some State Waterways Still Face Problems

Many of Pennsylvania’s waterways suffer from high levels of contaminants found in gas drilling wastewater. New state regulations are supposed to help, but their immediate effects are hard to gauge.

Opponents to Fracking Disclosure Take Big Money From Industry

The Interior Department wades into controversy as it mulls whether to require drilling companies to disclose the chemicals they use to frack wells drilled on public lands.

Pennsylvania’s Governor-Elect Nominates Insiders for Top Environmental Posts

New faces will oversee the expanding gas drilling industry in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.

Pennsylvania's Drilling Wastewater Released to Streams, Some Unaccounted For

As gas-drilling operations proliferated in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale over the past couple of years, most of the hundreds of millions of gallons of briny wastewater they produced was eventually dumped into the state’s rivers. Much of the rest is unaccounted for.

Regulation and Disclosure of Fracking at the Center of Gas Drilling Debate

The use of a mix of water and chemicals, known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has generated controversy and a series of studies, orders and regulations in 2010 from the federal government and a number of states on the topic of gas drilling.

Residents Divided About PA's Agreement With Gas Drilling Company Over Water Contamination

Residents of Dimock, Pa., are surprised -- and in some cases upset -- by a settlement that state environmental regulators reached last week with Cabot Oil & Gas, which the Department of Environmental Protection says contaminated local water from its gas drilling operations.

Executive Order Suspending Fracking Brings Little Change

Gov. David Paterson recently issued an executive order suspending the approval of certain types of gas drilling permits. But his action did little to change the status quo, because the DEC had already stopped issuing such permits.

Some Appointees to Oil and Gas Commission Are Industry Execs, Lobbyists

Industry executives and lobbyists hold positions on an interstate oil and gas commission that espouses the safety of hydraulic fracturing.

Beyond Fracking: Experts Challenge Safety of Exploratory Wells, Vertical Drilling

Expert testimony for an administrative hearing disputes the safety of exploratory wells and vertical drilling.

NY Assembly Approves Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium

The New York state legislature gave its final approval to a bill that would, if signed by the governor, place a hold on new fracking until May 2011.

Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling

Citing health and environmental concerns, Pittsburgh’s city council unanimously passes a ban on natural gas drilling within city limits.

Halliburton’s Stonewalling Works in Pa., but Sparks Subpoena at EPA

Halliburton’s refusal to give the EPA a list of its fracking chemicals may seem risky, but its anti-disclosure campaign appears to be working in Pennsylvania.

Interview: Former NY Environmental Commissioner Pete Grannis on Gas Drilling

Recently ousted New York environmental commissioner Pete Grannis talks to ProPublica about hydraulic fracturing, his time as a regulator and the future of natural gas drilling in America.

Science Says Methane in PA. Water Is from Drilling, Not Natural Causes

Testing has shown that methane gas in water wells across the country matches the methane being drilled for natural gas supplies. But a woman quoted in a New York Times report hinted that in Pennsylvania -- despite state official's conclusions to the contrary -- that may not be the case.

Two Companies Seek Trade Secret Status for Fracking Fluids in Wyoming

New rules in Wyoming require natural gas drilling companies to disclose the makeup of their hydraulic fracturing fluids, but two chemical manufacturers don't want to share their formulas with the public.

Leaked Memo Depicts Bare-Bones Regulatory Environment for NY Gas Drilling

Memo from fired New York environmental chief says Paterson budget cuts would make it harder to clean up spills, respond to natural gas drilling in New York state.

Wyoming Fracking Rules Would Disclose Drilling Chemicals

New rules place Wyoming at the forefront of the national push to disclose chemicals used in <a href="http://www.propublica.org/special/hydraulic-fracturing-national">hydraulic fracturing</a>. Residents in drilling areas have complained about contamination of their wells that they believe is from fracking.

Do 'Environmental Extremists' Pose Criminal Threat to Gas Drilling?

A state bulletin warns that environmental “extremists” may target public hearings and other events for criminal activity to protest natural gas drilling in rural parts of Pennsylvania, but drilling opponents say the threat is exaggerated.

Feds Warn Residents Near Wyoming Gas Drilling Sites Not to Drink Their Water

The federal government is warning residents in a small Wyoming town with extensive natural gas development not to drink their water, and to use fans and ventilation when showering or washing clothes in order to avoid the risk of an explosion.

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