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May 27, 2016
A Challenge to Donald Trump’s Energy Claims: Economic Reality
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

WASHINGTON — In his pledge to aggressively expand American oil and gas production, and his framing of that push as a salvation for the nation’s economic and fiscal health, Donald J. Trump is following in the footsteps of decades of Republican politicians. But in a market where domestic oil production is already higher than it has been in 40 years, and natural gas production is at a historic high, those proposals have run up against a major problem: the global economy.  [Full Story]

May 27, 2016
Donald Trump’s Energy Plan: More Fossil Fuels and Fewer Rules
The New York Times
ASHLEY PARKER and CORAL DAVENPORT

BISMARCK, N.D. — Donald J. Trump traveled Thursday to the heart of America’s oil and gas boom, where he called for more fossil fuel drilling and fewer environmental regulations while vowing to “cancel the Paris climate agreement,” the 2015 accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to curb climate change. Laying out his positions on energy and the environment at an oil industry conference in North Dakota, he vowed to rescind President Obama’s signature climate change rules and revive construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring petroleum from Canada’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.  [Full Story]

May 27, 2016
The biggest exaggerations in Trump’s energy plans
Politico
ANDREW RESTUCCIA

Donald Trump's energy speech in Bismarck, N.D. on Thursday was brimming with big promises — and big exaggerations. Amid pledges to eliminate a slew of environmental regulations and dramatically expand fossil fuel development, Trump tossed out a few inaccurate statistics, falsely accused President Barack Obama of wanting to end oil and gas development in the U.S. and showed an overly simplistic understanding of world oil markets.   [Full Story]

May 27, 2016
Donald Trump's energy plan: Regulate less, drill more
CNN
Matt Egan

Donald Trump has a simple formula to get America's energy industry back on its feet: regulate less and start drilling a lot more for oil and gas. In his first in-depth speech about energy policy, Trump on Thursday promised to make American energy "dominance" a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the U.S.   [Full Story]

May 27, 2016
Feds clear California offshore fracking
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Federal regulators ruled Friday that offshore hydraulic fracturing has no “significant” environmental impact off California’s coast. The two agencies responsible for offshore drilling, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), finalized a pair of environmental study documents Friday regarding the impact findings.   [Full Story]

May 27, 2016
Fracking go-ahead: What happens next?
BBC News
John Moylan

Plans for fracking in England are being prepared in the wake of the decision made in North Yorkshire earlier this week. Brownfield sites and areas near motorway junctions could be used for future shale gas production. On Monday North Yorkshire County Council approved an application by Third Energy to frack a well near the village of Kirby Misperton in Ryedale.  [Full Story]

May 27, 2016
Anti-fracking protesters celebrate indefinite moratorium
CBC News
Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon

Anti-fracking protesters across New Brunswick are celebrating after Friday's announcement the provincial government has extended a hydraulic fracturing moratorium indefinitely. They say they would prefer to see it be permanent, rather than indefinite. Still, they are pleased their fight paid off. "It's a big relief that I don't have to worry about my water," said Willi Nowlan, who was a prominent figure in the anti-fracking campaign in Rexton, where protesters and the RCMP clashed in 2013.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
6 things we learned from Donald Trump's first big energy speech (Spoiler: He really likes fossil fuels.)
VOX
Brad Plumer

When it comes to energy policy, the 2016 presidential election really isn't all that complicated. Hillary Clinton plans to continue President Obama's strategy of pushing down carbon dioxide emissions via regulations. That means using less coal and oil and more wind and solar. Donald Trump, by contrast, doesn't much care about global warming and plans to greatly expand US oil drilling and coal mining — largely by repealing various environmental rules.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
Revealed: Contractors Hired by FERC to Review a New Spectra Energy Pipeline Work for Spectra on a Related Project
DeSmogBlog
Itai Vardi

A contractor hired last year by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review a proposed gas pipeline by Spectra Energy, had already been working for the company on a related project, a DeSmog investigation has found. Such an alleged conflict of interest suggests that the contractor had a financial stake in approving the project it was hired to review. As part of a formal Pre-Filing Review Process for Spectra Energy’s Atlantic Bridge project, FERC hired in early 2015 a third-party contractor to review the pipeline. A proposed expansion of the company’s existing Algonquin Pipeline carrying fracked gas from Pennsylvania to the Northeast US and Canada, the project involves the construction of several new pipeline segments in New York and New England and a new compressor station in the town of Weymouth, Massachusetts.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
Protesters Blockade Planned Pipeline Site Near Nuclear Plant Outside NYC
EcoWatch
Democracy Now

In Peekskill, New York, just about an hour north of New York City, residents have launched a blockade in efforts to stop the construction of a gas pipeline slated to run only hundreds of feet from the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
Clinton Chasing Votes With Fracking U-Turn
Oil Price
Irina Slav

Leaked emails obtained by The Intercept reveal Hillary Clinton’s multiple stances on fracking—which apparently differ depending on whether we’re talking about fracking on U.S. soil or abroad. At a debate with Bernie Sanders in New York in early April, Hillary Clinton said she doesn’t support fracking, unless certain conditions are met, such as acceptance from the community and full disclosure of the chemicals that will be used in the process of releasing oil and gas from shale rock.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
How Enhanced Technology Is Changing The Oil Industry Part 2: Fracking
Seeking Alpha
Jesse Morre

Part one of this series, found here, covered how technological advancements have altered the world of drilling for oil (NYSEARCA:USO). Reviewing the accelerating efficiency of drilling rigs in the U.S., the article argued why we can expect exploration and development costs for shale oil to continue to decline, and discussed why this has forced Saudi Arabia to alter its oil market strategy. In this, the second part, we will take a look at how fracking and stimulate drilled wells is allowing higher production rates, more ultimately recoverable reserves, and reduced costs through progressively larger and better designed Fracture techniques.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
At Least 19 Arrested During Anti-Fracking Protest in US State of New York
Sputnik News


NEW YORK (Sputnik) — At least 19 people were arrested while protesting a proposal to build additional underground natural gas storage facilities in the US state of New York, a spokesperson for Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office told Sputnik on Thursday.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
Fracking report set for release to public Tuesday
The Western Star
TC Media

As members of the Port au Port/Bay St. George Fracking Awareness Group await the release of a report from the provincial hydraulic fracturing review panel, the group insists there should be a ban on the practice.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
PA GOP Picks Fight with Shapiro over Fracking
Politics PA
Nick Field

After much attention on the Senate contest, the PA GOP has now momentarily shifted their focus to the Attorney General race. Specifically, the Republicans are attacking Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro for comments he made in his speech to the PA Press Club.... The GOP believes that Shapiro’s desire for a “bully pulpit”, along with his past advocacy for fracking accountability, will cause harm to the natural gas industry.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
Oil and Gas Fracking “Toxic Mess”: Lawsuit against US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Global Research
Steve Horn

On May 4, several environmental organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for an end to the regulatory exemption it carved out in the late 1980s for the oil and gas industry with regards to how it handles industrial waste.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
CO Oil and Gas Industry Raises $6 Million To Fight Ballot Measures
Inside Energy
Dan Boyce

A political organization created to fight anti-oil and gas ballot measures in Colorado has raised more than $6 million dollars in the first quarter of 2016.   [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
Trump takes aim at U.S. environmental regulations to boost oil sector
Reuters
Valerie Volcovici

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, promised on Thursday to roll back some of America's most ambitious environmental policies if elected, actions that he said would revive the ailing U.S. oil and coal industries and bolster national security.  [Full Story]

May 26, 2016
WATER POLLUTION: Federal agency contradicts EPA on contamination in Dimock
E&E Publishing
Mike Soraghan

When U.S. EPA ended its investigation of drilling and drinking water contamination in Dimock, Pa., the agency said the water was safe to drink. Now, another federal agency looking at the same data says it wasn't safe.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Mountaineer NGL Storage to proceed with Ohio facility
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

DENVER, May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mountaineer NGL Storage, LLC, announced the conclusion of a successful non-binding open season for its natural gas storage project near Clarington, Ohio. The open season resulted in requests for more than three times the amount of initial planned capacity.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Westchester County protestors arrested after extraction from locked shipping container blocking gas pipeline route
Albany Times Union
Brian Nearing

Two people have been arrested for trespassing after locking themselves into a solar-powered, 20-foot metal shipping container to block the construction of the Spectra Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline in Peekskill, Westchester County.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Clean-Energy Jobs Surpass Oil Drilling for First Time in U.S.
Bloomberg
Anna Hirtenstein

The number of U.S. jobs in solar energy overtook those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year, helping drive a global surge in employment in the clean-energy business as fossil-fuel companies faltered.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Power plant proposals for Southern California spark an energy debate
Los Angeles Times
Joshua Emerson Smith

A new wave of natural gas power plants planned for Southern California has stoked a high-stakes debate about how best to keep the lights on throughout the region.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Is Fracking for Natural Gas Coming to Erie County?
Erie Reader
Sam Miller

Gov. Tom Wolf says that fracking is coming, and that it can be done safely. Environmental groups say that it is not safe for people, animals, or the environment, and fear its arrival. World leaders say that it must stop, because the future of life on our planet depends on it. Just what is fracking, anyway? It comes from the word “fracturing,” as used in drilling for natural gas in shale layers. Fracturing has been used by drillers for about 80 years now, in vertically drilled wells, to increase the amount of gas released. When the drilling tube reaches the shale layer, a mixture of sand and water is hydraulically pumped into the shale under very high pressure, breaking up the shale. When the pumps are turned off, the sand helps to hold the cracks in the shale open, releasing the gas to flow back up the well pipe. For vertical wells, only a few hundred gallons of water is needed, because the shale layer is usually only about 40 feet thick.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Hire another Quigley at DEP The Pennsylvania oil and gas industry must be reined in and properly regulated
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nadia Steinzor

Late last week, John Quigley, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, abruptly resigned. News reports pointed to a controversial email in which Mr. Quigley angrily demanded that environmental groups more boldly defend proposed oil and gas regulations. It didn’t take long for some legislators to accuse Mr. Quigley of governmental impropriety. In the meantime, the email controversy continues to generate media stories.  [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Westchester County protestors arrested after extraction from locked shipping container blocking gas pipeline route
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Two people have been arrested for trespassing after locking themselves into a solar-powered, 20-foot metal shipping container to block the construction of the Spectra Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline in Peekskill, Westchester County. The two had food and water to last for two weeks, some books and were vowing not to come out. Arrested were Jane Kendall, 65, of New York, and Lee Stewart, a 29-year-old organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy. The AIM project involved about 37 miles of pipeline and related facilities in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Most of the pipeline installation will replace existing pipeline with larger diameter pipeline. In New York, the route runs through Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties.  [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Fracked Gas Isn’t Green or Clean
Eco Watch
Wenonah Hauter

When Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed on to the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future in February, she touted the state’s investment in renewable energy and green jobs. And, she made clear this was just a start: “More work remains and this accord acknowledges the challenges we face and our commitment to addressing them.” Indeed, more work remains for the governor to provide climate leadership for Rhode Island and the nation. At the very top of the list should be rescinding her support for a controversial fracked gas project in the town of Burrillville. The community has been fighting the euphemistically-named Invenergy “Clear River” power plant facility and now national advocacy groups have joined the call.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
The True Cost of Fracking
Eco Watch
Reynard Loki, AlterNet

Arsenic. Cadmium. Chromium. Radon. Lead. These are just a few of the toxins used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, a controversial drilling process to retrieve oil and natural gas from shale deposits under the surface of the Earth. Concerns about the process have been mounting, as studies have linked it to a host of environmental and public health problems, from increased infant mortality and low birth weight babies to the release of cancer-causing radioactive gas, contamination of drinking water and earthquakes. Fracking also releases methane, which is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Exxon "Chose to Mislead": Granddaughter of Former Exxon Climate Scientist
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Anna Kalinsky, the granddaughter of former Exxon climate scientist James Black, has berated the company for bankrolling climate change denial despite her grandfather's attempts to inform the company of the risks of burning fossil fuels for the global climate. “In 1977 my grandfather was a senior scientist at Exxon. He warned Exxon executives that the world was just a few years away from needing to rethink our energy strategy to prevent destructive climate change,” Kalinsky says. “Instead, Exxon chose to mislead people about the risks of climate change – and continues to mislead people today. The company says they value their scientists and all the work they do, but that’s pretty hard to believe when they continue to fund organizations – both publicly and anonymously – that spread misinformation about the science.”  [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
5 Reasons the New Methane Standards Matter
Huffington Post
Rosaly Byrd

With the new methane standards announced by President Obama in the middle of May, the U.S. moves further towards regulating the largely unchecked natural gas industry. The standards will cut methane emissions from new and modified extraction sites from the oil and gas sector— in particular from hydraulic fracturing or fracking sites that extract natural gas. The standards are a part of President Obama’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, specifically reducing methane emissions from this industry by 40 - 45% from 2012 levels by 2025. The new methane standards are expected to reduce 510,000 short tons of methane in 2025, the equivalent of reducing 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Bill Shorten says NT Labor's fracking moratorium 'based on best science'
ABC News
Xavier La Canna

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has offered support for Northern Territory Labor's controversial policy to put a moratorium on gas fracking, saying it is based on "the best science available".   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Federal health review calls compounds in Dimock water a concern
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura Legere

Levels of contaminants found in more than two dozen water wells in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County, in 2012 were high enough to affect residents’ health, create a physical hazard or otherwise “make the water unsuitable for drinking” in its raw state, a federal health agency reported Tuesday.   [Full Story]

May 25, 2016
Analysis stage begins at latest Golan drilling site
Jerusalem Post
Michelle Malka Grossman

Afek oil and gas hopes to find out what lies beneath the Golan Heights, as they announced the beginning of the analysis phase for the Ness-2 drilling site, also known as “Deborah’s Well.”   [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
Documents: IOGCC-Spawned Loophole Creating Frackquake Crisis Faces Federal Lawsuit
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

On May 4, several environmental organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for an end to the regulatory exemption it carved out in the late 1980s for the oil and gas industry with regards to how it handles industrial waste. That exemption to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976, a recent DeSmog investigation showed, was pushed in the forefront almost from day one of RCRA's passage by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). IOGCC is a U.S. Congress-chartered interstate compact consisting of U.S. oil and gas producing states, with a membership roll that includes state-level regulators, industry lobbyists and executives.  [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
Burning All Fossil Fuels Would Lead to a 17 C Rise in Arctic Temperatures
EcoWatch
Roz Pidcock

Burning all the fossil fuels we know to exist on Earth could push global temperature an average of 8 C above preindustrial levels, according to new research. The Arctic would bear the brunt of the warming, with temperatures potentially rising 17 C, said the authors.   [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
Clinton tried to push fracking on foreign countries, new emails reveal
RT


Though Hillary Clinton is a vocal opponent of fracking in her 2016 presidential campaign, newly leaked emails reveal that she tried to export the practice to other countries during her time as secretary of state. Emails uncovered by The Intercept on Monday show that during Clinton’s tenure at the head of the State Department, she and her close aides worked with private oil and gas companies to promote fracking abroad as a way to drill for oil and gas.  [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
Emails: Clinton tried to export fracking at State
Washington Examiner
KYLE FELDSCHER

Emails from Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state show she tried to spread the practice of fracking to other countries, although now she is making campaign promises to allow communities to ban the practice. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of injecting water and other chemicals into layers of shale rock to release oil and natural gas trapped within and is widely credited with sparking a boom in U.S. energy production in the last decade. Clinton was the nation's top diplomat at the time, and emails uncovered by The Intercept show she tried to get other countries to use the same method. The emails show Clinton's State Department touted fracking to foreign diplomats during a trip to Pennsylvania and attempted to pressure Poland into letting U.S. oil companies begin fracking in that country. The push backfired and Poland banned the practice.  [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
370 Groups Oppose Federal Energy Bill That Would Increase Fracking, Harm Climate
Center for Biological Diversity


WASHINGTON— As the U.S. House this week takes up an amended version of the Senate’s Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 (S. 2012), more than 370 organizations urged the Senate to reject provisions in the bill that would encourage oil and gas fracking. The groups delivered a letter today to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski and ranking member Maria Cantwell demanding an energy bill that transitions the country to a truly clean, safe, renewable energy future. The groups’ letter criticizes provisions expediting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of liquefied natural gas export terminals. Requiring the commission to undertake expedited reviews of these terminals “undermines the very transparency and prudence that federal actions should be premised on to protect our communities and environment,” the letter states. The groups also opposed the bill because it would require all state and other federal agencies conducting authorizations for these facilities to give deference to FERC. For years, pollution-affected communities across the country have struggled against FERC's rubber-stamping of fracked gas infrastructure projects like pipelines and compressor stations that pose serious health, safety and climate threats to surrounding areas. The Senate’s pending energy bill would further increase FERC’s autonomy.  [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
Plug pulled on pipeline
Daily News
Michael P. Norton STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

BOSTON — After suspending work in April, Kinder Morgan yesterday fully pulled the plug on its controversial Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project. In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, J. Curtis Moffatt, deputy general counsel at the Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, notified the agency that the pipeline application was being withdrawn.  [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
Portland schools ditch textbooks that question climate change
The Gurdian
Alison Flood

Schools in Portland, Oregon, have voted to abandon textbooks that “express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities”. The resolution follows a proposal by environmental groups put to the Portland public schools board, which argued that “it is time for school districts to redefine what it means to educate students for a future of certain climate change”. Stating that “there is overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that the climate crisis is created by human beings”, the proposal said that it was “essential that in their classes and other school activities students probe the causes and consequences of the climate crisis – as well as possible solutions – in developmentally appropriate ways”. In testimony to the board reported by the Portland Tribune, Bill Bigelow, editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, criticised science textbooks’ use of words such as “might”, “may” and “could” when referring to climate change. He quoted the textbook Physical Science as saying that “carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources, may contribute to global warming”.  [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
For Trump, denying risks of climate change is a losing stance
The Hill
Bob Ward

Donald Trump and the rest of the Republican Party are in danger of ignoring an important global trend: Politicians who deny the risks of climate change are losing power to those who adopt a less reckless approach to greenhouse gas pollution. The presumptive Republican nominee has taken an extreme and unscientific position on global warming. In March, he told The Washington Post that he is "not a great believer in man-made climate change." And earlier this month, he showed his ignorance of the great determination across the world to cut greenhouse gas emissions when he claimed in an interview with Reuters that "at a minimum" he would, as president, renegotiate the landmark Paris agreement on climate change that was reached between more than 190 countries at a United Nations summit last December.  [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
NY lawmakers propose codifying renewable energy goals
Washington Times
AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A dozen New York lawmakers have introduced legislation to codify Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal of eliminating human-produced greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 2050, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. The bill would direct the Department of Environmental Conservation within a year to issue regulations requiring reporting of annual emissions from major sources and establish a registry and reporting system measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. The department would determine the 1990s emissions levels, then require statewide reductions to that same level by 2020, followed by deeper periodic reductions over the next 30 years.  [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
Exxon Mobil faces 'change or die' moment on climate
BBC News
Matt McGrath

A significant group of shareholders are seeking to force Exxon Mobil to acknowledge the growing threat from climate change at the company's AGM on Wednesday. These investors want the world's biggest publicly traded oil company to support the goal of a 2C global temperature limit.   [Full Story]

May 24, 2016
Fossil Fuel Investments Growing Riskier for Insurers, Report Warns
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirjii

With nearly $500 billion invested, a new analysis recommends insurance companies take a harder look at the consequences of climate change and a lower-carbon future.   [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
FERC Called "Biased Against Local Concerns"
Public News Service


CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The federal agency that approves or denies gas pipelines is oriented against the concerns of landowners and communities, according to people working on the issues. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will decide on the huge pipelines competing to bring natural gas through West Virginia and Virginia to eastern markets. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2016-05-23/energy-policy/ferc-called-biased-against-local-concerns/a52073-1#sthash.jsRc9dNv.dpuf  [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
Sioux County landowners argue fracking case in district court
Scottsbluff Star Herald
Irene North

SIDNEY — An appeal to a 2015 decision by the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (NOGCC) granting a Colorado company permission to use of an abandoned oil well in Sioux County as a wastewater disposal site was heard Monday in the Cheyenne County District Court.  [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
Northern Territory Labor holds back from supporting legislation amendments that propose to regulate fracking
ABC Rural
Carl Curtain

The Northern Territory Opposition says it will not support amendments to the Petroleum Act that are before Parliament this week. The NT Government is introducing reforms to the legalisation that it said would regulate the onshore oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
The Sand Mines That Ruin Farmland
New York Times
Nancy C. Loeb Opinion

Chicago — WHILE the shale gas industry has been depressed in recent years by low oil and gas prices, analysts are predicting that it will soon rebound. Many of the environmental hazards of the gas extraction process, called hydraulic fracturing or fracking, are by now familiar: contaminated drinking water, oil spills and methane gas leaks, exploding rail cars and earthquakes.   [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
Activists want extended comment, hearing on Wayne drilling
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Organized by Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN), representatives of eight grassroots environmental groups held press conferences on Wednesday, first at Wayne National Forest Headquarters and later in downtown Marietta. Speakers from Torch Can Do, Buckeye Forest Council, Ohio Sierra Club, Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Green Sanctuary of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta, Wayne Oil and Gas Organizing Group, andACFAN called for an extension of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) comment period and a public hearing on BLM/Wayne plans to open the Wayne to deep-shale, high pressure horizontal drilling and fracturing (“fracking”).   [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
New blow to homeowners in massive Porter Ranch gas leak in L.A.
CBS News


LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a stop work order Sunday evening to Southern California Gas over its cleaning efforts following the months-long Porter Ranch gas leak, reports CBS Los Angeles. SoCal Gas had begun cleaning the homes of relocated Porter Ranch residents, but the county found they weren't cleaning to specified court order, the health agency announced Sunday.  [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
Study: Fracking Pollution Disproportionately Impacts Children
Public News Service


CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Children and infants are especially at risk for health problems due to fracking, according to a new study by the Center for Environmental Health. Ellen Webb, health energy sciences and advocacy manager for the Center and the report's lead author, says it's the first comprehensive literature review on respiratory risks associated with unconventional oil and gas operations. "Air pollution is basically routine in fracking," says Webb. "So many people living near fracking have reported health problems, but the actual literature being able to show cause and effect is really just starting to emerge."  [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
Israel's Government Approves Leviathan Natural Gas Deal
E&P
Reuters

Israel has approved a deal it hopes will fast-track development of the huge Leviathan offshore natural gas field and end years of regulatory uncertainty that has stifled the country's nascent oil and gas industry.   [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
DEP official’s private email had urged groups for ‘pushback’
Washington Times
Mzrc Levy

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - In an email that precipitated his resignation, Gov. Tom Wolf’s environmental protection secretary criticized environmental advocates for a lack of “pushback” against certain bills and said they were “without influence.”   [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
Florida Supreme Court strikes down FPL's gas drilling investments
Utility Drive
Robert Walton

The Florida Supreme Court ruled 6-1 last week that the Public Service Commission overstepped its authority when it allowed the state's largest utility to invest in natural gas production and use ratepayer money to cover the cost, the Miami Herald reports.   [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
US Remained Top Petroleum, Natural Gas Producer In The World In 2015
IBT
Maria Gallucci

The United States produced more petroleum liquids and natural gas than any other nation in 2015, federal energy data show. Even as low oil prices forced companies to delay drilling and postpone projects, U.S. producers still churned up more total hydrocarbons than Russia or Saudi Arabia last year.  [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
Opponents cheer as energy firm withdraws application for northeast gas pipeline
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Nassau Developers of the Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline project, which would have passed through southern Albany and Rensselaer counties to bring fracked gas from northern Pennsylvania to metropolitan Boston, withdrew their application Monday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, effectively killing the project. J. Curtis Moffatt, a vice president and counsel with Houston-based developer Kinder Morgan, wrote FERC to say the planned 188-mile, $3.1-billion project, which the company suspended last month due to a lack of potential customers, was now being withdrawn. Moffat's three-paragraph letter offered no further rationale for the company's decision.  [Full Story]

May 23, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s Energy Initiative Pressed Countries to Embrace Fracking, New Emails Reveal
The Intercept
Lee Fang and Steve Horn

BACK IN APRIL, just before the New York primary, Hillary Clinton’s campaign aired a commercial on upstate television stations touting her work as secretary of state forcing “China, India, some of the world’s worst polluters” to make “real change.” She promised to “stand firm with New Yorkers opposing fracking, giving communities the right to say ‘no’.” The television spot, which was not announced and does not appear on the official campaign YouTube page with most of Clinton’s other ads, implied a history of opposition to fracking, here and abroad. But emails obtained by The Intercept from the Department of State reveal new details of behind-the-scenes efforts by Clinton and her close aides to export American-style hydraulic fracturing — the horizontal drilling technique best known as fracking — to countries all over the world.  [Full Story]

May 22, 2016
Oil regulators increasing risk of earthquakes in California
The Sacramento Bee
Shaye Wolf

Californians got another sobering reminder recently that we’re overdue for a massive earthquake. The San Andreas Fault, one expert said, is “locked, loaded and ready to roll.” This looming temblor could be big enough to kill or injure thousands of people. Shaye Wolf So why are California regulators letting oil companies increase quake risks by drilling injection wells near faults across the state?   [Full Story]

May 22, 2016
Colorado residents push to protect homes, river from fracking
The Denver Post
Bruce Finley

PARACHUTE — Colorado residents fighting new oil and gas development — 53 wells and a fracking waste facility on the banks of the Colorado River — have turned to an untested state rule in a last-ditch push for protection.   [Full Story]

May 21, 2016
Schumer, Gillibrand urge feds to freeze planned pipeline expansion near Indian Point
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Denis Slattery

Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand want the federal government to halt the expansion of a gas pipeline project that runs past the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The New York Democrats are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to halt the Algonquin pipeline until independent health and safety reviews are completed.  [Full Story]

May 21, 2016
Environmental Groups Suing EPA Over Fractured Fracking Policies
Alternative Daily
Ian Carey

Last week, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), along with several other environmental groups, filed a lawsuit against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to develop federal regulations regarding the disposal of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations (fracking).   [Full Story]

May 21, 2016
NT Chief Minister's desperate bid to push gas fracking
Green Left
Kerry Smith

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles announced a new policy on Facebookfor the Territory election in August on May 14. The policy, called “Knowledge Territory”, promises $500 education vouchers if the Territory receives royalty payments from onshore gas fracking.   [Full Story]

May 21, 2016
Wolf's environmental protection secretary resigns
WTAE


HARRISBURG, Pa. —Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's environmental protection secretary resigned Friday after Wolf's office began looking into an email the official sent to environmental advocacy groups from a private email address.   [Full Story]

May 21, 2016
Pinellas County moves to ban fracking
Saint Peters Blog
Anne Lindberg

Pinellas County Commissioners are poised not only to prohibit fracking in the county but also to penalize drilling companies that violate the ban. If commissioners give the proposal tentative approval at Tuesday’s meeting, the ban would likely come before them at a June 7 public hearing.   [Full Story]

May 21, 2016
Fife Council sets out strong stance against fracking
DC Thomson
Craig Smith

The local authority has voted 56-3 to formally stress its resistance to all forms of fracking and any unconventional gas extraction (UGE) in the region, sending out a clear signal to others that Fife will be a frack-free zone. However, The Courier understands that there is unease at a senior level at how the decision was reached after several councillors chose to ignore advice given to them prior to the debate on the issue.   [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
Kathleen Peters' fracking vote draws protests
Tampa Bay Times
Mary Ellen Klas

Rep. Kathleen Peters, the former Republican mayor of the tiny seaside town of South Pasadena in Pinellas County, has found what it's like to be hit by the anti-fracking wave.   [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
Q&A: What is fracking and why are people anxious about it? All you need to know about the gas & oil extraction process, and why it’s controversial.
BT


Efforts by energy companies and the Government to get fracking off the ground in the UK are being fought every step of the way by protesters. Here is the low-down on the process.   [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
Fracking boom in Portage County raises concerns about drinking water
Cleveland19
Sara Goldenberg

PORTAGE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Fracking for oil and gas in Ohio is on the rise. More fracking is bringing fears of water contamination for some residents who live nearby. Hydraulic fracking injects large amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals underground to force open shale rock, releasing oil or gas. It's what comes up next that worries some residents in Portage County.   [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
Exposed: Spectra-Funded Group Lobbied for FERC Commissioner's Reappointment, Then FERC Approved Spectra’s Gas Pipelines
DeSmogBlog
Itai Vardi

A business advocacy group lobbied for the reappointment of a federal energy commissioner while one of its own members sought approval for several projects from the same federal regulator, a DeSmog investigation has found. In the past three years, natural gas infrastructure giant Spectra Energy has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) approval for a number of projects in the US Northeast. During this time, regional pro-business lobbying group the New England Council, of which Houston-based Spectra Energy is a member, lobbied President Barack Obama and the US Senate for the reappointment of FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur to a second term.  [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
Strong opposition to Hawaiian Electric's LNG contract with Canada firm
Pacific Business News
Duane Shimogawa

Some opponents of Hawaiian Electric Co.’s agreement with a subsidiary of Canada’s Fortis Inc. for the bulk shipments of liquefied natural gas to the Islands as a replacement for oil want the Honolulu utility to first get approval for its new energy plan. Others oppose the contract because it involves “fracking,” which some say is destructive to the environment.   [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
Canada's aboriginals tell Trudeau they can block pipelines
Reuters
Julie Gordon

Canadian aboriginal groups and their allies said on Friday they have the power to block proposed oil pipelines on land where they have proven title, dismissing comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who said no community has a veto.   [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
Spectra tells Schumer and Gillibrand: Pipeline ‘will continue’
The Peekskill Post
BRYAN FUMAGALLI

Not long after Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called for a halt in the construction of Spectra Energy’s natural gas pipeline until independent health and safety studies are conducted, the energy company shot back at the New York Democrats Friday afternoon, telling them that construction will continue. “Algonquin Gas Transmission resumed construction on the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project in April and will continue with its construction, in accordance with the FERC certificate, to meet the project’s critical construction timeframes and safely transport additional supplies of clean, reliable, domestic natural gas to heat the region’s homes and businesses beginning in November of this year,” Spectra’s Director of Stakeholder Outreach Marylee Hanley told The Peekskill Post when asked about the senators’ comments.   [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
NY Senators want Algonquin pipeline shut down
The Journal News
Thomas C. Zambito

New York’s two U.S. senators on Friday called on federal regulators to halt construction of a controversial natural gas pipeline that runs beside the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The state’s two Democratic senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer, want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to suspend construction on the Algonquin Incremental Pipeline (AIM) Project until independent health and safety reviews are finished.  [Full Story]

May 20, 2016
FPL’s fracking charge on customer bills is blasted by Florida Supreme Court
Miami Herald
MARY ELLEN KLAS

In a rebuke to Florida Power & Light, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that state regulators exceeded their authority when they allowed the company to charge customers for its speculative investment in an Oklahoma-based fracking company. In June of last year, the Public Service Commission rejected its staff recommendation and unanimously approved guidelines that gave FPL the right to charge its customers up to $750 million a year for speculative natural-gas fracking activities without oversight from regulators for the next five years. In a 6-1 opinion written by Justice Ricky Polston, the court concluded that the PSC did not have statutory authority to authorize the charge and called its decision “overreach.”   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Massachusetts High Court Faults State Department's Actions on GHG Emissions
Renewable Energy World
Barry Cassell

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on May 17 ruled that the state Department of Environmental Protection failed a statutory mandate that requires it to "promulgate regulations establishing a desired level of declining annual aggregate emission limits for sources or categories of sources that emit greenhouse gas emissions."   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Far From Turning a Corner, Global CO2 Emissions Still Accelerating
Inside Climate News
BOB BERWYN

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not just rising, it's accelerating, and another potent greenhouse gas, methane showed a big spike last year, according to the latest annual greenhouse gas index released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. CO2 emissions totaled between 35 and 40 billion tons in 2015, according to several agencies. Some of that is absorbed by forests and oceans, but those natural systems are being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new CO2. As a result, the inventory shows, the average global concentration increased to 399 parts per million in 2015, a record jump of almost 3 ppm from the year before.  [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
FPL’s fracking charge on customer bills is blasted by Florida Supreme Court The state’s high court said regulators ‘overreached’ when they allowed the utility to charge customers for a risky investment
Bradenton Herald
Mary Ellen Klas

In a rebuke to Florida Power & Light, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that state regulators exceeded their authority when they allowed the company to charge customers for its speculative investment in an Oklahoma-based fracking company. In June of last year, the Public Service Commission rejected its staff recommendation and unanimously approved guidelines that gave FPL the right to charge its customers up to $750 million a year for speculative natural-gas fracking activities without oversight from regulators for the next five years.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
How Ending Offshore Oil Drilling Would Help Fight Climate Change
Greenpeace
Tim Donaghy

The government has downplayed the climate impacts of oil drilling, but a new study shows that keeping oil in the ground will help fight climate change.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
The Fracking Process Is Now The Leading Cause Of Earthquakes In Texas
Think Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

In the last 40 years, oil and gas activity has caused some 60 percent of Texas earthquakes higher than magnitude 3 in the Richter scale, a new study led by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Fracking investors losing patience with planning delays, says industry boss Head of Cuadrilla’s warning to UK energy minister over ‘unnecessary delays’ comes ahead of Yorkshire shale gas planning decision
The Guardian
Damian Carrington

The backers of fracking in the UK do not have “limitless patience” for planning delays, according to a leading industry boss. Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, warned that despite the government’s promise to fast track fracking, the planning process remains a slow lane. The comments come just ahead of a planning decision in Yorkshire on Third Energy’s application for shale gas exploration.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Fracking continues to scare local leaders
Huron Daily Tribune
Chris Aldridge

BAD AXE — Fracking isn’t going over well with Huron County officials. “The more you look into it, the scarier it gets,” said Scott Boshart, Bad Axe’s director of public works.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Anti-fracking coalition delivers petition to Parliament
Times Live


An anti-fracking alliance group comprising the civil rights organisation AfriForum and Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) on Thursday submitted a petition to both the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
South African NGOs Deliver Anti-Fracking Petition to Country's Parliament
Sputnik News


MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An alliance of South Africa's non-governmental organizations on Thursday delivered a petition to the national parliament to thoroughly monitor issues related to hydraulic fracturing in the country's natural region of Karoo, one of the alliance's members said.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Harvard’s Investments in Oil and Gas Fracking
Harvard Crimson
Benjamin A Franta

This semester, Divest Harvard and Democracy Matters teamed up to investigate Harvard’s fossil fuel investments. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that around $100 billion dollars need to be divested from fossil fuel extraction each year for the next twenty years to meet climate goals. Yet Harvard refuses to draw down its fossil fuel investments and is even making new private equity investments in oil and gas exploration and extraction. This led us to wonder: Exactly what is Harvard investing in?   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Court says FPL can't charge customers for out-of-state fracking project
Sun Sentinel
Associated Press

The Florida Supreme Court says that the state's largest utility can't make customers pay for the costs associated with a natural gas drilling project in another state.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Sierra Club to hold gas forum in Bridgeport
CT Post
Jim Shay

BRIDGEPORT - The Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club will present a Gas Pipeline Educational Forum at 6:30 p.m. on June 8 at the Bridgeport Public Library, 925 Broad St.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Denton activist shared story of fracking fight Tuesday
Daily Progress
Michelle Charles

A group of about 25 people gathered at the Stillwater Public Library Tuesday night to hear a tale of two cities: Denton, Texas, and Stillwater. Stop Fracking Payne County hosted Adam Briggle, a University of North Texas philosophy professor who helped lead the charge to get hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, of oil and gas wells banned within the city limits of Denton, Texas in November 2014.  [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
Evolution of a movement: story and photo essay Anti-fracking, community-rights activists turn to civil disobedience following Colorado Supreme Court ruling
Boulder Weekly
Joel Dyer

On May 2, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Longmont’s fracking ban and Fort Collins’ fracking moratorium were in conflict with state regulations and therefore invalid. It wasn’t because communities have no right to apply their own land-use and zoning ordinances to oil and gas extraction within city limits, the court upheld that right. The high court’s ruling was based on it’s claim that the “state’s goals,” when it comes to oil and gas, are to maximize production and prevent wasting any oil and gas by leaving it in the ground, and that communities can only use their own regulations if they support that goal.   [Full Story]

May 19, 2016
WC group challenges drilling moratorium
Wayne Independent
Kevin Kearney

SCRANTON – A Lake Ariel company seeking to drill for natural gas in Wayne County is challenging the years-long drilling moratorium imposed by the Delaware River Basin Commission, saying the regulatory organization is overstepping its bounds by not allowing drilling.   [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
EDF, Google map, measure natural gas leaks in Dallas area
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

(DALLAS – May 18, 2016) Environmental Defense Fund and Google Earth Outreach have teamed up to create interactive online maps using Google Street View mapping cars specially equipped with sensors and software that allow researchers not only to locate but also measure dozens of natural gas leaks beneath the streets in select areas of greater Dallas served by the Mid-Tex division of Atmos Energy, which has cooperated with researchers on the project.  [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
Israel, Egypt Said Nearing Compromise on Natural Gas Dispute
Bloomberg
David Wainer, Yaacov Benmelch and Jonathan Ferziger

Israel and Egypt are close to a compromise that would sweep away a major obstacle to a multibillion-dollar natural gas deal. Israel may agree to settle for half of the $1.73 billion fine Egypt was ordered to pay it so talks on exporting Israeli offshore gas there can go ahead, two people familiar with the negotiations said, requesting anonymity because the talks are private. Payments would be spread over 14 years, one of the people said.  [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
France Is Trying To Ban Imports Of U.S. Shale Gas: What It Means For You
Seeking Alpha


Summary French senate is trying to pass a ban on imports of shale gas from the United States. Conventional natural gas and fracked shale natural gas are homogeneously mixed during transport via pipeline and in liquefaction tanks... the two cannot be separated. If this ban were to go through, it could hurt companies such as Cheniere Energy and Total S.A.  [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
Wayne County landowners sue over fracking ban
The Times-Tribune
TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER

Frustrated by a six-year moratorium on natural gas drilling imposed by the Delaware River Basin Commission, the owners of 180 acres in Wayne County filed a federal lawsuit against the agency. Attorneys for the Wayne Land and Mineral Group LLC contend the commission is overstepping its authority in requiring them to seek its approval before a gas well can be drilled on their land. They ask a judge to declare that construction of a well pad does not constitute a “project” under commission rules, which would free them to lease their land to companies interested in trying to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale.  [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
Wayne County landowners sue DRBC to allow gas drilling along the Delaware
State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

A new lawsuit seeks to jump start natural gas drilling in Northeast Pennsylvania along the Delaware River where a defacto moratorium on Marcellus Shale gas production has been in place for six years. The federal suit filed by the Wayne Land and Mineral Group challenges the authority of the Delaware River Basin Commission to regulate natural gas drilling. The DRBC, a four-state agency that includes a federal representative, oversees water quality for the Delaware River based on a compact signed back in 1961. The lawsuit argues the DRBC has overreached its authority.   [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
ND Health Department Responds to Duke Fracking Study
KX News


The head of the North Dakota Department of Health says the Duke University study has merit -- but he also thinks it doesn't tell the whole story about fracking and saltwater contamination. Dave Glatt says a more comprehensive look at the state would have shown different results.   [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
Appellate court backs North Royalton's fight against mandatory pooling in driller's plan to frack for new well
Cleveland .com
Robert Higgs

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A state appellate court on Tuesday sided with North Royalton in a three-year fight to thwart an oil and gas driller who wants to frack for a new gas well in the city.   [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
Special Report: In North Dakota's oil patch, a humbling comedown
Business Insider
Ernest Scheyder

That future has evaporated. Those who haven't packed up and left the Bakken are facing a new reality of smaller budgets, fewer residents and the physical detritus of a building boom that left behind hundreds of empty apartments.   [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
Anti-fracking activists: Give us back local control
Colorado Independent
Kelsey Ray

Hundreds of activists and families from across Colorado gathered in Thornton Saturday to protest hydraulic fracturing near schools and neighborhoods.   [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
Feds take steps to block anti-fracking activists
Washington Examiner
John Siciliano

Federal regulators unanimously approved a plan Wednesday to use the Internet to block anti-fracking activists from disrupting their Thursday public meeting in Washington.   [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
Oil Company To Face Felony Charges Over Massive California Spill
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

The company responsible for spilling 140,000 gallons of oil on the Pacific coastline near Santa Barbara, California, has been indicted on 46 charges, including four felony charges. One employee of Plains All American Pipeline was also indicted. The company faces up to $2.8 million in fines plus additional costs and penalties, which would be split between the state and Santa Barbara County. The employee, 41-year-old environmental and regulatory compliance specialist James Buchanan, faces up to three years in jail.  [Full Story]

May 18, 2016
FERC: Virtually all new electric capacity added in Q1 2016 was renewable
Utility Dive
Robert Walton

A Q1 infrastructure update from FERC shows renewable energy made up almost all new capacity added in the United States so far this year: 1,291 MW, compared to 18 MW of new gas capacity and no nuclear or coal. More than 700 MW of wind and 500 MW of solar were added in the first quarter, from a combined 53 new generating facilities. Old-school fuel generation still dominates overall, however: Natural gas holds the largest generation share, with 500 GW or about 43% of U.S. capacity, followed by coal (26%) and nuclear (9%).   [Full Story]

May 17, 2016
Massachusetts Court Sides with Teenagers in 'Historic' Climate Victory
Common Dreams
Deirdre Fulton

Siding with four teenage plaintiffs and the environmental groups that backed them, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday ruled that the state has failed to fulfill its legal obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The unanimous decision from the state's highest court reverses a lower court ruling and requires the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issue regulations "that address multiple sources of categories of sources of greenhouse gas emissions, impose a limit on emissions that may be released, limit the aggregate emissions released from each group of regulated sources or categories of sources, set emission limits for each year, and set limits that decline on an annual basis."  [Full Story]

May 17, 2016
"End the Circus": Big Oil Group Plots to Exclude Public from Public Lands Bidding at IOGCC Meeting
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

At the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC)'s 2016 meeting in Denver, Colorado this week, a representative from a prominent oil and gas lobbying group advocated that auctions of federal lands should happen online “eBay”-style — a clear attempt to shut the public out of the bidding process for fossil fuel leases on public lands. Speaking on public lands issues in front of IOGCC's public lands committee, Kathleen Sgamma — Western Energy Alliance's (WEA) vice president of governmental affairs — compared environmental groups' Keep It In The Ground campaign actions at U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) bids to a “circus.” Sgamma said WEA was in contact with both BLM and Congressional members to push the auctions out of the public sphere and onto the internet.  [Full Story]

May 17, 2016
Our Crime Against the Planet, and Ourselves
The New York Times
Natasha Lennard and Adrian Parr

Natasha Lennard: In your work, you raise the idea of framing climate degradation as a form of violence, and potentially as a crime against humanity. What does it mean to speak of the human destruction of the climate in terms of criminal justice? Is there a distinct guilty party that can be held responsible for this crime? Adrian Parr: There are three components to the claim that environmental degradation is a crime against humanity. First, it is an appeal to a universal, common humanity that stretches across space and time, and that is oblivious to geographic and historical differences. Second, the crime in question is an existential one that is committed against the very experience of being human, the human élan. Third, it is a crime that calls the established legal order into question, because everyone, and yet no one specifically, can be held responsible.  [Full Story]

May 17, 2016
Albany council votes against oil pipeline
Times Union
Jordan Carleo-Evangelist

Albany City lawmakers voted late Monday night to join more than two-dozen other New York communities in opposing a controversial oil pipeline linking the Port of Albany to northern New Jersey. The resolution condemning the Pilgrim Pipeline project as an environmental risk and public health hazard carries no legal weight. But advocates called the vote a warning shot for the project's financiers that should send the message that the planned 178-mile pipeline faces stiff local resistance that will make it a bad investment.  [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
Constitution Pipeline Challenges Decision by New York State to Block Federally Approved Pipeline
Constitution Pipeline
Press Release

Constitution Pipeline Challenges Decision by New York State to Block Federally Approved Pipeline NYSDEC decision blocks millions of New York and New England consumers from lower cost energy Thousands of New York jobs delayed and threatened by the decision State and regional leaders say decision impacts economic development, school funding Decision slows U.S. transition from coal to natural gas; Slows carbon reductions and adoption of more renewable resources  [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
Train Hauling Fracking Sand Derails In Northern Colorado
CBS Denver


TIMNATH, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters say nine train cars that derailed near an elementary school in northern Colorado were carrying sand used in fracking but no hazardous materials.   [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
Public blasts Fla. for new water toxics limits. Fracking planned?
13 WMAZ
Jeff Burlew

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida wants to weaken its restrictions on roughly two dozen cancer-causing chemicals that can be discharged into its rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters.   [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
Earthquake surge rattles Oklahoma’s fracking industry
FT.com
Anna Nicolaou

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/78dac9b8-fffc-11e5-99cb-83242733f755.html#ixzz48rBuAABD Oklahomans are no strangers to natural disasters. The Midwestern state stretches across Tornado Alley — one of the most tornado-prone places in the world — and residents grapple with hail, thunderstorms and severe weather. In the past few years, however, homeowners, property developers and insurers in Oklahoma have faced an unfamiliar challenge: earthquakes.   [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
Tens of Thousands Take Part in Global Actions Targeting World’s Most Dangerous Fossil Fuel Projects
EcoWatch
350.org

Twelve days of unprecedented worldwide action against fossil fuels concluded Sunday showing that the climate movement will not rest until all coal, oil and gas is kept in the ground. The combined global efforts of activists on six continents now pose a serious threat to the future of the fossil fuel industry, already weakened by financial and political uncertainty.   [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
Appalachian Basin becoming U.S. natural gas stronghold
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

The growth of drilling in the Marcellus-Utica shales and the resulting natural gas boom are changing the American energy picture, even though shale drilling is slowing down across the United States due to low commodity prices. Since 2012, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have accounted for 85 percent of U.S. shale gas growth, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Shale gas today represents two thirds of U.S. natural gas production, the agency reported recently.   [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
Florida Proposes Tripling Amount Of Benzene That Can Be Polluted Into State Waters
Think Progress
Natasha Geiling

For the first time in over 25 years, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proposing to revise its restrictions on what toxic chemicals can be discharged into surface water — but environmentalists worry that the proposed standards, which would triple the amount of a toxic chemical called benzene allowed to be discharged into surface waters like rivers and lakes, are meant more to entice fracking companies than keep Floridians safe.  [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
EPA Announces Historic Plan to Regulate Methane Emissions
Care2
Llowell Williams

In an historic announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency says it will be implementing restrictions on methane gas emissions — the first time the greenhouse gas has ever been regulated in the United States.   [Full Story]

May 16, 2016
Wildlife group sues US over Enbridge pipeline in Michigan
Bakken.com
Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — An environmental group is accusing the federal government of misjudging an emergency response plan for a major oil pipeline that runs through Michigan. The National Wildlife Federation filed a lawsuit Monday against a pipeline safety agency, saying the government in 2013 failed to account for impacts on wildlife, plants, and Great Lakes shore if Line 5 ruptures.  [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
Protesters stage sit-in at Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility
LA Times
Kim Christensen

About 20 environmental activists staged a sit-in Sunday afternoon at the entrance to the troubled Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in the San Fernando Valley, calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to keep it closed permanently.  [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
Phil Doe: Colorado court's fracking decision trampled on citizens' rights
Times-Call
Phil Doe Opinion

Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled for fracking and against the rights of the people in Longmont and in Fort Collins, citing pre-emption by state law. Due to health and safety concerns, both Colorado cities had decided by popular vote to ban oil and gas drilling within their city limits.  [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
Fracking: Oklahoma’s New F-Word
UK Finance
Irina Slav

Fracking in Oklahoma, as well as elsewhere, has been on the decline, thanks to the oil price slump. Quakes, however, are continuing at alarming rates. A CBC report on the situation notes anecdotal evidence that capping wells could possibly reduce seismic activity, but anecdotal evidence is insufficient.   [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
Public blasts DEP over new water toxics limits
Tallahassee Democrat
Jeff Burlew

The state of Florida wants to weaken its restrictions on roughly two dozen cancer-causing chemicals that can be discharged into its rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters.   [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
Tex Hawkins: Citizens are fed up with the 'self-regulating' frac sand industry
Winona Daily News
Tex Hawkins Opinion

This week, the Koch-funded Heartland Institute sponsored an industrial “insiders” conference in La Crosse, Wis., to promote frac sand mining across the uniquely beautiful and welcoming Driftless area, which covers large parts of several Midwestern states. I participated in a rally organized by the Alliance to Ban Frac Sand Mining and Address Climate Change, held in front of the La Crosse Center on Tuesday afternoon. We citizens were on the sidewalk in the rain, while the insiders enjoyed whatever benefits a $400 price of admission brings.  [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
Client Alert: Law Firms Tell Fossil Fuel Companies They Could Be Next in "ExxonKnew" Probe
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Some of the country's biggest law firms have recently penned “client alert” memoranda, suggesting to their clients that they closely monitor the ongoing Attorneys General investigations occurring in states nationwide on the potentially fraudulent behavior of ExxonMobil. DeSmog tracked down alerts written by three different firms: Crowell & Moring, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, as well as King & Spalding. All of them have maintained fossil fuel industry clients as well as tobacco industry clients, a DeSmog review has revealed. A previous DeSmog investigation pointed out that Exxon has hired Ted Wells, who represented Philip Morris in Big Tobacco's racketeering lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Department of Justice, to its legal defense team for the ongoing state AGs' probe.  [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
Feds might deny oil, gas leases to climate activist
The Desert Sun
Sammy Roth

The Bureau of Land Management has been auctioning off public land for oil and gas drilling for decades. But nothing could have prepared the agency for what's happening now in Utah. Nearly 100 climate activists disrupted a lease auction in Salt Lake City earlier this year, saying the United States needs to stop extracting oil and gas if it hopes to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The fireworks continued after the auction, when the environmental writer Terry Tempest Williams submitted bids for two oil and gas leases — covering more than 1,100 acres — that hadn't drawn any interest during the auction.  [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
'Heat & Light': Jennifer Haigh returns to Bakerton, Pa., where fracking fractures families
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jeffrey Condran

In her new novel, “Heat & Light,” Jennifer Haigh returns to the landscape of Western Pennsylvania and the fictional town of Bakerton, the setting for her two previous books “Baker Towers” and “News From Heaven.” Once booming with oil and coal money, Bakerton has collapsed. It is now a place where “every worthwhile thing has already happened.” Until a SUNY geologist determines there are natural gas deposits beneath Bakerton, and that the land may have one more “gift” to give. Ms. Haigh’s novel, however, is keen to remind readers that prosperity rarely comes without a price, especially in the case of hydraulic fracking.   [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
USGS study shows fracking contamination in Wolf Creek watershed
Register-Herald
Sarah Plummer

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey indicates waste from oil and gas disposal was found in surface waters and sediments near a controversial underground injection well in Lochgelly, just outside Oak Hill.   [Full Story]

May 15, 2016
People Before Profit TD calls for Irish ban on fracking
Irish Mirror
James Ward

A fracking operation in the North will open the door for drilling here, it has been warned. Large numbers of protesters showed up at a drill in Woodburn, Co Antrim, last week. Critics say it is just yards from a reservoir which supplies water to parts of Belfast.   [Full Story]

May 14, 2016
In the timeless Yorkshire moors of my childhood, the frackers are poised to start drilling
The Guardian
Madeleine Buntin

Villages in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, hope a landmark ruling this week will save them from the disruption of the shale revolution   [Full Story]

May 14, 2016
Two Years Frack-Free in the Sespe!
Indy Bay


Members of “Save the Sespe,” a network of 2,500 environmental advocates throughout California, are celebrating the two-year anniversary of a successful petition drive to block a controversial fracking proposal in the Los Padres National Forest. The group’s efforts helped bring an end to 20 years of unchecked, unregulated fracking in the Sespe wilderness area.   [Full Story]

May 14, 2016
At Break Free Protests Around the World, Climate Activists Put Bodies on the Line
Common Dreams
Deirdre Fulton

Fossil fuel projects were blockaded simultaneously on three continents on Saturday—the "crest" of a wave of global actions responding to the growing threat of climate change. Through rallies, civil disobedience, and kayaktivism, people around the world stood up to oil and gas interests to say: enough. Additional actions are planned for Sunday.   [Full Story]

May 14, 2016
Hill: Reasons to oppose Spectra pipeline
Wicked Local Franklin
James F Hill Letter to Editor

Here are a few reasons why the Franklin Town Council should join Sharon and Walpole in passing resolutions against the proposed Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline that would run dangerously close to homes and the existing old pipeline.   [Full Story]

May 14, 2016
Florida fracking fightback: St Petersburg joins push against controversial drilling
RT


Fracking faces strong opposition in the US city St Petersburg, which is on the verge of joining the more than 80 cities and counties in Florida that ban the controversial drilling method. Rallying on the steps of their city hall, council members and environmental activists promoted a new ordinance, which will be heard by the public service and infrastructure committee within the next three weeks, according to WMNF.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Colorado Supreme Court Says, No Fracking Bans Allowed
Sustainable Business


During the fracking industry's short history, it has increased methane emissions, earthquakes, and pollution of air, water and soil, spurring many towns and cities to ban the practice altogether.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Lawsuit Filed Against EPA on Fracking's Other Big Problem
Sustainable Business


As EPA prepared to release regulations on methane emissions from fracking, a lawsuit was filed to get the agency to address the industry's other big problem - waste.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Donald Trump's new energy adviser Kevin Cramer loves fracking, doubts climate change
Inquisitr
Mike Bessler

Donald Trump seems to be shaking off vestiges of the “Never Trump” movement and intra-party squabbles as he surrounds himself with seasoned political advisers as he heads towards the next phase of his run for the White House. But while his recent choice of political insider Kevin Cramer as a key energy adviser will likely appeal to Trump’s far right-leaning base of supporters, some of Cramer’s key positions may not appeal to a broader swath of the electorate.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Sanders calls for fracking ban, then talks economic inequality
Bismarck Tribune
Nick Smith

A call for a ban on hydraulic fracking Friday evening by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont drew a cheer during a rally in the nation's second largest oil-producing state. The brief comment drew a round of cheers as Sanders, 74, fired up a crowd of more than 500 in the Bismarck Depot parking lot following rallies in Fargo and Grand Forks earlier in the day. “We’ve got to ban fracking,” Sanders said while discussing energy policy.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Wentworth temporarily prohibits fracking
Greensboro Rockingham Now
Justyn Melrose

WENTWORTH — As of May 3, the Town of Wentworth has joined some of its neighbors in unanimously approving a temporary ban on fracking. The ordinance comes as a result of previous council conversations and will impose a hold on any potential fracking activity until Nov. 16, 2017.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Ky. found 'hot' fracking waste at W.Va. source
Courier-Journal
James Bruggers

Follow-up tests at a West Virginia company that prepared radioactive fracking waste to be sent to Kentucky revealed material so "hot" that it would need to go to a special landfill for disposal – not the Kentucky municipal dump where earlier shipments were sent, a Kentucky official has revealed.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Ohio’s proposed regulations seek to reduce methane leaks
The Blade
Tom Henry

With Ohio becoming a bigger player in the global fracking surge, environmental activists, oil and gas lobbyists, union representatives, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts, and public health officials across the state were weighing in on the Obama Administration’s final rules for methane releases that were announced Thursday.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Protesters Target Albany Oil Trains
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Climate activists from near and from as far as Maine, Quebec and central Pennsylvania are converging on downtown Albany for a day of protests against fossil fuels.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Ruffalo documentary speaks out against fracking
Herald Tribune
Shelby Webb

SARASOTA — Florida residents may associate fracking with states such as Oklahoma or Pennsylvania. Some may picture wells in areas surrounded by nothing but barren fields — land that would be otherwise useless if not for oil and gas companies.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Faced With a Fracking Giant, This Small Town Just Legalized Civil Disobedience A new first-in-the-nation law will shield residents from arrest as they use direct action to stop fracking-wastewater injection wells.
Yes
Kate Stringer

A tiny community sitting on a 27-square-mile piece of Western Pennsylvania wanted to send a big message to the energy company planning to deposit toxic fracking wastewater under its neighborhoods. And its 700 residents wanted it to be perfectly legal for them to loudly object.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Fractivists call for prohibiting all forms of fracking
Binghamton Homepage


Local fractivists are calling on Governor Cuomo to prohibit all forms of fracking, not just methods that involve water. Walter Hang, President of the environmental firm Toxics Targeting, held a news conference today to discuss the latest developments involving waterless fracking.   [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Trump taps climate change skeptic, fracking advocate as key energy advisor
Reuters
VALERIE VOLCOVICI

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has asked one of America's most ardent drilling advocates and climate change skeptics to help him draft his energy policy. U.S. Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota - a major oil drilling state - is writing a white paper on energy policy for the New York billionaire, Cramer and sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.  [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Ky. found 'hot' fracking waste at W.Va. source
Courier-Journal
James Bruggers

Follow-up tests at a West Virginia company that prepared radioactive fracking waste to be sent to Kentucky revealed material so "hot" that it would need to go to a special landfill for disposal – not the Kentucky municipal dump where earlier shipments were sent, a Kentucky official has revealed. The disclosure casts some doubt on prior assurances about the radioactive intensity of waste sent to Kentucky, said Louisville attorney Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council.  [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
State asks for more information on potentially allowable fracking plan
PoliticoNewYork
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — The state Department of Environmental Conservation is requesting more information about a proposal to frack for natural gas in the Southern Tier using propane and sand rather than water. The energy industry and environmentalists agree the proposal has the potential to bypass the ban on fracking that Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered in December 2014. The ban applied to high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which uses large volumes of water mixed with sand and chemicals to create fractures in rock that release gas.  [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
AG wants feds to probe Constitution Pipeline
Press & Sun Bulletin
Jon Campbell

ALBANY -- Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to investigate alleged illegal construction of the Constitution Pipeline, a stalled natural gas line that had been slated for the Southern Tier and Catskills. Schneiderman said Friday he petitioned FERC to look into allegations that the Constitution Pipeline Company may have authorized "widespread" tree cutting and other construction along the pipeline's right-of-way corridor in New York before the project's permits were in place.  [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Residents debate expansion of troubled Iowa sand mine
The Des Moines Register
Haley Henschel and Bridgit Bowden

ELKADER, Ia. — A controversial frac sand mining company is facing opposition to plans for a sevenfold expansion of its underground mine in Clayton County in northeast Iowa. Pattison Sand Co. has requested rezoning of 746 acres of land from agricultural to heavy industrial for eventual expansion of its underground mine from its current size of about 100 acres. The site includes surface mining on some of its 1,600 acres.  [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
AG adds to legal woes for Constitution pipeline
Times Union
Brian Nearing

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Friday raised another potential legal obstacle to the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline, already wounded this month when the state denied it necessary environmental permits. Schneiderman’s office asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to delay action on its December 2014 order that approved the 125-mile pipeline, which would bring natural gas to Schoharie County from the hydrofrack fields of northern Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

May 13, 2016
Faced With a Fracking Giant, This Small Town Just Legalized Civil Disobedience
Yes! Magazine
Kate Stringer

A tiny community sitting on a 27-square-mile piece of Western Pennsylvania wanted to send a big message to the energy company planning to deposit toxic fracking wastewater under its neighborhoods. And its 700 residents wanted it to be perfectly legal for them to loudly object. Grant Township had seen what happens when people nationwide take to the streets to protest bullying corporations: Arrests. Lots of them.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Waste Water Treatment in Hydraulic Fracturing Expands Even as Fracking Gains a Foothold
Environmental Leader


Hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as fracking) has faced increasing scrutiny from the public and regulators alike. On May 2nd, Colorado’s high court repealed a charter that banned fracking in the city of Longmont and also voted down a 5-year moratorium on fracking in Fort Collins. These are the latest developments in a long string of proposed regulatory actions to ban, or at least hinder, fracking. Groups like Keep Tap Water Safe keep an up-to-date list of regulatory actions against the practice. It seems like everyone who is anyone has something bad to say about fracking.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Fracking issues are back on the table
The County Record
Kelli Peacock Dunn

Representatives from Rethink Florida Energy were at the Blountstown Public Library Thursday night to host a workshop on the impact Hydraulic and Acidic Fracturing could have on Calhoun County. As previously reported, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued a permit to Cholla Petroleum to begin seismic testing in Calhoun and Gulf counties. Based in Texas, Cholla Petroleum will be performing testing in the Dead Lakes area in southern Calhoun County and northern Gulf County.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Peace River district softens stance on fracking in regional park Peace River Regional District directors voted to reverse a previous resolution asking the province not to lease oil and gas rights beneath a parcel that ...
Business Vancouver
Jonny Wakefield

At its April 28 meeting, PRRD directors voted to reverse a previous resolution asking the province not to lease oil and gas rights beneath a parcel that includes Blackfoot Regional Park.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
McKibben to join Colorado activists at Saturday rally
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

DENVER, CO – On May 14th, protestors and community members will converge in Thornton to call for an end to fracking developments that threaten local neighborhoods and schools, and accelerate dangerous climate change. They will be joined by renowned environmentalist, author, and journalist Bill McKibben, and Jonny 5 of the band Flobots. This protest is part of the global platform to Break Free from fossil fuels, a coordination of independently-organized actions in over two dozen countries across six continents to keep fossil fuels in the ground and promote clean renewable energy.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Local action, global movement Climate activist, filmmaker stops in Chico to support county ban on fracking
News Review
Howard Hardee

Within the climate change movement, Josh Fox is a rock star. A preeminent figure in the opposition to fracking and horizontal drilling, he directed the acclaimed 2010 documentary Gasland, which famously starts with a man turning on his faucet and igniting water that’s reportedly contaminated with fracking chemicals.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Sanders speaks frankly about Montana issues
Billings Gazette
Tom Lutey

Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke frankly with The Gazette about a number of Montana issues before taking the stage in Billings on Wednesday. On the future of coal, Sanders said America needs to stop burning coal and other fossil fuels in order to reverse climate change.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Blackmail or Protection? Why France Mulls Banning US Gas Supplies
Sputnik News


Paris does not want to buy US-produced liquefied natural gas, citing it contains much shale gas which is produced using technologies banned in France. The situation plays in the hand of other gas suppliers, first of all Russia.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Livingston County residents protest against gas company projects at Seneca Lake
Livingston County News
Julia Depillo

We Are Seneca Lake, Gas Free Seneca and Frack Free Genesee are local grassroots organizations working to prevent the revamping of salt caverns under the Seneca Lake hillside. More than 500 residents, including some from Livingston County, have been arrested for protesting at the gates of Crestwood.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
E.P.A. Methane Leak Rules Take Aim at Climate Change
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled the first federal regulations to control emissions of potent planet-warming methane gas that could leach from new oil and gas wells, the next step in President Obama’s effort to combat climate change. The methane rules, the final version of draft regulations put forth last year by the Environmental Protection Agency, require oil and gas companies to plug and capture leaks of methane from new and modified drilling wells and storage tanks, not older, existing wells.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
EPA Begins Crackdown on Methane Emissions
Inside Climate News
Phil McKenna

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules on Thursday to significantly reduce methane emissions from new oil and gas facilities as well as those undergoing modifications. The regulations are the first federal standards aimed at curbing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, emitted by oil and gas production. The rules, which were first proposed last year, will require oil and gas companies to monitor and limit the release of methane into the atmosphere at production, processing and transmission facilities. The new standards are part of an Obama administration goal to reduce methane emissions from the industry by 40-45 percent by 2025.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Obama administration announces historic new regulations for methane emissions from oil and gas
Washington Post
Chris Mooney & Brady Dennis

The Obama administration on Thursday announced a set of much-anticipated — and first ever — steps to regulate oil and gas industry emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas second only to carbon dioxide in its role in the climate debate.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Linn Energy files for bankruptcy protection
Casper Star Tribune
Benjamin Storrow

Linn Energy, one of Wyoming’s largest natural gas producers, on Wednesday joined the growing ranks of exploration and production firms to file for bankruptcy protection. The move was long expected and followed months of negotiations with the company’s creditors and investors. In a release Wednesday, Linn said the bankruptcy filing was part of an agreement with the company’s creditors.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Scientists say chemicals from fracking wastewater can taint fresh water nearby
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Darryl Fears

The boom in the unconventional natural-gas drilling method known as fracking hit so fast that scientists have had to scramble to determine whether it is safe for humans and the environment. Mostly they are still trying to catch up. But a study by the U.S. Geological Survey appears to have answered a critical question about the millions of gallons of chemical-laced water that are injected into the wells to fracture rocks and release trapped gas: Is there any cause for concern when that water is stored later, whether in treatment facilities or special underground wells?   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
New Fracking Study Finds Children at Greater Risk of Respiratory Health Problems
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations such as fracking might allow for cheaper prices to heat your home, but a growing number of scientists are becoming concerned about its unacceptable health implications.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Obama’s new oil & gas air pollution rule is a step forward for climate & communities Statement of Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel on the publication of the final EPA rule governing methane pollution from new and modified oil and gas facilities
Earthworks
Press Release

Today, the Obama administration finalized the first national standard to cut methane pollution from new and modified sources of oil and gas production. The rule will also cut associated pollution emitted with methane: volatile organic compounds like benzene, a carcinogen.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Why Is L.A. Toxic?
Huffington Post
Mark Ruffalo

With 840 miles of beautiful coastline and palm trees swaying in the breeze, “toxic” is not the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of California. Yet, in spite of its reputation as a progressive environmental state, California’s toxic affair with oil and gas has been hiding in plain sight. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Los Angeles, the nation’s largest urban oil field. Though it is the second most populous city in the country, L.A. is still the wild, wild west when it comes to oil development. Active oil wells dot the cityscape, connected by a spider web of pipelines carrying oil, explosive fumes, and corrosive acids directly under homes. Worst of all, these oil wells have a devastating impact on Angelenos’ long-term health.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Obama Just Cracked Down on Pollution From Fracking For the first time ever, the EPA will regulate methane emissions.
Mother Jones
Tim McDonnell

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday released the final version of new federal rules intended to curb emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane, which is the main component of natural gas, had previously been unregulated. There's a mounting pile of evidence suggesting that as the United States relies increasingly on gas to produce electricity, methane emissions are much higher than most people expected them to be.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Fracking's Air Pollution Puts Infants and Children at Risk of Developing Heart, Lung Problems: New Study
DeSmog Blog
Sharon Kelly

A newly published peer-reviewed study concludes that air pollution from fracking puts people's lungs, hearts, and immune systems at risk – and that the health risk are particularly pointed for young children and infants.   [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Fracking-related quakes have made earthquake insurance almost impossible to buy in Oklahoma
Raw Story
Reuters

As the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma exploded into the hundreds in the last few years, nearly a dozen insurance companies moved to limit their exposure, often at the expense of homeowners, a Reuters examination has found.  [Full Story]

May 12, 2016
Porter Ranch: Barium and other metals found to be the culprit behind gas leak symptoms
KPCC
Sharon McNary

Los Angeles County Public Health Department officials say its test of dust in Porter Ranch homes turned up the presence of metals, including barium, that could have caused the kinds of health symptoms some residents have reported experiencing even after the big gas leak was plugged. The county tested dust in 100 Porter Ranch homes and 11 homes outside the area, finding a pattern of several metals in the Porter Ranch homes. Further testing of mud near the well that ruptured last year also turned up the barium.  [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Colorado Supreme Court overturns city's fracking ban
The Bakken
Patrick C. Miller

The Colorado Supreme Court earlier this month overturned the city of Fort Collins’ five-year moratorium on fracking, ruling that it is preempted by state law and therefore invalid and unenforceable.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Locals battle fracking company drilling near drinking water reservoir
Ecologist
Oliver Tickell

Local people are furiously trying to stop a fracking company from drilling near a drinking water reservoir serving tens of thousands of homes, after Northern Ireland planners failed to block Infrastrata's claim for 'permitted development' rights.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Texas drilling permits down 20 percent No. 1 oil producer in the nation still posting discoveries, though sector remains under pressure.
UPI
Daniel J. Graeber

AUSTIN, Texas, May 11 (UPI) -- The number of oil and natural gas drilling permits issued by Texas regulators in April was lower year-on-year by 20 percent, state data show. The Railroad Commission of Texas said it issued 683 original drilling permits in April, compared with 848 from the same month one year ago. Most of the permits were for oil-related activities.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Lawmakers want to cut well tax rebate in exchange for horizontal drilling laterals Lawmakers plan to cap rebate and OK extended laterals.
Tulsa World
Adam Wilmoth & Paul Monies

A state incentive for economically distressed oil and gas leases that has ballooned amid low prices could be cut in a deal that would extend horizontal-well development in Oklahoma.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Book takes on the entanglements of oil
National Catholic Reporter
Melissa Jones

Book takes on the entanglements of oil   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
PRRD will accept gas drilling near Blackfoot Park parcel, with caveats
Aaska Highway News
Jonny Wakefield

The Peace River Regional District is softening its tone on fracking for gas near one of its regional parks. At its April 28 meeting, PRRD directors voted to reverse a previous resolution asking the province not to lease oil and gas rights beneath a parcel that includes Blackfoot Regional Park.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Scientists Just Pinpointed Another Example Of Fracking’s Environmental Impact
Think Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

The “study demonstrates definitively that the stream is being impacted by [unconventional oil and gas extraction] wastewaters,” Denise Akob, USGS scientist and lead author of the study, told ThinkProgress. Unconventional oil and gas extraction refers to the many processes that involve hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Fracking By The Numbers — The Damage To Our Water, Land, & Climate From A Decade Of Dirty Drilling
Clean Technica
Cynthia Shahan

Proof of the hazardous, risky, severe results from fracking grows. Local communities are at serious risk from the process of fracking. A new report, Fracking by the Numbers, states: “The combination of two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—has enabled the oil and gas industry to engage to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States.” But that’s just the beginning of the horror story: “Fracking,” however, has also led to tremendous environmental harm and put the health and safety of communities across the country at risk.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
California Regulators Are Approving Fracking Permits Near Fault Lines
DeSmog Blog
Mike Gaworecki

New research indicates that nearly 40 percent of new wastewater injection wells approved over the past year in California are perilously close to fault lines, increasing the risk of man-made earthquakes in the already seismically active Golden State.  [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Justice Department defends FERC against allegations of 'structural bias'
SNL
Sean Sullivan

The U.S. Justice Department stepped in to defend FERC against an environmental group's charges that the commission has been corrupted by a link between its funding and natural gas industry fees. "The United States respectfully expresses its view that plaintiffs' general allegations of structural bias fail to demonstrate that FERC's funding mechanism offers a possible temptation to favor natural gas pipeline applicants because the number of pipeline applications FERC approves does not increase FERC's revenues above Congress's annual appropriation," the Justice Department wrote in a May 10 statement of interest.---------------------------------------------------------------------- The Delaware Riverkeeper Network used strong words in announcing its March 2 lawsuit against FERC, calling the commission "a corrupt, rogue agency" that is "infected by structural bias" in favor of gas infrastructure because of the financial link between the agency and the industry. The case is unfolding against a background of regulatory delays and blocks against gas pipeline projects in the U.S. Northeast.  [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
This mystery was solved: Scientists say chemicals from fracking wastewater can taint fresh water nearby
The Washington Post
Darryl Fears

The boom in unconventional drilling for natural gas known as fracking hit so fast that scientists have had to scramble to determine whether it’s safe for humans and the environment. Mostly they’re still trying to catch up. But a study by the U.S. Geological Survey appears to have answered a critical question about the millions of gallons of chemical-laced water that are injected into the wells to fracture rocks and release trapped gas. Is there any cause for concern when that water is stored later, whether in treatment facilities or special underground wells? The short answer is yes, said the study’s lead author, Denise Akob, a USGS microbiologist.  [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
California Regulators Are Approving Fracking Permits Near Fault Lines
DeSmogBlog
Mike Gaworecki

New research indicates that nearly 40 percent of new wastewater injection wells approved over the past year in California are perilously close to fault lines, increasing the risk of man-made earthquakes in the already seismically active Golden State. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) found that 13 out of 33, or 39 percent, of new drill permits for wastewater disposal wells issued by regulators with California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) between April 2015 and March 2016 were for drill sites within 5 miles of a fault.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
This mystery was solved: Scientists say chemicals from fracking wastewater can taint fresh water nearby
Washington Post
Darryl Fears

But a study by the U.S. Geological Survey appears to have answered a critical question about the millions of gallons of chemical-laced water that are injected into the wells to fracture rocks and release trapped gas. Is there any cause for concern when that water is stored later, whether in treatment facilities or special underground wells? The short answer is yes, said the study’s lead author, Denise Akob, a USGS microbiologist.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
Rancor, protests greet top energy official
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Colonie Climate protesters drove the head of federal energy policy from the stage Wednesday during a conference of power plant owners. Near the end of a speech to the Independent Power Producers of New York, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay was interrupted and confronted by about a half-dozen protesters at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center. As the protesters shouted about the risks of man-made climate change and demanded that he answer, Bay tried to leave the podium, and appeared uncertain of where to go before IPPNY President Gavin Donohue quickly whisked him away through a side door.  [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
French minister eyes shale import ban as US LNG exports build
Energy & Commodities


PARIS] France's energy minister is considering closing the door to US shale gas just as American LNG exports to Europe and other ports ramp up. Energy and Environment Minister Segolene Royal said Tuesday in comments to France's parliament that she will "examine from a legal standpoint" ways to ban imports of shale gas. France barred fracking in 2011 because of environmental risks. Houston- based Cheniere Energy Inc has contracts to deliver liquefied natural gas to Engie SA, Electricite de France SA and Total SA.   [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
EPA Ready to Issue Methane Limits for New Oil and Gas Wells
The Wall Street Journal
AMY HARDER

WASHINGTON—The Environmental Protection Agency is set to issue on Thursday the first federal standards aimed at curbing methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry, according to multiple people familiar with the plan. The final regulations, which EPA proposed last year, are the latest in a series of rules the Obama administration is pursuing in a broad agenda clamping down on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. The rules are one piece of an administration goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by as much as 45% from their 2012 levels over the next decade.  [Full Story]

May 11, 2016
New Paltz Village Board upset with state investment in Pilgrim Pipeline
The Daily Freeman
WILLIAM J. KEMBLE

Posted: 05/12/16, 6:08 AM EDT | Updated: 4 secs ago 0 Comments NEW PALTZ, N.Y. >> Village Board members want state officials to divest pension funds invested in Pilgrim Pipeline. At a Village Board meeting Wednesday, Mayor Tim Rogers said a divestment request is expected to come from communities along the proposed, 182-mile route from Albany to Linden, N.J. “The New York state pension fund has investment holdings across a variety of different investment managers and several different funds under the Ares umbrella,” he said. “One of their funds, in particular, has Pilgrim as a portfolio.” Rogers said a letter would be sent to the state Comptroller’s Office to sell off or replace the account.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
ROCHESTER HILLS RESIDENTS FIGHT TO PREVENT OIL AND GAS DRILLING IN TOWN
Medill Reports
Danielle Prieur

“Don’t Drill the Hills,” a Rochester Hills citizens’ group, lost a lawsuit that pitted them against their city, Jordan Bay Development, and Sunoco Pipeline in March. That means, now that the weather is warm again, a spike in natural gas and oil prices could bring drilling to the wooded park near the walking path. That is, unless “Don’t Drill the Hills” submits an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
Judge paves way for pipeline construction in Western Mass.
The Boston Globe
Travis Andersen

A Berkshire Superior Court judge on Tuesday paved the way for a subsidiary of a Houston-based energy company to begin clearing trees on several acres of the Otis State Forest in Western Massachusetts for a natural gas pipeline that will service three utility companies in Connecticut and their customers. However, Judge John A. Agostini stayed his 21-page order until July 29 to allow time for the Massachusetts Legislature to consider the pipeline, which is being proposed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company LLC, a subsidiary of energy giant Kinder Morgan.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
Exxon's Lawyer in Climate Science Probe Has History Helping Big Tobacco and NFL Defend Against Health Claims
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Ted Wells, an attorney hired by ExxonMobil to represent the company against accusations it lied about the climate risks of burning fossil fuels, also represented the tobacco industry in the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1999 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, DeSmog has found. Wells also defended the National Football League (NFL) in the infamous “Deflategate” matter as well as in litigation over the far more serious issue of concussions. Wells has represented ExxonMobil since at least December 2015, following New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's announcement that his office would probe Exxon's role in funding climate change denial despite its long-held understanding and pioneering research into climate change.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
Pa. pipeline opponents file suit, threatening project's momentum
The Patriot News
Colin Deppen

After overcoming a series of regulatory hurdles, the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project has been issued a potential setback in the form of a new lawsuit challenging its legality and that of newly inked permits in a Philadelphia federal court. In the lawsuit filed with Philadelphia's Third Circuit Court of Appeals, The Delaware Riverkeeper Network of Bristol, Pa. is challenging state water quality permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the 200-mile, 10-county, $2.6 billion natural gas pipeline project. The group claims the project and water quality plan would violate the federal Clean Water Act.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
Is There A Difference In The Permitting Process For Oil Pipelines Vs. Natural Gas Pipelines?
Seeking Alpha
Karyl Patredis

Growing up, my sister, Lynea [1], always seemed to have things a little easier than me. She was my mom's favorite [2] child and I loved crying foul whenever Lynea got her way. In the world of the interstate pipeline permitting process, some argue that natural gas pipelines are easier to get approved than oil pipelines. However, similar to sibling rivalries [3], it all depends on your perspective. Let's first talk about the process for receiving approval of an interstate natural gas pipeline. According to the Natural Gas Act, companies that would like to build a pipeline must obtain a "Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity" from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) before beginning a project. This is a multi-step process.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
The Oil Industry Just Backed Out Of A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment
Think Progress
Samantha Page

t seems that the rent really is too high, at least for the major oil and gas firms that have now cancelled their exploration leases in the Arctic. ConocoPhillips, ENI, and Iona have relinquished all their leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the coast of Alaska, according to new documents obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request filed by advocacy group Oceana. “The decisions to give up leases reflect both environmental and economic realities of operating in a remote and unforgiving environment like the Arctic,” Michael LeVine, senior counsel for Oceana, told ThinkProgress. Statoil, which also had leases in the region, had previously relinquished all its leases, and Shell has relinquished all but one block, where it has already done exploratory drilling, he said.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
Canada Gas Price Plunges as Wildfires Shut Oil-Sands Output
Bloomberg


A bad start to the year for Canadian natural gas producers is getting worse after wildfires in northern Alberta knocked out oil-sands operations that represent a key source of demand. Spot gas prices in Western Canada have been cut by more than half after oil-sands developers curtailed about 40 percent of their supply, reducing the amount of gas used to generate power for drilling and upgrading projects. Canada’s AECO spot gas fell to 53 cents U.S. per gigajoule on Monday, the lowest closing price since 1997, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
Appeals Court upholds denial of frack sand mine permit
WQOW.com


MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin appeals court has upheld a Trempealeau County decision denying a permit to open a new sand mine for use in hydraulic fracking. The 3rd District Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled against Iowa-based AllEnergy Sand. It had argued that a Trempealeau County environmental and land use committee in 2013 wrongly denied its permit to open the 550-acre sand mine and processing plant. A circuit court had affirmed the county committee's action in January 2015 and the appeals court upheld that ruling Tuesday, saying the "decision was supported by substantial evidence."  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
North Dakota contaminated with radioactive materials from fracking – study
RT
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

A new study has revealed significant contamination of soil and water in North Dakota from radioactive materials, heavy metals and corrosive salts as a result of oil and gas wastewater spills. The Duke University research, published in Environmental Science and Technology, highlights the possible health implications for humans and wildlife from the 3,900 reported brine spills in the region since the rise of fracking in 2007.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
France may ban US fracked gas imports
The Hill
Timothy Cama

France is examining how it could legally ban the import of shale natural gas from the United States. Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of energy, told lawmakers in the National Assembly Tuesday that because France has banned hydraulic fracturing within its own borders, it should also prohibit fracked gas imports, according to AFP. The issue has arisen because two companies, Électricité de France and Engie, have signed contracts to buy liquefied natural gas from the United States, where most of it comes from fracked wells. “I’m going to examine legally how we can prohibit the import of shale gas, and in any case, these businesses will have to shift towards other markets to import only conventional gas,” Royal said.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
Newfield Stream Water Testing to Resume
Ithaca.com
Jaime Cone

At a meeting of the Newfield Town Board April 28, the board heard a presentation by Stephen Penningroth, Executive Director of the Community Science Institute in Ithaca, and agreed to resume participation in the institute’s water testing program. CSI is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting communities’ water resources. It’s comprised of about 40 individuals and four educational groups that collect water from 10 streams within the Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake and Susquehanna River Watersheds. They collect from 15 sites on each stream and test the samples for phosphorus, coliform bacteria and E.coli. Penningroth explained that CSI has three branches: it has a certified water testing lab, a network of volunteer water monitoring partnerships, and a public online database of the water testing results.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
In Novel Tactic on Climate Change, Citizens Sue Their Governments
NY Times
John Schwartz

Global warming is already disrupting the planet’s weather. Now it is having an impact on the courts, as well, as adults and children around the world try to enlist the judiciary in their efforts to blunt climate change. In the United States, an environmental law nonprofit is suing the federal government on behalf of 21 young plaintiffs. Individuals in Pakistan and New Zealand have sued to force their governments to take stronger action to fight climate change. A farmer in Peru has sued a giant German energy utility over its part in causing global warming. And while the arguments can be unconventional and surprising, some of the suits are making progress. Last month, a federal magistrate judge in Oregon startled many legal experts by allowing the lawsuit filed on behalf of 21 teenagers and children to go forward, despite motions from the Obama administration and fossil fuel companies to dismiss it; the suit would force the government to take more aggressive action against climate change. The ruling by the magistrate judge, Thomas M. Coffin, now goes to Federal District Court to be accepted or rejected.  [Full Story]

May 10, 2016
Suzanne Almeida: Protect public from environmental hazards of gas, oil drilling
The Morning Call
Suzanne Almeida Opinion

Over the last five years, the Department of Environmental Protection has worked with environmental groups, gas and oil industry leaders, and Pennsylvanians from across the commonwealth to develop much needed updates to our oil and gas drilling regulations. But many lawmakers in Harrisburg are determined to stymie the implementation of these much-needed regulations, seemingly at the bidding of the oil and gas industry.   [Full Story]

May 9, 2016
Riverkeeper petitions DRBC to implement decades-old rule
New Jersey Herald
Bruce A. Scruton

The Delaware Riverkeeper is asking the Delaware River Basin Commission to fully implement a program established 25 years ago but not yet fully implemented. The commission was established to oversee the Delaware River watershed, which includes parts of five states and provides the drinking water for 15 million people. The petition, filed last week, calls on the commission to finally put in place its Special Protection Waters Program, first established in 1990, and which saw the Middle and Upper Delaware River designated as Special Protection Waters in 1992.  [Full Story]

May 9, 2016
Evidence of Unconventional Oil and Gas Wastewater Found in Surface Waters near Underground Injection Site
USGS
Press Release

These are the first published studies to demonstrate water-quality impacts to a surface stream due to activities at an unconventional oil and gas wastewater deep well injection disposal site. Evidence indicating the presence of wastewaters from unconventional oil and gas production was found in surface waters and sediments near an underground injection well near Fayetteville, West Virginia, according to two recent studies by the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Missouri, and Duke University. These are the first published studies to demonstrate water-quality impacts to a surface stream due to activities at an unconventional oil and gas wastewater deep well injection disposal site. The studies did not assess how the wastewaters were able to migrate from the disposal site to the surface stream. The unconventional oil and gas wastewater that was injected in the site came from coalbed methane and shale gas wells.  [Full Story]

May 9, 2016
US Oil Rig Count Falls for the Seventh Week to All-Time Low
Nasdaq


In its weekly release, Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. BHI reported another record fall in the U.S. rig count (number of rigs searching for oil and gas in the country) from the previous week. The decline stemmed mainly from a lower number of oil-directed rigs. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures are currently trading at around $44 per barrel.   [Full Story]

May 9, 2016
Duke Study: Rivers Contaminated With Radium and Lead From Thousands of Fracking Wastewater Spills
EcoWatch
Sharon Kelly

Thousands of oil and gas industry wastewater spills in North Dakota have caused “widespread” contamination from radioactive materials, heavy metals and corrosive salts, putting the health of people and wildlife at risk, researchers from Duke University concluded in a newly released peer-reviewed study.   [Full Story]

May 9, 2016
NJ COULD ASK FEDS TO RETHINK POLICIES ON SITING INTERSTATE PIPELINES
NJ Spotlight
Tom Johnson

Laws governing Federal Energy Regulatory Commission date back to 1938, too old to deal with aggressive pipeline expansion, critics claim A pipeline construction site in Northeast Pennsylvania. Amid a growing outcry against the expansion of natural-gas pipelines, a New Jersey legislator wants to press the federal government to revamp the laws governing approval of interstate energy projects.  [Full Story]

May 8, 2016
Silent sandbox: Once booming frac sand industry continues major downturn
Leader-Telegram


This should be the time of year when the frac sand mines that dot western Wisconsin are buzzing with activity after a seasonal winter slowdown. Instead, most of the facilities in the once-booming sand mining sector sit dormant, with skeleton crews occasionally stopping by to ensure the lights are still working and groundwater runoff is properly contained.  [Full Story]

May 8, 2016
Fracking fallout continues in Denton
Watchdog
Mark Lisheron

Denton voters sent a mixed message to its city government Saturday, returning one city council member who had been the object of a recall and replacing another council veteran.  [Full Story]

May 8, 2016
When everything starts to shake, rattle and roll 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker and producer David Schneider, a former and current Californian, respectively, are no strangers to earthquakes
CBS News


For his story on 60 Minutes this week, Schneider had a chance to investigate earthquakes in another part of the country: Oklahoma, where oil and gas companies are pumping billions of gallons of wastewater into the ground, which scientists say is prompting a growing spate of earthquakes. "What makes the earthquakes in Oklahoma so shocking is that they are man-made," says correspondent Bill Whitaker.   [Full Story]

May 8, 2016
Groundwater Contamination from Fracking Changes over Time: Study
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

A new Texas study has found that horizontal oil wells fractured by the injection of high volumes of chemicals, sand, and water contaminate nearby water wells with a variety of heavy metals and toxic chemicals that fluctuate over time. In the last decade, North America's $40-billion fracking industry has punctured uneconomic or 'unconventional' rock formations from British Columbia to Texas with long lateral wells that extend for miles underground.  [Full Story]

May 7, 2016
Wave of Fossil Fuel Project Cancellations Follows Keystone XL Rejection
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirjii

Grassroots climate activists have been effective in stirring public opposition; industry mostly sees market forces at play. Six months after the Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, at least 20 other proposed energy projects—mines, pipelines, plants, related rail projects and export terminals—have been canceled, rejected or delayed, according to research compiled and mapped by InsideClimate News.   [Full Story]

May 7, 2016
Environmentalists flood FERC with motions to intervene, comments against Texas LNG project
San Antonio Business Journal
Zahra Hirji

Environmentalists and their allies have flooded federal regulators with motions to intervene and comments opposing the proposed Texas LNG project in the Port of Brownsville. Texas LNG filed their official application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on March 31 asking regulators for permission to export natural gas extracted from the Eagle Ford Shale region south of San Antonio to overseas customers. The Houston-based company's filing triggered a three-week barrage of comments and motions to intervene that started in mid-April and had a Thursday afternoon deadline. The motions can be used to set up the filer as a party in future legal action.   [Full Story]

May 6, 2016
Earthquake capital of continental U.S.: Oklahoma
CBS News


Oklahomans are getting tired of the ground shaking under their feet. Last year, the state set a record for earthquakes with 907 registering a magnitude of 3 or more. It's causing anxiety, damage and residents to rethink one of the state's biggest industries -- oil and gas production -- which scientists say is causing nearly all the quakes. Bill Whitaker goes to Oklahoma, now the capital of earthquake activity in the continental U.S., to report the story for the next edition of 60 Minutes, Sunday, May 8 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. "I woke up scared to death, praying that the house wouldn't fall down. I couldn't believe that the windows didn't shatter," says Melinda Olbert of a 4.3 quake in Edmund, Oklahoma, in December. She and Kathy Matthews, a friend and Edmund resident, are using smartphone apps to monitor the size and location of quakes around the state. "Cherokee, Enid, Fairview, Medford, Stillwater. All in one 24-hour period; one hour ago, one hour ago, two," Matthews tells Whitaker, who asks whether she is nervous. "It's no way to live. It's no way to live," she says.  [Full Story]

May 6, 2016
Stop the Fracking Lies: Public and Workers Deserve Truth and Solutions About Energy
Huffington Post
Maya K. van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper

The future of the coal and fracking industries and jobs in these industries has been in the news a lot these past days. While we must be mindful of the people who currently depend on these industries for their livelihoods, the fact remains that this work is harmful. People are losing their health, the quality of their lives, the safety of their children, the value and sanctity of their homes, the clean water they need to drink and the healthy air they need to breathe. The cost of continued dependence on fossil fuels is far too great to support any longer. While we must support new jobs for fossil fuel workers, these jobs cannot be in the continued use or expansion of fossil fuels and its infrastructure. The research on this issue is clear.  [Full Story]

May 6, 2016
Cuomo Loyalist With Troubled Finances Is at Center of U.S. Inquiry
The New York Times
VIVIAN YEE and JESSE McKINLEY

ALBANY — As a former aide to both Andrew M. Cuomo and his father, Todd R. Howe built a reputation as a prominent lobbyist in Albany and Washington, with top clients like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and major developers in upstate New York. Trading on his connections as a Cuomo loyalist, Mr. Howe was seen by many as a reliable conduit to the governor’s office. Now, amid a sprawling federal investigation into the Cuomo administration’s marquee economic development projects, he has emerged as one of its top focal points. The allegations against Mr. Howe, who has not been charged with a crime, are not clear. But a review of court documents and public records found that his professional persona masked a history of chaotic and slipshod financial dealings, including a 2003 bankruptcy and nearly $400,000 in federal tax liens and other judgments against him.   [Full Story]

May 6, 2016
Wind and Solar Outpaced Fossil Fuels Again Even in Republican-Led States Fighting Climate Action
EcoWatch
Climate Nexus

A new analysis from the U.S Department of Energy reveals that despite GOP opposition to wind and solar incentives, many of their home states, such as Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, have benefited the most from the shift to renewables.  [Full Story]

May 6, 2016
Fracking From Bakken Oilfield Single-Handedly Responsible for Global Rise in Ethane
EcoWatch
Sharon Kelly

The Bakken shale oilfield is single-handedly responsible for most of a mysterious global rise in atmospheric ethane—a pollutant that can harm human health and heat the atmosphere further—peer-reviewed research published last week reveals.  [Full Story]

May 6, 2016
Connection to federal probe adds fuel to NY power plant opposition
North Country Public Radio
Karen DeWitt

Opponents of a planned fracked gas power plant in the Hudson Valley hope the U.S. Attorney will investigate decisions made in the permitting process for the plant now that it was revealed the wife of a former top aide to Cuomo took payments from the lead engineering firm in the project and her husband is the subject of a federal probe.  [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Pennsylvania Township First To Legalize Civil Disobedience & ‘Bad Boy’ Tim DeChristopher Has Their Back
Public Herald


A bold move by a community Public Herald has been following for years – Grant Township – just made historic news [again] by legalizing civil disobedience. Last night [May 3], Grant Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania made a bit of history. The municipality passed a local law legalizing civil disobedience. According to the new law, anyone who commits a nonviolent act of civil disobedience in order to protect the community’s rights under its Home Rule Charter has the legal right to do so – but not only that – the law also prohibits “any private or public actor from bringing criminal charges or filing any civil or other criminal action against those participating in nonviolent direct action.”  [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Annals of the ‘Methane Age': Gas from Fracked Wells No Longer ‘Unconventional’
The New York Times
ANDREW C. REVKIN

The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration has posted a short update on trends in natural gas production in the United States that’s worth noting simply because it illustrates the profound nature of the energy transitions that are being propelled by the exploitation of shale deposits using hydraulic fracturing, known best as fracking, along with horizontal drilling. There are, of course a host of issues accompanying the dawn of what Cesare Marchetti and others, as far back as 1986, called “The Methane Age” (natural gas being primarily methane).   [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Oil Giants Would Be Worth More by Drilling Less in a Low-Carbon World, Analysts Say
Inside Climate News
Phil McKenna

Seven major oil and gas companies could increase their collective value by roughly $100 billion if they bring their future investments in oil and gas fields in line with plans to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new assessment. Investors "may be surprised at just how much value can be created by oil and gas companies in a carbon-constrained scenario," said the report, published Wednesday by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank based in London. At current oil prices, the group estimated that the portfolio of the combined majors' oil and gas projects would be worth about $140 billion more if they left enough fuels in the ground to keep the world within the carbon budget for 2 degrees. Even if oil prices rebounded to $100 per barrel, sticking to the 2-degree target would produce $55 billion higher valuations than a business-as-usual approach.  [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Drilling company details safety protocols for Upper Burrell residents
TribLive
Liz Hayes

Amid an ongoing debate in Upper Burrell over the safest distance between homes and natural gas wells, a drilling company detailed to residents its safety protocols. Mike Hillebrand of Murrysville, Huntley & Huntley's chief operating officer, spoke for nearly two hours Wednesday night on the process and equipment used by the Monroeville-based drilling company to tap natural gas in deep shale formations.   [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Columnist bemoans the anti-climate change energy bill
Post Independent
Randy Fricke

Congress will soon send a new energy bill to President Obama. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced on April 20 the 85-12 passage of the Senate’s bill, the “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016.” Even though the bill contains provisions to boost renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal, it is largely designed to push America to energy independence through oil and natural gas production.   [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
New Analysis: In 2015, Oil and Gas Companies Reported Four Spills a Day in New Mexico
KRWG


Commentary: Oil and gas companies in New Mexico were responsible for 1,477 reported oil, gas, and other chemical spills in 2015, according to the New Mexico Toxic Release Tracker released today by the Center for Western Priorities. The new analysis, which summarizes public spills data from theNew Mexico Oil Conservation Division, finds that oil and gas companies reported an average of four spills per day in 2015.   [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Offshore Seismic Blasting Remains A Serious Concern
The Dispatch


OCEAN CITY — While the Obama administration announced in March it was abandoning plans to open a vast swath of ocean off the mid-Atlantic coast as close as 20 miles from the resort for offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, the threat of seismic air gun blasting to find those very reserves remains a real threat.  [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Newfield buys 42,000 acres in Oklahoma from Chesapeake
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

From a press release today: Newfield to acquire an additional 42,000 net acres in STACK Post transaction, Newfield to have more than 350,000 net acres in core STACK and SCOOP THE WOODLANDS, Texas, May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Newfield Exploration Company (NYSE: NFX) today signed a definitive purchase and sale agreement with a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) to acquire approximately 42,000 net acres in the Anadarko Basin STACK play for $470 million. The transaction will have an effective date of April 1, 2016 and closing is subject to customary adjustments. Newfield expects to fund the transaction with cash on hand and closing is planned for the second quarter of 2016.   [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Is Fracking For Gas Dirty Enough For A Coal Resurgence?
Forbes
James Conca

Coal and natural gas together produce two-thirds of our electricity, almost equally split between them. Nuclear produces 19%, hydro produces 7%, and renewables about 7%. Oil produces even more energy than either coal or gas, but it is used almost entirely for transportation. So if coal is still producing a third of our electricity, why is the coal industry going bankrupt? Sure, coal used to produce about 50% of our electricity just ten years ago, but 33% is still the largest share of this market, tied with natural gas.  [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Groups Sue EPA Demanding Stricter Fracking Waste Rules
EcoWatch
NRDC

A coalition of community and environmental organizations filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wednesday calling for regulations to stop oil and gas companies from disposing and handling drilling and fracking wastes in ways that threaten public health and the environment.   [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Should Florida ‘frack’ its limestone for oil and gas? Two geophysicists weigh in
Raw Story
Robert McNamara

Florida is on the front lines of a debate over the spread of the controversial drilling technique hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which raises a crucial question: are the state’s unique geology and hydrology safe for expanded oil and gas drilling?   [Full Story]

May 5, 2016
Letter: Cuomo counsel declares energy company off-limits
Times Union
Casey Seiler

Letter: Cuomo counsel declares energy company off-limits By Casey Seiler, Capitol bureau chief on May 5, 2016 at 3:45 PM 20 In response to Thursday’s news conference by opponents of the Competitive Power Ventures’ natural-gas-fueled plant in Orange County, the Cuomo administration released a letter sent Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Counsel Alphonso David to the leaders of the New York Power Authority, the chair of the state Public Service Commission and the commissioners of the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The message of the letter, boiled down: Until further notice, New York State is not doing business with CPV. The company has been connected to salary paid to the wife of Cuomo’s former executive deputy secretary, Joe Percoco. It has said it is cooperating with the investigation by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara.  [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
New hydraulic fracturing regulations blocked by Wyoming Judge
The Branding Iron
Alexx Sanchez

New regulations for hydraulic fracking implemented by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management have been blocked by a U.S. District Judge from Wyoming. According to the case file, a preliminary injunction was ordered last year by U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl. It was ordered after the BLM issued its final version of its regulations applying to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Native American lands. The regulations would focus on three aspects related to fracking including, wellbore construction, chemical disclosures and water management. The court case states in order for the petitioners to obtain a preliminary injunction, they must show “a likelihood of success on the merits, that they will likely suffer irreparable harm, that the balance of equities tips in their favor and that the injunction is in the public interest.” In this particular case, the petitioners are the states of Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and Utah, along with the Ute Indian Tribe.  [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Cost estimate of Los Angeles-area gas leak hits $665 million
Washington Post
Brian Melley

LOS ANGELES — The estimated cost of a massive gas well blowout that spewed methane uncontrollably for nearly four months and uprooted 8,000 Los Angeles families has more than doubled to $665 million, Sempra Energy announced Wednesday.   [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
EQT announces intent to expand natural gas exploration in North Central West Virginia
MetroNews


PITTSBURGH, Pa. — An energy company has made an agreement to acquire land in West Virginia to expand its natural gas exploration.   [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
PA House panel torches natural gas rules
The Morning Call
Laura Legere

HARRISBURG — A House committee moved to block updated state rules for oil and gas operations, with opponents of the regulations saying the process of drafting the updates was so flawed that it has to be restarted.   [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Environmental groups sue EPA, seek stricter rules over fracking waste linked to earthquakes
The Washington Post
Brady Dennis

A collection of environmental advocacy groups on Wednesday sued the Environmental Protection Agency, saying the government has failed to adequately regulate the disposal of waste generated by oil and gas drilling. In particular, the lawsuit seeks to force the agency to impose stricter rules on the disposal of wastewater, including that from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The wastewater is typically pumped into underground wells — a practice that has been linked to a growing number of earthquakes in Oklahoma, Colorado, Ohio and other states. The groups argue that the EPA has neglected to revise its existing rules for nearly three decades, despite acknowledging in the late 1980s that stricter requirements were needed for the handling of oil and gas drilling waste.   [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Foundations poured, but Cuomo says plant in probe still needs approvals
PoliticoNewYork
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a power plant that is at the center of a federal corruption probe still needs more approvals from the state, even though construction crews are now pouring its foundation. Competitive Power Ventures already is at work on a proposed $1 billion 650-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Wawayanda, Orange County. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is looking into ties between the plant and Cuomo administration figures. The governor's office has now cut off contact with CPV.  [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Groups Sue EPA Over Dangerous Drilling and Fracking Waste
EARTHWORKS
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of community and environmental organizations filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today calling for regulations to stop oil and gas companies from disposing and handling drilling and fracking wastes in ways that threaten public health and the environment. The organizations are pushing EPA to issue rules that address problems including the disposal of fracking wastewater in underground injection wells, which accept hundreds of millions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater and have been linked to numerous earthquakes in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas.  [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Greens sue EPA over fracking waste
The Hill
Timothy Cama

Environmental groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to try to compel better regulation of waste fluids from hydraulic fracturing. The groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Integrity Project, said regulations are about 30 years overdue to address potential groundwater contamination, earthquakes and other problems associated with fracking waste.   [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Climate change is corroding our values, says Naomi Klein
The Guardian
John Vidal

Climate change is spawning injustice, racism, intolerance and wars, according to author and political activist Naomi Klein. “It is not about things getting hotter and wetter but things getting meaner and uglier, unless we change the corrosive values that are pitting people against each other,” she said in a lecture held in memory of Palestinian literary critic and political activist Edward Said at the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre on Wednesday. “Fossil fuels, which are the principal driver of climate change, require the sacrifice of whole regions and people. Sacrificial zones like the Niger delta and the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, dot the world.  [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Petition to put anti-fracking measure on ballot delivered to Elections Department
Montere Herald
James Herrera

Salinas >> The group Protect Monterey County delivered 16,108 signatures Wednesday to the Monterey County Elections Department in support of putting an initiative on the November ballot to ban fracking and dangerous oil production practices in the county.   [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Possible Flaw In Weld Coating Cited In Salem Twp. Pipeline Blast
CBS Pittsburgh


SALEM TOWNSHIP (KDKA/AP) — Investigators have found evidence of corrosion on a natural gas pipeline that exploded in a massive fireball in Westmoreland County last week, scorching trees a quarter-mile away, damaging homes and burning a fleeing homeowner, the federal pipeline safety agency said Wednesday. The cause of Friday’s blast remains unknown, but the corrosion indicates a “possible flaw” in the coating material applied to a pair of welded joints, one at the point of failure and another excavated after the explosion, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said in a corrective order issued to the pipeline operator.  [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Filmmaker, citizens group challenge National Fuel’s proposed pipeline project
Buffalo News
T J Pignataro

Josh Fox traveled the world seeking answers about climate change for his new documentary. Fox ground his way through jungles in Peru and Ecuador, rode a homemade pontoon boat by South Pacific islands, interviewed asthmatic children in the smog of hyper-industrialized Beijing and waded through Superstorm Sandy’s rubble on Rockaway Beach.   [Full Story]

May 4, 2016
Pipeline owner told to correct issues after blast
Pittsburgh Business Times
Paul J. Gough

The federal agency that regulates pipelines on Wednesday ordered the owner of the line that blew up and caught fire last Friday in Salem Township to take corrective action to ensure safety.   [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Group urges Cuomo to halt CPV project Protect Orange County also wants feds to expand investigation
Times Herald Record
James Nani

WAWAYANDA — Opponents of a $900 million natural-gas fired energy plant want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to yank its state permits and order work to be halted in light of an ongoing federal probe targeting Cuomo's former aides and their alleged ties to the company. The group, called Protect Orange County, has also called on U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to expand his office's probe into the process that approved Competitive Power Ventures' plant, which is being built off Route 6. Opponents argue the power plant will have health and safety impacts on local residents and that the Town of Wawayanda should not have led the environmental review. "We urge U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to cast as wide a net as possible and scrutinize every approval issued and every decision maker involved at every layer of government," the group said in a news release.   [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Group to Submit Petitions for Anti-Fracking Initiative to Monterey County Elections Office
Indy Bay


Relying on the power of over 250 volunteers, the grassroots group, Protect Monterey County, has collected over 15,000 signatures for their initiative, Protect Our Water: Ban Fracking and Limit Risky Oil Operations. This is more than double the number of signatures required to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot (7,391 signatures). No paid signature gatherers were employed in this seven week effort. This historic petition drive has engaged more volunteers than any other countywide initiative in recent memory. Photo: Luana of Protect Monterey County stacking petitions.   [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Bloomberg Law: Colorado Fracking Bans Thrown Out (Audio)
Bloomberg Law


Charles Warren, a partner at Kramer, Levin, Naftalis and Frankel, and Stpehen Miller, a professor at the University of Idaho College of Law, discuss a Colorado Supreme Court decision, which ruled that some municipalities’ bans on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, were "invalid and unenforceable." The decisions in uphold lower court rulings and are a blow to cities along Colorado’s shale-rich Front Range, which have sought to limit fracking for environmental and safety reasons over the last few years. They speak with Bloomberg Law host June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s "Bloomberg Law."  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Fossil Fuels on Federal Lands: Phase-Out Needed for Climate Goals, Study Says
Inside Climate News
John H. Cushman, Jr.

Ending federal leasing program could reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide by 100 million tons, researchers find. Phasing out fossil fuel leases on public lands would be one of the most significant new policies the United States could adopt to help meet international climate goals, according to a new report.   [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
NY denial 'potentially fatal' for Constitution gas line, analyst says
SNL
Sean Sullivan

New York's refusal to issue a key water permit for Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC could signal the end for the proposed interstate natural gas pipeline, according to an energy analyst who follows such projects. "From our perspective, Constitution is significant because it's such a rare thing for a pipeline to be denied a water quality certification," Rob Rains, an analyst with the policy and financial research firm Washington Analysis LLC, said in a recent interview. "This is potentially fatal for the project." Rains observed that the Constitution developers can appeal the decision, as they have indicated they will, but "that is probably a fruitless effort." Even if the developers are successful, the federal appeals court would likely send the case back for a second determination by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Rains said he does not see the agency changing its finding. He noted that in the April 22 decision denying a Clean Water Act Section 401 certificate for the 124-mile pipeline project, the agency did not appear to want to help Constitution strengthen its application.   [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
NIEHS helps write landmark report on climate change and human health
NIH
Press Release

A first of its kind report, “ The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment,” was unveiled April 4 at the White House, and NIEHS played a vital role in its development. John Balbus, M.D., NIEHS senior advisor for public health, represented the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one of 16 lead authors, contributing to the introduction and the chapter on populations of concern. He joined several other authors in a panel discussion at the White House event. Health impacts numerous and varied “The health impacts of climate change are numerous and touch on almost all aspects of public health,” said Balbus (see sidebar). “This report makes it clear that we need to do a better job of identifying those impacts and incorporating them into the mainstream of public health.”  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
To Increase Use of Renewables, Owners Need to Understand Energy Use in Their Buildings
NY Times
Andrew Chen

Renewable energy is undoubtedly our future, but getting there isn’t as easy as flicking a light switch. One big impediment is that building owners often don’t know just how much energy and water is consumed in their buildings, how much should be consumed, and how much is wasted. Most building owners and managers pay their utility bills as a matter of routine, with little understanding of how much energy is being used and why. Absent such an understanding, they fail to see how making different energy choices will be relevant to them. But these building owners are a critical population to persuade in the shift toward renewables. About 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption last year came from residential and commercial buildings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Shifting to renewable energies like solar and wind requires a willingness to do business differently. And the first step to embrace these new energy sources is to have a clear understanding of how energy is currently used and identify those buildings where efficiency upgrades and investments in renewables can generate the highest returns.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
What’s Holding Back Renewable Energy?
NY Times
Opinion

Oxford researchers recently predicted precipitous growth in green energy over the next 10 to 15 years, decreasing global need for fossil fuels. Yet, the largest renewable energy company in the world, SunEdison, just filed for bankruptcy on the heels of the fall of another clean energy giant, Abengoa. Is the renewable energy sector in trouble? What is holding back more immediate success in the industry?  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Subsidies in the Wrong Places Skew Renewable Energy’s Power
NY Times
Joseph Aldy

Renewable power has experienced tremendous growth: Wind and solar’s share of total U.S. power generation increased to 5 percent in 2015 from less than 0.5 percent in 2005. This growth reflects both innovation driving down costs and an array of subsidies, including tax credits and grants (about 30 percent of investment costs), accelerated depreciation (15 percent of investment costs), loan guarantees (7 percent of investment costs), and state renewable power mandates, which create valuable credits – worth as much as 50 cents per kilowatt hour for solar in Massachusetts and New Jersey – that complement the revenue stream from power sales. Continued investment in renewable power, however, must confront investment challenges in the power sector. Innovation has driven lower costs for wind, solar and their competitors. The fracking revolution has drastically lowered the cost of U.S. natural gas, with the price of natural gas delivered to the power sector in 2015 equal to one-third the price in 2008. As the costs of producing power have fallen, so has the demand for electricity. Since 2010, the U.S. economy has grown 11 percent, but electricity consumption has fallen by 1 percent in part because of subsidies and standards targeting energy efficiency. The absence of a growing power market reduces the need for utilities to invest in new power generation. In some parts of the country, the costs of new wind and solar may appear competitive with new coal or natural gas facilities, but new renewable investment effectively competes with existing, lower-cost power plants.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
House committee votes to block updated drilling rules
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Laura Legere

HARRISBURG — A House committee moved to block updated state rules for oil and gas operations today, with opponents of the regulations saying the process of drafting the updates was so flawed that it has to be restarted. The House Environmental Resources and Energy committee voted largely along party lines, with three Democrats from the southwest joining the Republican majority, to advance a resolution that would bar the diverse package of updates from taking effect. State environmental regulators have been developing the revised rules for both Marcellus Shale and conventional oil and gas operations for five years, including two phases of public review. The state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted on April 21 that the proposed rules are in the public interest, but the state’s regulatory process allows legislators to try to override that endorsement. The committee’s resolution says the proposed regulations violate laws that require separate treatment and special consideration for the small businesses that operate traditional, shallow oil and gas wells compared to large-scale shale operations.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Offshore drilling regulator warns of bolt failures in Gulf of Mexico
Fuel Fix
James Osborne

The federal government’s top offshore drilling regulator warned Tuesday that metal bolts used to hold together drilling equipment under the surface of the ocean were failing faster than anticipated. Brian Salerno, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said so far the failures had not resulted in any major oil leaks or other incidents but the rapid corrosion concerned inspectors. “They’re very simple and design and concept but they’re critical,” he said during a press conference at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. “If a vital connection point fails, the entire system is compromised.”  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
House panel votes to block drilling regulations
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

For the second time in less than a month, a House committee has voted to block tougher regulations aimed at Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry. It’s the latest move in the ongoing battle over the rules between the Republican-led legislature and Governor Tom Wolf’s Democratic administration. The state Department of Environmental Protection has been working to modernize the regulations for five years. Last month, a state commission gave its approval. On Tuesday the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee voted to disapprove of the regulations. Rep. John Maher (R- Allegheny) chairs the committee, and says he has had trouble getting the Wolf administration to listen to his concerns, which include everything from correcting typos in the text of the regulations to questions about the legality of DEP’s procedure.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Significant contamination at 3,900 fracking spill sites in North Dakota alone
treehugger
Sami Grover

There's no doubt that fracking has provided a boost to the North Dakota economy in recent years, but at what cost? New research from Duke University scientists has mapped 3,900 fracking spill sites in North Dakota, analyzing both water and soil around these locations and finding significant, persistent pollution levels that could have serious implications for human and environmental health alike. Researchers found high levels of ammonium, selenium, lead and other toxic contaminants as well as high salt levels and radium, a naturally occurring radioactive element. And the problem appears to be persistent—pollutant levels regularly exceeded federal safety limits for safe drinking water or aquatic health, and at one site at least, the researchers were still able to detect high levels of contaminants in spill water four years after the spill occurred. This problem is apparently exacerbated by the fact that, unlike oil, many of the inorganic chemicals found in the wastewater are resistant to biodegradation, creating a long-term legacy of contamination.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Colorado’s battle over regulating fracking shifts to ballot
Seattle Times
Dan Elliot AP

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s battle over who should regulate fracking — and how much — now shifts to the November election after the state Supreme Court overturned attempts by local governments to impose their own rules. The court ruled Monday that a ban on fracking in Longmont and a five-year moratorium in Fort Collins are invalid because they conflict with state law. State officials and the industry argued the state has the primary authority to regulate energy, not local governments. It wasn’t the end of the debate, however. Coloradans face a loud and fierce campaign over fracking this fall if activists succeed in getting any constitutional amendments on the ballot to restrict oil and gas drilling or give local governments the authority to do so.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
How Fracking Funds the Radical Right
The New Republic
AUDREA LIM

Harold Hamm, as Gary Sernovitz describes him in The Green and the Black, is a quintessential rags-to-riches American success story. The “shack-raised Hamm ‘talked like a hick’” and also repaired cars and pumped gas before becoming an Oklahoma oilman, with decades of successes and failures that amounted to a fairly unextraordinary career. Then horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—“fracking”—technology arrived. This could unlock the vast oil and gas reserves throughout America that were trapped beneath impermeable shale rocks—in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Permian, and Marcellus regions—and that had long ago been written off by industry as inaccessible, second-rate. In fact, by the twenty-first century, all the onshore reserves in the lower 48 were thought to be near tapped out. But within less than a decade, the “shale revolution”—or fracking boom—transformed the U.S. into the world’s leading producer of oil and gas.   [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Fed Survey Finds Banks Tightening Lending to Energy Firms
Bloomberg BNA
Jeff Bater

May 2 — Banks are tightening lending policies on companies in the energy sector and restructuring loans, the Federal Reserve found in a survey released May 2. In its quarterly report on bank lending practices, the Fed included responses by lenders to special questions about credit to firms in the oil and natural gas drilling or extraction sector. Regulators are closely watching banks' exposure to falling oil prices . Most U.S. banks that made loans to energy firms indicated that such lending accounts for less than 5 percent of their outstanding commercial and industrial (C&I) loans, according to the Fed's April 2016 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
New York State Refuses Permit for Constitution Pipeline in Major Victory for Anti-Fracking Organizers
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

In a striking victory for grassroots environmental and community groups, New York state's Department of Environmental Conservation announced on April 22 that it had denied a key permit for a pipeline that would have carried fracked gas from Pennsylvania to planned natural gas export facilities in New York state. The Constitution Pipeline, planned to stretch 125 feet wide and 124 miles long starting near Dimock, PA and crossing over 275 streams and waterways, would have required the cutting of as many as 700,000 trees in Pennsylvania and New York, part of a build-out project estimated to cost investors as much as $1 billion. But in recent months, the project faced escalating opposition, not only from larger environmental nonprofits, but also from a coalition of local landowners and activists who adopted tactics ranging from collecting over 15,000 public comments for New York state's review of the project to civil disobedience at federal hearings.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
NYS Residents Demand Halting Spectra Energy’s AIM Gas Pipeline Construction After Spectra’s Massive Explosion
Yonkers Tribune
SUZANNAH GLIDDEN

NORTH SALEM, NY — May 3, 2016 — Frightened New York residents reacted to Spectra Energy’s massive methane gas explosion April 29, 2016, on its nearby Texas Eastern pipeline in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, by calling on Governor Cuomo and President Obama to immediately halt construction of Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline and complete the NYS risk assessment.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Exxon ‘Knew Earlier, They Knew With Certainty and They Knew Globally’
FAIR


Janine Jackson: One hundred and seventy-four countries and the European Union signed a multilateral deal on climate change recently at UN headquarters in New York. We’re told that’s the largest number of first-day signatures ever to an international agreement. The Paris Agreement set several long-term climate goals, including holding average temperatures below a two-degree Celsius rise from pre-industrial levels. At the same time, David Powell of the New Economics Foundation notes that BP’s annual energy outlook confidently predicts fossil fuels will account for 80 percent of global energy usage in 2035. Powell’s conclusion is that given the speed and depth of the shift required, political will on climate is a prerequisite, and the fossil-fuel industry is banking on politicians not having the chutzpah to do what it takes to keep it in the ground.  [Full Story]

May 3, 2016
Pavillion fracking study seeps into court battle
WyoFile
Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E reporter

A controversial new study on water contamination from oil and gas development has made its way to a high-stakes legal battle over hydraulic fracturing. The question now is whether the court should consider it. The research, released last month, ties water pollution to oil and gas activity in Pavillion, Wyo. — the site of a yearslong investigation that was abandoned by U.S. EPA in 2013. A former EPA scientist now at Stanford University followed up on the agency’s work and determined that water wells in the small town were likely contaminated with fracking wastes stored in unlined pits (ClimateWire, April 4).   [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Half of leading investors ignoring climate change: study
Reuters
Aly Song

Almost half of the world's top 500 investors are doing nothing to address climate change through their investments, a study showed on Monday. A report by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), a not-for-profit organization aimed at improving the management of climate change, found that just under a fifth of the top investors - or 97 managing a total of $9.4 trillion in assets - were taking tangible steps to mitigate global warming   [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Hilcorp Energy responds responsibly to 5 quakes
Vindy.com


The Greater Youngstown area certainly is no stranger to adversity tied to hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas. Who, after all, could ever forget the rocking New Year’s Eve in 2011 when Youngstown and its environs were jolted by the most powerful of a series of 12 earthquakes that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources later attributed to injection-well operations at D&L Energy?   [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
EIA produces new maps of the Utica Shale play
Your Oil and Gas News


The U.S. Energy Information Administration has produced new maps that show the structure, thickness, and geologic setting of the Utica Shale play and the location of production wells. Production of oil and natural gas from the Utica play has increased since 2011, with more than 1,700 wells drilled as of January 2016. The Utica play includes both the Utica formation and the deeper Point Pleasant formation, each with its own characteristics.   [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
NELSON JOINS OTHER SENATORS IN CALLING FOR SEISMIC TESTING TO END
WMFE
Amy Green

Bill Nelson is among more than a dozen U.S. senators calling on President Barack Obama to stop oil and natural gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. The central Florida democrat and other senators are speaking out against seismic testing.   [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Colorado Supreme Court strikes down local fracking bans
Fox News
Associated Press

The Colorado Supreme Court struck down attempts by two cities to ban or delay fracking on Monday, a major victory for the oil and gas industry. ADVERTISEMENT The court ruled that a ban on fracking in Longmont and a five-year moratorium in Fort Collins are invalid because they conflict with state law. State officials and the industry argued the state has the primary authority to regulate energy, not local governments.  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
How Fracking Funds the Radical Right The same fracking bosses are the heroes of one book and the villains of another.
New Republic
Audrea Lim

Harold Hamm, as Gary Sernovitz describes him in The Green and the Black, is a quintessential rags-to-riches American success story. The “shack-raised Hamm ‘talked like a hick’” and also repaired cars and pumped gas before becoming an Oklahoma oilman, with decades of successes and failures that amounted to a fairly unextraordinary career. Then horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—“fracking”—technology arrived. This could unlock the vast oil and gas reserves throughout America that were trapped beneath impermeable shale rocks—in the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Permian, and Marcellus regions—and that had long ago been written off by industry as inaccessible, second-rate. In fact, by the twenty-first century, all the onshore reserves in the lower 48 were thought to be near tapped out. But within less than a decade, the “shale revolution”—or fracking boom—transformed the U.S. into the world’s leading producer of oil and gas.   [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
LAW: Wyo. pollution study seeps into fracking rule battle
E & E Publishing
Ellen M. Gilmer

A controversial new study on water contamination from oil and gas development has made its way to a high-stakes legal battle over hydraulic fracturing. The question now is whether the court should consider it. The research, released last month, ties water pollution to oil and gas activity in Pavillion, Wyo. -- the site of a yearslong investigation that was abandoned by U.S. EPA in 2013.  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Fracking foes won’t let go in Denton
Watchdog
Mark Lisheron

The moment of reckoning has come at different times for the people of Denton, Texas, as they wait in fear for the outcome of an election May 7.   [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Energy report finds more people oppose fracking
Lancashire Evening Post


NTI-fracking campaigners have hailed a Government report which they say shows public support for fracking has fallen. Residents say that the latest in a series of wide-ranging reports on energy by the Department of Energy and Climate Change shows 19 per cent of people support shale gas energy, with 31 per cent opposing fracking outright. They say it is the highest level of opposition yet since the Government starting surveying public opinions on energy in its Public Attitudes Tracker in 2012.  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Local anti-fracking movement continues to grow
Athens News
Bob Sheak

The local people and groups who continue to oppose fracking and injection wells have had mixed success against powerful fossil-fuel interests, federal and state government that are gung-ho about the expansion of fracking wherever there is natural gas.   [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
A Setback in Longmont Will Only Lead to More Victories We must keep up the pressure on decision-makers to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Food & Water Watch
Wenonah Hauter

Colorado’s high court today struck down the rights of Coloradans to enact local fracking bans. It’s no surprise, given the massive sway of the oil and gas industry in the state. The suit was brought against Longmont (which passed a popular fracking ban in 2012) by Governor John Hickenlooper and his industry cronies. While it’s easy to be discouraged by this decision, the fact is, it will help activate citizens to pass statewide ballot measures to ban fracking in November. And let’s not forget: the movement to stop fossil fuel development just keeps winning.  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
SUBPOENAS SENT TO GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO'S OFFICE IN HOPES OF STOPPING CONSTRUCTION OF GAS PLANT
ABC News
Dave Evans

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Construction on the CPV Power Plant in Orange County is well underway, but on Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered his staff to have no connection with the company, because of the possibility of improper lobbying, and undisclosed conflicts of interest. On Friday, sources told Eyewitness News one of the governor's closest friends and top assistance, Joe Percoco, who is now with MSG, is being investigated by Federal prosecutors and the FBI. 'Protect Orange County' has fought the plant for years.  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Power company at center of probe backed Cuomo, sought contract
PoliticoNewYork
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — The company that proposed a power plant now at the center of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s probe of the Cuomo administration has received a series of beneficial state approvals in recent years and was a generous donor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Competitive Power Ventures is now at work on a proposed $1 billion natural gas-fired power plant in Wawayanda, Orange County. As a result of Bharara’s probe, the administration has cut off contact with CPV, the Daily News has reported. Bharara is examining whether top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco received tens of thousands of dollars from CPV, the Wall Street Journal reported. Todd Howe, a lobbyist close to Cuomo who is also at the center of the investigation, has done work for CPV.  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Halliburton and Baker Hughes scrap $28 billion merger
Reuters
Mike Stone

Oilfield services provider Halliburton Co (HAL.N) and smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N) announced the termination of their $28 billion merger deal on Sunday after opposition from U.S. and European antitrust regulators. The tie-up would have brought together the world's No. 2 and No. 3 oil services companies, raising concerns it would result in higher prices in the sector. It is the latest example of a large merger deal failing to make it to the finish line because of antitrust hurdles. "Challenges in obtaining remaining regulatory approvals and general industry conditions that severely damaged deal economics led to the conclusion that termination is the best course of action," said Dave Lesar, chief executive of Halliburton.  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Leaked TTIP documents cast doubt on EU-US trade deal
The Guardian
Arthur Neslen

Talks for a free trade deal between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with “irreconcilable” differences in some areas, according to leaked negotiating texts. The two sides are also at odds over US demands that would require the EU to break promises it has made on environmental protection. President Obama said last week he was confident a deal could be reached. But the leaked negotiating drafts and internal positions, which were obtained by Greenpeace and seen by the Guardian, paint a very different picture.  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Colorado Supreme Court Rules Against Cities' Fracking Limits
Colorado Public Radio
GRACE HOOD

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday struck down two cities' limits on fracking. The industry group Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) challenged the cities of Longmont and Fort Collins after voters passed rules suspending or outlawing that method of extracting natural gas and oil. In two separate rulings on Monday, the Supreme Court called the cities' limits "invalid and unenforceable" because state law trumps the local ordinances. - See more at: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/colorado-supreme-court-rules-against-cities-fracking-limits#sthash.CWozfaAa.dpuf  [Full Story]

May 2, 2016
Colorado Supreme Court Upholds State Power, Says Cities Can’t Impose Fracking Bans
EcoWatch
Earthworks

Today, the Colorado Supreme Court struck down the rights of Coloradans to protect their health, safety and wellbeing from fracking through the use of local bans. The justices denied residents their “right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness” as outlined in the Colorado Constitution, by determining that oil and gas development is pre-empted by the state.   [Full Story]

May 1, 2016
Nadia Steinzor: Air pollution from gas drilling requires action in Pennsylvania
Times Leader
Nadia Steinzor-Columnist

With summer around the corner, it’s time to start getting outdoors. Key to enjoying the season is clean air – knowing that when you walk, play or work in the garden and yard, the breaths you take won’t harm your health. Many Pennsylvanians live without this assurance – and not just in cities or industrial centers anymore. State data show increasing levels of pollution from natural gas wells, storage equipment, compressor stations and processing plants.   [Full Story]

May 1, 2016
Pennsylvania probes possible link between earthquakes, fracking
Eagle Ford Texas
Michael Rubinkam

Pennsylvania environmental regulators want to determine whether a series of minor earthquakes in the state this week were caused by nearby fracking operations by an oil and gas company. Five tiny temblors, all too weak to be felt by humans, took place in a 22-hour span in Lawrence County, about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh and three-quarters of a mile from a natural gas well owned by Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co. No damage was reported.   [Full Story]

May 1, 2016
Baaken, Eagle Ford fracking leading to surge in dangerous gas - study
Seeking Alpha
Eli Hoffmann

A new study finds that fracking of U.S. shale fields is causing a global surge in ethane emissions. Ethane is known to contribute to global warming and dangerous air pollution.  [Full Story]

May 1, 2016
DEP investigates 5 quakes, 1 close to Lowellville
Vindy.com
Kalea Hall

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is investigating five micro earthquakes in Lawrence County that occurred last Monday.   [Full Story]

May 1, 2016
An artifact of Marcellus drilling's disruptive glory days
Philly.com
Andrew Maykuth

JERSEY SHORE, Pa. - Blake and Gerlinde Trimble lived for nearly 30 years in the Riverdale Mobile Home Park outside this curiously named borough. But four years after they were evicted to make way for the shale-gas boom, they hardly recognize the place.   [Full Story]

Apr 30, 2016
Regulators probing possible link between fracking and quakes
Newsplex


Pennsylvania environmental regulators want to determine whether a series of minor earthquakes in the state this week were caused by nearby fracking operations by an oil and gas company.   [Full Story]

Apr 30, 2016
Federal Prosecutors Investigate People Close to Governor Over Buffalo Project
The Wall Street Journal


The companies in question, these people said, are Competitive Power Ventures Holdings LLC and COR Development Co. LLC. A spokesman for CPV couldn’t be reached for comment Friday; a spokeswoman for COR didn’t provide a comment. Mr. Percoco’s work with CPV was related in particular to the company’s plans to build a power plant in the Hudson Valley, one person said, a matter that required layers of approvals from the state. Mr. Percoco earned tens of thousands of dollars from CPV as a consultant, this person said. CPV has announced plans to build a natural gas-powered electrical generating facility in the Lower Hudson Valley.  [Full Story]

Apr 30, 2016
Flooding sweeps oil, chemicals into rivers
El Paso Times
Marty Schladen

REGULATORS AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS DISAGREE OVER THE RISK FROM FLOOD-RELATED OIL AND CHEMICAL SPILLS IN TEXAS. AUSTIN — Scores of photographs taken by state emergency-management officials show that when floodwaters rise in Texas, they inundate oil wells and fracking sites, sweeping crude and noxious chemicals into rivers throughout the Lone Star State. Most recently, rainbow sheens and caramel plumes can be seen radiating from tipped tanks and flooded production pads during the March flood of the Sabine River, which forms much of the state’s boundary with Louisiana. Similar scenes are visible in photos from last year’s floods of the Trinity, Red, and Colorado rivers.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
Bakken oil field is causing a rise in air pollution, study says
Billings Gazette
MICHAEL BIESECKER and MATTHEW BROWN

WASHINGTON — An oil and natural gas field in the western United States is largely responsible for a global uptick of the air pollutant ethane, according to a new study. The team led by researchers at the University of Michigan found that fossil fuel production at the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and Montana is emitting roughly 2 percent of the ethane detected in the Earth's atmosphere. Along with its chemical cousin methane, ethane is a hydrocarbon that is a significant component of natural gas. Once in the atmosphere, ethane reacts with sunlight to form ozone, which can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problems, especially in children and the elderly. Ethane pollution can also harm agricultural crops. Ozone also ranks as the third-largest contributor to human-caused global warming after carbon dioxide and methane.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
State studying link between fracking, Lawrence County earthquakes
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura Legere

The U.S. Geological Survey says five minor earthquakes originated in an area just west of New Castle in a 22-hour period on Monday, all small tremors between magnitude 1.7 and 1.9, which is below what humans can feel. The timing and proximity of the Lawrence County earthquakes — originally the geological survey had identified just two — suggest a link to a nearby natural gas fracking operation, but seismologists were being cautious Thursday, saying it is too early to tell definitively if fracking triggered the quakes.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
Economic Gravity in the Oil Industry: What Goes Up Comes Down
The New York Times
Paul Sullivan

IT’S not rocket science. What shoots up quickly usually comes back to earth. But a lot of people who hold leases to drill for oil on their land forgot that. Clarke and Sally Keeshan, whose income from leases on their Texas ranches fell by 60 percent in the last two years, are an exception. So is John Baen, a college professor who moonlights as a negotiator of drilling leases. When oil prices were at their peak, he said, the 150 wells that were on his land or land where he had negotiated the prices were bringing in about $100,000 a month. Now, he said, the amount has fallen by 80 to 90 percent.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
Man burned in Salem Twp. gas line explosion; homes, businesses evacuated
Tribune-Review


Federal and state authorities are investigating the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion in Salem Township Friday morning that seriously burned a nearby resident, destroyed one home and damaged others, and prompted a half-mile evacuation zone. The explosion and fire were in a 36-inch natural gas pipeline operated by Texas Eastern Transmission near the intersection of routes 22 and 819, said John Poister, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection. The explosion was reported at 8:17 a.m. Texas Eastern workers were able to shut off gas feeding the fire about an hour later, Poister said.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
Pennsylvania Probes Possible Link Between Quakes,
ABC News
Michael Rubinkam

Pennsylvania environmental regulators want to determine whether a series of minor earthquakes in the state this week were caused by nearby fracking operations by an oil and gas company. Five tiny temblors, all too weak to be felt by humans, took place in a 22-hour span in Lawrence County, about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh and three-quarters of a mile from a natural gas well owned by Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co. No damage was reported. Hydraulic fracking, a method to extract gas or oil from underground shale, has been tied to earthquakes in neighboring Ohio and other states, but never in Pennsylvania, the nation's No. 2 natural gas-producing state.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
How 10 Years of Fracking Has Been a Disaster for Our Water, Land and Climate
Huffington Post
Margie Alt

In the last decade, the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—the process known as ‘fracking’—has unlocked vast reserves of shale gas across the country, and unleashed a torrent of chemical pollution and environmental harm in its wake. Plenty of unknowns remain about the environmental impacts of fracking, due in large part to a lack of baseline testing before drilling began, and industry secrecy abetted by lack of sufficient government regulations. But what we do know, compiled in a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group, is cause for alarm. The study, Fracking By the Numbers, quantifies the environmental harm caused by more than 137,000 fracking wells permitted since 2005. Because it relies largely on industry-reported data, modest estimates of the average toll each well takes on the environment, and a patchwork of information from state and federal regulators, the report paints a conservative — but still frightening — picture of fracking’s devastation.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
'It was like looking into hell:' Natural gas explosion sparks large fire in Salem Township
WTAE Pittsburgh
Ashlie Hardway

SALEM TOWNSHIP, Pa. —A natural gas explosion sparked a fire with huge flames Friday in Salem Township, Westmoreland County, leaving one person badly burned, causing damage to nearby utilities and prompting evacuations in the immediate area.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
Pittsburgh's Action Weather RADAR picks up gas pipeline fire
WTAE Pittsburgh
Steve MacLaughlin

Video  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
BOMB TRAINS: The Scariest Thing You Didn’t Know About
Chicago Magazine
TED C. FISHMAN

They could not look more ominous. The long coal-black tubes announce themselves by their distinctive shape and color, their markings too small to read from the street. The 30,000-gallon tank cars roll, sometimes 100 at a time, in trains of up to one mile in length. Their cargo? Crude oil—as much as three million gallons per train. Nearly all of it is light sweet Bakken crude, a type that is particularly explosive. In whole, these trains constitute likely the biggest, heaviest, and longest combustibles to ever traverse America, and they do so routinely. More pass through Chicago than any other big metro area. Their blast potential has earned them a terrifying nickname: bomb trains.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
Spectra Gas Pipeline Explosion Cuts Flows to Eastern U.S.
Bloomberg
Tim Loh

An explosion and fire on a major Spectra Energy Corp. pipeline that crosses half the U.S. is disrupting natural gas shipments from western Pennsylvania to the Northeast. Crews shut off the gas feeding the flames, which burst out of Spectra’s 36-inch Texas Eastern pipeline in Salem Township at about 8:30 a.m., John Poister, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said in an e-mail. While repairs will start as soon as possible, it’s unclear when service will be restored, Spectra said in a notice. The company declared force majeure at midday, sending natural gas futures surging as much as 5.6 percent on the New York Mercantile Exchange on speculation that the outage will limit supplies to the Northeast.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
Supreme Court to rule on suits over local fracking regulations
Denver Business Journal
Cathy Proctor

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday will issue decisions in a pair of closely watched, hard-fought legal battles over whether local governments can ban fracking within their borders. In the two cases, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) sued the cities of Fort Collins and Longmont over voter-approved efforts to halt the use of hydraulic fracturing there.  [Full Story]

Apr 29, 2016
Fracking in the US causing global surge in dangerous gas, study finds
The Independent UK
Ian Johnston

Fracking of shale oil fields in the US is causing a global surge of a gas that causes climate change and creates dangerous air pollution, according to new research. Levels of ethane in the atmosphere had been falling since the 1980s, but in 2010 a sensor in Europe picked up a surprise increase.  [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Cracked walls, crumbling brickwork: The legacy of fracking in Oklahoma
CBC News
Terry Reith, Briar Stewart

When Jon Sinon left California in 2002 for a new life in Oklahoma he thought he was trading earthquakes for tornados. "Now I got both." he says. He purchased one of the historic brick buildings on the main street of Guthrie, Okla. and opened a shop on the main floor. After a succession of earthquakes there are gaping cracks in the brickwork, and a broken granite arch hangs perilously. There is also a crack through the building's granite nameplate "Oklahoma.?"  [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Public support for fracking falls yet again
Business Green


The latest round of DECC's Public Attitudes Tracker survey is here and as ever it reveals some intriguing shifts in the public's stance on a host of energy issues, with the most eye-catching development being yet another fall in public backing for fracking, taking support to its lowest point since at least 2012.   [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
DEP investigating 2 quakes near Pennsylvania fracking site
Bristol Herald Courier
Associated Press

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) — The state Department of Environmental Protection is investigation whether fracking contributed to two small earthquakes near a western Pennsylvania drilling operation.   [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Latest: Peer-reviewed study undermines fracking’s claims of safety Researchers in Pavillion, Wyoming, traced the chemical footprint of the drilling.
High Country News
Elizabeth Shogren

BACKSTORY In 2005, a Pavillion, Wyoming, landowner suspected that his drinking water well had been contaminated by nearby natural gas drilling. An Environmental Protection Agency investigation found chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing in the aquifer but couldn’t rule out other sources of the pollution, such as waste pits from past drilling (“Hydrofracked: One man’s quest for answers about natural gas drilling,” HCN, 6/27/11). In 2013, the EPA dropped its study following criticism from industry, regulators and congressional Republicans.   [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Emma Thompson in fracking-free bake-off
Energy Voice
Joanne Warnock

British actress Emma Thompson has joined forces with her sister to protest against fracking in England.  [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
State installing air monitors in drilling areas
The Times-Tribune
JON O'CONNELL

Years of community effort to improve air quality monitoring in areas surrounding natural gas operations is getting a big boost. The state Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday announced it is spending $1.56 million on 10 installations that will continually monitor fine particulate matter, or particles in the air about one-thirtieth the width of a human hair. DEP Secretary John Quigley called the new monitoring sites an “unprecedented expansion” of air quality monitoring prompted by ongoing community concerns in areas around natural gas development. Monitors are to be installed in Wyoming and Susquehanna counties, as well as Fayette, Indiana and Lycoming counties by the end of the year. The DEP also will install monitors in Clarion, Jefferson and McKean counties by fall 2017. Installations in Towanda Twp., Bradford County, and Holbrook Twp., Greene County, were completed in March.   [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
New Report Shows ‘Natural Gas Increasingly Becoming an Unnecessary Bridge to Nowhere’
EcoWatch


Setting a new lopsided quarterly record, renewable sources (i.e., wind, solar, biomass and hydropower) outpaced—in fact, swamped—natural gas by a factor of more than 70:1 for new electrical generating capacity placed in-service during the first three months of calendar year 2016.   [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Do fracking activities cause earthquakes? Seismologists and the state of Oklahoma say yes
CBC News
Terry Reith and Briar Stewart

In the heartland of Oklahoma sits a pretty town dotted with American flags and a quaint main street of century-old brick buildings. But in Guthrie, the devastating impact of oil-industry-induced earthquakes is being felt hard. Look closely and you see cracks in the historic buildings, where the old masonry is giving way to a shifting ground. Guthrie has seen a wave of earthquakes since hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — picked up in the area.  [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Pennsylvania investigates earthquakes near fracking operations
FuelFix
Associated Press

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — The state Department of Environmental Protection is investigating whether fracking contributed to two small earthquakes near a western Pennsylvania drilling operation. DEP spokeswoman Melanie Williams says Hilcorp Energy Co. stopped fracking at the Mahoning Township site at about noon Monday. That was about 12 hours after the U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude-1.9 earthquake and about 10 hours before another quake of the same size was recorded. A woman who answered the company’s phone in New Castle on Thursday referred The Associated Press to a spokesman at the company’s Houston headquarters who wasn’t immediately available.  [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Is It 1987 Yet? The Fracking Bust Keeps Rolling On
Forbes
Bill Gilmer

The 1982-87 oil bust is the industry standard for tough times. Complaints about falling oil prices and rig counts can always be countered with “At least it isn’t as bad as the 1980s.” But there is no question that times are very tough now. The last seven quarters have been a brutal setback for American oil, with the price of crude falling by $64 per barrel, the rig count down 70.2 percent and capital spending off by nearly 60 percent. This downward spiral showed no signs of slowing in the first quarter of this year, as the 698 rigs working at year’s end dropped by a third to 464 in late March. When the number of U.S. working rigs hit 488 on March 11, it set the low mark for the 67 years that Baker Hughes BHI +0.94% has conducted its weekly survey.  [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
UK support for fracking hits new low Just 19% of people back fracking while public support for renewables has surged to 81%, government poll shows
The Guardian
Adam Vaughan

Public support for fracking in the UK has fallen to a new low, according to government polling, at the same time as backing for renewable energy has hit a record high. The survey, which is repeated every few months, shows that public enthusiasm for the controversial energy extraction method has fallen steadily in the past two years while opposition to it has risen dramatically.   [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
State Investigating 2 Quakes Near Pennsylvania Fracking Site
CBS Pittsburgh


NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) – The state Department of Environmental Protection is investigating whether fracking contributed to two small earthquakes near a western Pennsylvania drilling operation.   [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Fracking debate: Environmentalists question independence of CSIRO researcher
ABC.net
Tom Maddocks & Xavier La Canna

Environmentalists in Central Australia have questioned the independence of the man leading CSIRO's research into fracking, as debate about the controversial topic starts to heat up ahead of the Northern Territory election in August.   [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Do fracking activities cause earthquakes? Seismologists and the state of Oklahoma say yes Earthquakes increasing in volume and intensity around fracking and waste disposal sites
CBC News
Terry Reith & Briar Stewart

In the heartland of Oklahoma sits a pretty town dotted with American flags and a quaint main street of century-old brick buildings. But in Guthrie, the devastating impact of oil-industry-induced earthquakes is being felt hard.  [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
SENECA GAS STORAGE: Pipeline rejection bodes ill for lake project
Press Connects
Tom Wilber

Nearly a year after a decision was expected, the Cuomo administration is remaining silent on the fate of a controversial plan to warehouse propane and natural gas in salt caverns under the shores of Seneca Lake. Yet the administration’s denial of other major shale gas projects — most recently the Constitution Pipeline — may speak volumes on whether Houston-based Crestwood Equity Partners LLC will get approval anytime soon.  [Full Story]

Apr 28, 2016
Green Activists Push Colorado To Consider Fracking Ban Photo of Andrew Follett
Daily Caller
Andrew Follett

Environmental activists in Colorado managed to get the state’s Senate to consider a pair of bills Wednesday that would make hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a lot harder to carry out in the state.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
10 Fracking Infrastructure Projects Canceled or Delayed in the Last 24 Months
EcoWatch
Ted Glick

Since April 2014, 10 fracking infrastructure projects have been canceled or delayed. Here’s the list:   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
TTIP: Chevron lobbied for controversial legal right as 'environmental deterrent'
The Guardian
Arthur Neslen

Chevron lobbied the EU to give foreign investors the legal right to challenge government decisions in a major US-EU trade deal because it would act as a deterrent against laws such as fracking bans, the Guardian can reveal. Environmentalists have long-warned that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’s (TTIP) investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) commercial courts risk a regulatory chill, with governments backing away from measures limiting fossil fuel extraction for fear of lawsuits. But this is the first time that a major oil firm has corroborated their fears.  [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Study indicates lingering saltwater contamination in oil patch
Bismarck Tribune
Lauren Donovan

A published and peer-reviewed Duke University study finds that thousands of saltwater and frack flowback spills throughout the oil patch have left a legacy of toxic contamination, including radioactive soils and polluted streams unsafe for human consumption and aquatic health.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Fracking Wastewater Treatment Technologies: Which Will Emerge as the Most Popular?
Environmental Leader
Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

While fracking has produced cheap natural gas in the US, it has also increased competition for water, which is in short supply across many parts of the country.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Mark Ruffalo to Obama: You’re Making a Huge Mistake on Fracking (Guest Column)
Yahoo News
Mark Ruffalo

While I have been a supporter of President Obama on his leadership in addressing climate change and other social issues, I have been gravely disappointed by his cheerleading for the oil and gas industry over his two terms in office. Unlike leaders such as Cuomo, who stood up to corporations to protect the health of Americans, Obama has wrongfully continued the toxic legacy of the Bush Administration’s energy policy, paving the way for fracking’s expansion.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Hilcorp halts fracking at Lawrence County shale site near earthquake
TribLive
David Conti & Tory N. Parrish

A natural gas company voluntarily halted fracking activity on a Marcellus shale well in Lawrence County this week while state officials investigate a minor, nearby earthquake.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Contamination in North Dakota linked to fracking spills Metals, salts and radioactivity in brine-laden wastewater years later
EurekAlert


DURHAM, N.C. -- Accidental wastewater spills from unconventional oil production in North Dakota have caused widespread water and soil contamination, a new Duke University study finds. Researchers found high levels of ammonium, selenium, lead and other toxic contaminants as well as high salts in the brine-laden wastewater, which primarily comes from hydraulically fractured oil wells in the Bakken region of western North Dakota.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Energy company shuts down fracking operation in Lawrence County
Vindy


NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A Houston-based energy company has stopped its fracking operation after a small earthquake occurred in Lawrence County Monday. Hilcorp Energy Co. stopped fracking at about noon Monday after a small earthquake hit in Mahoning Township, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection confirmed Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
10 Fracking Infrastructure Projects Canceled or Delayed in the Last 24 Months
EcoWatch
Ted Glick

Since April 2014, 10 fracking infrastructure projects have been canceled or delayed. Here’s the list: April 2014: The Bluegrass Pipeline in Kentucky was stopped by a court decision upholding landowners’ rights against the use of eminent domain to take their land for private profit. November 2015: The Port Ambrose liquified natural gas (LNG) project was vetoed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The project was proposed by Liberty Natural Gas off the shores of New York and New Jersey.  [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Contamination in North Dakota linked to fracking spills Metals, salts and radioactivity in brine-laden wastewater years later
Science Daily


Accidental wastewater spills from unconventional oil production in North Dakota have caused widespread water and soil contamination, a new study finds. Researchers found high levels of contaminants and salt in surface waters polluted by the brine-laden wastewater, which primarily comes from fracked wells. Soil at spill sites was contaminated with radium. At one site, high levels of contaminants were detected in residual waters four years after the spill occurred.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
CONTAMINATION IN NORTH DAKOTA LINKED TO FRACKING SPILLS
Duke University
Avner Vengosh, Nancy Lauer, & Jennifer Harkness

DURHAM, N.C. -- Accidental wastewater spills from unconventional oil production in North Dakota have caused widespread water and soil contamination, a new Duke University study finds.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Sensors to aid air monitoring near natural gas compressors in Pa.'s rural areas
TribLive
Elizabeth Behrman

With the help of a federal grant, the state Department of Environmental Protection plans to ramp up its efforts to monitor air quality near natural gas compressors in rural parts of the state.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
NATURAL GAS: Court battle looms over N.Y.'s denial of Constitution pipeline
E & E Newswire
Mike Lee

A pipeline company has said it will fight New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to block a natural gas line that federal regulators already approved across the state, setting up a potential battle about the limits of federal and state authority. Cuomo's administration turned down permits under the federal Clean Water Act for the 125-mile Constitution pipeline to cross streams in New York, saying it would damage trout habitat and old-growth forests and that the sponsors had declined to co-locate the line on an existing highway right of way. The pipeline, being developed by Williams Cos., Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. and two other partners, would carry gas from the Marcellus Shale field in northeastern Pennsylvania across New York and connect with existing pipelines near Wright, N.Y.  [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Cuomo’s pipeline decision may have ripple effects for energy policy
Politico New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY— Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration chose Earth Day, April 22, to reject the proposed Constitution pipeline, which would have carried natural gas from Pennsylvania through portions of upstate. The move came as the governor has been trying to burnish his green credentials, and environmentalists were indeed as delighted with the administration's decision as the pipeline’s developers were disappointed. The state’s savvy anti-fracking coalition, which effectively hounded Cuomo until he announced a fracking ban after his re-election in 2014, led the cheers. “Governor Cuomo and the DEC stood up to the oil and gas industry and effectively shut down the Constitution Pipeline project,” said Wes Gillingham, Catskill Mountainkeeper’s program director.  [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming: Oil Woes Start to Hit Hard
Wall Street Journal
Maria Andriotis

The slump in crude prices is starting to show up as missed payments by consumers in the oil patch.  [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Viral Video of River Catching on Fire Prompts Call for Ban on Fracking
EcoWatch
Max Phillips

The Greens New South Wales mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham called on governments today to stop the spread of coal seam gas (CSG) and for the true impact of fugitive emissions to be independently assessed after the video of methane gas burning through the Condamine River in Queensland, Australia went viral with millions of views and global media coverage.   [Full Story]

Apr 27, 2016
Emma Thompson breaks injunction to stage fracking protest
Telegraph
Emily Gosden

Emma Thompson, the actress and environmental activist, has broken a court injunction to stage a protest against fracking in Lancashire. Ms Thompson and her sister, Sophie, baked cupcakes in a field near Preston belonging to a farmer on whose land energy company Cuadrilla is planning to frack for shale gas. An injunction has been in place banning protesters from the site since 2014. Officers from Lancashire Police attended the site and spoke to the sisters but took no action and made no arrests. Breaking the injunction is a civil matter.  [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
MoveOn.Org Petitions To Ban Fracking In Democratic Party Platform
The Daily Caller
Chris White

A petition recently filed by environmentalist Brad Johnson on MoveOn.org seeks to “ban fracking in the Democratic platform.” The petition suggests scientific evidence now shows the benefits of switching from traditional fuels like coal to natural gas “were a total mirage” and only accelerate global warming.   [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
“There is no doubt”: Exxon Knew CO2 Pollution Was A Global Threat By Late 1970s
DeSmogBlog
Brendan DeMelle and Kevin Grandia

Throughout Exxon’s global operations, the company knew that CO2 was a harmful pollutant in the atmosphere years earlier than previously reported. DeSmog has uncovered Exxon corporate documents from the late 1970s stating unequivocally “there is no doubt” that CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels was a growing “problem” well understood within the company. “It is assumed that the major contributors of CO2 are the burning of fossil fuels… There is no doubt that increases in fossil fuel usage and decreases of forest cover are aggravating the potential problem of increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Technology exists to remove CO2 from stack gases but removal of only 50% of the CO2 would double the cost of power generation.” [emphasis added]  [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
Barnett Shale rig count hits a new low: zero
Star-Telegram
Max B. Baker

FORT WORTH It finally happened. After reporting only a handful of rigs working in the Barnett Shale for some time, industry publication RigData last week reported that it could not find any active rigs in the natural gas field that underlies about two dozen counties in North Texas. It was shocking news for an area that supported nearly 200 rigs a week less than a decade ago. “Sorry to inform you but there are no rigs currently working in the Barnett Shale,” said an email Friday from LuAnn Zellner, RigData editorial director. “The report produced zero results.” Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article73822362.html#storylink=cpy  [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
Hillary Clinton Surpasses $5 Million in Bundled Lobbyist Contributions
Washington Free Beacon
Joe Schoffstall

Raises millions from lobbyists connected to oil and gas, health insurance companies Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has now collected more than $5 million in bundled lobbyist contributions, many of which come from lobbyists who represents industries that she opposes on the campaign trail, recent campaign finance filings show. Clinton added another $1.5 million in special interest cash from a handful of bundlers during the first quarter of 2016, which spans the period Jan. 1 to March 31, 2016. Lobbyists had already raised $4.1 million for Hillary for America before these bundled donations were reported.  [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
Methane Sleuths Monitor Seeping Gases From Oil and Gas Drilling
Dallas Observer
Julie Ryan

Along the green, tree-lined country road, four large metal tanks tower on a gravel field, clean and tan-colored against a cloudless blue sky. But the breeze brings an odd metallic tang to the back of one’s throat, and the view changes through an infrared camera’s viewfinder. When the lens zooms in on a hatch atop one tank, the sky turns black and white fumes are pouring into the wind. A click, and the camera’s high sensitivity setting turns everything high-contrast and jittery. A whole array of gases appears, boiling out in black, gray and white. Enervest operating company’s Cole gas well-site on Masch Branch Road northwest of Denton is leaking. What other gas wells and storage tanks are leaking, or purposely venting, around North Texas? It’s Sharon Wilson’s mission to find out. The Earthworks investigator seeks the fumes that escape from hydraulic fracture gas wells and storage sites that pepper the Barnett Shale of North Texas by the thousands. There are tens of thousands more such facilities in other areas rich in shale around the state and the nation.  [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
This River Near a Fracking Site Is Alarmingly Flammable
Popular Mechanics
Eric Limer

Fracking is the process of drilling into the earth and then pummeling rocks with a high-pressure mixture of water and other ingredients to released gas trapped inside, and while it's certainly an effective way to tap natural gas deposits that may have otherwise been unreachable, it's got its downsides, like how it could cause earthquakes, or lead to runaway leaks of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Of the many potential dangers, this is one of the most spectacular. Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the Australian political party known as the Greens, filmed this inflammatory video near a fracking site in Queensland, Australia, where errant methane was bubbling up through a nearby river. When attempting to see if the gas coming up through the river was in fact flammable, the video team was surprised by an exceptionally resounding yes, and flames that kept the river on fire in a way that is as mesmerizing as it is unnatural. Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the Australian political party known as the Greens, filmed this inflammatory video near a fracking site in Queensland, Australia, where errant methane was bubbling up through a nearby river. When attempting to see if the gas coming up through the river was in fact flammable, the video team was surprised by an exceptionally resounding yes, and flames that kept the river on fire in a way that is as mesmerizing as it is unnatural.   [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
84% of public health studies find hazards in fracking: research
Times LIve
Bruce Gorton

A new meta-study, published by the online journal PloS One, has found that 84% of public health studies between 2009 and 2015 have findings which indicate public health risks. This is of concern to us in South Africa, because our government announced in March that exploration for shale gas would begin in the next financial year. Now how Fracking works is by digging wells of about four kilometres, and then pumping a cocktail of water and chemicals into the well to crack the shale and release the gas it holds. There is believed to be about 147.828 trillion cubic metres of shale gas in the Karo  [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
MoveOn.Org Petitions To Ban Fracking In Democratic Party Platform
Daily Caller
Chris White

A petition recently filed by environmentalist Brad Johnson on MoveOn.org seeks to “ban fracking in the Democratic platform.” The petition suggests scientific evidence now shows the benefits of switching from traditional fuels like coal to natural gas “were a total mirage” and only accelerate global warming. It went on to say the massive Porter Ranch methane blowout, which started in October and was capped in February, was a result of the supposedly ill-conceived natural gas policies pushed by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.   [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
NY Comptroller Urges More Insurance For Rail Oil Spills
WAMC
Dave Lucas

New York state's comptroller is urging federal authorities to strengthen safety measures against oil spills and require trains to carry sufficient insurance to cover cleanup costs from major accidents. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is administrator of New York's Oil Spill Fund. He cites a U.S. Transportation Department finding that oil shippers and rail companies carry insurance that may be insufficient to cover a serious accident involving tankers carrying crude oil or other hazardous materials. In a letter to the department and the Federal Railroad Administration, DiNapoli says a review of Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows CSX Corp. is self-insured for $25 million for "non-catastrophic" property damage and $50 million for natural catastrophes.   [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
Consol expects to make decision on new drilling within months
Pittsburgh Business Times
Paul J. Gough

Consol Energy Inc. said it expects to make a decision within the next three to six months about when it could resume natural gas drilling, although the area south of Pittsburgh likely won't be the first place where Consol will place rigs.   [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
Obama’s Controversial Offshore Drilling Proposal Rests On Research Funded By Fossil Fuel Industry
IBT
David Sirota

To make its case for a new proposal that could expand offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and near Alaska, the Obama administration recently released a report touting what it indicated would be the significant economic benefits of the plan. The apparently impartial, 279-page analysis said the initiative was a key component of President Barack Obama's effort to support “safe and responsible domestic oil and natural gas production as a means to support economic growth and job creation.”... Buried in the BOEM report’s fine print, though, were footnotes shedding light on how the bureau came to its conclusions: it used studies from the same fossil fuel industry that could benefit from the expansion. Eight of the nine economic analyses cited by government regulators in their report were produced by authors or organizations with links to the fossil fuel industry — which has been lobbying the federal government on drilling issues in the lead-up to a decision.   [Full Story]

Apr 26, 2016
Blair Horner: Fracking Economic Crash Underscores Wisdom Of NY’s Ban
WAMC
Blair Horner

Last week, the world’s leaders gathered on Earth Day to formally agree to the climate change deal hammered out last December. While there are still lots of questions about how effective the global agreement will be in limiting the damage from planetary warming, one message is clear; the world has got to move away from relying on fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – to generate energy. That international policy conclusion strongly bolsters New York State’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing. Last year, the Cuomo Administration took the unprecedented step of banning the use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing – aka fracking – due to the potential environmental and public health damage that could result from the practice. At that time, New York State was the first state with significant natural gas reserves to ban fracking. Since then, there has been a growing body of evidence that fracking does pose environmental and public health risks. And what has become clearer still is that the world needs to keep fossil fuels in the ground – not burn them so the resulting gases rise into the lower atmosphere and become a heat-trapping blanket.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Pennsylvania Attorney General Candidate Says He’d Look Closely At Fossil Fuel Companies Like Exxon
Think Progress
Natasha Geiling

The day before Pennsylvania voters cast their votes in the primary election, the leading Democratic candidate for attorney general has confirmed to ThinkProgress that, if elected, he would join a growing coalition of state attorneys general in examining whether fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil have purposefully misled the public on climate change. “Climate change is one of our world’s most pressing issues and and I’ve made addressing it a top priority in my campaign and have pledged to hold the fracking industry accountable for violating Pennsylvania’s environmental laws,” Josh Shapiro, who according to the most recent polling from Harper Poll leads the current Democratic attorney general race by almost 20 points, told ThinkProgress via an emailed statement. “I applaud [New York Attorney General Eric] Schneiderman and the 16 other state Attorneys General who are investigating Exxon Mobil for misleading investors about climate change. As Attorney General, I will join them in looking closely at whether fossil fuel companies like Exxon Mobil have violated Pennsylvania’s laws.”  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
‘We did not expect it to explode’: Australian politician blames fracking after setting river ablaze with a lighter
National Post
Ben Guarino Washington Post

Some people want to watch the world burn. Others — like Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the Australian Parliament — will settle for rivers. In an act of protest against coal seam fracking, the Greens Party member recently took an aluminum boat down the Condamine River in Queensland, Australia. This was no lazy afternoon cruise. The surface of the river fizzed with bubbles of methane gas. Methane is colourless and odourless — but it’s also quite flammable. Buckingham leaned over the side of the boat, and, as though lighting a barbecue, set the methane ablaze.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Groups Call On Obama To End Crude Oil Exports In Wake Of Paris Climate Agreement Signing
DeSmog Blog
Mike Gaworecki

175 nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement last Friday, setting a record for the most countries to sign a U.N. agreement on opening day. Earlier in the week, even before Secretary of State John Kerry officially signed on behalf of the U.S. with his granddaughter in his lap, more than 300 environmental, faith, health and social justice organizations filed a legal petition calling on the Obama Administration to declare a national emergency and end all U.S. crude oil exports as a means of meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement. According to the groups, led by the Center for Biological Diversity and Food & Water Watch, President Obama could immediately halt the export of crude oil under executive legal authority granted to him by the 2016 Appropriations Act and the National Emergencies Act.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
After nearly 200 active rigs a decade ago, no one is drilling North Texas’ Barnett Shale
Dallas Morning News


After reporting only a handful of rigs working in the Barnett Shale for some time, industry publication RigData last week reported that it could not find any active rigs in the natural gas field that underlies about two dozen counties in North Texas.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
NY pipeline opponents flex muscle
The Journal News
Jon Campbell

ALBANY – With one natural-gas pipeline effectively rejected and another pulled off the table last week, anti-pipeline activists are flexing their political muscle in New York. The activists, many of them opponents of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, are pointing to the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Friday rejection of a key permit for the proposed Constitution Pipeline as a symbol of their collective might.   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Pipeline developers vow to fight New York permit rejection
AP
Mary Esch

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Developers of a 124-mile pipeline designed to transport natural gas to the Northeast from Pennsylvania's shale fields said Monday they'll challenge New York's rejection of a critical permit. The Constitution Pipeline Company said the denial letter from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation includes "flagrant misstatements and inaccurate allegations" and is driven by politics rather than science. The DEC on Friday denied a water quality permit, saying the project fails to meet standards that protect hundreds of streams, wetlands and other water resources in its path. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project in December 2014, conditioned on the state permit. The company, a partnership formed by Cabot Oil & Gas, Williams Partners and Piedmont Natural Gas Company, can appeal the state decision to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Spokesman Christopher Stockton said the company is considering that option   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Constitution Pipeline pushes on, despite N.Y. permit denial
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

ALBANY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Constitution Pipeline Company, LLC announced today that it remains steadfastly committed to pursuing the federally-approved energy infrastructure project, despite the recent decision by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to deny the Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Constitution Pipeline Project.   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Another fracking pipeline is rejected
CNN Money
Matt Egan

Score one for the fracktivists. New York State has rejected a planned 125-mile long natural gas pipeline that was strongly opposed by environmentalists. Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration ruled late Friday the Constitution Pipeline project failed to meet the state's water quality standards.   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Fracking referendum? Pennsylvania primary offers choice for Democratic voters.
RT
Anna Driver

The Pennsylvania primary election this week will pit national and statewide Democrats who have various viewpoints on the future of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the nation's second-most prominent fracking state.   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Hundreds join anti-fracking protest
The Scarborough News
Carl Gavaghan

Several hundred people gathered to oppose a onshore oil and gas conference being held at Scarborough Spa this morning. The lively protest drew locals and campaigners From as far north as Durham and as far West as Blackpool.   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Sea Change in Gasland? PA Primary Shaping into Fracking Referendum
eNews Park Forest
Nika Knight

Pennsylvania Democrats will have the opportunity to choose a host of anti-fracking candidates on the states’ primary ballot on Tuesday—representing a potential sea change against the industry at the heart of the Marcellus Shale, one of the country’s largest fracking plays.   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
DRBC drops request for joint PennEast hearings with federal regulator
Buck County Courier Times
Kyle Bagenstose

All you need is love. And also maybe 6,000 signatures, dozens of nonprofits and countless pleas for your significant other to change ways. That’s what environmental organizers have thrown at the Delaware River Basin Commission in the past year, ever since the agency filed a request to hold joint hearings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as it reviewed the merits of the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline. The efforts appeared to pay off Monday, as the DRBC posted a message on its website announcing it has dropped the request and will instead hold independent hearings.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
A Former PR Worker Whose Job Was To Defend Fracking Online Describes How They Mislead The Public
Ring Of Fire


With the news that a pro-Clinton SuperPAC has invested millions in paying for online shills to go around infiltrating anti-Clinton conversations and attempt to misinform and sway opinions anonymously, a discussion on Reddit prompted individuals who have been a part of these shilling campaigns to speak out, sharing how effective and calculated this sort of online infiltration is. One such user posted anonymously, but then shortly after deleted their comment, no doubt in fear that his/her former employer would see and punish the person for their valuable insight. The Reddit user said that they were a former employee of a PR firm who defended fracking online. What follows is an eye-opening description of what the fracking industry is willing to do to remove scrutiny and criticism of the industry. Without doubt, this is done by the oil and gas industry nationwide as well as the drug and tobacco industry and any other industry which receives a healthy amount of scrutiny online.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Constitution Pipeline: Laying Down a Dismal Future
Skidmore News
Jen Cristiano and Dan Casarella

On April 11th, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders praised the people of New York for “standing up to Governor Cuomo and demanding that New York State ban fracking.” Senator Sanders credits the grassroots organizations and activists who have worked against fracking for achieving this ban. It is a progressive first step to fundamentally change the world in which we live in. However, New York cannot ban fracking for health concerns while simultaneously importing fracked natural gas at the cost of its neighbors’ health and the environment. More fights lie ahead for New Yorkers in taking on the Constitution Pipeline proposed by the Constitution Pipeline Company. The proposed pipeline would be 124 miles long, connecting fracked natural gas from Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania to the Iroquois Gas Transmission and Tennessee Gas Pipeline systems in Schoharie County, New York. Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has already approved the project, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has not.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Residents question company on proposed natural gas power plant near Nemacolin
Observer-Reporter
Bob Niedbala

NEMACOLIN – An informational public meeting held Monday on plans to build a 536-megawatt natural gas power plant near Nemacolin brought questions from residents about noise, emissions and increased truck traffic. About 50 people attended the meeting at the Nemacolin union hall to hear about the project proposed by Hill Top Energy Center LLC for a 41.7-acre site off Thomas Road. Only a few had questions. No one directly opposed it. Hilltop Energy applied for both an air quality permit and water discharge permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection, representatives of which were also on hand to answer questions.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Constitution Pipeline Joins Keystone On The Regulatory Casualty List
Seeking Alpha


Summary In 2010, the New York State legislature passed a temporary moratorium on fracking in the state. The ban became permanent in 2015. In another landmark decision, the state's environmental regulator just denied the permit to Williams Companies’ Constitution Pipeline, which was designed to bring Marcellus gas to New York and New England. The same week, Kinder Morgan abruptly cancelled its similar north-bound pipeline expansion project.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
IRRC Votes To OK Final DEP Drilling Regs., But House & Senate Will Have Their Say
PA Environment Digest


The Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted 3 to 2 to approve DEP’s final Chapter 78 (conventional) and 78a (unconventional, Marcellus Shale) drilling regulations at its meeting Thursday after 7 hours of hearing from DEP and those opposing and supporting the rulemaking.   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Sen. Yaw Calls For Senate/House Disapproval Resolution On DEP Drilling Regulations
PA Environment Digest


Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued this statement Friday on the approval of DEP’s drilling regulations by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission Thursday— “I recognize that strong regulations are needed to allow for safe development of our natural resources. However, the objections raised by both standing committees and two IRRC Commissioners to this rulemaking are warranted given the fact that the Department has circumvented state laws and a Supreme Court opinion in an effort to justify expanded provisions of the rulemaking that they are not authorized to enact.   [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Australian politician blames fracking after he sets river ablaze with a lighter
The Washington Post
Ben Guarino

Some people want to watch the world burn. Others — like Jeremy Buckingham, a member of the Australian Parliament — will settle for rivers. In an act of protest against coal seam fracking, the Greens Party member recently took an aluminium boat down the Condamine River in Queensland, Australia. This was no lazy afternoon cruise. The surface of the river fizzed with bubbles of methane gas. Methane is colorless and odorless — but it’s also quite flammable. Buckingham leaned over the side of the boat, and, as though lighting a barbecue, set the methane ablaze.  [Full Story]

Apr 25, 2016
Budget bill gives natural gas projects $12 million boost
NPR State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Natural gas infrastructure projects are getting a $12 million boost in a budget bill Governor Tom Wolf has allowed to become law without his signature. The money shifts from the state’s Alternative Energy Investment Act and will be used as grants to hospitals, businesses, schools and local governments to expand access to natural gas. The language is part of a broader bill known as the fiscal code–a companion piece of legislation to the state budget, which Wolf also allowed to become law last month. With this latest move, the state’s unprecedented budget impasse is finally over, two months before next year’s budget is due on July 1st.  [Full Story]

Apr 24, 2016
Federal fracking rule in hands of federal judge in Wyoming
Casper Star Tribune
BEN NEARY

CHEYENNE — The future of federal rules aimed at protecting land, water and wildlife from energy-production practices including hydraulic fracturing now rests with a judge in Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl last year blocked implementation of rules drafted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He acted in response to a legal challenge from the states of Colorado, North Dakota and Utah and Wyoming. The states claim the BLM lacks authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing. Commonly called “fracking,” the procedure involves injecting substances including water, sand and chemicals underground to increase production from oil and gas wells.  [Full Story]

Apr 24, 2016
Why New York blocked a major natural gas pipeline
Christian Science Monitor
Ben Thompson

New York environmental regulators on Friday denied a permit needed for the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline project to move forward.   [Full Story]

Apr 24, 2016
Pennsylvania voters torn over calls for a fracking ban
Reuters
Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania, April 24 (Reuters) - For some Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, Tuesday's primary election will be more than just a chance to pick preferred candidates for public office - it will be a mini-referendum on the future of the state's downtrodden fracking industry.   [Full Story]

Apr 24, 2016
A Big Win for the Anti-Fracking Movement as Another Major Pipeline Proposal Bites the Dust
truthdig
Jon Queally

Following energized grassroots campaign, state of New York rejects permit for controversial Constitution Pipeline For the second time in less than a week, climate activists and fracking opponents in the northeast find themselves celebrating. The latest applause comes after a state regulatory agency on Friday—which happened to be Earth Day—announced it was denying a permit for a major fracked-gas pipeline in the state. Just days earlier, another similar project was halted in New England.   [Full Story]

Apr 24, 2016
A Pipeline Defeated: How a Small Town Saved Itself
Truth-Out
William Rivers Pitt, Op-Ed

In the dungeon that was the winter of 2014 here in my New Hampshire home, a pair of representatives from the natural gas pipeline company Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas arrived in the town of Rindge, just down the road. They were there to meet with the town administrator about a proposed natural gas pipeline route that would cut the town in half, along with several other towns, as it made its way to the sea.   [Full Story]

Apr 24, 2016
Australian politician sets river on fire to protest fracking dangers
Mashable
Ariel Bogle

An Australian politician has captured the world's attention after setting a river on fire in an effort to highlight the dangers of fracking. New South Wales Greens Member of Parliament Jeremy Buckingham was taken by locals to the Condamine River in Queensland, Australia, where mysterious bubbling has been taking place since at least 2012.  [Full Story]

Apr 24, 2016
Another fracking pipeline is rejected
CNN Money
Matt Egan

Score one for the fracktivists. New York State has rejected a planned 125-mile long natural gas pipeline that was strongly opposed by environmentalists. Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration ruled late Friday the Constitution Pipeline project failed to meet the state's water quality standards. The decision is a major blow to the pipeline, which was dreamt up four years ago as a way to transport natural gas fracked in Northeast Pennsylvania to Boston, New York City and other markets in the region.  [Full Story]

Apr 24, 2016
NORTH DAKOTA: Bakken boomtown 'man camps' enter their final days
E & E Newswire
Pamela King

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Around the Wal-Mart in this once-booming oil town stands a cluster of new hotels and apartments. Since 2010, Williston has morphed its patchwork of campsites and RV parks -- one of which was famously located in the supercenter's lot -- into new housing developments with enough capacity for a growing population of laborers seeking jobs in the Bakken Shale. But as the price of a barrel of oil has settled near $45, down from about $100 two years ago, Williston's oil workers are returning home, leaving those new houses and apartments empty. Roughly 80 percent of Williston's housing units were occupied in 2015, according to data from the city's economic development group. That's down from an estimated 99 percent in 2013, a profile from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows.  [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
Third Pipeline Project Under Scrutiny
WAMC
Dave Lucas

Two pipeline projects that would have crossed the northeast have been scrubbed: activists are now calling for a third pipeline to be stopped. Politicians and activists have stepped up their efforts to halt Spectra energy’s proposed AIM pipeline that would be routed through the lower Hudson Valley. It’s already been green-lighted by the Federal energy Regulatory Commission, despite Governor Andrew Cuomo’s concerns that it runs very close to the Indian Point nuclear power plant. Downstate leaders including Westchester Assemblywoman Sandy Galef sent FERC a letter demanding the agency respect the state’s authority and jurisdiction in determining AIM’s future.  [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
SoCalGas Offers Free Home Cleaning to Relocated Porter Ranch Residents; Some Express Skepticism
KTLA
Steve Kuzj

Some Porter Ranch residents expressed skepticism over the Southern California Gas Co.'s offer of free home interior cleaning in the aftermath of a massive gas leak. Steve Kuzj reports from the KTLA 5 Newsroom at 6 p.m. on April 23, 2016.  [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
Gender-bending chemical risk to humans from fracking, warn scientists
Herald Scotland
Rob Edwards

there are fresh fears about fracking in Scotland's central belt after scientists in America discovered dangerous levels of toxic 'gender-bender' chemicals downstream from a fracking site.  [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
Report offers advice for fracking states
The D Post
David Beard

MORGANTOWN — Severance tax trust funds are a good way for fracking states to turn a finite revenue source into long-term stability to ride out inevitable boom-bust cycles. That’s the essence of a report issued this past week by the Brookings Institute, an esteemed nonpartisan D.C. think tank.   [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
ENERGY: Rancher challenges energy industry
The Daily Times
James Fenton

FARMINGTON — A Gobernador rancher who appears in a new television ad that promotes stronger federal methane rules related to leaks and the practices of venting and flaring by the oil and gas industry has found himself straddling the line between environmental activists and the industry.   [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
“Bloody crazy”: River near fracking site bursts into flames in Australia (VIDEO)
RT


A Queensland river near a fracking site exploded into flames after a coal seam gas (CSG) protester sparked a kitchen lighter above the water surface.   [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
Is Fracking Causing the Epidemic of Horse Birth Defects at Breeding Farm?
EcoWatch
LORRAINE BERRY

In New York’s Southern Tier, local newspapers are investigating the connection between a local racetrack owner’s sick foals and the fracking fluids present on his farmland. The Ithaca Journal featured a report by Tom Wilber in which he investigated the ongoing issue with foals being born without the ability to swallow—17 of them so far—on the breeding farm of Jeff Gural, owner of the Tioga Downs, Meadowlands Racetrack and Vernon Downs.   [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
‘People should be terrified fracking is spreading’ – Australian MP who set river on fire to RT
RT News


Fracking should be banned as a “global threat” as it causes methane leaks contaminating water in the communities near gas wells, says an Australian MP who literally set a river ablaze to draw attention to the adverse effects of the practice. The companies that extract coal seam gas via fracking are duping people into believing that their technology is safe, while in reality it has contributed greatly to the pollution of sites like Condamine river located in the Australian state of Queensland just near the fracking site, Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham said in an interview to RT.  [Full Story]

Apr 23, 2016
What President Obama Can Do to Combat Environmental Racism
vice
Sarah Harvard

In his 2012 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama called the United States "the Saudi Arabia of natural gas," pushing a proposal to provide tax breaks and subsidies to increase the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The plan, he said, could create an estimated 600,000 new jobs by the end of 2022, and give America "energy independence" from the rest of the world.   [Full Story]

Apr 22, 2016
Cuomo administration rejects Constitution pipeline
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY—The Cuomo administration has denied the water quality permits for a controversial pipeline in what has become another political test of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s environmental legacy.   [Full Story]

Apr 22, 2016
Scientists Who Are Questioning Fracking’s Impact Have Oil Industry Ties, Groups Say
ThinkProgress
ALEJANDRO DAVILA FRAGOSO

n the summer of 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a much-anticipated draft report that hydraulic fracturing has not led to “widespread, systemic impacts” on drinking water. That statement was for many as divisive as it was bold, for it invigorated the industry’s position that fracking is safe while angering critics who say it actually creates a long list of environmental problems, including an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Since that draft report was released, the EPA’s independent Science Advisory Board panel has questioned it twice, most recently saying the panel is “concerned” that major findings “are ambiguous and appear inconsistent with the observations, data, and levels of uncertainty presented and discussed in the body of the draft assessment report.” As the SAB’s final peer review nears, a draft dissent from at least four board members with ties to the oil and gas industry is being challenged by the Americans Against Fracking Coalition. In a letter sent Wednesday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the advocacy group, which includes Food and Water Watch along with hundreds of other organizations, said dissenting members’ connections with the fracking industry mean they “have clear conflicts of interest.” While urging the EPA to reject the dissent, the coalition claimed members “do not have any scientific basis for their dissent.”  [Full Story]

Apr 22, 2016
New York Denies Critical Permit for Natural Gas Pipeline
The New York Review of Books
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York environmental regulators have rejected a critical permit needed for a major natural gas pipeline project, saying the project fails to meet standards that protect hundreds of streams, wetlands and other water resources in its path. The Department of Environmental Conservation said Friday it won't issue a water quality permit for the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline from Pennsylvania's shale gas fields to eastern New York. The agency said the project's construction would affect 251 streams and 500 acres of valuable forest as well as extensive wetlands.  [Full Story]

Apr 22, 2016
New York State Department of Environment Conservation Denies Water Quality Certificate Required for Constitution Pipeline
NYS DEC
Press Release

Today, officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the denial of the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed Constitution Pipeline. Although DEC has granted certificates for other projects, the application by Constitution for these certificates fails to meet New York State's water quality standards. The full decision is outlined in a letter (PDF, 819 KB) by John Ferguson, Chief Permit Administrator with DEC's Division of Environmental Permits and Pollution Prevention.   [Full Story]

Apr 22, 2016
Scientists Who Are Questioning Fracking’s Impact Have Oil Industry Ties, Groups Say
Think Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

As the SAB’s final peer review nears, a draft dissent from at least four board members with ties to the oil and gas industry is being challenged by the Americans Against Fracking Coalition. In a letter sent Wednesday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the advocacy group, which includes Food and Water Watch along with hundreds of other organizations, said dissenting members’ connections with the fracking industry mean they “have clear conflicts of interest.” While urging the EPA to reject the dissent, the coalition claimed members “do not have any scientific basis for their dissent.”   [Full Story]

Apr 22, 2016
Watch: River Explodes Into Flames From Methane Coming From Nearby Fracking Sites
EcoWatch
Max Phillips

So much methane gas is now bubbling up through the Condamine River in Queensland, Australia that it exploded with fire and held a large flame. Gas seeping into the river began shortly after coal seam gas operations started nearby and is growing in volume and the stretch of river affected is expanding in length.  [Full Story]

Apr 22, 2016
Gov. Cuomo Rejects the Constitution Pipeline, Huge Win for the Anti-Fracking Movement
EcoWatch
Earthjustice

In a win for climate activists and the anti-fracking movement, and a blow to fossil fuel polluters and the federal regulatory agencies that enable them, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied a key permit to companies seeking to build a 124-mile fracked gas pipeline.  [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Horses are being born without the ability to swallow — and fracking could be to blame
Raw Story
LORRAINE BERRY

In New York’s Southern Tier, local newspapers are investigating the connection between a local racetrack owner’s sick foals and the fracking fluids present on his farmland. The Ithaca Journal featured a report by Tom Wilber in which he investigated the ongoing issue with foals being born without the ability to swallow — seventeen of them so far — on the breeding farm of Jeff Gural, owner of the Tioga Downs, Meadowlands Racetrack, and Vernon Downs. The foals have survived, although all of them have had to be transported to Cornell’s School of Veterinary Medicine, located fifty miles north in Ithaca, New York. An earlier study by Cornell professor Robert Oswald and Cornell veterinarian Michelle Bamberger linked the presence of the byproducts of hydraulic fracturing to numerous animal deaths and stillbirths. Their research included twenty-four case studies of multiple farm animals who had either been killed outright by the cocktail of chemicals or later proved unable to successfully reproduce after exposure.  [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Cuomo’s Next Step Against Fracking: Reject the Constitution Pipeline
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter

It’s been over a year since New York banned fracking and we find ourselves at a crossroads. We can take the next logical step and reject the dangerous fracked gas infrastructure that increasingly threatens our wellbeing. Or we can continue to rely on fracked gas and accept the myriad risks that come with that choice. Like fracking itself, a maze of proposed gas pipelines, compressor stations and subterranean storage caves pose grave threats to New York’s most precious resource—our abundant supply of clean water.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Celebrated Water Program That Examined Fracking, Oil Sands Is Abruptly Shut Down
Inside Climate News
Andrew Nikiforuk

The Program on Water Issues was not in the back pocket of industry, government or environmental organizations, an expert angered by the closure said.  [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
MYSTERY OF SICK FOALS: Was fracking to blame on PA farm?
Press Connects
Tom Wilber

Yet for all its beauty, Gural's horse-breeding farm holds a disturbing mystery health experts and the federal government are working hard to solve. For three years, the mares have been bearing foals with dysphagia — a rare, life-threatening condition preventing them from swallowing properly.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
SNP campaign group predicts a full fracking ban post-election
Commonspace.scot


SNP MEMBERS organised to oppose unconventional oil and gas extraction - known as fracking - have claimed the party’s manifesto makes a full ban inevitable after any evidence based investigation.  [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Signature time for anti-fracking initiatives
Boulder Weekly
Angela K. Evans

Colorado voters could see two constitutional amendment initiatives on the November ballot that, if passed, would limit oil and gas development near populated areas and would give local governments more authority over such developments. The initiatives are sponsored by Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED), a Boulder-based grass-roots organization with board members from Boulder, Denver and Durango.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
State fracking inspectors proposed
Standard Speaker


U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta on Wednesday succeeded in amending pipeline safety legislation to protect the interests of states in using their own pipeline inspectors when dealing with federal agencies.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Sanders slams Clinton’s fracking ties in op-ed
Talk Media News
Nick Salazar

Washington (Talk Media News) — Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) didn’t pull punches over the issue of fracking and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s ties to it in an op-ed published earlier this week. In an op-ed, Sanders denounced the practice of fracking, saying that the toxic chemicals used in fracking are known to cause lung cancer and birth defects as well as a contaminated water supply.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Foes cheer Kinder Morgan decision to suspend pipeline plans Company: Not enough natural gas contracts in New England market
Albany Times Union
Lindsay Ellis

In a decision cheered by local opponents, Kinder Morgan suspended plans for a 419-mile natural gas pipeline connecting Pennsylvania's fracking fields to Boston by winding through local counties.  [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Federal fracking rule in hands of federal judge in Wyoming
Las Vegas Sun
Ben Neary

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The future of federal rules aimed at protecting land, water and wildlife from energy-production practices including hydraulic fracturing now rests with a judge in Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl last year blocked implementation of rules drafted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He acted in response to a legal challenge from the states of Colorado, North Dakota and Utah and Wyoming.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Top Shale Fracking Executive: We Won't Frack the Rich
DeSmog Blog
Sharon Kelly

Fracking companies deliberately keep their wells away from the “big houses” of wealthy and potentially influential people, a top executive from one of the country's most prominent shale drilling companies told a gathering of attorneys at a seminar on oil and gas environmental law earlier this month, according the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
As Oil Jobs Dry Up, Workers Turn to Solar Sector
The Wall Street Journal
Lynn Cook

A few years ago, Sean and Stormy Fravel were riding the oil and gas boom like so many others in West Texas. But when their jobs disappeared along with $100-a-barrel oil prices, they turned to a new type of energy occupation: solar power. Instead of driving an 18-wheeler to haul drilling equipment in and out of the oil patch, the Fravels now install solar panel racking systems and perform quality checks on Alamo 6, a solar farm under construction in McCamey, about 300 miles northwest of San Antonio.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Shale War's Collateral Damage: Europe's Gas Prices
Bloomberg
Anna Shiryaevskaya

Utilities from EON SE to Centrica Plc are beneficiaries as Europe’s two biggest gas suppliers provided a record amount of the fuel in the first quarter, according to Societe Generale SA. The glut discouraged cargoes of U.S. liquefied natural gas and contained growth of imports from Qatar.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Group sues over 'fast track' deep-sea drilling permits
Eagle Tribune


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An environmental group sued the Interior Department on Wednesday for what it called the "fast track" permitting of potentially dangerous oil and natural gas wells in offshore waters. The action came on the sixth anniversary of the nation's largest offshore oil spill.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Kinder Morgan suspends NED project
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

Energy giant Kinder Morgan announced Wednesday that it has suspended its spending on the controversial Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
12 Arrested in Earth Day-Themed Protest Against Gas Storage in Seneca Lake’s Salt Caverns
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

Five feet in diameter and swirling with clouds, a blue and green replica of Planet Earth helped a dozen human inhabitants block three trucks this morning at the main entrance of Crestwood Midstream. The Earth Day-themed civil disobedience action was part of an ongoing campaign against proposed gas storage in Seneca Lake’s abandoned salt caverns.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Celebrated Water Program That Examined Fracking, Oil Sands Is Abruptly Shut Down
Inside Climate Newss
ANDREW NIKIFORUK

Water experts across Canada have reacted with anger and surprise to the closure of one of the nation's most celebrated and effective water study programs at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. For 15 years, the Program on Water Issues (POWI), directed by Adele Hurley, brought together the nation's best scientists and policymakers to debate and report on the nation's hot button water issues in an independent, non-partisan forum.   [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Foes cheer Kinder Morgan decision to suspend pipeline plans
Times Union
Lindsay Ellis

In a decision cheered by local opponents, Kinder Morgan suspended plans for a 419-mile natural gas pipeline connecting Pennsylvania's fracking fields to Boston by winding through local counties. Kinder Morgan's Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline had planned to traverse Schoharie County and Albany County before passing through southern Rensselaer County en route to Massachusetts.  [Full Story]

Apr 21, 2016
Fury Over Fracking
The New York Review of Books
Tim Flannery

What should we think of a corporation that undertakes research on one of its products only to discover that its use could be damaging—and then tries to conceal the potential dangers of that product’s use? An investigation underway by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman promises to shed light on one such alleged case—concerning ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, and the possibility that it misled investors and the public about the dangers of climate change. The story begins in mid-1977, when ExxonMobil’s powerful Management Committee was briefed by James Black, a company scientist, on the potential dangers of climate change. Two years earlier, Syukuro Manabe of the US Weather Bureau and his collaborator Richard Wetherald had published the first computer model that estimated how a doubling of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 would affect Earth’s surface temperature. Their results revealed a “somewhat larger” warming of the lower atmosphere—around 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit—than had been anticipated. It also revealed that the polar regions were likely to warm two to three times faster than lower latitudes, and that worrisome disruptions to the global water cycle might result. The impetus for this landmark study came from the activities of the fossil fuels industry itself: in their introduction Manabe and Wetherald quoted a 1971 estimate by Lester Machta, director of the Air Resources Laboratory, that owing to the burning of fossil fuels, CO2 concentrations would rise by 20 percent by the end of the century.  [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
U.S. Senate passes energy bill to bolster power grid, speed LNG exports
Reuters
Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate passed the first major energy bill in nine years on Wednesday, legislation containing modest measures popular with both Republicans and Democrats to modernize the power grid and speed the permitting process for liquefied natural gas exports. The bill, which passed 85-12, attempts to protect the power grid from extreme weather events such as ice storms and hurricanes, and from cyber attacks. It also aims to spur innovations in storage of power from wind and solar energy. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill last year.  [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
New Analysis Reveals that Majority of Peer-Reviewed Science Shows Health and Environmental Concerns from Fracking
PSE Healthy Energy
Press Release

Oakland, California (April 20, 2016) – A new analysis from PSE Healthy Energy shows that a clearer scientific understanding of the public health and environmental impacts of modern natural gas development is beginning to emerge from the hundreds of scientific studies conducted in recent years.  [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
This Federal Agency Is Facing A Bunch Of Lawsuits For Permitting Natural Gas Terminals
Climate Progress
Samantha Page

Environmentalists are mounting a charge against the agency that permits natural gas infrastructure in an attempt to mitigate the damages caused by fracking and burning fossil fuels. A panel of judges for the D.C. Circuit Court heard arguments Tuesday over whether the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) properly considered the total environmental impacts of Dominion Resources’ Cove Point natural gas liquefaction and export terminal, under construction now in Southern Maryland, or whether its analysis was too narrow. “They have to analyze the impacts of the project as a whole,” Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg told ThinkProgress after the hearing. Earthjustice is representing the plaintiffs — which include the Sierra Club, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and a local river protection group — who argue that regulators failed to consider how the export terminal plays a role in the greater environmental degradation caused by the entire natural gas supply chain. The facility will have a liquefaction component, where natural gas is condensed and turned into liquid for shipping. It will add this and export capabilities to a terminal previously used only for LNG imports.  [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
The Senate Just Passed An Energy Bill That Would Make Forests A ‘Carbon Neutral’ Energy Source
Climate Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

The first major update to the nation’s energy policy in eight years passed the Senate Wednesday with bipartisan support, as it concentrates on common ground topics like infrastructure improvements, cyber security, and energy efficiency. Yet an amendment in the bill — dubbed the Energy Policy Modernization Act — that would classify biomass as carbon neutral has angered dozens of environmental organizations, who say it puts forests at risk. Environmentalists had for months questioned an amendment from senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) instructing agencies to develop policies that “reflect the carbon neutrality” of biomass, a source of energy that includes trees and other plants. On Tuesday, more than 75 organizations sent a letter to the bill co-sponsors, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), voicing their opposition to the bill because of its “dangerous” biomass provisions. “This is a really horrible precedent,” said Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Program Director Benjamin Schreiber, in an email to ThinkProgress. “What is next, will they pass a bill telling government scientists that they must deem coal carbon free?”  [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
Best guess: Natural gas production seen returning in 18 months
Observer-Reporter
Michael Bradwell

Two professionals close to the oil and gas industry predicted Tuesday normal natural gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shales will return in about 18 months.  [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
Pipeline task force was frustrating process, say industry reps
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Two members of Governor Tom Wolf’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force say it was a frustrating experience. “It was a difficult thing for me personally and professionally,” says Cindy Ivey of the pipeline company, Williams. “I was probably the only task force member called out by name in a very unflattering way. It was a very toxic environment.”   [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
Federal Fracking Rule in Hands of Federal Judge in Wyoming
ABC News
Ben Neary

The future of federal rules aimed at protecting land, water and wildlife from energy-production practices including hydraulic fracturing now rests with a judge in Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl last year blocked implementation of rules drafted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. He acted in response to a legal challenge from the states of Colorado, North Dakota and Utah and Wyoming.   [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
Ray Rodrigues hasn’t decided whether he’ll bring back fracking legislation in 2017
Saint Peters Blog
Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster

The fifth year might not be the charm when it comes to legislation dealing with hydraulic fracturing. Rep. Ray Rodrigues said he wasn’t sure he will sponsor legislation during the 2017 legislative session to regulate fracking. If he decides against filing a bill next year, it will mark the first time since 2013 the Estero Republican has not carried the fracking issue forward.  [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
FRENZY TO FIZZLE: Fracking fall-off foils some PA businesses
Press Connects
Michael Rubinkam

TOWANDA, Pa. — Jami Patel spends long hours behind the front desk of a nearly empty motel, desperate for someone, anyone, to check in. Hardly anyone ever does, not since the once-booming natural gas industry pulled up stakes amid a prolonged, severe slump in energy prices. "I don't know how much longer I can hold on," lamented Patel, 43. "If it continues like this, the business is going to be dead."   [Full Story]

Apr 20, 2016
Toward an understanding of the environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development: an analysis of the peer reviewed scientific literature, 2009-2015
PSE Healthy Energy


Introduction The body of science evaluating the potential impacts of unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) has grown significantly in recent years, although many data gaps remain. Still, a broad empirical understanding of the impacts is beginning to emerge amidst a swell of research. The present categorical assessment provides an overview of the peer-reviewed scientific literature from 2009–2015 as it relates to the potential impacts of UNGD on public health, water quality, and air quality. We have categorized all available original research during this time period in an attempt to understand the weight and direction of the scientific literature.   [Full Story]

Apr 19, 2016
Federal appeals court hears arguments over LNG exports
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

The battle over Dominion Energy’s Cove Point liquefied natural gas export terminal in Lusby, MD, is now in the hands of a federal appeals court, even as construction on the facility continues. The D.C. circuit court of appeals heard oral arguments from attorneys representing environmentalists, industry and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday over whether or not FERC violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving construction of the export terminal without conducting an environmental impact statement. FERC granted approval to the $3.8 billion project in 2014, and construction on expanding the idled import terminal into an export terminal began in October, 2014. Cabot Oil and Gas has a contract with a Japanese power company to sell 350,000 MMBtu of Marcellus Shale gas per day for 20 years once the Cove Point plant is completed.  [Full Story]

Apr 19, 2016
Exxon Tries To Bury Climate Documents By Claiming First Amendment Rights
Huffington Post
Kate Sheppard and Sane Ferro

ExxonMobil is fighting a subpoena seeking its internal documents on climate change, arguing that the order violates the company’s constitutional rights. It’s an argument that legal experts say is unusual but not unprecedented. Earlier this month, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker initiated an investigation into whether Exxon misled the public on climate science. His office is also requesting records from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian think tank to which Exxon has previously provided funding. In that subpoena, the AG’s office accuses Exxon of defrauding the government and consumers, and “misrepresenting its knowledge of the likelihood that its products and activities have contributed and are contributing to climate change.”  [Full Story]

Apr 19, 2016
Fracking Exec Reportedly Admits Targeting the Poor, Because They Don’t Have ‘The Money To Fight’
In These Times
JESSICA KOZIK

On Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported accounts of unusually candid comments by an oil and natural gas industry executive, Terry Bossert, at a Pennsylvania Bar Institute gathering in Harrisburg this April. “We heard Range Resources say it sites its shale gas wells away from large homes where wealthy people live and who might have the money to fight such drilling and fracking operations,” stated an attendee. Terry Bossert is vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs at Range Resources, a natural gas exploration and production company. Range Resources was the first to tap into Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, in 2004, kicking off the state's current fracking boom. Some scientists and environmentalists warn that chemicals used in fracking may contaminate the groundwater in surrounding areas, potentially harming residents.   [Full Story]

Apr 19, 2016
Review: ‘How to Let Go of the World’ Ups the Ante on Climate Change
The New York Times
KEN JAWOROWSKI

The film’s title will use up many of the allotted words for this review, so it’s best to be terse when critiquing “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change.” Hence, a one-word assessment of this documentary: Tough. As in, tough to watch. Tough to consider. Tough to ignore. Josh Fox, the director, begins in a short-lived state of serenity, relaxing at his rural Pennsylvania home after his community won a battle against fracking companies that wanted to drill in the area. (The possibility of fracking there spurred him to make “Gasland,” an Oscar-nominated documentary from 2010.)  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
California governor, agencies face legal claims in gas blowout
Reuters
STEVE GORMAN

Hundreds of Los Angeles homeowners who live near the site of the worst U.S. methane leak have filed claims against state regulators and the governor, seeking $3.5 million each in damages for government failures they blame for the gas blowout. Those cases marked the first batch of more than 3,000 such claims expected by the end of this week, opening a new front in litigation stemming from the accident at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field, said an attorney for the claimants on Monday.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
Bernie Sanders: Fracking presents profound danger
USA TODAY
Bernie Sanders

A growing body of evidence tells us that fracking is a danger to our water supply — our most precious resource. It’s a danger to the air we breathe. It has resulted in more earthquakes. It’s highly explosive. And it’s contributing to climate change. The toxic chemicals used in fracking are known to cause lung cancer and birth defects. Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Sciences have shown clear evidence that hydraulic fracturing can lead to a contaminated water supply.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
Polluted Groundwater. Fracking to Blame?
Chromatography Today


But what about polluted groundwater? So far there has been no conclusive evidence of fracking affecting groundwater — and subsequently our water supplies. But a recent paper titled ‘Impact to Underground Sources of Drinking Water and Domestic Wells from Production Well Stimulation and Completion Practices in the Pavillion, Wyoming, Field’ and published in Environmental Science & Technology could change that.   [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
Pa. Attorney General candidates weigh in on fracking
State Impact PA
Katie Colaneri

Democratic candidate for attorney general Josh Shapiro is taking a hard line on gas drillers in a TV ad that began airing more than a week ago. “In the last eight years, the fracking industry has spent over $40 million dollars on lobbying in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro says in the ad, referring to a 2014 report by the watchdog group Common Cause Pennsylvania. The report found the industry spent nearly $50 million lobbying state lawmakers and donating to political candidates between 2007 and 2014.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
The Case Against Fracking
Opposing Views
Nicholas Roberts

The energy needs of the United States and elsewhere are only growing each year, but this needs often directly conflict with Americans' desire to live in clean, safe environments. This has led to the controversy surrounding the practice of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking."  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
Rep. Phillips introduces law to tighten injection-well regulation
Athens News
David DeWitt

Legislation introduced last week by state Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany, seeks to tighten regulations on fracking-waste injection wells in Ohio. “Our state and our region have become a dumping ground for waste produced in other states, exposing our citizens to toxins and carcinogens,” Phillips said announcing the legislation.   [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
It’s Time for Coastal Cities to Wake Up
Truth Out
Josh Fox

The climate science is uncompromising. We’ve already warmed the earth 1 degree Celsius. And we have enough carbon and methane and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and enough heat in the oceans to warm the earth another half a degree Celsius already. So if we stop all greenhouse gas emissions right now, we’ve already reached the 1.5 degree threshold. The current 1 degree rise has already increased extreme weather, caused mammoth floods and unprecedented drought, it has gotten the ice caps to start a menacing thaw. The consequences of 1 degree have been far more severe than we ever imagined and we are on our way to 1.5 no matter what we do.   [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
Energy And The 2016 Presidential Candidates
Forbes
James Conca

Of the five presidential candidates, two believe in some form of “all-of-the-above” strategy as we ramp down fossil fuels, particularly coal. The other three candidates don’t have a well-reasoned energy policy and rely more on the ideology of their base voters.  [Full Story]

Apr 18, 2016
Legal Protest Challenges Fossil Fuels Auction on 75,000 Acres in Nevada Fracking, Drilling Threaten Climate, Sensitive Wildlife, Public Lands
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

RENO, Nev.— Conservation groups filed a formal administrative protest Friday against a Bureau of Land Management plan to auction off nearly 75,000 acres of publicly owned fossil fuels in Lander and Nye counties in Nevada. The oil and gas on these parcels, administered by the Battle Mountain District Office, contain an estimated 419,983 tons of potential greenhouse gas pollution.   [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2016
Gulf, Calhoun counties set to begin oil, gas testing
News Herald
Katie Landeck

As of March 31, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued the permits necessary for a Texas-based company to begin exploratory testing, which involves detonating explosive charges underground, in Gulf and Calhoun counties.  [Full Story]

Apr 17, 2016
Water Contamination Found Downstream of West Virginia Injection Well Industry Leaders Say Well Failure Not Cause
Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

WHEELING -Researchers from the University of Missouri and Duke University say they found high levels of chemicals downstream from a West Virginia fracking wastewater disposal site, but industry leaders said this contamination is likely due to a surface spill rather than an injection well failure.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2016
40 Students Arrested Demanding Their Schools Divest From Fossil Fuels
EcoWatch
350.0rg

As students across the country engage in nonviolent direct action calling on their administrators to divest from fossil fuels, calling out conflicts of interest embedded within their decision makers over the last two weeks.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2016
Fracking debate looms over New York primary as Trump complains about ban
Raw Story
Lucia Graves, The Guardian

In 2014, the state announced a ban, but that faultline still runs through local and national politics, and even through the Democratic presidential primary. Activists fear Hillary Clinton’s pragmatic approach is too soft on fracking, and support her rival Bernie Sanders’ call for a national ban. Clinton supporters, meanwhile, have begun to worry that opposition to fracking would weaken her in a general election.   [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2016
Our green and pleasant land is blighted. And it will get worse A foolhardy government combined with avaricious business equals a bleak future
The Guardian


Tobias Jones paints a bleak picture of life in the countryside (“The British countryside has never had it so bad”, In Focus). Sadly, here in George Osborne’s northern poorhouse, it’s likely to get a lot worse. The government has sold the land beneath our feet to fracking companies such as IGas without either our knowledge or our consent and these companies are now secretly snapping up fields in this area. These purchases allow fracking companies to exploit not only their own land, but everyone else’s within a 2km radius. Fracking is being forced down our throats and those of every other living creature in the forms of air, water and food contamination.  [Full Story]

Apr 16, 2016
On the faultline: New York fracking ban leaves state divided as primary looms
The Guardian
Lucia Graves

For seven years, fracking roiled New York. Back in the summer of 2007, when the gas industry started knocking on doors in Delaware County, a faultline ran right through the home of Mark Dunau and Lisa Wujnovich. Scientists find fracking contaminated Wyoming water after EPA halted study Read more In 2014, the state announced a ban, but that faultline still runs through local and national politics, and even through the Democratic presidential primary. Activists fear Hillary Clinton’s pragmatic approach is too soft on fracking, and support her rival Bernie Sanders’ call for a national ban. Clinton supporters, meanwhile, have begun to worry that opposition to fracking would weaken her in a general election.   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2016
Federal official compares pipeline blunders to mistakes that led to railway disaster
National Observer
Mike De Souza

For almost three years, managers and executives at Canadian pipeline companies have been under a microscope. Their industry watchdog has been examining whether they make it easy enough for employees to report and fix anything that might lead to spills, explosions or other serious incidents.   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2016
Oregon LNG withdraws Warrenton project
The Daily Astorian


WARRENTON — Oregon LNG informed city officials on Friday that the company will withdraw a proposed $6 billion terminal and pipeline project on the Skipanon Peninsula. Mayor Mark Kujala said he was told by a company representative that Leucadia National Corp., the New York-based holding company behind the project, was no longer willing to bankroll the effort. “That is exactly what I heard from Oregon LNG, is that they would be withdrawing the project,” Kujala said. The mayor said he was told “the holding company — Leucadia — was no longer going to fund the project. So it sounds as though it was a funding or a financing decision that was made.”  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2016
This was the climate debate we’ve been waiting for
Grist
Rebecca Leber

Savor it, climate hawks. Global warming had its short and sweet 15 minutes of fame in the ninth — and likely final — Democratic primary debate on Thursday night. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had an intense exchange at the CNN/NY1 debate that got to the heart of the two candidates’ different philosophies on climate action. Not only did they scuffle over a topic that has been in the headlines recently — Clinton’s donations from fossil fuel interests — but they also got into it over Clinton’s support for fracking as secretary of state, the merits of a carbon tax, the Paris climate agreement, and the role of nuclear energy.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2016
Democratic Debate Brings Fiercest Exchange Yet on Climate Change, Fracking
EcoWatch


During last night’s Democratic debate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a site that was flooded by Hurricane Sandy, presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton displayed the fiercest exchange around climate change yet.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2016
EPA underestimates methane emissions
Science News


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a methane problem — and that could misinform the country’s carbon-cutting plans. Recent studies suggest that the agency’s reports fail to capture the full scope of U.S. methane emissions, including “super emitters” that contribute a disproportionate share of methane release. Those EPA reports influence the country’s actions to combat climate change and the regulation of methane-producing industries such as agriculture and natural gas production. With EPA’s next annual methane report due to be published by April 15, early signs suggest that the agency is taking steps to fix the methane mismatch. A preliminary draft of the report revises the agency’s methane calculations for 2013 — the most recent year reported — upward by about 27 percent for the natural gas and petroleum sectors, a difference of about 2 million metric tons.   [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2016
MassDEP: Kinder Morgan misled FERC in bid to cut state forest trees for Berkshire County pipeline
The Republican
Mary Serreze

Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. submitted misleading information to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in its bid to immediately begin cutting trees in the Otis State Forest for a pipeline loop, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protect staffers stated in April 14 affidavits sworn before the federal agency. The Kinder Morgan subsidiary on April 11 assured the federal pipeline regulators in writing that MassDEP would not require a so-called 401 Water Quality Certificate for Tennessee to cut trees and vegetation along the proposed route of the Connecticut Expansion pipeline in Sandisfield, wrote David Foulis, an analyst for the department's Bureau of Water Resources, and Brian D. Harrington, the bureau's deputy regional director, in their separate statements.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2016
Stop a Pipeline for Fracked Gas
The New York Times
KARENNA GORE

GENERATIONS of the Holleran family have harvested sap from trees on their land in New Milford, Pa. In early March, their small maple syrup business was nearly destroyed when armed federal marshals accompanied men with chain saws onto the family farm and used the power of eminent domain to cut down most of their maple trees. The Hollerans are in the way of the Constitution Pipeline, the 124-mile structure that would carry fracked gas from the Marcellus Shale fields of Pennsylvania to a compressor station in Wright, N.Y. From there, it would connect with the Iroquois and Tennessee pipelines to take the gas to New England, and potentially to Canada. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission almost always approves such pipelines, despite growing evidence of the harm they are doing.  [Full Story]

Apr 15, 2016
Documents: How IOGCC Created Loophole Ushering in Frackquakes and Allowing Methane Leakage
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Earthquakes caused by injection of shale oil and gas production wastes — and methane leakage from shale gas pipelines — have proliferated in recent years, with both issues well-studied in the scientific literature and grabbing headlines in newspapers nationwide. Lesser-mentioned, though perhaps at the root of both problems, is a key exemption won by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact (IOGCC) via a concerted lobbying effort in the 1980's. That is, classifying oil and gas wastes as something other than “hazardous” or “solid wastes” under Subtitles C and D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), thus exempting the industry from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Will LNG Exports Save the Shale Gas Drilling Industry's Profitability? Not So Fast
DeSmog Blog
Sharon Kelly

In February, the first ever export of LNG from shale gas reached Brazil, leaving from Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Last month, a second shipment of American shale gas reached India — but that gas sold for just roughly $5/mcf at the Dabhol LNG import terminal there. In other words, unfortunately for the shale drilling industry, those new shale exports are entering a world market that is also suffering from its own sudden collapse in prices.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
After Bankruptcies, Coal’s Dirty Legacy Lives On
The New York Times
TOM SANZILLO and DAVID SCHLISSEL

THE bankruptcy filing on Wednesday by Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private- sector producer of coal, is the latest in a series of major coal company collapses that threaten to leave behind a costly legacy that will haunt taxpayers and consumers for years. The abandonment of hundreds of mines over the years led Congress in 1977 to pass a law that requires coal companies to clean up after mining. Left untreated, these sites are more than eyesores: They create long-lingering problems including polluted drinking water.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
New Documents Show Oil Industry Even More Evil Than We Thought
Huffington Post
Chris D’Angelo

In 1968, a pair of scientists from Stanford Research Institute wrote a report for the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association for America’s oil and natural gas industry. They warned that “man is now engaged in a vast geophysical experiment with his environment, the earth” — one that “may be the cause of serious world-wide environmental changes.” The scientists went on: “If the Earth’s temperature increases significantly, a number of events might be expected to occur including the melting of the Antarctic ice cap, a rise in sea levels, warming of the oceans and an increase in photosynthesis.”  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Square Off On Fracking In Key New York, Pennsylvania Primaries
IB Times
Maria Gallucci

The Democratic presidential candidates this month are battling over their green credentials in two delegate-rich states that have starkly different policies on hydraulic fracturing: New York, where the practice is banned, and Pennsylvania, where a fracking boom is fueling the local economy.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Fracking’s Total Environmental Impact Is Staggering, Report Finds
Think Progress
Samantha Page

The body of evidence is growing that fracking is not only bad for the global climate, it is also dangerous for local communities. And affected communities are growing in number. A new report, released Thursday, details the sheer amount of water contamination, air pollution, climate impacts, and chemical use in fracking in the United States.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Trump knocks NY's lack of fracking
LoHud
Joseph Spector

That was the message Thursday from Donald Trump, who lamented New York's decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in late 2014. He said while Pennsylvania had an economic boom from gas drilling, New York was left out. New York agreed to a fracking ban in late 2014 after six years of deliberations, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration deciding that the risks outweighed any economic benefits.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
UK government's fracking definition 'could allow drilling without safeguards'
Business Green
Damian Carrington

Leading geologist warns loophole in government's legal definition of fracking could enable companies to bypass safety precautions The UK government has been accused of including a large loophole in its legal definition of fracking which could enable companies to bypass safety regulations, according to a leading geologist.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Anti-fracking measure supporters get signatures, and arrest threats.
Monterey County Weekly
David Schmalz

For supporters of the proposed ballot measure that would ban fracking and new oil development in Monterey County, there is some good news: Over the last month, petitioners gathered more than 8,000 signatures, eclipsing the approximately 7,500 signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot. The bad news for the petitioners—who have a goal of reaching 15,000 signatures by May 3—is that they are sometimes being threatened with arrest.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Fracking Produces Billions of Gallons in Toxins, Wastewater
TelesurTV


A new report found that fracking in the U.S. produces 250 billion gallons of wastewater and 2 billion chemicals that could contaminate drinking water. The rapid expansion of fracking in the United States is posing major threats to nearby communities by contaminating drinking water and spreading diseases, according to a new report by the Environment America released Thursday.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Anti-Fracking Activists Continue Push for Ban DEP approves seismic testing on Dead Lakes
The County Record
Kelli Peacock Dunn

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued a permit to Cholla Petroleum to begin seismic testing in Calhoun and Gulf counties.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Fracking Bill fails
WCBC Radio


A bill that would have provided protection from fracking operations through liability and chemical disclosure died in Maryland's House of Delegates despite passing the Senate. The Cumberland Times News reports legislation also garnered 450 signatures in support and the backing of 90 Western Maryland businesses, according to Engage Mountain Maryland, a volunteer group with the goal of bringing awareness to the Appalachian region of Maryland.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Uproar in Colombia over fracking plans near one of country’s most unique ecosystems
Columbria Reports
Adriaan Alsema

Locals and Colombia tourism operators are furious after finding out the subsidiary of a US oil company is allowed to explore fracking possibilities near the springs of the Caño Cristales river, one of the country’s most unique ecosystems.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Substantial support for fracking within Lib Dem membership, says election candidate
Holyrood
Liam Kirkaldy

There is still substantial support for fracking within the Scottish Liberal Democrats, according to one of the party’s candidates for the 2016 Scottish Parliament election. Lib Dem members voted in favour of fracking at conference, before the party leadership intervened to reverse the position and insist the party was opposed to the technique.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Controversy on Impacts of Fracking on Groundwater in Wyoming
HazMat
Nicholson

A peer-reviewed study in Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T), has shown that fracking contaminated the groundwater near . The study, written by researchers at Stanford University, suggests that the entire groundwater resource in the Wind River Basin is contaminated with chemicals linked to hydraulic fracturing, also referred to as fracking.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Commission Postpones Action on Fracking Ordinance
Independent News


Alameda County planning commissioners postponed action on a county anti-fracking ordinance, after receiving an 11th hour letter from the only oil driller in the county. The commission was set to act at its meeting April 4. However, a letter dated the previous day from E&B Natural Resources, which has wells in the Altamont, prompted the commission to delay a decision until May 2.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Our last moment to act New documentary calls on elected officials to abandon fracking and turn to renewables
Boulder Weekly
Angela K. Evans

In late 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was considering opening New York to fracking, allowing the oil and gas industry to develop the state’s portion of the Marcellus Shale. But local activists, nonprofits, concerned citizens and people like filmmaker Jon Bowermaster and actor/activist Mark Ruffalo banded together in protest. And what began as a fight for their own state turned into a national movement for a full transition to renewables and away from the burning of fossil fuels.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
10 Years of Fracking: Its Impact on Our Water, Land and Climate
EcoWatch


In a single year, fracking wells across the country released at least 5.3 billion pounds of the potent greenhouse gas methane, as much global warming pollution as 22 coal-fired power plants. The statistic is one of many in a new study by Environment America Research & Policy Center that quantifies the environmental harm caused by more 137,000 fracking wells permitted since 2005.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
The Clinton-Sanders New York Primary Debate: Energy In Focus
The Wall Street Journal
JOHN CARNEY

While Brooklyn may be far-removed from the forces controlling energy prices and the fates of energy companies, investors should pay close attention to what happens when Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate in Brooklyn ahead of the April 19th New York primary. Energy policy is likely to be a big topic during the debate. Fracking, nuclear power, the Constitution Pipeline and the coal industry will likely come under attack. Solar and wind power are likely to be praised by both candidates.  [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
Clinton-Sanders fracking fracas heats up
Politico
ELANA SCHOR

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are feuding over fracking as they head toward primaries in gas-rich New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland — exposing a rift among Democrats that could haunt her at the party’s convention in July and beyond. The presidential hopefuls’ positions don’t seem vastly different on the surface: Sanders vows to ban the controversial oil- and gas-production technology outright, while Clinton has said she would regulate it so thoroughly that “I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.” But Sanders’ pledge is the one that has caught fire with grass-roots green activists, who feel emboldened in their crusade against fossil fuels after pushing President Barack Obama to kill the Keystone XL oil pipeline and block drilling off the East Coast.   [Full Story]

Apr 14, 2016
NEWS NOW Bird strike causes Delta NYC-to-Nashville flight to make emergency landing ... Kingston PD arrests NYC man for forgery, parole violation ... NYPD: Bronx man arrested in shooting death of man last week ... Bird strike causes Delta NYC-to-Nashville flight to make emergency landing ... Kingston PD arrests NYC man for forgery, parole violation ... NYPD: Bronx man arrested in shooting death of man last week ... Bill opposes plans for Pilgrim Pipeline
Times Herald Record
James Nani

Assemblyman Frank Skartados introduced a bill Thursday that would put the kibosh on plans to build the Pilgrim Pipeline, a 178-mile crude oil pipeline that would largely run along the Thruway. Skartados, D-Milton, said the pipeline would put communities it would cross at risk. Developers want to build the pipeline from Linden, N.J., to Albany. “The Pilgrim Pipeline poses a serious threat to our community, with the potential to affect our drinking water, farmlands and even the tourism industry that drives our economy,” Skartados said. “For our families, there is no reward that could outweigh these risks, and that’s why I’ll keep fighting to put an end to this proposal.”  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Oil industry knew of 'serious' climate concerns more than 45 years ago
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

The oil industry’s knowledge of dangerous climate change stretches back to the 1960s, with unearthed documents showing that it was warned of “serious worldwide environmental changes” more than 45 years ago. The Stanford Research Institute presented a report to the American Petroleum Institute (API) in 1968 that warned the release of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels could carry an array of harmful consequences for the planet. The emergence of this stark advice follows a series of revelations that the fossil fuel industry was aware of climate change for decades, only to publicly deny its scientific basis.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Texas faces significant threat of earthquake activity resulting from both natural processes, fracking
The Daily Texan
Forrest Milburn

Texas is one of six states facing the most significant threat from earthquakes as a result of both natural earth shaking and energy extraction processes, according to a recent report. On March 28, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released maps identifying areas around the country with heightened earthquake activity from both natural earthquakes and those resulting from human activity. USGS seismologist George Choy said the maps are a one-year forecast on natural earthquakes and the effects of wastewater disposal from energy extraction, providing research and data to educate the public and to help governmental officials make more informed environmental and energy decisions. “In the past few years, the increase in oil and gas extraction and the need to dispose of the wastewater has caused a tremendous amount of activity,” Choy said. “The problem is, this activity is short term and it could be controlled by external factors.”  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
State of Waste
Santa Fe Reporter
Elizabeth Miller

Advocates say curbing flares and leaks from natural gas development could boost the state’s bottom line by millions Driving the roads through oil and gas country at night, two kinds of illumination stand out on the desert horizon: the towers of halogen lights that shine on drill rigs while they run 24 hours a day, and the several-foot-tall flames of methane being burned off rather than captured. In the name of millions in lost royalties and reduced environmental impacts, the federal government has taken several stabs at recouping this wasted natural gas—lost through industry practices called flaring and venting, as well as through leaks. An analysis of the methane emissions in New Mexico indicates the state missed out on $50 million in royalties since 2010, according to a report released in March by the Western Values Project, which campaigns for balancing energy development and conservation. “Fixing these leaks will stop the waste of the federal natural gas resource that’s supposed to be produced to the benefit of the taxpayers. Keeping that in the pipeline and not in the air means more revenue for states like New Mexico that rely on that as a big source of budget revenue for state services,” says Jon Goldstein, senior policy manager for the Environmental Defense Fund.   [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Erie Reader
Melissa A Troutman

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will speak at Edinboro University on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. after the Communication Studies Annual Spring Banquet. Just a guess, Wolf probably won’t be communicating about the health threats of fracking. According to the news, he’ll cover “key policy initiatives and the state budget” in his Edinboro address, which is expected to last 15 - 20 minutes. After that, he’s taking questions from the audience, and that’s when I hope to finally get a chance to ask Gov. Wolf about fracking in person. It will be 493 days since I started an online petition to get an interview with Gov. Wolf about fracking by the time he speaks Thursday in Edinboro. I’ve sent emails, made phone calls, mailed certified letters, and even re-sent a letter to Governor Wolf written by Dorene Dougherty, a very ill woman who had to evacuate her home to save her own life as fracking encroached. Neither Dorene nor I ever heard back. For six years, I’ve investigated and published about the rights abuses, water contamination, and health problems caused by fracking – problems that were actually studied in New York state, where fracking was banned in order to protect people and the environment. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, still has not conducted a health or environmental impact study, even though high-volume slickwater fracking began here over a decade ago, around the same time the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill of 2005 created the “Halliburton Loophole,” which makes it legal for oil and gas companies to use chemicals in ways that is illegal for you, me, or another industry to use them. The result – people get sick and groundwater used for drinking, cooking, growing food, feeding families, and raising farm animals is contaminated – many times “off the books.”   [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Lead Isn’t the Only Threat to Drinking Water
The Nation
Zoe Carpenter

? The EPA abandoned a study of fracking pollution in Wyoming. Then one of the agency’s scientists kept investigating. ? For about a decade, residents in Pavillion, Wyoming, have wanted to know what’s wrong with their water. The tiny town is surrounded by more than 1,000 gas wells drilled into sandstone, which has been fractured with a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals to release the gas trapped inside. Pavillion was something of a fracking frontier: In the mid-2000s, when residents started to complain of foul-looking water that smelled like gasoline, the American shale-gas revolution was about to explode. The EPA agreed to investigate the Pavillion case, and in 2011 released a draft report that found high levels of carcinogens and at least one chemical linked to fracking in two test wells. Then, in 2013, the agency abruptly passed the inquiry off to state regulators, whose industry-funded reviews have been inconclusive.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
New York and Fracking: Clinton vs Sanders
Insittute for Public Accuracy
Press Release

USA Today reports Bernie Sanders “may have his best chance of challenging [Hillary] Clinton upstate, where he’s pushing an offensive on fracking and trade deals that have hurt manufacturing jobs, an issue that helped him pull off a surprise victory over Clinton last month in Michigan. On Tuesday, the Vermont senator opened a Rochester rally blasting Clinton for promoting fracking in other countries while Secretary of State.” See from Huffington Post: “Bernie Sanders Calls For Total Ban On Fracking In New Ad.” KATE BARTHOLOMEW, ecogreenwolf at gmail.com A member of the Coalition to Protect New York, Bartholomew said today: “There’s only one candidate who has spoken clearly against shale gas extraction — and the other candidate favors and has promoted it. This is significant for anyone involved in fighting climate change or fighting for renewables. “It’s also important when accessing environmental policy to note where the candidate stands on the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] since that deal threatens any environmental protections that are in place. Similarly, Sanders is the reliable candidate on that issue, others seem to shift with the political wind.” Bartholomew noted that many environmentalists are participating in the “Democracy Spring” protests this week. See from Reuters: “Police arrest 400 at U.S. Capitol in protest of money in politics.” See continuing live coverage by TheRealNews.com. She added: “In New York State, thanks to an unprecedented negative response to the DEC’s [Department of Environmental Conservation] process of preparing the Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on fracking, as well as a separate health impact study by the Department of Health, the Governor deferred to the conclusions of those two departments and all high-volume horizontal fracking activity in New York is banned, essentially, for the foreseeable future. “Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is feeling the negative effects of fracking — both environmental and economic, since natural gas prices are plummeting and the promised windfall — both for individuals and localities — rarely materialized.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Sanders injects fracking into battle for NY
The Hill
Devin Henry

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has a new line of attack against Hillary Clinton tailor-made for New York voters: that she is too soft on hydraulic fracturing. Sanders has taken a firmer line against the drilling practice than the Democratic front-runner, calling for it to be banned nationwide. He highlighted his fracking stance in an ad released this week, putting the issue front and center as he seeks to make up ground ahead of the crucial New York primary next week, which will award 247 delegates. Green advocates say the anti-fracking message could resonate in the state, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has banned fracking and polls show most voters oppose the practice. “There’s a significant infrastructure of people [in New York] that care about the environment, that understand hydraulic fracturing is extremely bad for the planet,” said Tara Houska, the national campaign director of Honor the Earth and a national adviser to the Sanders campaign on Native American affairs.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Bernie Sanders’ climate consistency: Why he, not Hillary Clinton, should be the choice of people who care about global warming
Daily News
Bill McKibben Opinion

Hillary Clinton’s struggle is with time, and on so many fronts: She’s haunted by her support for the Iraq War when it was popular, by her support for jailing “superpredators” when that was popular, by her support for free-trade agreements or her opposition to gay marriage when that polled well. No small share of her campaign has been devoted to explaining her “evolutions.” But in recent days, the problem has been clearest in regard to energy and climate, thrown into sharp relief by young people who have questioned her about the fossil fuel money that’s always lubricated her campaigns. She’s reacted harshly, telling a young Greenpeace campaigner that she’s “sick” of the “lying,” and then laughing at a college student in Philadelphia who questioned her about ties to fracking lobbyists, telling her to “go read the articles.” In more-sorrowful-than-angry mode she told “Meet the Press” that, “I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who believe this; they don’t do their own research.” Let’s excuse the patronizing tone: Presidential campaigns are long and tiring, and it must be galling to be losing young voters, primary after primary, by record numbers. Because Clinton’s real problem is precisely that young people have done their research. For months now, they’ve been bird-dogging all the presidential campaigns, lining up along the rope lines with those gosh-darned smartphones, and trying to move the conversation.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Here's Why TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline Leaked Again
Vice News
Hilary Beaumont

On April 2, a neighbor spotted oil along the side of a rural road surrounded by green farmland near Freeman, South Dakota, and told landowner Loren Schultz. Schultz took one look at the leaked oil and, according to a local TV station, called TransCanada. A section of the company's buried Keystone pipeline, which pumps crude oil from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas, had been leaking for an unknown amount of time, and TransCanada had no idea. After it was shut down more than a week ago due to the major oil spill, the pipeline is now back up and running. According to a preliminary report, Keystone leaked that day because of a "weld anomaly." VICE News has found the section of pipe that leaked was manufactured overseas in India by a company known in the past to make leaky, substandard pipe. TransCanada installed the section of pipeline in 2009 — the same year the US agency that monitors national pipelines warned there could be failures in that exact same type of pipe. Initially, TransCanada reported a small leak this month of 187 gallons. Then it excavated the buried pipeline and updated that estimate to a whopping 16,800 gallons of oil — nearly 90 times what it first reported.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Bernie Sanders Proposes National Ban on Fracking
MyCentralOregon
ABC News

Sanders has a new addition to his campaign speech. Speaking to crowds around New York state and Pennsylvania in the last week, the progressive Democratic candidate has ratcheted up his focus on environmental issues, specifically talking at length about his opposition to fracking. Last fall, Sanders introduced during sweeping legislation to ban the extract of any fossil fuels on federal lands, but in Binghamton, New York on Monday, the Vermont senator went even further, proposing a national ban on the controversial natural shale gas extraction technology. “In my view, if we are serious about safe and clean drinking water, if we are serious about clean air,” he said. “If we are serious about combating climate change, we need to put an end to fracking not only in New York and Vermont, but all over this country.” Last year, after a significant activist movement, New York prohibited fracking despite the state’s large shale gas resources. The issue works in Sanders favors in two ways, as both a way to contrast his record with his primary opponent as well as highlight recent successes of grassroots organization.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Arabia sees record oil and gas drilling as rest of world slumps: Kemp
Reuters
John Kemp

A record number of rigs are drilling for oil and gas on the Arabian peninsula even as drilling in the rest of the world tumbles in response to low prices. There were almost 290 rigs active in Saudi Arabia and the neighboring states of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Oman in March, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Overnight Energy: Obama offshore drilling rule imminent
The Hill
Timohy Cama

OFFSHORE RULE ON ITS WAY: The Obama administration is planning Thursday to unveil the final version of its well control rule, the biggest offshore drilling rule since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.   [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Obama administration to issue new oil and gas drilling regulations
Washington Times
Dave Boyer

The Obama administration will issue sweeping new regulations Thursday for offshore oil and natural gas drillers, potentially costly requirements to prevent environmental disasters such as the BP accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico six years ago.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Update to Penn Township zoning ordinance moves slowly
TribLive
Tom McGee

An update to Penn Township's zoning ordinance is on hold for at least another month, awaiting action by the township planning and zoning commission.   [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
Study: Oil Activity May Be Cause of East Texas Quakes
The Texas Tribune
Jim Malewitz

Oil and gas activity may have triggered a 4.8 magnitude earthquake that shook East Texas in 2012, new research says. In a peer-reviewed study made public Wednesday, University of Texas at Austin researchers call it “plausible” that underground injections of oil and gas waste triggered a series of temblors — including one of the strongest ever recorded in the area at 4.8 — that rattled Timpson residents in 2012. The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, adds to the growing body of research linking wastewater disposal wells to earthquakes in drilling communities nationwide. Texas, home to thousands of such wells, is the third-most at-risk state for man-made earthquakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, behind only Oklahoma and Kansas.  [Full Story]

Apr 13, 2016
What's Fueling the Clinton Campaign?
Truthout
Nicole Colson

Hillary Clinton couldn't help but be spitting mad at the Greenpeace activist who confronted her about the money her campaign has taken from the fossil fuel industry, asking the candidate if she would pledge to reject such money in the future. "I don't have -- I have money from people who work for fossil fuel companies," the Democratic frontrunner snapped, pointing her finger at activist Eva Resnick-Day. "I am so sick. I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me!" But who's doing the lying?  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2016
Researchers find hundreds of methane leaks at well pads in nation-wide thermal imaging study
Vision Syst ems design


Environmental Defense Fund’s Oil and Gas program has released a new nation-wide report of the most common sites of methane leaks at oil and gas pads. Surprisingly, most of the leaks were traced back to faulty piping, vents or doors on gas tanks in newer, not older, wells. Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2016
Maryland county becomes first in state to say ‘no’ to fracking
Arelis Hernandez
Washington Post

Search Home Page Politics Opinions Sports Local National World Business Tech Lifestyle Entertainment Crosswords Video Photography Washington Post Live Live Chats Real Estate Cars Jobs WP BrandConnect Classifieds Partners washingtonpost.com 1996-2016 The Washington Post Terms of Service Privacy Policy Submissions and Discussion Policy RSS Terms of Service Ad Choices Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share via Email More Options Maryland Politics Maryland county becomes first in state to say ‘no’ to fracking Resize Text Print Article Comments 21 Book mark article Read later list Saved to Reading List Protesters gather outside the Maryland Statehouse to express concerns about fracking. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post) By Arelis R. Hernández April 12 at 3:32 PM Lawmakers in Prince George’s County voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban hydraulic fracking, becoming the first local jurisdiction in Maryland to prohibit the extraction of natural gas within its borders since the state’s moratorium on the practice went into effect. Council member Mary A. Lehman (D-Laurel) sponsored the legislation that would amend the zoning ordinance to forbid natural-gas drilling across the county and particularly in the rural southern Prince George’s communities sitting on top of the Taylorsville Basin. The basin — which runs through southern Maryland under the Potomac River and into Virginia — is a potentially untapped natural-gas reserve, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. But it spans an ecologically sensitive area that residents and activists have long fought to protect from excessive development, industry and power plants.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2016
Bernie Sanders Calls for Nationwide Ban on Fracking
EcoWatch


Bernie Sanders doubled down on his stance on fracking ahead of the New York primary this week, advocating for a nationwide ban with a new campaign advertisement and a speech in upstate New York.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2016
Calls For Permanent Closure of Aliso Canyon NatGas Storage Facility As Californians Face Blackouts
DeSmogBlog
Mike Gaworecki

Last week, California regulators and Southern California Gas Company, which operates the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, issued a report warning that a continued shutdown of the facility, the site of the worst methane leak in state history, would lead to blackouts throughout the summer. The regulators and the company have proposed restarting gas injections into the Aliso Canyon facility in the coming weeks, but Porter Ranch area residents — 1,800 of whom had to be evacuated due to health impacts of the methane leak — are challenging the report’s findings and calling for permanent closure of Aliso Canyon, one of the largest gas storage facilities in the US. Aliso Canyon has been shut down since January. The leak started in October of last year. Two and a half months later, Governor Jerry Brown finally declared a state of emergency, but it would take SoCalGas, as the company is known, another month and a half to finally stop the leak.  [Full Story]

Apr 12, 2016
Bernie Sanders Calls for National Fracking Ban, Addresses Fracking Related Methane Pollution
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

As Bernie Sanders attempts an upset in New York’s April 19th primary, he has begun to increase his focus on the issues of fracking and climate change. And since the state of New York banned fracking in 2015 and a recent Gallup poll reports only 25% of Democrats nationwide support fracking this would appear to be smart politics. In his first of three rallies across New York on April 11th Sanders took the time to address the issue and highlight the major differences on the issue between himself and Secretary Clinton for the audience in Albany. With the number of anti-fracking signs in the building, the strong response to the message was not surprising.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Sanders brings anti-fracking, anti-Wall Street message to Albany
Capital NY
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — In front of a crowd that included environmentalists, college students, mothers with young children, and tie-dyed Woodstock types, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday celebrated the state's fracking ban and its decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 in many places. About 4,000 people jammed into a former National Guard armory in the Arbor Hill section of the capital's downtown to hear the Brooklyn native, who is challenging Hillary Clinton in New York's April 19 presidential primary. Sanders took the stage just hours after his campaign released an ad featuring actress Susan Sarandon and promising that he would ban fracking “everywhere.” It’s an issue on which Sanders and Clinton differ dramatically. The former U.S. senator from New York has characterized natural gas as a bridge fuel. In New York, Sanders’ base clearly aligns with the environmental movement, and he has criticized Clinton for accepting campaign money from fossil fuel interests and Wall Street.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Shale Gas Headed for Biggest Drop in 3 Years, Sharing Oil's Pain
Bloomberg
Naureen Malik

Natural gas production from America’s biggest shale formations is poised to slide by the most in three years as tumbling crude oil prices force the nation’s energy explorers to cut back on drilling for both fuels. Gas output from the top seven shale deposits will fall by 1.1 percent to 45.93 billion cubic feet a day from April, the biggest percentage decline since March 2013, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its Drilling Productivity Report Monday. The retreat is led by the oil-rich Eagle Ford deposit in Texas and the Niobrara shale in Colorado and neighboring states, where gas is pumped as a byproduct of crude extraction.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Sanders applauds NY's fracking ban
Poughkeepsie Journal
Joseph Spector

ALBANY -- Bernie Sanders praised supporters Monday in the Southern Tier for beating back hydraulic fracturing in New York, saying the state's ban is important to protect the environment and fight climate change. New York agreed to a fracking ban in late 2014 after six years of deliberations, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration deciding that the risks outweighed any economic benefits. "I want to applaud you for standing up to Governor Cuomo and demanding that New York state ban fracking," Sanders said in a speech in Binghamton.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Sanders calls for national fracking ban, with eye on Clinton
The Washington Post
David Weigel

“Hillary Clinton just said, ‘I support the New York fracking ban,’ ” Fox said. "But Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, developed the global shale gas initiative, which sold fracking to 30 countries worldwide. And she is advocating for a ‘natural gas bridge to the future.’ What does that mean? It means frack gas pipelines crisscrossing everywhere. It means 300 new pipelines that will last for decades.” When he took the stage, the brown water replaced by something drinkable, Sanders repeatedly promised to ban fracking and compared the anti-fracking movement to other great bottom-up causes. “It didn’t happen because the governor woke up one day and said: 'Oh, why didn’t I think of that?'” said Sanders. “He did it because he’s a good politician, and that’s fair enough. He responded to the people.”  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Bernie Sanders calls for nationwide fracking ban in new TV ad
Times Union
Matthew Hamilton

After applauding at a Monday morning rally the people of the Binghamton area for “standing up to Gov. Cuomo” and demanding a state ban on hydraulic fracturing — which Cuomo obliged — Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced it would air a new television ad calling for a nationwide ban on the practice. “No Fracking Anywhere” highlights Sanders as “the only candidate for president who opposes fracking everywhere.” “Bernie, he can’t be bought by them,” a narrator states, referring to companies that would engage in fracking, “because he’s funded by you.”   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Bernie Sanders Proposes Fracking Ban and Attacks Hillary Clinton on the Environment
The New York Review of Books
Yamiche Alcindor

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Bernie Sanders, campaigning across New York State on Monday, called for a nationwide ban on fracking and pointedly criticized Hillary Clinton for her record and stances on environmental issues. The Vermont senator began his day speaking to an estimated 5,000 people in Binghamton and by releasing a new television ad that called for the end of fracking across the country. Mr. Sanders said Mrs. Clinton has advocated for natural gas pipelines that will hurt the environment, and that as secretary of state she had rewarded companies through fracking expansions. He also expressed support for climate change activists who rallied to get fracking banned in New York.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Bernie Sanders Talks Fracking, Free Tuition and Wealth Inequality During Packed Binghamton Town Hall
TWC News
Alexa Green

The loudest applause by far came when Sanders addressed an issue that hits close to home in the Southern Tier -- fracking. He applauded the region for standing up to Governor Andrew Cuomo and banning fracking, but says more work needs to be done. "In my view, if we are serious about safe and clean drinking water, if we are serious about clean air. If we are serious about protecting the health of our children and our families, if we are serious about combating climate change, we need to put an end to fracking, not only in New York and Vermont, but all over this country," said Sanders.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Introducing IOGCC: The Most Powerful Oil and Gas Lobby You’ve Never Heard Of
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) is far from a household name, but a new investigation published by InsideClimate News' Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Lisa Song may have just put what is likely the most powerful oil and gas lobbying node you've never heard of on the map. Titled, “Is the IOGCC, Created by Congress in 1935, Now a Secret Oil and Gas Lobby?,” the article's origins lay in the hundreds of documents obtained from open records requests and historical archives by me and Jesse Coleman, a researcher at Greenpeace USA, that are part of an ongoing investigation into IOGCC. Song's article for the award-winning InsideClimate News reveals documents that show for the first time that it was IOGCC at the front and center, and not just Halliburton, which created what many now know as the Halliburton Loophole.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Oil Giants Spend $115 Million A Year To Oppose Climate Policy
Huffington Post
Casey Williams

Major fossil fuel companies and trade groups shell out nearly $115 million a year to oppose efforts to reduce carbon emissions, according to a new report from the British research organization Influence Map. The largest share of the money comes from the American Petroleum Institute, the country’s largest trade organization for oil and gas producers. It reportedly spends $65 million annually in efforts to block climate policy. API is followed by Exxon Mobil, which spends $27 million, and Shell, which spends $22 million a year on anti-climate advocacy. The rest of the money comes from smaller fossil fuel companies and trade organizations.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Chesapeake Pledges Almost Entire Company as Debt Collateral
Bloomberg
Joe Carroll

Chesapeake Energy Corp. pledged almost all of its natural gas fields, real estate and derivatives contracts to maintain access to a $4 billion line of credit as the shale gas producer grapples with falling energy prices. The stock was the top performer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Chesapeake amended a secured revolving credit agreement that matures in 2019 with lenders, who agreed to postpone the next evaluation until June 2017, the Oklahoma City-based company said in a statement Monday. Such reassessments normally occur twice a year. In exchange, Chesapeake pledged “substantially all of the company’s assets, including mortgages encumbering 90 percent of all the company’s proved oil and gas properties” as collateral, according to a regulatory filing on Monday.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Sanders applauds fracking ban in Southern Tier
LoHud
Joseph Spector

ALBANY -- Bernie Sanders praised supporters Monday in the Southern Tier for beating back hydraulic fracturing in New York, saying the state's ban is important to protect the environment and fight climate change.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Report: Potentially Dangerous Fracking Chemicals Used in California
Public News Service


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California has almost 50,000 oil wells and more than 4,100 gas wells – and a new report says federal law allows companies to use chemicals for drilling and fracking with virtually no health testing and then use confidentiality claims to hide basic information on what's being injected. The report, by the nonprofit advocacy group the Partnership for Policy Integrity, reviewed EPA records and found that health information was made public in only two of 99 cases.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Report: Federal Law Lets Oil and Gas Companies Hide Data on Chemicals
Public News Service


HELENA, Mont. – Montana has about 4,400 oil wells and 6,700 gas wells – and a >new report says companies are hiding basic data on the chemicals they use – under the guise of confidentiality – and it's completely legal.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Fracking inquiry comes to town
NT News
Christopher Walsh

A SENATE Inquiry into Unconventional Gas Mining will roll into Darwin this morning and is expected to attract a large crowd of concerned Territorians. Naomi Hogan, with NT Lock the Gate Alliance, said the inquiry would help get to the bottom of an issue that has “caused an uproar” in rural areas across the NT.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Video: Sanders answers our questions on jobs, fracking
Press Connects
John R. roby

We asked Sen. Bernie Sanders how his policies on jobs, economic opportunity and environmental protection would affect the Southern Tier. Here's how he answered.   [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Supporters cleared to gather signatures for anti-oil and gas ballot proposal
Denver Business Journal
Cathy Proctor

Supporters of a ballot proposal to expand Colorado’s existing buffer zones surrounding oil and gas operations from 500 feet to 2,500 feet, a move that if approved by voters would ban drilling across a wide area of the state, can start gathering the 98,492 valid signatures needed to be on the 2016 ballot.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Big Oil Is a Major Booster for Clinton’s Campaign
AlterNet
Jim Naureckas

FAIR.org readers took action in response to “Did Sanders Lie About Clinton’s Oil Money? NPR Factchecker Can’t Be Bothered to Check” (4/1/16). They got a response from NPR ombud Elizabeth Jensen (4/5/16) and a do-over from NPR factchecker Peter Overby (4/6/16)—but NPR’s coverage still leaves a lot to be desired in terms of forthrightly addressing the issue of fossil-fuel funding in the Democratic presidential race. In a column that addressed complaints about NPR’s Trump coverage, Jensen wrote:  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Harness only wind, water and sun to energize New York
Times Union
Pramilla Malick and James Cromwell

Many activists gathered in Albany last week to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to "Save New York from FERC," the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But the real question is: Who will save New York from itself? Despite the ban on fracking, New York is now faced with an unprecedented proliferation of gas infrastructure such as pipelines and compressor stations, which also carry inherent health and safety risks. While activists and impacted residents ask that Cuomo reject state permits to stop these projects, so far they have channeled most of their fury against FERC, the agency that grants the project's ultimate approval.  [Full Story]

Apr 11, 2016
Fort Worth school district settled with Chesapeake for $1 million
Star-Telegram
Max B. Baker

FORT WORTH The Fort Worth school district settled its lawsuit with Chesapeake Energy over natural gas royalties for $1 million, according to documents released Monday after the Texas attorney general decided that the information is public. The attorney general’s office ordered the district to release details of the out-of-court settlement despite efforts by Chesapeake to keep it private through a confidentiality agreement signed by both parties in December. The Star-Telegram, along with the city of Fort Worth, sought to have the settlement agreement, approved by the Fort Worth school board in January, released under the Texas Public Information Act.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2016
The human face of fracking in North Dakota – in pictures
The Guardian


In 2006, Eli Reichman began photographing a ranching community in the fracking fields of western North Dakota. For the last decade, he has documented the cultural and social breakdown of an agricultural community being pressured to compromise in order to stay on land originally homesteaded by their ancestors in the early 1900s.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2016
Our self-destructive gas industry Natural-gas executives are their own worst enemy
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
John Hanger Opinion

For the gas industry to lose so much support so quickly, even as its huge production delivers energy bargains to heating and electricity consumers, is astonishing, but the gas industry keeps damaging itself every day, ignoring louder and louder alarm bells.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2016
Climate Rally for Bernie Sanders Draws 1,000 Anti-Fracking Activists in Upstate New York
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

Yesterday afternoon, in an old vaudeville music hall in downtown Kingston, New York, Bernie Sanders’ campaign held a rally “for clean energy and safe climate” to build support for the presidential candidate and mobilize the Hudson Valley, Catskills and Southern Tier to fight climate change in advance of New York’s Democratic primary election on April 19. Sanders himself was not on hand—nor was he part of the billing. Nevertheless, more than 1,000 people packed the damp, chilly hall to standing room only capacity to hear from anti-fracking leaders, as well as organizers from the campaign itself, who instructed the audience members in the art of door-to-door canvassing, signed them up for tours of duty, and, when the rally ended, sent them out into the community to knock on doors, phone bank and turn out the vote.  [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2016
Wind and solar are crushing fossil fuels worldwide
The Denver Post
Tom Randall

U.K., the original coal superpower, now produces less power from coal than it has since at least 1850 Wind and solar have grown seemingly unstoppable. While two years of crashing prices for oil, natural gas and coal triggered dramatic downsizing in those industries, renewables have been thriving. Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels. One reason is that renewable energy is becoming ever cheaper to produce. Recent solar and wind auctions in Mexico and Morocco ended with winning bids from companies that promised to produce electricity at the cheapest rate, from any source, anywhere in the world, said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2016
Study: Harmful chemicals found in creek near fracking wastewater well site
Columbia Tribune
Alan Burdziak

Researchers from the University of Missouri and Duke University soon will publish a study showing activity related to high levels of chemicals that cause hormonal problems in humans and wildlife in a creek near a well that stores wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.   [Full Story]

Apr 10, 2016
Climate Rally for Bernie Sanders Draws 1,000 Anti-Fracking Activists in Upstate New York
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

Yesterday afternoon, in an old vaudeville music hall in downtown Kingston, New York, Bernie Sanders’ campaign held a rally “for clean energy and safe climate” to build support for the presidential candidate and mobilize the Hudson Valley, Catskills and Southern Tier to fight climate change in advance of New York’s Democratic primary election on April 19.   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2016
Pennsylvania AG candidate Shapiro calls for fracking accountability Democratic candidate vows to hold oil and gas drillers criminally liable for violations
Philly Voice
Michael Tanenbaum

“In the last eight years, the fracking industry has spent over $40 million on lobbying in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro says in the 30-second spot. “So it’s no surprise that although they’ve had over 4,000 violations, all they’ve gotten is just a slap on the wrist.”  [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2016
'Unprecedented' Youth Climate Case Against Government Moves Forward
Common Dreams
Nadia Prupis

A federal judge in Oregon on Friday ruled that the lawsuit brought against the U.S. government by a group of youths last August can go to trial—a huge victory for the case climate activists are calling "the most important lawsuit on the planet right now." The lawsuit, filed by 21 plaintiffs ages 8-19, and climate scientist Dr. James Hansen, states that the federal government is violating their right to life, liberty, and property, as well as their right to public trust resources, by enabling continued fossil fuel extraction and use. U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin in Eugene, who called the case "unprecedented," rejected motions by federal lawyers and representatives of fossil fuel groups to dismiss the lawsuit. He stated in his decision (pdf) that the plaintiffs "give this debate justiciability by asserting harms that befall or will befall them personally and to a greater extent than older segments of society."   [Full Story]

Apr 9, 2016
Issues to watch in New York primary
Press Connects
Jon Campbell

ALBANY — For the first time in decades, New York matters. It’s a surprising statement about a state that, as home to the nation’s most-populous city and media capital, isn’t starved for attention.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
New York energy policy now an issue in Clinton-Sanders contest
Politico New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — Hillary on fracking. Bernie on Indian Point. Energy policy in New York has entered the national conversation as the media focuses on the state's April 19 presidential primary, one of the most competitive in years.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
Researchers Find No Shortcuts for Spotting Wells That Leak the Most Methane
Inside Climate Newss
Phil McKenna

It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict which oil and gas wells will emit large amounts of methane, a comprehensive study of more than 8,000 active facilities across the U.S. finds. Researchers were looking for ways to predict which wells leak the most, following prior studies that showed "superemitters" contribute the vast majority of oil and gas fields' emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. If researchers could uncover a pattern, it would make predicting those superemitters and reducing their emissions easier. "It makes things a little more challenging," said lead author David Lyon, a scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund. "You are going to have to look at all the sites to find the high emissions."   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
Rope-Line Questions Push Hillary Clinton to Address Climate, Energy Issues
Inside Climate Newss
SHEILA V KUMAR

When Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton erupted in anger at a question along a rope line about campaign contributions from fossil fuel donors last week, it made news because of the previously placid nature of the Democratic presidential nomination race between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. But it also highlighted a new strategy by activists to get their issues addressed by the candidates. The video clip from a Greenpeace activist captured Clinton snapping, "I'm so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I'm sick of it," and the exchange was instantly swept into the major media coverage of the campaign.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
Think Tank With Fossil-Fuel Ties Subpoenaed in AG's Climate Inquiry
Inside Climate Newss
JOHN H. CUSHMAN JR.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank and one of the fossil fuel industry's most steadfast allies, disclosed on Thursday that the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands is demanding to see records of the group's donors and activities involving climate policy. The subpoena represents a broadening of a multifaceted legal inquiry into whether fossil fuel companies broke any laws as they sought for decades to undermine the scientific consensus and head off forceful action to address the climate crisis.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
The Scariest Part Of California’s Gas Leak Wasn’t Rashes And Bloody Noses. It’s What Happens Next.
Think Progress
Samantha Page

But the scariest part might not be the headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and irritated eyes. It’s that these illnesses are signs that the system failed to protect this small neighborhood in Los Angeles. In a state that uses 2.34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas every year, the system is everywhere — and nowhere more so than Porter Ranch.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
Everything you need to know about ‘fractivism 2.0’ for New York’s primary
Fusion
Ari Phillips

On April 19, when New Yorkers get their turn to vote on the country’s next leader, the future of natural gas—specifically gas that comes from hydraulic fracturing—will be on many people’s minds. Clean energy and climate activists are hoping to build on the attention a highly public skirmish between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders about the role of fossil fuel money in campaigns has already brought to the New York race. At the same time, illustrating the success of the multi-year, multi-pronged anti-fracking movement in the state, which has now evolved into ‘fractivism 2.0’—a broader endeavor pushing for change across the energy and climate platforms—could give a boost of momentum to these issues at the national level.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
New York energy policy now an issue in Clinton-Sanders contest
PoliticoNewYork
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — Hillary on fracking. Bernie on Indian Point. Energy policy in New York has entered the national conversation as the media focuses on the state's April 19 presidential primary, one of the most competitive in years. In recent days, the candidates have weighed in on the closure of Indian Point and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fracking ban, and advocates are now making an aggressive push to get the campaigns of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to come out against the proposed Constitution pipeline.   [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
Veresen and ITOCHU Agree Key Terms for Jordan Cove Liquefaction Capacity
Market Wired


CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - April 8, 2016) - Veresen Inc. ("Veresen") (TSX:VSN) is pleased to announce that it has reached preliminary agreement with respect to certain key commercial terms with ITOCHU Corporation ("ITOCHU") for the long-term sale of natural gas liquefaction capacity at the Jordan Cove LNG facility. Veresen is developing the Jordan Cove LNG facility in the International Port of Coos Bay in Oregon, USA. The preliminary agreement signed today contemplates the purchase by ITOCHU of 1.5 million tonnes per annum of natural gas liquefaction capacity for an initial term of 20 years. This agreement is subject to the negotiation of a mutually acceptable, definitive liquefaction tolling agreement, which Veresen and ITOCHU will continue to work together to conclude.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
The Scariest Part Of California’s Gas Leak Wasn’t Rashes And Bloody Noses. It’s What Happens Next.
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

Tatiana Khanlian is 2 years old. Over four months this winter, she had rashes along her arms, spontaneous bloody noses, mood swings, and a decreased appetite, her father says. Tatiana’s older brothers, ages 5 and 8, are old enough to know they couldn’t go outside, but not old enough to understand why. “Imagine keeping kids away from playing outside,” their father, Gabriel, said. It started in October. A pungent, sulfury smell, not unlike rotten eggs, hung over the neighborhood. By January, even when just whiffs of the stuff were floating through the neighborhood, it was still enough to cause headaches and watery eyes in newcomers. People who had been exposed for months were even more sensitive.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
Veresen files appeal of Jordan Cove LNG denial, signs second Japanese customer
Calgary Herald
DAN HEALING

Veresen Inc. has filed a request for a re-hearing with the U.S. energy regulator, hoping to overturn its denial of permission to build the $5.3-billion Jordan Cove LNG facility in Oregon. Spokeswoman Dorreen Miller said the filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was expected to be made Friday, the same day the Calgary-based firm announced it has signed a second Japanese customer to a preliminary take-away agreement for 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year for 20 years. “We understand the FERC has 30 days to respond to our request for re-hearing,” Miller said. If granted, “they will be looking at all the evidence that we’re submitting.”  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
Gas driller wants judge to set aside $4.24M jury verdict
WBNG
Nicky Hickling

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- One of the largest natural gas producers in Pennsylvania is asking a U.S. magistrate judge to set aside a $4.24 million jury verdict that found the company polluted the well water of two families. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. has maintained its drilling wasn't responsible for elevated methane levels in water wells in the northeastern Pennsylvania village of Dimock.  [Full Story]

Apr 8, 2016
Think Tank With Fossil-Fuel Ties Subpoenaed in AG's Climate Inquiry
Inside Climate News
John H. Cushman, Jr.

The subpoena of the Competitive Enterprise Institute by the Virgin Islands AG represents a widening of the investigations into Exxon and other companies. The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank and one of the fossil fuel industry's most steadfast allies, disclosed on Thursday that the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands is demanding to see records of the group's donors and activities involving climate policy.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Scientists find fracking contaminated Wyoming water after EPA halted study Dangerous levels of chemicals found in underground water, while waste was dumped in unlined pits and barriers to protect groundwater were inadequate
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

Two scientists have highlighted dangerous water contamination from a fracking operation in Wyoming, three years after the US Environmental Protection Agency decided to abandon its investigation into the matter. The report found there were dangerous levels of chemicals in the underground water supply used by the 230 residents of Pavillion, a small town in central Wyoming. Levels of benzine, a flammable liquid used in fuel, were 50 times above the allowable limit, while chemicals were dumped in unlined pits and cement barriers to protect groundwater were inadequate, the research found.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Keystone pipeline leak estimate grows to 16,800 gallons of oil
CNN Money
Matt Egan

TransCanada now believes the Keystone pipeline has leaked about 16,800 gallons in South Dakota, a dramatic increase from initial estimates. The leak was discovered on Saturday and forced a key section of the controversial pipeline to be shut down. TransCanada (TRP) initially told regulators the spill totaled about 187 gallons of oil. TransCanada told CNNMoney that while the company has "made progress" in trying to find the source of the leak, it has "yet to pinpoint the source."  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
New water concerns bubble up in Barnett Shale
WFAA
Brett Shipp

WISE COUNTY, TX – Several residents of a North Texas community say their well water is making them so sick they have stopped drinking it. They also say their pleas for help have gone unheeded. They live in an unincorporated residential development called Chisholm Springs, just north of Fort Worth in southern Wise County. All 200 homes in the community are on a common water well system. From street level, Chisholm Springs seems like an isolated slice of the American Dream. But a satellite view reveals that residents are not so alone. They are, in fact, surrounded by dozens of drilling pad sites in the heart of the Barnett Shale. one of the world's largest natural gas fields. Some say that's a concern.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Scientists find fracking contaminated Wyoming water after EPA halted study
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

Two scientists have highlighted dangerous water contamination from a fracking operation in Wyoming, three years after the US Environmental Protection Agency decided to abandon its investigation into the matter. The report found there were dangerous levels of chemicals in the underground water supply used by the 230 residents of Pavillion, a small town in central Wyoming. Levels of benzine, a flammable liquid used in fuel, were 50 times above the allowable limit, while chemicals were dumped in unlined pits and cement barriers to protect groundwater were inadequate, the research found.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Middle America has become an epicenter for earthquakes — and scientists now know why
Tech Insider


A new report from the US Geological Survey has revealed that the oil and gas industry is causing earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States at an alarming rate. Fracking is part of the problem, but the report states that most human-induced quakes are caused by the oil and gas industry's use of injection wells to dispose of wastewater – the contaminated liquid that gets pumped out of the well during oil and gas extraction.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Oil and gas wastewater disposal may harm West Virginia waterways Scientists draw conclusions after study at natural gas and oil extraction wastewater disposal facility
EurekAlert


COLUMBIA, Mo. - Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to release natural gas and oil from underground rock. Recent studies have centered on potential water pollution from this process that may increase endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in surface and ground water and whether populations living near these operations have an increased risk of disease. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri (MU) report high levels of EDC activity in the surface water near a hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal facility in West Virginia. Scientists warn that this level of activity may be associated with negative health effects in aquatic organisms, other animals and humans.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Clinton laughs off activist's fracking fundraising request
The Hill
Devin Henry

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Wednesday laughed off concerns from an anti-fracking activist who asked her to reject future donations from the hydraulic fracturing industry. While shaking hands with supporters at a campaign rally, a University of Pittsburgh student asked Clinton, “Will you reject money from registered fracking lobbyists?” according to a video released by climate group 350 Action. Clinton laughed and told the student, “Go read the articles. I’ve debunked all of that.”   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Another reason to ban fracking Science finds groundwater contamination due to hydraulic fracturing
News Review
Opinion

A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology suggests for the first time that hydraulic fracturing—that controversial oil-extraction method known as fracking—can, indeed, contaminate groundwater. In fact, the study reveals, it already has.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Toxic biocides may not be needed routinely at fracking sites, study shows Tests find that some fracking sites don’t contain pipeline-fouling microbes
Cen.acs.org
Elizabeth K Wilson

When oil and gas companies extract fuel from the earth via fracking, they routinely add biocides such as glutaraldehyde to the high-pressure water they use to fracture rock formations deep underground. These compounds are a preemptive strike against microbes that produce hydrogen sulfide, which can corrode pipelines.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Democratic Senate Candidates Spar Over Fracking
WESA 90.5
Reid Frazier, THE ALLEGHENY FRONT

The Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate is heating up, and sparks are flying on a topic that’s always hot in Pennsylvania—fracking. At a debate this week, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman and former congressman and Navy Vice Admiral Joe Sestak both tried to brand their opponent, Katie McGinty, as a friend of fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Down on fracking Most Americans don’t approve of hydraulic fracturing
News Review


More than ever, the American public is opposed to hydraulic fracturing—the method of oil extraction also known as fracking—which now accounts for half of U.S. oil production. A recent Gallup poll asked a random sample of about 1,000 adults whether they favor or oppose fracking as a means of increasing the production of natural gas and oil in the U.S., finding that 51 percent of respondents opposed it, 36 percent approved and 13 percent had no opinion. Last year, Gallup found that only 40 percent of Americans opposed fracking. The dip in approval is likely due to increased media coverage of environmental concerns, such as fracking’s connection to manmade earthquakes.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
EPA approves fracking chemicals despite lack of health tests
Ohio.com
Bob Downing

From a press release today: New Report: Fracking, Drilling Chemicals Approved by EPA Despite Lack of Health Tests Companies exploit Toxic Substances Control Act to hide information on chemical identities, risks; Congressional reform effort would not fix problems   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Everything you need to know about ‘fractivism 2.0’ for New York’s primary
Fusion
Ari Phillips

On April 19, when New Yorkers get their turn to vote on the country’s next leader, the future of natural gas—specifically gas that comes from hydraulic fracturing—will be on many people’s minds. Clean energy and climate activists are hoping to build on the attention a highly public skirmish between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders about the role of fossil fuel money in campaigns has already brought to the New York race. At the same time, illustrating the success of the multi-year, multi-pronged anti-fracking movement in the state, which has now evolved into ‘fractivism 2.0’—a broader endeavor pushing for change across the energy and climate platforms—could give a boost of momentum to these issues at the national level.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Half of World Heritage Sites at Risk From Fossil Fuel Development and Other Industries
EcoWatch
Climate Nexus

Nearly half the world’s natural heritage sites are threatened by various forms of industrial development, according to a new report. The World Wildlife Fund says extractive industries and other large projects pose a clear risk to at least 114 of 229 global sites identified by the organization.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Carson City Bans Fracking
EcoWatch
Food & Water Watch

On Tuesday night, the Carson City Council voted unanimously to ban fracking, acidizing and other environmentally hazardous well stimulation techniques. The move comes after a five-year fight against a proposal for 200 new fracking wells. The efforts of the Carson Coalition and concerned residents, joined by Food & Water Watch, resulted in the California Resources Corporation (formerly Occidental Petroleum) withdrawing the project last year. Residents continued to fight to ensure fracking would never come to Carson, California, resulting in the ban by city council.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Several earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma on Thursday
Washington Post
Associated Press

LUTHER, Okla. — The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded several small to moderate earthquakes in Oklahoma, including a magnitude 4.0 quake.   [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Utica shale drilling still stalled as prices and rig counts drop
Crain's Cleveland Business
Dan Shingler

In case you were wondering, there’s still a Utica shale boom going on – and Canton is still staking its claim as its capital. “I’m very reluctant to say we are in a bust – we are in a pause,” Cleveland State University economist and shale oil and gas expert Iryna Lendel told a sold-out crowd at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Utica Upstream conference April 6. The crowd was made up mostly of drillers, service companies and other business people who rely on the drilling and production of shale gas to make their living.  [Full Story]

Apr 7, 2016
Researchers fly over 8,000 well pads and find hundreds of methane leaks
Public Source
Elizabeth Lepro

A new study from scientists in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oil and Gas program examined the most common sites for methane leaks at oil and gas pads nationwide. A team of researchers partnered with Gas Leaks Inc., a company that uses infrared technology to inspect well pads, to fly a helicopter over thousands of pads in seven regions in the United States.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
How Fracking Threatens Our Health
Huffington Post
Margie Alt

Clean water is essential to human health. That’s why we’re marking National Public Health Week in part by calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revise its widely panned conclusion from last year: that fracking poses no ‘widespread, systemic’ risks to our drinking water.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
California Porter Ranch Gas Leak Killing Local Housing Market Sales
World Property Journal
Michael Gerrity

According to a new study by RealtyTrac, the recent and unprecedented gas leak in Porter Ranch California is now having a devastating effect on the local housing market. The Porter Ranch analysis shows that in the three months following the discovery of the gas leak in late October 2015, home sales in the Porter Ranch zip code (91326) plunged 44 percent while the share of all-cash sales spiked 50 percent during the same time period. Meanwhile, the median home sales price in Porter Ranch in the three months following the discovery of the gas leak dropped 1 percent. "Such a spike in the percentage of cash sales in an area in such a short period of time certainly indicates a market disruption," said Dr. Clifford A. Lipscomb, Director of Economic Research at Greenfield Advisors. "Market disruption is further signified by the number of families that requested relocation out of the Porter Ranch area as well as the number of health effects reported by area residents. Also, with further research, you might find that lenders are less willing to lend on a property located in the Porter Ranch area."   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Keystone I Leak Raises More Doubts About Pipeline Safety
Inisde Climate News
Phil McKenna

A leak and shutdown in South Dakota comes as TransCanada seeks to build another large, cross-country pipeline touting its leak detection technology.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels
Bloomberg
Tom Randall

Wind and solar have grown seemingly unstoppable. While two years of crashing prices for oil, natural gas, and coal triggered dramatic downsizing in those industries, renewables have been thriving. Clean energy investment broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
US and Canada continue climate alliance with move to curb methane emissions
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg

Meeting represents one of the last chances to grow on climate partnership agreed on by Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama before US president leaves office The US and Canada will take their newfound climate alliance to the next level on Thursday, advancing efforts to curb emissions of methane, a powerful warming agent produced at fracking sites and tar sands, ageing oil installations and pipelines.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
CLEAN POWER PLAN: Dominion defends rule's goals as 'feasible'
E & E Newswire
Rod Kuckro and Elizabeth Harbal

Energy giant Dominion Resources Inc. is making a strong business case in favor of U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan, telling a federal appeals court that compliance with the rule to curb carbon emission from power plants is "feasible" and that "effects on power plants and customers can be successfully managed" with market-based tools. And in a rebuke to opponents of the EPA rule, led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Dominion said their "overly narrow interpretation of the Clean Air Act would be more disruptive to the power sector, and result in higher compliance costs for power plant owners and electricity customers." Richmond, Va.-based Dominion is the dominant utility in the state. Even with its diverse generation fleet, Dominion produced the lion's share of its electricity -- 32 percent -- from coal-fired power plants in 2015. But in its amicus brief filed Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Dominion emphasized that the EPA rule "is compatible with current trends toward additional renewable and natural gas generation in the power sector based on market condition and customer demands."  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Ex-EPA scientist publishes Wyoming fracking study that agency abandoned Study stands by initial finding of contamination.
Ars Technica
Scott K. Johnson

In late 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency published a draft report on an investigation of groundwater contamination near Pavillion, Wyoming, where fracking had jump-started an oil and natural gas field that includes the Wind River Reservation. It's an unusual geologic setting, with little separation between the drinking water aquifer and the rocks being fracked for gas. Add poorly sealed gas wells, the draft report concluded, and you get fracking contamination that appeared to have reached the drinking water aquifer.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Public health campaigners renew call for fracking health registry
StateImpact Pa
Jon Hurdle

Pennsylvania public health campaigners have issued a new call for the establishment of a statewide registry of health complaints that could be related to oil and gas development. Such a registry would help doctors and nurses identify patterns of health complaints by people living near sites such as well pads or compressor stations, and determine any link between those complaints and local air and water conditions.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Natural Gas Production Is Slipping
Seeking Alpha


Summary Bentek Energy is reporting this morning that natural gas production has fallen to its lowest level of the year. The EIA Drilling Productivity Report is predicting natural gas production may start to fall monthly by 1/2 Bcf per day. The Baker Hughes Rig Count has fallen to 88 rigs drilling for natural gas in the lower 48 United States. The 12-month NYMEX strip indicates further declines are possible.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Natural Gas Prices Should Double
Oil Voice
Art Berman

Natural gas prices should double over the next year. Over-supply plus a warm 2015-2016 winter have resulted in low gas prices. That is about to change because supply is decreasing (Figure 1).   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Drillers Go Rigless as Gas Price Collapse Heralds Austerity Era
Bloomberg
Chrstine Buurma

Natural gas producers are finally realizing that the age-old adage is true: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Public health campaigners renew call for fracking health registry
State Impact PA
Jon Hurdle

Pennsylvania public health campaigners have issued a new call for the establishment of a statewide registry of health complaints that could be related to oil and gas development. Such a registry would help doctors and nurses identify patterns of health complaints by people living near sites such as well pads or compressor stations, and determine any link between those complaints and local air and water conditions.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Keystone Pipeline Shut Down After Oil Spill in South Dakota
EcoWatch
Julie Dermansky

“Landowners’ worst fears came true,” Jane Kleeb, the head of Bold Nebraska, told DeSmog after news broke about the latest Keystone pipeline oil spill. “When you have a pipe running through your farm or ranch-land all you think about is: it could break today.”   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
In W. Virginia, frack wastewater may be messing with hormones
Environmental Health News
Brian Bienkowski

Waste leaching from frack disposal wells are the likely source of a spike in endocrine-disrupting compounds in downstream waterway—a troubling sign given the roughly 36,000 disposal sites across the U.S.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Westbury and Warminster anti-fracking groups step up their efforts
Wiltshire Times
Robin Murray

ANTI-fracking groups in Westbury and Warminster are stepping up their campaigning efforts in a bid to prevent fracking in the area. Last year, both towns were earmarked by a company as locations in Wiltshire in which they plan to carry out fracking, and will begin to do so if they are granted permission.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Alberta regulator allows fracking to resume after quake near Fox Creek
Edmonton Journal
Gordon Kent

The Alberta Energy Regulator has allowed Calgary-based Repsol Oil & Gas Canada to resume work on a well near Fox Creek almost three months after the area was shaken by a minor earthquake. A “seismic event” that registered 4.8 on the Richter scale was recorded Jan. 12 near where Repsol was doing hydraulic fracking, the regulator wrote in an April 4 letter to the company.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Environmentalist concerned about Sabal Trail pipeline in Florida
WMNF
Sean Kinane

Two of Florida’s largest energy companies want to build a pipeline for natural gas through the center of the state – but environmentalists say it could negatively impact wetlands and the state’s aquifer. The Gulf Restoration Network is one of the groups opposing what’s called the Sabal Trail pipeline. WMNF News spoke with their coastal campaign organizer, Johanna de Graffenreid on the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Carson strikes out at oil industry, adopts toughest regulations in the state
Daily Breeze
Sandy Mazza

Carson has adopted the most stringent regulations on oil and gas production in the state on top of its ban on aggressive well-stimulation practices known as fracking and acidizing. The soon-to-be new laws, which have been introduced but not yet finalized, stem from a resident protest two years ago in response to Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s now-abandoned plan to drill 200 new oil and gas wells. The city, they argued, has too many industrial operations causing environmental and health problems.   [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
High Levels of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Found Near Fracking Wastewater Site
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

A new study from the University of Missouri (MU) has reported high levels of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the surface water near a fracking wastewater disposal facility in West Virginia, raising concerns if similar cases are occurring nationwide given the country’s 36,000 fracking disposal sites.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
A Fracking Well In West Virginia Is Leaking Chemicals That Can Affect Fertility
BuzzFeed News
Dan Vergano

Dangerous levels of chemicals that can harm fertility flow downstream from a West Virginia fracking wastewater disposal facility, federal and academic researchers reported on Wednesday. The finding raises questions about safety of similar deep disposal sites nationwide, several independent scientists said. The contamination near Fayetteville, West Virginia, flows from a brook called Wolf Creek a few miles upstream of a drinking water treatment facility for 11,300 people. The disposal site, which includes a deep waste well, several holding ponds, and storage tanks, sits on a hillside above the creek, and has been the site of a fight over its permit, revoked in 2014 and then renewed by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in August.  [Full Story]

Apr 6, 2016
Keystone Pipeline Mishap Has TransCanada Scrambling Again
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

“Landowners’ worst fears came true,” Jane Kleeb, the head of Bold Nebraska, told DeSmog after news broke about the latest Keystone pipeline oil spill. “When you have a pipe running through your farm or ranch-land all you think about is: it could break today.” On Saturday afternoon that fear was realized by a Hutchinson County, South Dakota land owner. Loern Schulz found oil in surface water near the Keystone pipeline’s right-of-way and reported the spill. By Sunday, TransCanada had shut down the Keystone Pipeline, which originates in Alberta, Canada, and goes to Steele City, Nebraska. But the rest of its U.S. pipeline network is operational.   [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2016
Justice Department moves to block Halliburton, Baker Hughes merger
FuelFix
Robert Grattan

HOUSTON — Regulators are preparing to file a lawsuit blocking the merger between Baker Hughes and Halliburton, according to a person familiar with the matter. The antitrust lawsuit is the latest and most serious challenge to the marriage of the two oil field service companies, which was valued at $35 billion when it was announced just when prices began to fall in 2014. Since then, oil has slid lower and oilfield services companies have been among the hardest hit.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2016
Signs Are Promising That Economies Can Rise as Carbon Emissions Decline
NY Times
Coral Davenport

Throughout the 20th century, the global economy was fueled by burning coal to run factories and power plants, and burning oil to move planes, trains and automobiles. The more coal and oil countries burned — and the more planet-warming carbon dioxide they emitted — the higher the economic growth. And so it seemed logical that any policy to reduce emissions would also push countries into economic decline. Now there are signs that G.D.P. growth and carbon emissions need not rise in tandem, and that the era of decoupling could be starting. Last year, for the first time in the 40 years since both metrics have been recorded, global G.D.P. grew but global carbon emissions leveled off. Economists got excited, but they also acknowledged that it could have been an anomalous blip. But a study released by the International Energy Agency last month found that the trend continued in 2015. In another study published on Tuesday, Nathaniel Aden, a research fellow at the World Resources Institute, a Washington think tank, found that since the start of the 21st century, 21 countries, including the United States, have already fully decoupled their economic growth from carbon emissions. In those countries, while G.D.P. went up over the past 15 years, carbon pollution went down.   [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2016
Oil Companies Donated To Clinton Foundation While Lobbying State Department
International Business Times
DAVID SIROTA AND NED RESNIKOFF

Faced with new questions last week about her cash haul from the oil and gas industry, Hillary Clinton and her campaign fended off the queries with a flat rejoinder: There is no explicit quid pro quo between major donations and public policies pushed by Clinton. The Clinton team also noted that the millions of dollars that flowed to her campaign and a super PAC supporting her White House bid came from the industry’s individual employees and lobbyists, not from the oil companies themselves. But Clinton’s family foundation has accepted millions of dollars directly from major fossil fuel companies — including from those that lobbied her State Department just before the agency approved a controversial pipeline delivering what environmentalists call one of the world’s dirtiest sources of energy. The Clinton Foundation did not respond to International Business Times’ request for comment.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2016
Hundreds Rally Asking Gov. Cuomo to Deny the Constitution Pipeline
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Nearly 400 people from across the state of New York and beyond rallied in Albany today asking Gov. Cuomo to stand up to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and use the state’s authority under the Clean Water Act to deny the 401 water quality certificate for the Constitution Pipeline.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2016
Hillary’s fracking flip-flops another obstacle in New York
New York Post
Marisa Schultz

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton’s past support of fracking has bubbled up as an issue in New York, which banned the underground natural-gas extraction in 2015 and where activists have pushed Clinton to abandon her previous position. As secretary of state, Clinton promoted fracking in developing countries and touted natural gas as a clean alternative to coal. “The United States will promote the use of shale gas,” Clinton said in 2010. “Now I know that in some places it’s controversial. But natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available.”  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2016
Groups call for more transparency in sharing Utica shale benefits and risks
Midwest Energy News
Douglas J. Guth

Since 2011, shale gas drilling has been a way of life for some eastern Ohio communities, with residents acutely aware of both the benefits and drawbacks. But as production declines, are those perceptions changing?   [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2016
RFK Jr. among Constitution Pipeline protesters
Press Connects
Nick Muscavage

ALBANY — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. joined environmental activists Tuesday to call on the state to block construction of the Constitution Pipeline in New York. A few hundred protesters held a rally Tuesday morning on the state Capitol's east stairs before marching to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. They urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the agency to deny the water-quality certificate the pipeline needs to proceed with construction in the state.  [Full Story]

Apr 5, 2016
Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged to block Constitution gas pipeline project
Times Union
Brian Nearing

lbany Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and other opponents of the Constitution natural gas pipeline gathered outside the Capitol Tuesday to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to deliver a death blow to the project by denying it state water protection permits. Kennedy, president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, fired up a crowd of about 400 people when he said the project, which would bring hydrofracked natural gas from Pennsylvania into central New York, would "make a few billionaires richer, while our children would pay for their joyride" through environmental damage and ongoing man-made climate change. And Kennedy also took aim at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has already approved the project, as have Pennsylvania officials. But the project cannot begin work in New York until the state Department of Environmental Conservation issues so-called 401 water quality permits.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Fracking site shut down in Taranaki
Scoop Politics
Press Release

Todd Energy have shut down one of their large multi-welled fracking sites in Taranaki. After nearly two years of construction, drilling, fracking and flaring at the Mangahewa-E site in Taranaki, they have closed it down and walked away.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Planned gas pipeline alongside Indian Point nuclear plant stirs meltdown fears
The Guardian
Sam Thielman

Across a narrow swath cut by bulldozers and chainsaws through the woods of Westchester County, New York, triangular yellow flags are clotheslined between pairs of trees. The flags trace the eventual path of the gas pipeline that the energy giant Spectra is building through the area, escorted at times by police and harried by local residents worried by its proximity to a decaying nuclear power plant. If that pipeline leaks or breaks, say experts, its contents could detonate and destroy the switchyard that sits 400ft from the gas line. Entergy, which runs the Indian Point power station, said the plant could be quickly shut down in such an event. Nuclear engineer Paul Blanch is not so sure. Blanch, who has previously consulted for Entergy and now assists an organization calling for the pipeline to be stopped, said that assertion is a best-case scenario. In the worst case, he said, the reactors could melt down. And he believes Entergy and Spectra have not fully considered that worst-case scenario.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
When the Boom Goes Bust: Natural Gas Drilling in Pennsylvania
WV Public Broadcasting
Beth Vorhees

southern West Virginia businessman who moved to Pennsylvania to take advantage of the natural gas drilling boom is closing his clothing store because the boom is now a bust.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Fracking Can Contaminate Drinking Water It took nearly a decade, but former EPA scientist Dominic DiGiulio has proved that fracking has polluted groundwater in Wyoming
Scientific American
Gayathri Vaidyanathan

Former EPA scientist Dominic DiGiulio never gave up. Eight years ago, people in Pavillion, Wyo., living in the middle of a natural gas basin, complained of a bad taste and smell in their drinking water. U.S. EPA launched an inquiry, helmed by DiGiulio, and preliminary testing suggested that the groundwater contained toxic chemicals.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Experts Sound ‘Wake Up Call’ on Fracking
Care2
Llowell Williams

In recent weeks two groups of experts have come forward to confirm some of the worst fears critics have held regarding fracking. One is a new study from researchers at Stanford University that provides some of the most conclusive evidence yet that fracking methods have a severe and wide-reaching impact on water systems. Another comes in the form of a U.S. Geological Survey report that says people living in Oklahoma, a hot spot for rapidly expanding fracking operations, are at greater risk from earthquakes than Californians.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Bill to give local governments more control over fracking dies in Colorado House Bill was amended to cover only traffic, noise, lighting
Denver Post
Joey Bunch

A Democratic bill to give local governments more authority over fracking failed to make it out of the Democrat-controlled state House of Representatives Monday.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Fracking collection tells seismic story about people and land
MinnPost
Amy Goetzman

Taylor Brorby comes from a place a lot of people think was full of nothing, until it became full of money, trucks and sex workers, and suddenly became interesting. But the North Dakota native knows that the northern prairie has always been quietly spectacular. He sees a place on the edge of the Rocky Mountains that is thick with rowdy legends and history, and is home to a complex interplay of rare species. He wants people to know about these things because they are being destroyed, and they can’t be replicated anywhere else.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Alameda County Residents to Urge Planning Commission to Support Fracking Ban Ordinance Recent Livermore Oil Field Spill Highlights Risks to County Water Supplies
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

HAYWARD, Calif.— Members of Alameda County Against Fracking, Food & Water Watch and the Center for Biological Diversity will attend a county planning commission meeting tonight to urge commissioners to support an ordinance that would ban fracking and other extreme oil and gas extraction techniques.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
‘Fractivists’ Increase Pressure on Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in New York
The New York Times
TRIP GABRIEL and CORAL DAVENPORT

A nasty row that erupted between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders over oil and gas industry donors last week is catapulting the issue of climate change into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination as it moves to New York, where an army of activists upstate is driven by opposition to drilling. Mrs. Clinton has moved steadily left on the issue, under pressure from Mr. Sanders and his progressive allies, but she continues to come under assault, posing new challenges for her as the race moves to more liberal Northeastern states. Last week, her mask of composure slipped when she angrily replied to a Greenpeace activist in Purchase, N.Y., “I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me.”   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Did Fracking Lead to Water Contamination in Wyoming?
HPPR
Jonathan Baker

Oklahoma isn’t the only state where the controversial process known as “fracking” has resulted in fights between state and federal officials, and the oil and gas industry.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Fracking threatens Indigenous culture Documentary premiere and discussion highlights structural injustice
McGill Daily
Grace Macewan

On March 21, Cinema Politica Concordia, a group whose mission is “to promote, disseminate, exhibit, and promote the discussion of political cinema by independent artists,” premiered a documentary called Fractured Land. The film follows the path of Caleb Behn, a young Indigenous lawyer, as he fights for the land rights of his people in Northern British Columbia against the rapid expansion of liquid natural gas (LNG) extraction through fracking.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
DIGGING DEEPER INTO THE OHIO VALLEY SHALE: EPA Is Moving on Methane, Fracking Opposition Mounts Feds say gas is harmful to environment
The Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency believes methane - the main component of natural gas - can be 25 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide when it leaks into the atmosphere, while a new Gallup poll shows more than half of Americans now oppose fracking.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Fracking threatens Indigenous culture Documentary premiere and discussion highlights structural injustice
McGill Daily
Grace Macewan

On March 21, Cinema Politica Concordia, a group whose mission is “to promote, disseminate, exhibit, and promote the discussion of political cinema by independent artists,” premiered a documentary called Fractured Land. The film follows the path of Caleb Behn, a young Indigenous lawyer, as he fights for the land rights of his people in Northern British Columbia against the rapid expansion of liquid natural gas (LNG) extraction through fracking.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
AIM Pipeline protestors rally in Peekskill
MidHudson News


PEEKSKILL – Opponents of gas fracking infrastructure, specifically the AIM Pipeline, from the Hudson Valley and across the state, came together, Sunday afternoon at the Riverfront Green in Peekskill, to protest the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and pressurized gas pipelines transporting fracked gas underground throughout the state.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Oil and Gas Companies Stiff 29,000 Workers Out of $40 Million America's fracking boom promised big paychecks, but thousands of workers were exploited, the Labor Department says.
U.S. News
Alan Neuhauser

More than 29,000 oil and gas employees have been stiffed over $40 million in back wages, according to findings from more than 1,100 investigations launched since 2012 by the Labor Department.   [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
A pipeline's being expanded 400ft from my home – wouldn't you be worried?
The Guardian
Courtney M Williams

he Keystone XL pipeline was vetoed by President Obama last year as being antithetical to the nation’s climate goals. Yet fights against pipelines continue to rage across the country – including 400 feet from my home in New York state, where a proposed pipeline next to the troubled Indian Point nuclear plant has spurred fears of a Fukushima-like scenario, with New York City lying squarely in an evacuation zone. Spectra Energy, a Texas-based gas company, owns a 9,000-plus-mile pipeline network that stretches from Texas across the midwest and through the north-east, all the way to Canada and the coast. The company is in the process of expanding the north-east section from a 26in pipeline to a 42in high-pressure pipeline in a project called the Algonquin Incremental Market (Aim) Expansion.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Did $200,000 Bail Keep Pipeline Activist Out of Sunoco’s Way?
DC Media Group
Anne Meador

The Sheriff, District Attorney and a judge in Huntingdon County, PA may have stretched the law and infringed on individual civil rights in assisting a gas transmission company to get a wildlife sanctuary cleared for pipeline construction. Sunoco Logistics Partners is in the midst of eminent domain proceedings in Central Pennsylvania to construct the Mariner East 2 pipeline. A court order favorable to the company, punitive bail set for activists resisting the clear-cut for the pipeline, plus allegations of endangerment and arbitrary arrests–one allegedly ordered by the District Attorney–point to local courts and law enforcement looking out for Sunoco’s interests.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
SCIENCE: Meet the man who showed fracking contaminates water
E & E Newswire
Gayathri Vaidyanathan

Former EPA scientist Dominic DiGiulio never gave up. Eight years ago, people in Pavillion, Wyo., living in the middle of a natural gas basin, complained of a bad taste and smell in their drinking water. U.S. EPA launched an inquiry, helmed by DiGiulio, and preliminary testing suggested that the groundwater contained toxic chemicals. Then, in 2013, the agency suddenly transferred the investigation to state regulators without publishing a final report. Now, DiGiulio has done it for them.  [Full Story]

Apr 4, 2016
Global Warming Linked to Public Health Risks, White House Says
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

WASHINGTON — Global warming could lead to an increase in allergies and asthma, deaths by extreme heat and the proliferation of insect-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus, according to a scientific report released Monday by the White House. The conclusions of the report on the health effects of climate change in the United States are not new. But Obama administration health officials, including Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the surgeon general, said the study, which was reviewed by the National Academies of Science, offered the strongest evidence to date that links climate change to health risks. A number of scientific reports have suggested that a warming planet may exacerbate certain health problems. Even so, scientists have cautioned that no connections had been proved, given the multitude of variables that influence health.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
Solar farm developers target New York with lease offers
Times-Post
Mary Esch

ALBANY, New York — Less than a year after New York banned fracking, dashing the hopes of farmers who had hoped to reap royalties from natural gas leases, the commercial solar industry is courting landowners for energy production.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown logs 3,000 ‘segment visits’
Herald Mail Media
Dave McMillion

Among the films shown Sunday afternoon during the final day of the Maryland International Film Festival-Hagerstown was a documentary about fracking for natural gas in Western Maryland.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
EPA aims to cut methane emissions through program Poll shows opposition to fracking grows
Times Leader
Casey Junkins

ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Obama administration believes methane - the main component of natural gas - can be 25 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide when it leaks into the atmosphere, while a new Gallup poll shows more than half of Americans now oppose fracking.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
COMMENTARY: LNG is a doomed industry
The Monitor
STEFANIE HERWEK

Skim the business headlines about U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, and you’ll see the words “perfect storm” and “bloodbath.” You’ll read about how proposed LNG export terminals are “dying on the vine” and find a list of cancelled and postponed LNG projects all around the world. It’s a sharp contrast to the rosy economic picture that the LNG industry is painting for the residents of the Rio Grande Valley, where they want to develop an LNG export terminal at the Port of Brownsville.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
WA Conservation Council campaigns for fracking to become election issue
ABC
David Weber

The WA Conservation Council has launched a new anti-fracking campaign to highlight the issue in the lead up to next year's election, but its comments have angered the industry.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
Fracking set to be WA election issue
Yahoo News


The Conservation Council of Western Australia has launched a new anti-fracking campaign for next year's state election, but the premier has dismissed its concerns.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
Brasch book eyes effect of fracking in America
Allied News


You can live 100 miles away from the nearest gas or oil pump and you will be affected, says Dr. Walter Brasch, author of “Fracking America: Sacrificing Health and the Environment for Short-Term Economic Benefit.”   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
LNG exports set sail But environmental complaints and falling natural prices present problems
San Diego Union-Tribune
Rob Niklewski

Perhaps no industry changes as quickly as the energy business, where technology, economics and even geopolitics can upend markets that have been in place for decades. Look no further than the emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
TICKING TIME BOMB Ticking time bomb: Despite past mishaps, Brockway may see another well on its watershed
The Courier Express
Katie Weidenboerner

BROCKWAY — With a population of about 2,000, Brockway Borough wasn’t often mentioned in statewide or national dialogue – that is, until the drillers came. As companies began to target much of Pennsylvania with possible Marcellus Shale gas plays, the small community’s watershed became an attractive destination for several developers, including Colorado-based Flatirons Development LLC.  [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
Fracking: No WAYne! Anti-frackers take their message right to the feds
Athens News
David DeWitt

Local anti-fracking activists are renting space on a billboard across from the Wayne National Forest headquarters on U.S. Rt. 33 southeast of Nelsonville encouraging federal officials not to open public lands to fracking and other deep-shale oil and gas activities.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
Opposition leader Michael Gunner not backing down on fracking moratorium policy
NT News


TERRITORY Opposition Leader Michael Gunner has stuck by his moratorium on fracking. Deputy Chief Minister Peter Styles yesterday said Mr Gunner (pictured) should “abandon his reckless policy position” to provide bipartisan support to the onshore gas industry, in the wake of Jemena announcing it would reduce the planned Tennant Creek to Mt Isa gas pipeline from 14 to 12 inches.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
New Pilgrim Oil Pipeline Proposed for New York and New Jersey Raises Many Questions
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

It isn’t hard to find news these days about how the crash in oil prices is impacting investment in new oil infrastructure and development. Headlines like “Big oil to cut investment again in 2016” and “Big Banks Brace for Oil Loans to Implode” appear regularly. So why is a group fronted by two former Koch Industries executives moving forward with plans to build a new oil pipeline from Albany, NY to Linden, NJ? That is a good question. And the lack of answers as the permitting process moves forward is troubling.   [Full Story]

Apr 3, 2016
Editorial Ignoring its promises, SoCal Gas intends to offset Porter Ranch leak on its own terms
Los Angeles Times
Editorial

Even before Southern California Gas Co. plugged the damaged storage well blamed for the worst methane leak in U.S. history, its executives promised to fully offset the emissions released during the break. It was a big commitment that the utility's leaders said proved the company was a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen. Gov. Jerry Brown attempted to hold SoCal Gas to its word with an emergency proclamation in January. He directed regulators to develop a program, to be funded by the utility, that would cut greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Now that the California Air Resources Board has prepared that program, however, the utility has balked.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2016
Land Owners Block Pipeline Condemnation
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

Privately owned pipelines are not public utilities or common carriers. As such, they have no legal right to eminent domain – the power to condemn land for a right of way. That’s what the courts have held in Texas, Nebraska and Georgia.  [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2016
U of A project tackles hydraulic fracturing practices
iNews880
Tyler Loutan

A research program at the University of Alberta will try to find the most environmentally friendly and efficient procedure for hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2016
Groundbreaking fracking effort, plus first new oil production in years, on tap in Cook Inlet
Alaska Dispatch News
Alex DeMarban

BlueCrest Energy expects to begin producing oil from Cook Inlet in the coming weeks, marking the first time in more than a decade that oil has flowed from a new field in the basin.   [Full Story]

Apr 2, 2016
Poll: Republicans Boost Opposition To Fracking
Townhall
Matt Vespa

Fracking and natural gas exploration has employed Americans, kept oil prices low, and has left us with a vast reserve of energy that could help in our country’s push towards energy independence. Yet, disapproval of the process of hydraulic fracturing in releasing that natural gas has spiked over environmental concerns and the creation of earthquakes. According to Gallup, the increased numbers of Republicans disapproving of the process has help dampen support:   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
New Stanford Study Links Fracking to Drinking Water Contamination in Pavillion, WY (Again)
Enviro News


Pavillion, Wyoming — A new study published on March 29, 2016, by authors from Stanford University, has linked the practice of hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a. “fracking,” to pollution of underground sources of drinking water (USDW) in Pavillion, Wyoming — a connection those same researchers say is solid. - http://environews.tv/040116-new-stanford-study-links-fracking-to-drinking-water-contamination-in-pavilion-wyoming/  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
We’ve Had Enough With Failed Trade Policies
Huffington Post
Mark Ruffalo

Many pundits were caught off-guard by the transpartisan fury over America’s trade policy rocking the presidential primary season. But it’s no surprise to me. I grew up in a working class family in Kenosha, Wisconsin. So I know why Americans have had enough of shiny promises, job-killing trade deals, and Wall Street bailouts that propel ordinary people into an economic nose dive. Hard working Americans of all political stripes recognize when the rules have been rigged against them, because they live day-to-day with the results. No doubt revolutionary change is an appealing alternative. Since the North American Free Trade (NAFTA) and World Trade Organization agreements in the mid-1990s, America has lost more than five million manufacturing jobs net. Millions of service sector jobs also have been offshored.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Spar Over Fossil Fuel Donations
The New York Times
Yamiche Alcindor

A day after Hillary Clinton said she was “sick of the Sanders campaign lying” about her taking money from the fossil fuel industry, Senator Bernie Sanders and his campaign manager are pushing back against the accusation. Mr. Sanders told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday that Mrs. Clinton has taken large amounts of money from the fossil fuel industry, repeating an attack that he regularly makes at campaign events. Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, also issued a statement doubling down on the criticism. However, Mrs. Clinton and her campaign insist that while she has received donations from individuals who work in the oil and gas industry, she has not taken them from the fossil fuel industry.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
Property Rights Outcry Stops Billion-Dollar Pipeline Project in Georgia Construction is suspended after landowners protest seizure of property, a judge weighs in, and the state legislature passes legislation to block it.
Inside Climate News
Phil McKenna

Kinder Morgan, the largest energy infrastructure company in North America, announced this week that it has suspended construction of a $1 billion pipeline project that would pump gasoline and diesel fuel across the Southeastern United States. The decision is being hailed as a victory by an unlikely coalition of Republican legislators, private property owners and environmental organizations.   [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
Stanford Scientists Find Fracking Linked to Groundwater Contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming
EcoWatch
Andy Rowell

As the fracking industry tries to expand internationally, being promoted as a so-called clean bridge fuel, it is increasingly clear the industry has not one, but two, Achilles heels. The first is the release of the potent greenhouse gas, methane. The second is water pollution and the threat the controversial technique poses to drinking water.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
Property Rights Outcry Stops Billion-Dollar Pipeline Project in Georgia
Inside Climate Newss
Phil McKenna

Kinder Morgan, the largest energy infrastructure company in North America, announced this week that it has suspended construction of a $1 billion pipeline project that would pump gasoline and diesel fuel across the Southeastern United States. The decision is being hailed as a victory by an unlikely coalition of Republican legislators, private property owners and environmental organizations. The announcement came the same day Georgia state lawmakers sent a bill to the state's governor that would place a moratorium on the 360-mile pipeline's construction until 2017, after they voted overwhelmingly in support of the legislation.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
Millennium holds outreach meeting; protesters turn out in force
River Reporter
Fritz Mayer

As part of the permitting process to construct a compressor station near Eldred, Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC held a community outreach meeting at the Sullivan in Rock Hill on March 31. Before the meeting officially started, many protesters gathered across the street from the motel to speak out against the project. Members of Sullivan Area Citizens for Responsible Energy Development (SACRED), Sullivan County Residents Against Millenium (SCRAM), Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) and various families and supporters held up signs and handed out literature asking various questions they believe Millennium has not answered. Maya van Rossum, who as Delaware Riverkeeper leads the DRN, accused Millennium of disseminating false information about the compressor station, and the larger Eastern System Upgrade Project, which will include the Eldred compressor in Town of Highland, a second compressor at Hancock and a new 7.8 mile section of pipeline loop in Orange County.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
Hillary flips over fracking, oil & gas money question
News Record


At a rally in New York, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lost her patience with a Greenpeace activist who thanked her for her commitment to climate change then asked her whether she’ll reject fossil fuel money moving forward. Pointing her finger at activist Eva Resnick-Day, Clinton claimed she only takes money from people who work for fossil fuel companies and called the accusations lies.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
Gibson: Federal natural gas air pollution safety standards may be obsolete
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Nassau U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, eyeing a run for governor, is raising alarm bells with federal energy officials over potential public health risks from natural gas pipeline compressor stations. In a letter last month to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the congressman asked for a review of decades-old health standards for the stations, which can release high levels of potential carcinogenic gas like benzene. The Kinderhook Republican came out late last year against the proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline, which wants to build a compressor station in southern Rensselaer County that has drawn vocal local opposition.  [Full Story]

Apr 1, 2016
FERC postpones decisions on two gas pipeline projects
Citizens Voice
ELIZABETH SKRAPITS

Two natural gas pipeline companies will have to wait longer than they wanted for potential approval by the federal agency that authorizes and regulates pipeline projects. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission postponed a decision on the PennEast pipeline to January 2017, seven months later than the company requested. FERC’s decision on another proposed project, Williams Companies’ Transcontinental Pipeline Co., LLC’s $2.59 billion Atlantic Sunrise expansion of the Transco interstate pipeline, is also delayed, by 10 months.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
The Invisible Catastrophe
NY Times
Nathaniel Rich

Over the course of four months, 97,100 metric tons of methane quietly leaked out of a single well into California’s sky. Scientists and residents are still trying to figure out just how much damage was done.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Sunoco Gets Assist from Sheriff, Judge in Clear-Cut for Pipeline
DC Media Group
Anne Meador

Born in Budapest, 85-year-old Steven Gerhart fled to the United States in 1957 after surviving Europe’s most brutal regimes. His adopted country was undoubtedly a refuge from injustices and cruelties suffered under the Nazi occupation of Hungary, the Communist takeover and the Soviet crackdown on rebellion. In turn, Gerhart with his wife Ellen created a sanctuary for wildlife with the purchase of land in Pennsylvania in 1982. Now their property—a heavily forested hillside of century-old trees—is in the way of a gas company’s profitable enterprise. Without negotiating a settlement, Sunoco Logistics Partners this week clear-cut the land on three acres of the Gerhart property for the Mariner East 2 pipeline.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Tomgram: Cantarow and Levy, Could Nuclear Disaster Come to America?
Tom Dispatch
Ellen Cantarow and Alison Rose Levy

On March 11, 2011, following a massive earthquake and a devastating tsunami, the cores of three of the reactors at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant melted down with horrific results. Radioactive cesium, with a half-life of 30 years, contaminated almost 12,000 square miles of the country, an area about the size of the state of Connecticut. The government considered 12.5 square miles around the plant so poisoned that its population was evacuated and it was declared a permanent “exclusion” zone. (At Chernobyl in Ukraine, three decades after the other great nuclear disaster of our era, a 1,000 square mile exclusion zone is still in place.) One hundred and twenty thousand evacuees, some from areas outside the exclusion zone, have still not gone home and some undoubtedly never will, despite a vast decontamination program run by the government. (Sixteen to twenty-two million bags of contaminated soil and debris will someday be buried in a vast landfill near the plant, but it may take decades to get them there and that’s only the beginning of the problems to come.) And let’s not forget that, according to a report from the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the ocean waters around Fukushima received "the largest single contribution of radionuclides to the marine environment ever observed."  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Kinder Morgan halts work on $1B Georgia pipeline project
Seeking Alpha


Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) says it is halting work on the $1B Palmetto Pipeline in Georgia, citing the state legislature's passage of a one-year moratorium on the use of eminent domain in pipeline construction.The moratorium was in response to stiff opposition from environmental groups and landowners whose property KMI hoped to build upon using eminent domain laws; it provides time for a study commission of elected officials and industry experts to review the eminent domain issue and make recommendations.The proposed pipeline would have carried gasoline, diesel and ethanol across 360 miles from South Carolina through Georgia and into Florida.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Israel’s giant gas field is on hold again, just as the world tries to move away from coal
Hellenic Shipping News


For five years, a giant natural gas field called Leviathan has been touted as a way for Israel to join the leagues of petro-exporters, obtaining energy security and a much-needed flow of dollars. But a court decision has again postponed drilling, probably holding back big Israeli natural gas exports into the 2020s.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
United States Geological Survey confirms it: Fracking causes earthquakes
Extreme Tech
Jessica Hall

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) are not known for being controversial folks. They’re a collaborative, interdisciplinary organization that studies “the health of our ecosystems and environment, [and] the natural resources we rely on.” They’ve been studying the effects of fracking on the underground since we started doing it, and they conduct their studies with an eye to increasing the American GDP. Entities all around the world, from cities to whole countries, have issued moratoria on fracking pending conclusive evidence of its risks. Well, some of that evidence (full text, PDF) is in: fracking causes earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Colorado GOP Senate candidates attack EPA, defend fracking at forum Peg Littleton says God causes earthquakes, not fracking
Denver Post
John Frank

The Republican candidates for U.S. Senate took aim at the EPA and touted the benefits of fracking at a campaign forum Wednesday evening in Weld County, a drilling epicenter in Colorado. Peg Littleton said she supports eliminating the federal Environmental Protection Agency, while Tim Neville said he would defund the EPA regulators and Robert Blaha said he wanted to reduce its reach. Jerry Natividad attacked the agency for "killing hundreds of jobs" but didn't explicitly endorse its elimination.  [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Oil and gas: Eagle Ford fracking, as seen from space
CNBC
Robert Ferris

The so-called "shale revolution" has changed the landscape of Texas, and that's plain to see from the sky above.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Majority of Americans oppose fracking – poll
RT


More than half of Americans are opposed to fracking in pursuit of oil and gas, according to a new Gallup poll. The results come amid mounting concerns about the links between fracking and earthquakes and groundwater pollution.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Fracking in Wyoming Forces Residents to Find Water Elsewhere
Sputnik News


WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US state of Wyoming has provided cisterns for residents of an area where hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in oil and gas wells has poisoned well water, Powder River Basin Resource Council organizer Shannon Anderson told Sputnik on Thursday.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Federal offshore fracking plan threatens California coast: Guest commentary
Los Angeles Daily News
Commentary: Kristen Monsell

Should toxic fracking chemicals be dumped into the wildlife-rich waters off the California coast? Most Californians would say no — and state law rightly forbids the discharge of waste from offshore oil drilling near our shores. Yet the Obama administration is preparing to give oil companies a green light to pollute our ocean with these dangerous substances.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Science Panel Questions EPA Report on Fracking
k2 Radio
Roger Gray

Last year the EPA published a study that essentially cleared the oil and gas industry, and particularly the practice of “hydraulic fracturing” or “fracking,” of any responsibility for the contamination of underground water systems. But the findings used language that was hardly definitive.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Scottish Green Party Pledges to Introduce Bill to Ban Fracking
Sputnik News


EDINBURGH (Sputnik) – The Scottish Government controlled by the Scottish National Party (SNP) currently has a moratorium in place, halting the controversial process until more is learned about its risks and benefits. However, environmental activists, including members of the Green Party have been accusing the SNP of skirting around the issue.   [Full Story]

Mar 31, 2016
Political dissent on the EPA fracking study review panel
LittleSis


First, EPA's top-line spin was a gift to the fracking industry and Wall Street In June 2015 the EPA issued a much anticipated draft study on fracking's impacts to drinking water. In its top-line, the agency dismissed the impacts as not "widespread, systemic." The EPA did this without a clear basis of support, in terms of what "widespread" or "systemic" impacts would actually look like, or what fracking’s ongoing impacts to drinking water resources actually are. The EPA crossed a line, and injected politics into the report. Ultimately, this fractured the independent panel reviewing the study. It led four industry representatives on the panel to break with the rest of the panel and embrace the agency's controversial top-line dismissing the impacts.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Texas tremors Fracking-induced earthquakes in Texas are not exactly the shake of success.
Houston Chronicle


It used to be that Texans and other Americans east of, say, the Sierra Nevada sneered at residents of the Golden State for blithely going about their business while living along fault lines likely someday to crumble like fresh-baked cornbread into the cold waters of the Pacific. Now, Texans and their neighbors don't have to head West for potential temblor thrills. We're creating our own.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
New school next to proposed drilling site approved in Erie
Coloradoan
Associated Press

BOULDER — A new public school is being considered next to a site that has been approved for oil and gas drilling. The Boulder Valley school board has cleared the way for construction to start next month on a new school for K-8 classrooms in Erie  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Public health professionals seek more protections from fracking
Observer-Reporter
Michael Bradwell

Health care professionals want to create a statewide registry to record risks they said are associated with hydraulic fracturing. The registry would document symptoms from those living near natural gas well pads and compressor stations.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Fracking protections a key consideration in ordinance revision
Smoky Mountain News
Holly Kays

When the state opened the doors for hydraulic fracturing — called “fracking” — in 2014, a flood of public opinion from the mountains told Raleigh that drilling would not be welcome in the western part of the state.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Fracking support fractures
Castanet


Fewer British Columbians are supportive of the provincial government’s push for liquefied natural gas, a new Insights West poll has found.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Stanford Researchers: Fracking & Its Impact On Drinking Water Sources
Clean Technica
Glenn Meyers

Many have long speculated about fracking and its possible negative impact on drinking water. Recent research released today from Stanford scientists finds for the first time that fracking operations near Pavillion, Wyoming have had a clear impact on underground sources of drinking water.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
EARTHQUAKES: Quakes from fracking on the rise in Canada
EE News
Mike Soraghan

While man-made earthquakes in the central United States have been linked to disposal of drilling wastewater, a new paper links a growing pattern of quakes in western Canada to the specific practice of hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Atlantic drilling off table but survey permits pending
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Bruce Smith

CHARLESTON, S.C. — While drilling for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic is off the table for now, permits are still pending that could allow seismic surveys to map just how much might be out there.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
States' top lawyers taking aim at fossil fuel climate change claims Gore, Schneiderman join coalition seeking more accountability
Albany Times Union
Brian Nearing

Likening ongoing climate change with rising seas, melting ice caps, droughts and killer storms to "a nature walk through the Book of Revelation," former Vice President Al Gore stood Tuesday with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to unveil a sweeping national legal coalition formed to hold the fossil fuel industry responsible for misleading the public and investors.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Fracking heats up global warming
Times Union
Jay Jochnowitz

Our growing reliance on fracked natural gas may be doing more to accelerate climate change than carbon emissions from coal-powered plants, given that methane – the main component of natural gas – is “much more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide” and is bleeding into the earth’s atmosphere from leaks at fracking sites, writes Bill McKibben in The Nation. By becoming “the planet’s salesman for natural gas,” we are undercutting the market for clean energy alternatives and misrepresenting our progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, he writes.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Fracking Contaminates Groundwater: Stanford Study
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk

Another scientific study has confirmed that fracking, the controversial technology that blasts apart low-grade rocks containing molecules of hydrocarbons, can contaminate groundwater. "We have, for the first time, demonstrated impact to Underground Sources of Drinking Water (USDW) as a result of hydraulic fracturing," says the study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Researchers from Stanford University published their findings after combing through publicly available data on the drilling, fracking and cementing of scores of tight gas wells in Pavillion, Wyoming.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Duke hosts climate roundtable on fracking
daily tarheel
Sam Killenberg

Environmental experts universally condemned Duke Energy’s movement towards the use of fracking in a climate roundtable Tuesday. The event was co-sponsored by the Duke University Environmental Law and Policy Clinic and climate advocacy groups NC WARN and the Climate Times. Robert Howarth, a Cornell University professor of ecology and an expert on methane emissions from fracking, warned that fracking emissions are twice as harmful as emissions from coal. “We need to stop this idea of natural gas as a bridge fuel; it’s a false promise, and we need to move to renewable energy as quickly as we can,” Howarth said. “I’m very pleased to deliver that message in North Carolina because Duke Energy really needs to get that message, and your community needs to help them see that.” David Hughes works for the Geological Survey of Canada and is president of Global Sustainability Research, a sustainable energy consultancy. He believes the sustainability of hydraulic fracturing has been misrepresented by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
EPA Aims to Cut Methane Leaks From Natural Gas Companies
ABC news via AP
MICHAEL BIESECKER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a new partnership with 41 energy companies that have agreed to voluntarily reduce methane emissions from natural gas operations to help combat climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program at this week's Global Methane Forum held in Washington. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, capable of trapping 25 times more heat in the atmosphere than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the voluntary program is meant to protect public health and combat climate change while providing a platform for companies to report actions taken to reduce methane emissions.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
NASA’S METHANE SENSING DRONE WAS SUCCESSFULLY TESTED
The Monitor Daily
Joe Hennessey

Generally, we expect NASA to design technology related to space travel. And that is exactly what they do. But occasionally, because of the intense work and testing that goes into designing a NASA piece of technology, it tends to be often implemented in other technological fields. Otherwise, a lot of good, efficient work would go to waste. So, other important pieces of technology are often developed using the same principles, if not some of the same hardware that NASA themselves use. And the Agency, in desperate need of funding, is often involved in the production of those as well. Developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, NASA’s methane sensing drone was successfully tested. Called the sUAS, or the Vertical Take-off and Landing small unmanned aerial system, the drone carrying the methane sensor was especially picked for the increased maneuverability and access offered to the sensor.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
NY finds 5 critical defects in latest rail inspections
Times Herald Record
AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Transportation officials say teams have examined another 341 oil tank cars, 132 miles of track and 69 switches, finding five critical defects needing an immediate fix and 42 others. In the most recent effort to reduce potential dangers from crude oil transports across New York, federal and state inspectors report examining tankers at the CSX Corp.'s Frontier Rail Yard in Buffalo and at Canadian Pacific's Kenwood Yard in Albany. They also examined CSX mainline track between Batavia and Depew, between Ripley and Blasdell, in Syracuse, between Fonda and Rotterdam and in Orangeburg. Two critical defects were found along the mile of Syracuse track and three on the 28 miles of track between Fonda and Rotterdam.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Fracking Found Guilty of Contaminating Water Supply !
NO FRACKING WAY
Chip Northrup

Some background – these studies confirm that my pal John Fenton’s water was contaminated by fracking. I met John at a conference in Colorado. We talked about his situation and it was apparent that his deep water well had been directly contaminated by rather shallow fracking operations – because there was not enough distance between the water strata and the frack target. Subsequent studies by the DOE confirmed that a frack can travel up to 2,000 feet vertically – far less than the separation between Fenton’s water well and the frack zone.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Pipeline protestor takes to the trees to stop construction
StateImpact PA
REID FRAZIER, THE ALLEGHENY FRONT

As the chain saws revved nearby, Elise Gerhart was literally up a tree Tuesday protesting a pipeline slated to course through her family’s wooded property. Gerhart, 29, of Huntingdon, and about 20 protesters coalesced around the Gerhart property as a work crew—chaperoned by local sheriff’s officers—took down trees along the property. Two protesters were arrested as the work crews cleared land for Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas liquids from Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania to the Philadelphia area. The company was granted a right-of-way on the Gerhart’s land by a judge through eminent domain in January. Though they are appealing that decision, the Gerharts were ordered by Huntingdon County Common Pleas Court Judge George Zanik Monday to stay clear of the chain saw crews.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
New Study Confirms Fracking Contamination That The EPA Walked Back On In 2011
Think Progress
Natasha Geiling

A new study out of Stanford University offers residents of Pavillion, Wyoming a little more clarity on an issue that has been plaguing them for nearly a decade: is hydraulic fracturing to blame for years of contamination in their drinking water? The town initially made headlines in 2008, when residents began complaining of strange odors and tastes in their drinking water. In 2011 the EPA got involved, first issuing a draft report that connected fracking to the contamination. The agency later walked back on the report, however, and refused to issue a finalized version and instead handing the matter over to state officials. Years later, the state has yet to move forward with the report.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
More Than Half of Americans Oppose Fracking: Gallup
24/7 Wall St
Paul Ausick

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been the single biggest driver of increased U.S. crude oil and natural gas production in the past several years. But not only have horizontal drilling and fracking led to increased production, Americans’ opinion of fracking has taken a decided negative turn. In the latest poll by Gallup, 51% of Americans now oppose fracking as a means of increasing U.S. production of oil and natural gas. A year ago opposition totaled 40%. Gallup included the fracking question in its 2016 environment survey.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
States expand probes into whether Exxon Mobil hid climate change risks
LA Times
Michael Phillis

Attorneys general from Massachusetts and the Virgin Islands announced Tuesday that they will follow the lead of California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman and launch their own independent investigations into whether Exxon Mobil Corp. misled investors and the public about climate change risks. Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura Healey said at a news conference in New York that her office had a moral obligation to act.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Watch: Josh Fox Gets Arrested in Exclusive New Short from the Anti-Fracking Documentarian Crusader
Indie Wire
Kate Erbland

Documentarian and anti-fracking pioneer Josh Fox was arrested last week in Washington, D.C. while doing two of the things he does best: Protesting fracking and filming the entire thing. Fox was on hand to protest the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its role in continuing to permit fossil fuel projects that will greatly accelerate climate change. More specifically, Fox and a group of like-minded individuals were protesting FERC’s role in using eminent domain to condemn and clear-cut a wide swath of maple trees across the Holleran family maple syrup farm in New Milford, Pennsylvania in order to make room for the Constitution pipeline (which has still not been formally approved by New York state). Fox and his cohorts took their complaints directly to the commission and put a clever spin on their protest, branding it as "Pancakes Not Pipelines," and setting up camp in front of the FERC office, where they cooked pancakes (using a solar-powered griddle) and topped them with maple syrup from the Hollerans' devastated farm. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Fox and others (including Megan Holleran) were arrested for "blocking passage" during the course of their demonstration.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
EPA aims to cut methane leaks from natural gas companies
Associated Press
Michael Biesecker

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a new partnership with 41 energy companies that have agreed to voluntarily reduce methane emissions from natural gas operations to help combat climate change.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Fracking contaminated underground water in Wyoming The EPA walked away from the investigation three years ago
The Verge
Lindsey J. Smith

For the first time ever, a study demonstrated that fracking has contaminated underground water reservoirs, BuzzFeed reported. The polluted aquifer is near the small town of Pavillion, Wyoming.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
More Than Half of Americans Oppose Fracking: Gallup
247 Wall St
Paul Ausick

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been the single biggest driver of increased U.S. crude oil and natural gas production in the past several years. But not only have horizontal drilling and fracking led to increased production, Americans’ opinion of fracking has taken a decided negative turn. In the latest poll by Gallup, 51% of Americans now oppose fracking as a means of increasing U.S. production of oil and natural gas. A year ago opposition totaled 40%.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
County looks to ramp-up fracking regulations for oil, gas companies
The Sylva Herald
Tanner Hall

County leaders say requiring mining or fracking companies to review potential impacts on the environment before beginning work is an important step in protecting area resources.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Americans’ opposition to fracking is still growing
Fusion


But a new Gallup poll shows that some still appear to be weighing the costs and benefits: since last March, there has been an 11-percentage point increase in those opposing the practice, which involves shooting large volumes of water into rock to free up hydrocarbons.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
New Brunswick government won't lift fracking moratorium until conditions met
Metro News


FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's energy and mines minister says the province won't lift a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until all the government's conditions are met. Donald Arseneault says the government is reviewing the report of a shale gas review committee that took almost a year to study the issue.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Opposition to Fracking in US Rises to 51% From 40% Year-On-Year
Sputnik News


MOSCOW(Sputnik) – The share of US citizens who oppose drilling for shale gas and oil in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has risen from 40 percent in 2015 to over 50 percent this year, a poll by the US-based research company Gallup revealed Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Spain's Lower House of Parliament Approves Ban on Fracking
Sputnik


Spain’s lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies, on Tuesday adopted a draft law that would ban the oil and gas companies from production with the help of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking.   [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
Groundbreaking Study Confirms Link Between Fracking and Earthquakes
EcoWatch
Steve Horn

A groundbreaking study published Tuesday in Seismological Research Letters has demonstrated a link, for the first time, between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas and earthquakes.  [Full Story]

Mar 30, 2016
COLUMN: Democrats Should Check Their Fracking Facts
Rigzone
Deon Daugherty

For the U.S. oil and gas industry – long skeptical of Democrats’ influence on their business dealings – this year’s duo of presidential contenders offers little in the way of surprising positions. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have engaged in actual policy debate that, even though it doesn’t veer in the direction of fossil fuel promotion, sticks to the issue in a remarkable contrast to the Republicans’ contest.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Watch: Josh Fox Gets Arrested in Exclusive New Short from the Anti-Fracking Documentarian Crusader
Indie Wire
Kate Erbland

The "Gasland" filmmaker was arrested last week, and he's already made a new film about it.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
This new map shows where investors face greatest risk of fracking earthquakes USGS: 7 million live in areas with elevated risk of 'human-induced' earthquakes
Housing Wire
Ben Lane

For those of us that live in areas where fracking takes place, a relatively new phenomenon has sprung up in the last few years – earthquakes.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Green MLA calls for fracking ban in B.C. Andrew Weaver calls for moratorium after study links fracking to earthquakes in B.C. and Alberta.
Metro News
Tereza Verenca

The leader of the B.C. Green Party is calling for a moratorium on horizontal fracking in the province, the same day a study published by Canadian researchers suggests hydraulic fracking of oil and gas wells causes earthquakes in Western Canada.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Fracking behind Alberta quakes, study suggests
CBC News
Bob Weber

New research suggests that hydraulic fracking of oil and gas wells is behind earthquakes caused by humans in Western Canada.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
States top lawyers taking aim at fossil fuel climate change claims
Times Union
Brian Nearing

New York City Likening ongoing climate change with rising seas, melting ice caps, droughts and killer storms to "a nature walk through the Book of Revelation," former Vice President Al Gore stood Tuesday with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to unveil a sweeping national legal coalition formed to hold the fossil fuel industry responsible for misleading the public and investors. Including 20 attorneys general, Gore called the coalition "the most hopeful step that I can remember in a long time" and predicted it would "hold to account the powerful interests that have been deceiving the American people and committing fraud in their communications."  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Audit: Pipeline monitoring agency needs better spill notification process
Times Herald Record
Hema Easley

An audit of the state agency that monitors New York’s pipelines found that it failed to verify the qualification of employees hired by operators and to set up a process to identify instances when operators do not notify it of spills and leaks. The report released Tuesday by the state Comptroller’s Office also found that the Department of Public Service did not analyze all available data to better identify potential high-risk areas. And it determined that though pipeline operators are given deadlines by which they must fix violations, neither the DPS nor federal agencies followed through to ensure work was done until it was time for the next inspection. “We determined that Operators did not notify DPS of six gas-related incidents in 2015 that should otherwise have been reported,” the audit says. The audit covers April 1, 2013, through Oct. 21, 2015. As of 2014, New York had 91,181 miles of natural gas pipelines and 1,153 miles of hazardous materials pipelines. According to DPS records, between 1995 and 2014, the state had 194 pipeline incidents resulting in 23 deaths, 123 injuries and $77 million in property damage. Two pipelines are planned for the mid-Hudson Valley that could add to DPS’s responsibilities.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Weaver Calls for B.C. Moratorium After Study Links Fracking, Earthquakes
desmog Canada
Carol Linnitt

The results of a new study linking hydraulic fracturing or fracking to induced earthquakes in B.C. and Alberta is reason to immediately halt the controversial extraction technique from being used in gas fields in B.C. according to Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. “I am calling on both the government and the official opposition to join me in supporting a moratorium on horizontal fracking in British Columbia,” Weaver said in a statement released Tuesday. “Other jurisdictions, like Quebec, New York, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, have already suspended the practice and B.C. should follow suit.” The study found a direct link between fracking and earthquakes in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin over the last 25 years. The group studied more than 12,000 wells and seismic events larger than magnitude 3.0.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Former EPA lead investigator in Pavillion releases study linking fracking to water contamination
Casper Star Tribune
Benjamin Storrow

More than four years after he penned the explosive report linking fracking to contaminated drinking water outside of Pavillion, Domenic DiGiulio is releasing the study he always hoped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would: A rebuttal to the years of criticism levied against federal investigators. The study by DiGulio and fellow Stanford University researcher Robert Jackson concludes much of the alarm over EPA's 2011 draft report was warranted. Poor well construction, the proximity of fracked wells to drinking water sources and the prevalence of unlined disposal pits, where diesel-oil based drilling muds and other production fluids were stored for decades, bolsters EPA's initial contention that natural gas operations were responsible for a polluted aquifer east of Pavillion, they say.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Despite the Porter Ranch disaster, the top executive at SoCal Gas is getting an enormous bonus
Los Angeles Daily News
Michael Hiltzik

Given that the Porter Ranch gas leak ranks as the worst such leak in U.S. history, with the potential to measurably damage the climate, and forcing thousands of families out of their homes, you'll be glad to know that Debra L. Reed, chairman and CEO of the gas company's parent firm, Sempra Energy, has been docked part of her pay because of the episode. But you may be appalled to hear that her penalty comes to all of $130,000, and that she's still getting a $3.17-million bonus. That's the largest bonus she's received since becoming CEO of Sempra in 2011 and adding the title of chairman in 2012, according to the company's proxy statement, dated last Friday. It brings her total compensation for 2015 to $16.1 million, meaning that her executive penalty for presiding over an elemental corporate fiasco comes to about eight tenths of 1% of her pay.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Even Fracking Fans Wonder Why the Feds Would Allow Drilling Under This Lake
MotherBoard
AMY MARTYN

While students work in the lab, geologist Jerry Bartz, a lab coordinator at a North Texas community college, sits at a messy desk in the back office, surrounded by piles of papers, reading reports on his computer about the risk that natural gas drilling poses on dams. He’s not one to criticize his friends in the oil industry. “I’m not anti-fracking,” he asks me several times to make clear about him. He used to work for the industry as a senior staff exploration geologist—"that’s a very high position," he says—and as environmental risk assessor. Several years ago, when a homeowner in Parker County, Texas said that the natural gas drilling near his home had turned his water flammable, Bartz says he testified as an expert witness for the state of Texas, which argued that the man’s water was already flammable. Bartz also has four oil-related patents, including one that helps oil companies detect faults deep in the ground.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Keeping My Fossil Fuel in the Ground
The New York Times
TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS

Castle Valley, Utah — MY husband, Brooke Williams, and I recently bought leasing rights to 1,120 acres of federal public lands near our home in Utah. The lease gives us the right to drill for oil or natural gas. We paid $1,680 for it, plus a $820 processing fee. We put it on our credit card.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Algae Blooms and Gas Wells Drive Lake Erie Methane Emissions
Earth & Space Science News
Rebecca Heisman

Despite growing recognition of the role of inland waters in the global carbon cycle, scientists have paid scant attention to the movement of carbon in and out of the Great Lakes. Seeking to fill in some of the blanks about these lakes, which rank among the world’s largest, researchers have now made initial efforts to quantify methane emissions from Lake Erie. The methane trackers report that the lake is pumping out as much as 130,000 kilograms of methane each day in late summer—nearly a third of which might be the result of underwater natural gas drilling. The lake is pumping out as much as 130,000 kilograms of methane each day in late summer.Amy Townsend-Small, a geochemist from Ohio’s University of Cincinnati, and her colleagues measured the flow of methane from Lake Erie’s surface into the air in late summer of 2012 and 2013 and took water samples at various depths and in various seasons. Researchers from Environment and Climate Change Canada collaborated on the study, which was published this month in the journal Limnology and Oceanography.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Holy Gas: Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Team Member Pushed Offshore Drilling in Israel
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

When Republican Party presidential campaign front-runner Donald Trump named 2009 DePaul University graduate George Papadoupolous as a member of his foreign policy advisory team, some in the media raised eyebrows, while others jested that his wunderkind status makes him more likely to serve as office coffee fetcher than in a position of such prestige. But you aren't named to sit on such a team without serious connections, few of which the media made with regards to Papadoupolous, who has spent most of his professional career working as a research assistant at the Hudson Institute and now works as director of the Center for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security at the London Center of International Law Practice. The story of who Papadoupolous is begins and ends with the Hudson Institute, a think-tank with a long history of climate change denial and anti-science advocacy.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Study: Fracking, Not Just Fracking Wastewater Injection, Causing Earthquakes in Western Canada
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

A groundbreaking study published today in Seismological Research Letters has demonstrated a link, for the first time, between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas, and earthquakes. “Hydraulic Fracturing and Seismicity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin” confirms the horizontal drilling technique (which in essence creates an underground mini-earthquake to open up fissures for oil and gas extraction) is responsible, above and beyond what is already canonized in the scientific literature: that injecting fracking waste into underground wells can cause quakes. Now, it's not just the injections wells, but the fracking procedure itself that can be linked to seismicity. The study focuses on an area in Canada known as the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, one of Canada's biggest shale basins and tight oil and gas producing regions.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Fracking Study Finds Toxins in Wyoming Town's Groundwater and Raises Broader Concerns
Inside Climate News
Neela Banerjee

Hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas operations contaminated the groundwater in Pavillion, Wyoming, according to a new study by Stanford University scientists. The findings raise concerns about possible water pollution in other heavily fracked and geologically similar communities in the U.S. West. Pavillion has long been a flashpoint in the national debate over the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on drinking water. Town residents began complaining of tainted drinking water in the 1990s, as oil and gas development boomed in the area. The Environmental Protection Agency released a draft study in 2011 indicating that oil and gas activities contaminated the town's water. But after blistering criticism from industry and Wyoming politicians, the EPA shut down its probe in 2013 and turned over sampling to state regulators. The state's studies have so far found no proof of contamination.  [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Study finds that fracking contaminated a water supply
Market Place
Scott Tong

The Energy Department found half of all U.S. continental oil production now comes from fracking, bringing enhanced energy self-sufficiency. But injecting wastewater from fracking underground has boosted the risk of earthquakes in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas to the same level as California, according to the U.S. Geology Survey. Now, a new study focuses on alleged contamination of drinking water in one of the highest-profile, longstanding cases. The location is the small town of Pavillion, Wyoming, population 231.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Parts of Oklahoma and Kansas now face earthquake risk on par with California Federal map of earthquake vulnerability finds threat to seven million people in central and eastern US amid increasing oil and gas production
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

People in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas now face the same threat of destructive earthquakes as Californians, with human-induced tremors from oil and gas production helping spread earthquake vulnerability across much of the US.   [Full Story]

Mar 29, 2016
Algonquin Pipeline Foes File Appeal
Peekskill-Cortlandt Patch
LANNING TALIAFERRO

A coalition of 10 groups from four states filed a petition with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals asking the court to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market gas pipeline expansion project. The group includes Riverkeeper, Inc., Food & Water Watch, Reynolds Hill, Inc., Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion and a dozen individuals. Yesterday was the last day they could file an appeal under federal rules. On Jan. 28, FERC denied eight separate rehearing requests from groups, individuals and municipalities, including the City of Boston and coalition members. Those who were denied a rehearing had 60 days to file a federal appeal.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Surveying begins at Ramapo Valley Reservation for controversial 2-way oil pipeline
The Record
Scott Fallon

MAHWAH — Contractors have begun surveying land in Bergen County’s largest park to determine a route for a key part of a proposed interstate oil pipeline that has received considerable public opposition. Pilgrim Pipeline’s consultants will continue ecological surveys at Ramapo Valley Reservation over the next several weeks to determine if there are any endangered animal habitats that would affect the company’s application to New Jersey environmental regulators, a company spokesman said Monday.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
FERC to Tennessee Gas: no immediate tree cutting for Berkshire County pipeline
The Republican
Mary Serreze

As Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. battles for immediate access to private and public lands in southern Berkshire County to begin tree cutting for its Connecticut Expansion project, federal regulators are asking for more information while making reference to Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which requires legislative approval to change the use of conservation land. Tennessee wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on March 22 seeking permission to proceed with tree felling along "all portions of the project" in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York — including within the hotly-contested Otis State Forest, where it has so far failed to procure access rights to a two-mile expanded corridor.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Induced Earthquakes Increase Chances of Damaging Shaking, Wastewater Disposal From Fracking Primary Cause
EcoWatch
U. S. Geological Survey

For the first time, new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maps identify potential ground-shaking hazards from both human-induced and natural earthquakes. In the past, USGS maps only identified natural earthquake hazards.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Business groups to urge New Brunswick government to end fracking moratorium
Metro News
Kevin Bissett

FREDERICTON — A collection of business groups is calling on the New Brunswick government to lift its fracking moratorium, but opponents say it's a last ditch effort to save a failing industry.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Community Builds Walden Pond Cabin in Thoreau-Inspired Fracking Pipeline Protest
EcoWatch
Erik Hoffner

You wouldn’t suspect that a guy who builds things for a living would become the architect of a hugely popular symbol against the building of something else, but Will Elwell and his community of Ashfield, Massachusetts, have stumbled on just such a symbol. They are against the building of the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, which energy company Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company wants to trench through New York and Massachusetts to carry gas from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania to the coast.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Scottish Conservatives call on fracking moratorium lift to boost North Sea business
Energy Voice
Niamh Forrest

The Scottish Conservatives have called for a moratorium on fracking to be lifted to help boost work for the North Sea oil and gas industry amid the decline in oil price.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Earthquakes caused by fracking, mapped; future of pipeline safety
Bloomberg Government
Laura Curtis

Energy Week Ahead: PHMSA Chief Talks Future of Pipeline SafetyThe massive gas leak at Sempra’s Aliso Canyon facility cast a national spotlight on PHMSA’s regulation of natural gas transmission and storage and gave new momentum to pipeline safety legislation being considered in Congress.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Gas Export Decision Stirs Debate Over Mass. Pipeline Need
WBUR
BRUCE GELLERMAN

BOSTON Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy approved plans permitting companies to export gas from Massachusetts to Canada and beyond. Opponents of the construction of two new natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts claim the DOE’s decision demonstrates that the state already has enough natural gas and doesn’t need new pipelines. But proponents say building the new pipelines — costing $8 billion — will actually save ratepayers money and secure the region’s energy future.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
OSHA releases new silica guidelines for workplace
Casper Star Tribune
Benjamin Storrow

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a controversial rule Thursday aimed at limiting the amount of silica laborers inhale on the job. Some 2.3 million people are estimated to be exposed to silica at work, primarily in the construction industry but also in the oilfield, where it is used as a component in fracking.   [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Man-made earthquakes put millions at risk, report says
USA Today
Doyle Rice

If you live in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arkansas beware: You are nearly as likely to experience an earthquake as high-hazard areas such as California, but the risk is man-made.  [Full Story]

Mar 28, 2016
Death of a Shale Gas Salesman Aubrey McClendon was fracking's greatest advocate -- until he drove his car into a concrete wall.
The Tyee
Andrew Nikiforuk Opinion

On Wednesday, March 2, Aubrey McClendon, the American face of hydraulic fracking, drove his natural-gas powered Chevy Tahoe into a concrete overpass just outside Oklahoma City. He was 56.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Will This Enviro Convince Colorado She’s Cool On Fossil Fuel Divestments?
Daily Caller
Chris White

As Colorado University students battle the Board of Regents over fossil fuel divestment, an environmentalist Democrat running for an open seat on the 5-4 Republican majority board is walking a political tightrope.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
LNG support is dropping in B.C.: poll Concerns over fracking have increased with only 23 per cent of British Columbians in favour.
Metro News
Tereza Verenca

A new poll suggests fewer people support the province’s plans to expand the development and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with fracking being a major concern. The online survey, conducted by Insights West, suggests 43 per cent of British Columbians are in favour of LNG, while 41 per cent are opposed. In August 2013, 50 per cent of residents welcomed the proclaimed expansion project and 32 per cent opposed it.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Court Strikes Down Netanyahu's Contentious Deal With Gas Drilling Firms The panel of judges nixed a clause that would commit the government not to impose any regulatory changes on the gas industry for at least 10 years.
Haaretz
Avi Bar-Eli

In a blow to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s energy policy, the High Court of Justice ruled on Sunday against the government’s controversial framework deal with companies that own and operate Israel’s offshore natural gas fields.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
FERC seeks answers from TGP on tree-cutting plans in Connecticut
The Recorder
Richie Davis

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is asking for assurances from Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. as it considers allowing the company to begin clearing trees for the Connecticut Expansion Project. Federal regulators, who certified the project two weeks ago, wrote to TGP on Friday with a request for additional information before allowing it to begin tree felling along the project’s 13.4 mile-path in order to beat a March 31 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deadline.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Where Do The Remaining Presidential Candidates Stand On Climate Issues?
DeSmogBlog
Farron Cousins

We are now officially through half of the United States Presidential election primary and caucus season, and there are currently 5 contenders left in the Republican and Democratic parties vying for their party’s respective nomination. Delegate math shows that Governor John Kasich has no chance to become the Republican nominee, so we’re left with four real candidates to examine. The differences between the candidates of the two major parties could not be greater. On the Democratic side, there are two candidates who proudly embrace science and agree that action on climate issues is sorely needed. On the Republican side, both of the remaining candidates reject the scientific consensus and instead argue that climate change is nothing more than a series of unfortunate weather events.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
New Wolf veto to have impact
Citizens Voice
Robert Swift

Gov. Tom Wolf will let a $6.6 billion supplemental budget bill written by Republican lawmakers become law without his signature so schools and publicly supported universities get needed state aid to stay open. But Wolf plans to veto an accompanying fiscal code bill that spells out how some of the money in the budget is spent.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Gas Export Decision Stirs Debate Over Mass. Pipeline Need
WBUR
Bruce Gellerman

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy approved plans permitting companies to export gas from Massachusetts to Canada and beyond. Opponents of the construction of two new natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts claim the DOE’s decision demonstrates that the state already has enough natural gas and doesn’t need new pipelines.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
New Study Finds Fracking Would Exacerbate Local Air Pollution
Pollution Solutions


According to a new report from the Newcastle University, the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) would increase local air pollution levels by up to 30%. The study, which was published in the journal Environment International, also predicted that the industry could cause permanent damage to rural roadways and cause nearby residents distress in the form of excessive noise pollution.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Upton anti-fracking eviction: energy firm makes no offer to pay £200K policing costs
Chester Chroinicle


An energy company boss has rejected angry claims by the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) that a ‘costly’ eviction of a protest camp near Chester could have been avoided.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Texas oil and gas regulators keep close ties to industry
LMT online
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The cozy relationship between state oil and gas regulators and the industry they monitor is typified by a revolving door of officials who leave the Texas Railroad Commission to lobby for energy companies, including several who recently departed and made six-figure salaries working the Capitol hallways last year.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Infrared cameras reveal hidden air pollution from oil and gas drilling Opponents say infrared tech isn't reliable, affordable
Houston Chronicle
James Osborne

A pair of state and federal government inspectors spent two weeks traveling around northern Colorado's oil and gas fields in early 2012, filming with an infrared camera.  [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Marginal wells a tipping point for industry
Farmington Daily Times
James Fenton

FARMINGTON — Hampered by low natural gas and crude oil prices and leery of pending revisions of federal regulations intended to tighten oil and gas industry regulations, San Juan County operators are making payroll cuts and closing wells as they struggle to keep running.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Activist: Back Mountain Chamber members should have their own say in pipeline project
Citizens Voice
Elizabeth Skrapits

The president of the Back Mountain’s Chamber of Commerce stands behind the organization’s support of a controversial natural gas pipeline. But a local activist thinks the individual members should have had their say.   [Full Story]

Mar 27, 2016
Passing of fracking bill changes NOGCC's responsibilities The Nebraska legislature approved LB 1082 by a vote of 48-0-1
KOTA
Cearron Bagenda

LINCOLN - The passing of a bill that changes the responsibilities of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been “a lot of work” according to Senator John Stinner.   [Full Story]

Mar 26, 2016
EPA criticizes state fracking study
Casper Star Tribune
Benjamin Storrow

Wyoming regulators downplayed health concerns, glossed over ambiguities and made unsubstantiated claims about the source of contamination in their study of the polluted drinking water east of Pavillion, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review shows. Those findings, delivered in comments to the state earlier this month, raised questions over state officials’ contention that natural gas operations are not responsible for pollution found in some water wells outside this central Wyoming community of roughly 230 people.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2016
Millennium planning pipeline in Orange
Times Herald Record
James Nani

MIDDLETOWN - The $63 million natural gas compressor station planned for the Town of Highland in Sullivan County is part of a larger, $275 million project by Millennium Pipeline Company that would also lay down 7.8 miles of pipeline in western Orange County. Millennium submitted its preliminary plans for its "Eastern System Upgrade" project to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January. The Rockland County-based company owns and operates pipelines but not the natural gas that flows through them. The project includes a new compressor station at the company's existing station in Hancock and a new, 22,400-horsepower compressor station in Highland. It also calls for about 7.8 miles of pipe, most of it 36 inches in diameter, to run parallel to an existing pipeline.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2016
New Mexico reviews water injection wells for damages
The Eagle
Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's state land commissioner is ordering a broad examination of easements for injection wells used by the oil and natural gas industry to dispose of waste saltwater, in response to environmental damage at a site in the southeast of the state.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2016
Exxon Must Hold Shareholder Vote on Climate Change Resolutions, SEC Says
Inside Climate News
David Hasemyer

ExxonMobil must allow shareholders to vote on at least two prominent resolutions on climate change, the Securities and Exchange Commission ruled. One measure calls on Exxon to take moral responsibility for climate change and adopt a policy to limit average global temperature increases. A second would compel the oil giant to explain how its business would be affected by the worldwide commitment to slowing climate change. They are among seven resolutions on global warming proposed for Exxon's May 25 annual meeting. "The SEC has rejected Exxon's attempt to silence investors' concerns about growing financial risks associated with climate change trends, including escalating global demand for low-carbon energy," said Shanna Cleveland, a senior manager at Ceres, a Boston nonprofit that coordinates action on issues important to many of the nation's largest institutional investors.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2016
Texas oil and gas regulator dashes Army Corps’ drilling rule
FuelFix
Associated Press

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — Texas’ oil and gas regulator has challenged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ authority to ban hydraulic fracturing and limit injection wells near a North Texas dam. In a letter sent to the corps on Thursday, Texas Railroad Commission Executive Director Kimberly Corley questioned restrictions the corps announced last week that would ban fracking within 4,000 feet and limit injection wells within five miles of the Joe Pool Lake dam.  [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2016
Renewable Energy Investments Set New Record, Twice That of Coal and Gas
EcoWatch
Climate Nexus

Global investment in renewable energy was more than twice that of coal and gas last year, according to a new report, despite plummeting fossil fuel prices.   [Full Story]

Mar 25, 2016
FERC Answers Cuomo's Request to Halt Pipeline Expansion during Indian Point Review
Peekskill Daily Voice
LANNING TALIAFERRO

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has denied New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's request that FERC temporarily halt the AIM pipeline expansion project while his administration does a safety analysis of the pipeline past the Indian Point Nuclear Plant. The governor, who wants the nuclear power plant closed, had ordered his health and environmental agencies to look into a series of outages at the plant and also a recently disclosed leak of radioactive tritium into the groundwater at the plant in Cortlandt.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
MarkWest under federal investigation
Observer-Reporter
David Singer

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice are leading an investigation into natural gas drilling practices conducted by MarkWest Liberty Midstream, LLC. The investigation began July 6, 2015, following a site inspection at an undisclosed location in Washington County, according to public records. The investigation is centered on “pigging,” or line cleaning and maintenance, according to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spokesman John Poister. State and federal officials have been otherwise mum on the probe since a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Observer-Reporter on Feb. 4 seeking emails between the government agencies and MarkWest was denied March 9. The denial letter from the EPA said the request for records was exempt from mandatory disclosure because their release “could reasonably be expected to interfere with (law) enforcement proceedings.”  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Too Soon to Celebrate the Demise of Jordan Cove
Blue Oregon
Nick Abraham

Earlier this month in a decision that caught everyone from activists to the Governor’s office by surprise, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected plans to build a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal, known as Jordan Cove, in Coos Bay, Oregon. The project also would build a pipeline cutting across more than half the state. "Because the record does not support a finding that the public benefits of the Pacific Connector Pipeline outweigh the adverse effects on landowners, we deny Pacific Connector's request...to construct and operate the pipeline," said the FERC order.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Global coal and gas investment falls to less than half that in clean energy
The Guardianu
Fiona Harvey

Global investment in coal and gas-fired power generation plants fell to less than half that in renewable energy generation last year, in a record year for clean energy. It was the first time that renewable energy made up a majority of all the new electricity generation capacity under construction around the world, and the first year in which the financial investment by developing countries in renewables outstripped that of the developed world.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Study Documents Climate Threats Imposed by Trade Deals Like the TPP
Food & Water Watch
Patrick Woodall

A new Sierra Club report shows how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could undermine efforts to ban fracking and fight climate change. To date, over 500 communities in the U.S. have passed measures against the controversial form of oil and gas extraction known as fracking. But a comprehensive new study by our allies at the Sierra Club shows that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could undermine momentum to ban fracking nationwide and block climate-destroying pipelines.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
New Rules Aim to Reduce Silica Exposure at Work Sites
New York Times
Barry Meier

New Rules Aim to Reduce Silica Exposure at Work Sites The Labor Department plans to announce on Thursday new rules that sharply reduce workplace exposure to silica, a potentially deadly mineral found in materials commonly used in construction and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
7 Arrested at ‘Pancakes Not Pipelines’ Protest at FERC
EcoWatch


Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox, Megan Holleran and five others were arrested in the driveway of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today while waiting for commissioners to join them for pancakes topped with the last drops of maple syrup from the Holleran family farm in New Milford, Pennsylvania. They and about two dozen other activists were protesting FERC’s approval for the clear-cutting of a wide swath of maple trees at the Holleran farm for the construction of the Constitution Pipeline.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
New Rules Aim to Reduce Silica Exposure at Work Sites
The New York Times
BARRY MEIER

The Labor Department plans to announce on Thursday new rules that sharply reduce workplace exposure to silica, a potentially deadly mineral found in materials commonly used in construction and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Safety experts have urged a tightening of silica exposure standards since the 1970s because research shows that particles of the mineral, when inhaled, can cause silicosis, a disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease. However, progress was stymied for decades by resistance from affected companies and regulatory inaction.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Fracking-linked earthquakes open sociopolitical rifts in Oklahoma
Free Speech Radio News


In the past year, Oklahoma had more than 900 earthquakes. That’s up from only three quakes in 2007, before the dramatic increase in fracking. The Oklahoma Geological Survey says that it now “considers it very likely” that many of the earthquakes in Oklahoma were caused “by the injection of produced water in disposal wells” as a byproduct of fracking. Last month, the Sierra Club and Public Justice filed a lawsuit against three energy companies, saying they have contributed to the huge upsurge in earthquakes in Oklahoma.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Michigan Republicans Are Trying To Change Election Law To Stop Liberal Ballot Initiatives
Think Progress
Emily Atkin

Grassroots groups in Michigan say they’re about to achieve something big. This year, if they get enough petition signatures, voters might get to decide at the ballot box whether to ban fracking and legalize marijuana.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
How Fracking Fuels Republican Congressional Clout
Wharton University


“Since the beginning of the shale boom, 17 Democratic seats have shifted to Republicans … that’s half of the current Republican majority in Congress.”  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
'Fracture' raises alarm about dangers of fracking in prose, verse
Chicago Tribune
Thomas Fate

The same night I first started reading "Fracture," a new literary anthology about hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), I happened to hear Sen. Al Franken (D.-Minn.) on CNN, endorsing the practice as a "viable part of our energy policy." "Fracking isn't all bad," Franken claimed, because, he argued, the production of natural gas through fracking is less harmful to the environment and climate change than coal production, which it might replace.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Legislative Pulse: Texas State Rep. Phil King Fights for Fracking and Against Federal Overreach
Heartland
H. Sterling Burnett

Burnett: In 2015, you co-authored a bill preventing municipalities from banning fracking. Why did you feel this bill was needed? King: Oil and gas deposits don’t stop at city limits.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Govt misses fracking safeguard chance
Farm Weekly
Mal Gill

AN opportunity for the State Government to engender public confidence in its administration of so-called fracking for gas in the Midwest, has been lost. That is the view of the government's coalition partners The Nationals WA MPs and particularly Moore MP Shane Love.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Bill McKibben: Fracking Has Turned Out to Be a Costly Detour
EcoWatch
Deidre Fulton

With a new piece in The Nation, environmental leader Bill McKibben upends widely held assumptions not just about President Barack Obama’s climate legacy, but about the so-called “natural gas revolution” that was once considered a “savior” in the fight against global warming.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Oil milestone: Fracking fuels half of U.S. output
WPTZ
Matt Egan

The rise of fracking has reshaped the global energy landscape. It recently hit a new milestone in the U.S. Fracking now accounts for more than half of all U.S. oil output, according to the Energy Information Administration. It's a stunning feat considering fracking made up less than 2% of American oil production in 2000.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Aboriginal Groups Fight Fracking, State's Destruction of Land
TelesurTV


The Australian government claims fracking does not pose environmental risks that cannot be managed.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
FERC deference to pipeline operators seen contributing to overbuild
SNL
Tom Pawlicki

Discoveries of oil and gas in new regions in the U.S. typically bring the need for additional pipelines to take the resources to market. But with natural gas production booming in the past 10 years, industry experts believe that increased use of gas for power generation and deference by regulators may result in a potential overbuild of pipeline infrastructure. Signs of pipeline overbuild The number of interstate natural gas pipelines and compressor stations that have been proposed and approved in recent years is growing. "In 2014, there were 26 pipelines that were approved and then an additional 20 that were proposed," Carolyn Elefant, a private attorney that represents impacted communities during the pipeline conception process, said at a conference held by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis on March 15. "In 2015, there were 54 pipelines proposed and 30 that were approved. There are definitely many more cases."  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
After 146 years, Rockefeller family is exiting the oil business
CBS News


Heirs to the oil fortune created by John D. Rockefeller, who founded Standard Oil in 1870, are exiting the family business. The Rockefeller Family Fund, a charity that supports causes related to the environment, economic justice and other issues, is liquidating its investments in fossil fuel companies, including Exxon Mobil (XOM). "While the global community works to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, it makes little sense -- financially or ethically -- to continue holding investments in these companies," the fund said on Wednesday in a statement. "There is no sane rationale for companies to continue to explore for new sources of hydrocarbons."  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
'Gasland' Director Josh Fox Arrested at 'Pancakes Not Pipelines' Protest
Alternet
Lee Ziesche

The director and activist was arrested while serving pancakes during an anti-pipeline protest at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. Academy-award nominated filmmaker Josh Fox (GASLAND) and others from the activist group Beyond Extreme Energy were arrested today protesting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its role in continuing to permit fossil fuel projects that will greatly accelerate climate change.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Why this new solar market could be set to explode
Washington Post
Chris Mooney

Solar has been growing extremely fast in these existing markets. But more and more, analysts say, there’s a middle-range market whose large potential is just becoming clear. It’s bigger than individual rooftop installations but smaller than vast solar farms. And it’s for a much broader and diverse range of people than fairly wealthy, suburban homeowners.   [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
7 Arrested at ‘Pancakes Not Pipelines’ Protest at FERC
EcoWatch


Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox, Megan Holleran and five others were arrested in the driveway of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today while waiting for commissioners to join them for pancakes topped with the last drops of maple syrup from the Holleran family farm in New Milford, Pennsylvania. They and about two dozen other activists were protesting FERC’s approval for the clear-cutting of a wide swath of maple trees at the Holleran farm for the construction of the Constitution Pipeline.  [Full Story]

Mar 24, 2016
Help Shine a Light on FERC
Rodale
Maya K. van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been “captured” by the very industries it is supposed to regulate—particularly pipeline companies. It’s an agency that has become so entangled with industry that it’s now violating the constitutional rights of communities and families across the nation. Sound unfairly harsh? Well, remember that the United States Constitution requires that federal government agencies like FERC be neutral in the decisions they make. In fact, James Madison’s sacred document declares that they must be free not just from actual bias, but even from the mere appearance of bias. FERC fails both tests. Here’s why: Alone among independent executive agencies of government with this level of adjudicatory authority, FERC receives full funding from the companies it regulates. That’s like having a basketball referee be paid his salary by one of the teams in the game. No wonder FERC keeps giving slam-dunks to pipeline companies.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Climate Activists Disrupt Gulf Oil and Gas Auction in New Orleans
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirji

More than 300 climate activists swarmed the Louisiana Superdome Wednesday morning to protest a federal auction of oil and gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico. The action was part of the larger "Keep It in the Ground" movement aimed at stopping new fossil fuel production on publicly owned lands and waterways. The protesters—environmental justice and climate leaders, college students, community organizers, tribal members and pastors—massed in the morning outside the Superdome in New Orleans, waving signs and banners and erecting climate-related art displays. About 100 demonstrators then marched in the stadium and into the auction room, chanting: "Don't auction our climate. The people won't be quiet!"  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Madison County Commission Meets to Combat Fracking
WTXL
Alex Cordero

MADISON, Fl. (WTXL) -- The Madison County Commission met this evening to discuss new items on the agenda including the review of a planned ordinance that would prevent fracking in the county. The ordinance did not get passed during the meeting, but the agenda did call for the discussion of the pending ordinance, making sure it would be ready for approval.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
City frames guidelines for fracking
C & G News
Terry Oparka

A divided Troy City Council approved guidelines for oil and gas extraction that are stricter than state guidelines.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Adams County Commissioners lift ban on fracking Six-week moratorium comes to an end with commissioners approving additional fees, regulations
the Westminster Window
Gene Sears

Adams County commissioners drew the ire of both fracking activists and oil and gas producers March 22 when they allowed a six-week moratorium on new drilling to expire while approving additional fees and regulations on new oil and gas activity.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
As New York Gov. Cuomo’s Energy Policy Went Greener, Natural Gas Industry Spent More On Lobbying
International Business Times
NED RESNIKOFF

The natural gas industry has dramatically stepped up its efforts to lobby the New York state government since Gov. Andrew Cuomo took office in 2011, according to a new report from the nonprofit Public Accountability Initiative. Based on an analysis of data from the state’s public disclosure database, the group found that five major natural gas firms have collectively more than doubled their annual lobbying expenditures in the past five years. In 2011, two firms spent $578,454 on lobbying; by 2015, three other companies were also lobbying the state, and together all five spent nearly $1.3 million that year.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Obama Administration’s Plan To Expand Oil And Gas Drilling In Gulf of Mexico Draws Protests In New Orleans
IB Times
Maria Gallucci

The Obama administration Wednesday opened millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling at a lease sale in New Orleans, drawing hundreds of protestors from across the Gulf region, who rallied outside and within the event at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Want a bigger gas drilling buffer zone around Joe Pool Lake Dam? Fat chance
Dallas Morning News
Jim Mitchell

When the state Legislature big-footed the desire of citizens in Denton to control gas drilling in their city, I knew it was only a matter of time before that would cause problems elsewhere.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Intense seismic sound blasts are next big concern for anti-drilling advocates
The Virginian-Pilot
Dave Mayfield

Opponents of oil and gas drilling along the East Coast breathed sighs of relief last week when federal officials announced that the Atlantic had been dropped from the next offshore leasing plan.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Scientists Urge Feds to Continue Fracking Moratorium off CA Coast
Indy Bay
Dan Bacher

The opposition to environmentally destructive fracking in California's marine waters is building rapidly. On March 22, over 30 prominent scientists urged the federal government to continue the moratorium on fracking in federal waters off the California coast and to prepare a comprehensive environmental impact statement for the controversial oil-industry technique.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Fracking talk draws crowds; County officials to form study committee to check laws
Northwest Georgia News
Blake Doss

Initiative’s advocacy coordinator asked the Floyd County Commission on Tuesday to create a committee to determine if the county’s fracking laws need to be strengthened or shored up.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Fracking bill dies in FL Senate
FSU News
Aryanna Duhl

Hydraulic and acidic fracturing "fracking" bill 318 has been highly controversial in Florida, with opponents fierce in their efforts to stop its passing in the Senate.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Inconvenient Truths: Gasland Director Josh Fox Says It May Be Too Late for Planet Earth
INDY Week
David Hudnall

nvironmentalists lose a lot. But Josh Fox's 2010 documentary Gasland, which examined the dangers of the natural-gas drilling technique known as fracking, was a winner. In addition to a host of awards, Fox won the environmental battle in his own backyard: in 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo banned fracking in New York. The film—particularly the scene in which a homeowner sets fire to the water coming out of his tap—arguably mobilized the antifracking movement more than any newspaper article or nonprofit's study.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Porter Ranch homes to be tested for gas-leak chemicals that may linger indoors
Los Angeles Daily News
Susan Abram

Los Angeles County health officials will begin air tests inside more than 120 Porter Ranch homes, to look for residual chemicals as a result of the massive natural gas leak that spewed methane into neighborhoods for almost four months. • RELATED STORY: Oil company Termco showed ‘total lack of regard’ in venting gas near Porter Ranch, should be prosecuted, says councilman “We will be looking at a variety of chemicals in the indoor environment,” said Angelo Bellomo, deputy director for health protection at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “We will be examining both the gaseous and potentially vapor based chemicals as well as fine particulate matter in the homes.”  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
We had all better hope these scientists are wrong about the planet’s future
The Washington Post
Chris Mooney

An influential group of scientists led by James Hansen, the former NASA scientist often credited with having drawn the first major attention to climate change in 1988 congressional testimony, has published a dire climate study that suggests the impact of global warming will be quicker and more catastrophic than generally envisioned. The research invokes collapsing ice sheets, violent megastorms and even the hurling of boulders by giant waves in its quest to suggest that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels would be far too much. Hansen has called it the most important work he has ever done. The sweeping paper, 52 pages in length and with 19 authors, draws on evidence from ancient climate change or “paleo-climatology,” as well as climate experiments using computer models and some modern observations. Calling it a “paper” really isn’t quite right — it’s actually a synthesis of a wide range of old, and new, evidence.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Wyo Supreme Court awards Arvada rancher $1.1 million for CBM cleanup
Casper Star Tribune
Benjamin Storrow

The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an Arvada-area rancher who had sought $1.1 million from Pennaco Energy in an attempt to clean up 10 abandoned coal-bed methane wells on his property. Justice Michael Davis, writing for the court earlier this month, said Pennaco’s sale of the wells to a now-bankrupt operator did not relieve the company of its reclamation obligations on Brett Sorenson’s ranch. The company was bound by the terms of the surface use agreement it signed, which required the coal-bed methane operator to remove its equipment and restore the land to its original state.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Flaws in Government’s Analysis of Offshore Fracking and Acidizing Exposed by Environmental Groups
Independet


SANTA BARBARA—Today the Environmental Defense Center (“EDC”) and Surfrider Foundation (“Surfrider”) submitted comments illustrating numerous fundamental flaws in the federal government’s first ever environmental analysis of fracking and acidizing from offshore oil platforms in southern California, including the Santa Barbara Channel.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Support for B.C. LNG industry slipping: poll
The Vancouver Sun
Gordon Hoekstra

Support for the B.C. Liberal government’s plan to create a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry has slipped since just after the 2013 election, an Insights West poll has found. In an online survey of 802 adults conducted this month, 43 per cent of British Columbians said they supported the provincial government’s push to expand the development and export of LNG, while 41 per cent were opposed.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
EDC Points Out Offshore Fracking Flaws
Edhat
Environmental Defense Center

Today the Environmental Defense Center (“EDC”) and Surfrider Foundation (“Surfrider”) submitted comments illustrating numerous fundamental flaws in the federal government’s first ever environmental analysis of fracking and acidizing from offshore oil platforms in southern California, including the Santa Barbara Channel. In response to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (“BOEM”) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) draft programmatic environmental assessment (“draft PEA”), the comment letter states the federal agencies’ analysis overlooks potentially significant impacts, such as harmful impacts of toxic discharges of frac flowback fluid on the marine environment or extending the life of oil platforms, and requests that the agencies conduct more comprehensive environmental review.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Protesters crash federal oil and gas lease sale in New Orleans
The Times-Picayune
Jennifer Larino

Yudith Nieto caught her second wind as she watched her fellow activists swarm the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to protest the Wednesday morning (March 23) sale of federal oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Nieto, a community activist and artist in Houston, drove to New Orleans on Tuesday and stayed up all night painting long banners for the rally. Sleep can wait, Nieto said, straining to speak over the chanting crowd. That morning Nieto was focused on putting an end to the offshore oil drilling she says threatens the future of the Gulf Coast, its environment and the health of its people.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
From Flint to fracking, EPA can learn from its mistakes
The Hill
Barbara Gottlieb

As most of us have heard by now, an emergency manager in Flint, Michigan switched water sources from Lake Huron to the Flint River in April 2014 to cut costs without adding required corrosion controls. The EPA was aware of dangerously high levels of lead in the water supply the following year, but chose to remain silent for months. The result? Hundreds of Flint children are thought to now have elevated blood-lead levels, which can lead to serious, irreversible damage to the nervous system.  [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Four scary new things about global warming we've just learned
Catholic Online
Marshall Connolly

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - There are four points worth nothing today: -Carbon dioxide levels are rising at a faster rate than at any time in the past 66 million years. -Methane emissions are also much higher than anticipated. -Global warming is coming faster, in correlation with spikes in methane and CO2. -The impacts will be more severe than originally thought and will occur within the next human lifetime.   [Full Story]

Mar 23, 2016
Global Warming’s Terrifying New Chemistry
The Nation
Bill McKibben

Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space. If you get the chemistry wrong, it doesn’t matter how many landmark climate agreements you sign or how many speeches you give. And it appears the United States may have gotten the chemistry wrong. Really wrong. There’s one greenhouse gas everyone knows about: carbon dioxide, which is what you get when you burn fossil fuels. We talk about a “price on carbon” or argue about a carbon tax; our leaders boast about modest “carbon reductions.” But in the last few weeks, CO2’s nasty little brother has gotten some serious press. Meet methane, otherwise known as CH4.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Purchase agreements in place for Atlantic Coast Pipeline
The Washington Post
Steve Szkotak?

RICHMOND, Va. — Purchase agreements have been signed for virtually all of the natural gas that would be delivered to the Southeast by the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the lead energy company behind the $5 billion project said Tuesday. Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy Inc., said the utility agreements reflect the need for the nearly 600-mile energy project delivering fracked natural gas along a route from West Virginia, through Virginia and into North Carolina.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Feds defend fracking rule against judicial hold
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The Obama administration is fighting in federal court to defend its hydraulic fracturing (fracking) rule, saying a lower court committed a “legal error” when it put the regulation on hold. Lawyers representing the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are asking the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver to overturn a Wyoming-based court’s decision last year to halt the rule and allow regulators to enforce it. That judicial injunction stemmed from the arguments from various states and the oil and natural gas industry that Congress has expressly prohibited the federal government from regulating fracking, even on federal and American Indian land, as the BLM did early last year.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions independently
phys.org


Mistakes can happen when estimating emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. Researchers funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation have developed a method to independently validate national statistics. he signatory countries of the Kyoto Protocol and the new Paris Agreement have committed to reduce global warming. The countries themselves use estimates and projections to verify whether they are actually achieving the necessary reduction in greenhouse gases. The uncertainties are considerable and mistakes do happen. Researchers funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) have developed a method to independently monitor these statistics by making direct measurements of the gases in the atmosphere.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Ky. Senators want radioactive waste study
Courier Journal
James Bruggers

Kentucky state senators on Tuesday rallied around a bill that seeks to make sure the state is protected from radioactive waste produced during oil and gas drilling. The Senate's Natural Resources and Energy Committee unanimously approved its version of House Bill 563, sending it to the floor for a vote. "There is a distrust of government out there by some citizens," said Rep. Cluster Howard, a Democrat whose district includes an Estill County landfill where state officials say dangerous radioactive waste was dumped last year.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Feds defend fracking rule against judicial hold
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The Obama administration is fighting in federal court to defend its hydraulic fracturing (fracking) rule, saying a lower court committed a “legal error” when it put the regulation on hold. Lawyers representing the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are asking the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver to overturn a Wyoming-based court’s decision last year to halt the rule and allow regulators to enforce it. That judicial injunction stemmed from the arguments from various states and the oil and natural gas industry that Congress has expressly prohibited the federal government from regulating fracking, even on federal and American Indian land, as the BLM did early last year. “The district court held that Congress has ‘directly spoken to the issue and precluded federal agency authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing not involving the use of diesel fuels.’ That was legal error,” lawyers wrote late Monday in their opening brief in their appeal of the injunction. “Congress has never directly spoken to BLM’s authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands,” they said. “Congress instead delegated BLM broad authority to regulate all oil and gas operations on federal and Indian lands. Congress has not carved hydraulic fracturing out of that express delegation of authority.”  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
PHMSA Announces Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Rules
JDSupra
Paul Forshay, Allison Speaker, Michael Stosser

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a proposal to implement regulations that would add new safety measures designed to raise existing safety standards applicable to pipelines currently regulated by PHMSA. The Administration also proposes to make those safety regulations applicable to pipelines that previously had been exempt, because they had been placed in service before 1970 or because they were gathering systems. The 549-page Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines (Proposed Rule) proposes new rules aimed at strengthening the way gas pipeline systems are operated, inspected and maintained. PHMSA's Proposed Rule follows up on the agency's earlier Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR), which was issued on October 18, 2010. In its ANOPR, PHMSA sought public input on proposed revisions to its pipeline safety regulations, applicable to gas transmission and gas gathering pipelines. The Proposed Rule now issues against a backdrop of continuing significant Congressional action regarding pipeline safety, and represents the latest step in PHMSA's efforts to respond to pipeline incidents like the San Bruno, California pipeline explosion.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Fire Chiefs Want More Answers to Plan for Pipeline
Emergency Management
Meghan Foley, The Keene Sentinel, N.H

The Rindge Fire Department has four of them, Fitzwilliam has two, and Temple and Winchester each have one. The devices — known as multi-gas detectors or meters — measure levels of combustible gas so firefighters can determine if an area affected by a natural gas or propane leak is safe. The equipment also scans for potentially deadly chemicals, such as carbon monoxide. In these small, rural southwestern New Hampshire towns that don’t have natural gas distribution systems, the fire departments — some on call, others volunteer — can get by with the gas detectors they already have, their fire chiefs say. But if the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline is built, that may change. The fire chiefs are concerned they may need more to protect their residents, particularly if a problem with the high-pressure, natural gas transmission line were to arise. And with that, the question becomes who will pay for additional gas meters: the fire departments, whose annually operating budgets can be blown by repairs to a broken down fire truck or a hazardous waste event, or the North American energy company proposing the approximately $5.2 billion controversial project? Gas meters are just one of other wider concerns area fire chiefs have about the pipeline. At a meeting in Keene last month, fire chiefs and officers asked Kinder Morgan representatives a slew of questions, including who they should contact at the company in the event of a pipeline incident, how long it would take for that person to respond, the company’s plan for addressing various emergency scenarios, and what chemicals from the fracking process would be mixed with the natural gas? “Basically, the answer is if something happens you report it, and someone from the company will be there within the hour,” Fitzwilliam Fire Chief Nancy W. Carney said. “That’s OK, but what happens until then? What do I tell residents living on the other side of the pipeline?” Houston-based Kinder Morgan is the parent company of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC, which is developing the 419-mile interstate line slated to carry fracked natural gas from the shale fields in northern Pennsylvania to Dracut, Mass. Along the way, it’s proposed to pass through 18 communities in southern New Hampshire, including the Cheshire County towns of Fitzwilliam, Richmond, Rindge, Troy and Winchester. “In reality, if we have a pipeline incident where there is an odor or someone sees discoloration in the ground from a leak, our main job will be to isolate the area, contain what we can contain and evacuate,” Rindge Fire Chief Rickard J. Donovan said Sunday. But to do so, firefighters must know how much natural gas they’re dealing with and over how large an area, he said. His understanding, he said, is that the pipeline will have valves every five to seven miles that can be closed if there is a problem. But that would still leave a lot of area, households and businesses to cover with the department’s gas meters, he said. He’d like to see Rindge get a couple more detectors if the pipeline goes through, but he doesn’t know if Kinder Morgan will provide them, he said. There’s precedent for such a donation in Rindge. Following a suspected Freon leak at the town’s Market Basket in 2013, which sent nine employees to the hospital, the Massachusetts-based company bought the fire department equipment necessary to handle such a leak, Donovan said. Company officials viewed it as a way of protecting their interests and the community’s should such a leak happen again, he said. “I hope Kinder Morgan feels the same way,” he said. The gas meter the Winchester Fire Department uses must be calibrated annually, and that costs about $300 to $400, and puts the device out of service for about a month because it has to be sent out for the work, according to Winchester Fire Chief Barry Kellom. If Kinder Morgan does purchase gas detectors for the fire departments, he’d like to see everyone get the same models, he said. That way, a firefighter from Winchester could operate the Richmond Fire Department’s gas meter if need be, he said. But will Kinder Morgan provide the meters? The question was asked during the meeting in Keene last month with other area fire chiefs, three company representatives and N.H. State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan. Carney, who attended the Feb. 3 meeting, said that the response the Kinder Morgan representatives provided indicated they’d have to find out the answer and get back to them. Temple Deputy Fire Chief Matt L. Bruneau and Kellom, who also attended the meeting, agreed with Carney’s recollection. “They definitely weren’t forthcoming in putting their name on the dotted line to support that,” Bruneau said. He added that New Ipswich Fire Chief Meredith Lund asked the question. Besides the pipeline, New Ipswich is slated to host a 41,000-horsepower compressor station, which would help transport natural gas and keep it properly pressurized. Temple isn’t one of the pipeline towns, but it abuts New Ipswich. Temple Elementary School is roughly a quarter mile from the proposed compressor station. Efforts to reach Lund over the weekend were unsuccessful. When asked by email Thursday if the answer Kinder Morgan representatives provided at the meeting remained the company’s response, Northeast Energy Direct project spokesman Richard N. Wheatley didn’t reply directly to the question. He said Tennessee Gas Pipeline has, and continues to address public and agency concerns. “In addition to assessing future emergency responder training needs, Tennessee Gas has begun and will continue to discuss concerns such as manpower, equipment, security measures, and increase of presence patrols with local fire and police departments along the proposed Project route,” he said in the email. Seeking answers In October 2015, Carney submitted two, page-and-a-half lists of questions and comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about public safety concerns she and other area fire chiefs have about the pipeline. At the time, the project was in the pre-filing process with the agency. It’s now in the filing process, with Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials asking the commission to approve their application by the fourth quarter of this year so they can begin construction in January 2017. FERC is the sole agency that has the power to approve or deny the project. In her letter, Carney asked about Kinder Morgan’s emergency response plan, both during and after the pipeline’s construction, when her fire department would receive a copy of those plans, and how would emergency responders be able to access roads crossed by the pipeline that only have one way in and out. She also asked if the company would provide and pay for training and equipment for all first responders to handle potential pipeline emergencies, and what security monitoring would be done along the pipeline, according to the letter. “There are still definitely more questions than answers,” Carney said last week. As a fire chief, she needs to be prepared, and that includes identifying hazards and pre-planning for pipeline incidents, she said. “It’s not my position to say whether I’m for or against the pipeline, but I have some concerns,” she said. “The hardest thing for me as fire chief is I want to pre-plan, but I’m not getting the information, or they keep changing it.” Through the FERC process, some of the questions posed by area fire chiefs have gotten the attention of Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials, who responded to them and others in a filing with the federal agency on March 17. In the document, FERC officials asked company representatives to address certain public safety concerns including local public services, such as police and fire departments, not having the manpower or equipment to respond to pipeline or compressor station emergencies. In response, Project Management Specialist Samuel L. Johnson 2nd wrote that company officials had addressed the concerns throughout the pre-filing process, and would continue to discuss them during the application process. “In the unlikely event of an incident, local emergency officials will be responsible for managing and protecting people (i.e. traffic control, handling injuries),” he wrote. Wheatley said in his email Friday that Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials have begun to coordinate with first responders on how to handle a construction or gas pipeline emergency. “Tennessee Gas has established and maintains liaison with fire, police, and public officials in areas where it currently operates and will establish liaison in those areas where it currently does not have facilities,” he said. He added that company officials have participated in a collaborative effort with the N.H. State Fire Marshal “to proactively address questions by stakeholders” affected by the pipeline. Degnan said last week that the Feb. 3 meeting was held because his office saw gaps in responses from communities outside of Keene during that city’s gas emergency in December 2015. A power outage caused a propane-air distribution system owned by Liberty Utilities in Keene to malfunction, sending pure propane to customers with the potential for carbon monoxide to be release when burned. The fire marshal’s office also used the meeting as an opportunity to provide some preliminary training to those departments about the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, Degnan said, and he intends for there to be additional meetings and training that will go into more detail. As for getting Kinder Morgan to pay for equipment such as gas meters, and getting the necessary information to pre-plan, it would be up to the communities to talk directly with the company, he said. “We don’t have any role; if a fire chief calls us, we would assist them,” he said. “We don’t have the staffing to sufficiently get involved with every town on that side of it.” The meeting in Keene, and another one that happened the next day in Hudson, focused on topics including how the pipeline and related infrastructure works, planning for emergencies, mutual aid response to a pipeline community, and future pipeline emergency and safety training should the project be approved, Wheatley said. Officials from the New Hampshire towns along the proposed pipeline route and those that provide mutual aid to those communities were invited to attend the meetings, he said. “Tennessee Gas will continue this communication effort with all towns along the Project route,” he said. “Safety is always paramount to Tennessee Gas and its parent company Kinder Morgan.” Rindge Fire Chief Rick Donovan said he and other town officials have enough information to begin planning for the pipeline, but there are still some questions he doesn’t have answers to — including the exact location of the route — and he doesn’t expect he’ll have them until FERC approves the project. “To be honest, I’d like to see the information as soon as possible like everybody else,” he said. He’d especially like to see that information before construction starts, if the project is approved, he said. “I don’t think that is unreasonable to ask.” Kellom agreed, saying there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity yet to pre-plan for the pipeline, and he’d like to be prepared before the pipeline goes through, if it’s approved. “We’ve never seen anything to this scale,” he said, noting that the biggest project his department has had to plan for to-date is an asphalt plan in town that runs on compressed natural gas brought in by truck. Carney said access to training, the frequency of that training, and having the proper equipment, including the gas meters, are her top concerns. Both she, one of her officers, and Donovan attended some pipeline incident training put on by the state last spring, and she expects more training for herself and other firefighters to follow, she said. If there were a pipeline emergency in Fitzwilliam, there is no doubt her fire department would call in the surrounding communities to help, but she wonders how far out she would have to go, especially if she needed more gas meters, she said. And if another town along the route is facing a pipeline emergency at the same time, it would be worse in a situation where time is of the essence, she said. There is rationale for her concern. Her department was one of 64 fire and emergency medical services agencies to respond to Keene to deal with a city-wide gas problem in December 2015. Part of the reason why so many communities were called in, Carney said, was the city needed more gas meters. ——— ©2016 The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.) Visit The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.) at www.sentinelsource.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. The Rindge Fire Department has four of them, Fitzwilliam has two, and Temple and Winchester each have one. The devices — known as multi-gas detectors or meters — measure levels of combustible gas so firefighters can determine if an area affected by a natural gas or propane leak is safe. The equipment also scans for potentially deadly chemicals, such as carbon monoxide. In these small, rural southwestern New Hampshire towns that don’t have natural gas distribution systems, the fire departments — some on call, others volunteer — can get by with the gas detectors they already have, their fire chiefs say. But if the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline is built, that may change. The fire chiefs are concerned they may need more to protect their residents, particularly if a problem with the high-pressure, natural gas transmission line were to arise. And with that, the question becomes who will pay for additional gas meters: the fire departments, whose annually operating budgets can be blown by repairs to a broken down fire truck or a hazardous waste event, or the North American energy company proposing the approximately $5.2 billion controversial project? Gas meters are just one of other wider concerns area fire chiefs have about the pipeline. At a meeting in Keene last month, fire chiefs and officers asked Kinder Morgan representatives a slew of questions, including who they should contact at the company in the event of a pipeline incident, how long it would take for that person to respond, the company’s plan for addressing various emergency scenarios, and what chemicals from the fracking process would be mixed with the natural gas? “Basically, the answer is if something happens you report it, and someone from the company will be there within the hour,” Fitzwilliam Fire Chief Nancy W. Carney said. “That’s OK, but what happens until then? What do I tell residents living on the other side of the pipeline?” Houston-based Kinder Morgan is the parent company of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC, which is developing the 419-mile interstate line slated to carry fracked natural gas from the shale fields in northern Pennsylvania to Dracut, Mass. Along the way, it’s proposed to pass through 18 communities in southern New Hampshire, including the Cheshire County towns of Fitzwilliam, Richmond, Rindge, Troy and Winchester. “In reality, if we have a pipeline incident where there is an odor or someone sees discoloration in the ground from a leak, our main job will be to isolate the area, contain what we can contain and evacuate,” Rindge Fire Chief Rickard J. Donovan said Sunday. But to do so, firefighters must know how much natural gas they’re dealing with and over how large an area, he said. His understanding, he said, is that the pipeline will have valves every five to seven miles that can be closed if there is a problem. But that would still leave a lot of area, households and businesses to cover with the department’s gas meters, he said. He’d like to see Rindge get a couple more detectors if the pipeline goes through, but he doesn’t know if Kinder Morgan will provide them, he said. There’s precedent for such a donation in Rindge. Following a suspected Freon leak at the town’s Market Basket in 2013, which sent nine employees to the hospital, the Massachusetts-based company bought the fire department equipment necessary to handle such a leak, Donovan said. Company officials viewed it as a way of protecting their interests and the community’s should such a leak happen again, he said. “I hope Kinder Morgan feels the same way,” he said. The gas meter the Winchester Fire Department uses must be calibrated annually, and that costs about $300 to $400, and puts the device out of service for about a month because it has to be sent out for the work, according to Winchester Fire Chief Barry Kellom. If Kinder Morgan does purchase gas detectors for the fire departments, he’d like to see everyone get the same models, he said. That way, a firefighter from Winchester could operate the Richmond Fire Department’s gas meter if need be, he said. But will Kinder Morgan provide the meters? The question was asked during the meeting in Keene last month with other area fire chiefs, three company representatives and N.H. State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan. Carney, who attended the Feb. 3 meeting, said that the response the Kinder Morgan representatives provided indicated they’d have to find out the answer and get back to them. Temple Deputy Fire Chief Matt L. Bruneau and Kellom, who also attended the meeting, agreed with Carney’s recollection. “They definitely weren’t forthcoming in putting their name on the dotted line to support that,” Bruneau said. He added that New Ipswich Fire Chief Meredith Lund asked the question. Besides the pipeline, New Ipswich is slated to host a 41,000-horsepower compressor station, which would help transport natural gas and keep it properly pressurized. Temple isn’t one of the pipeline towns, but it abuts New Ipswich. Temple Elementary School is roughly a quarter mile from the proposed compressor station. Efforts to reach Lund over the weekend were unsuccessful. When asked by email Thursday if the answer Kinder Morgan representatives provided at the meeting remained the company’s response, Northeast Energy Direct project spokesman Richard N. Wheatley didn’t reply directly to the question. He said Tennessee Gas Pipeline has, and continues to address public and agency concerns. “In addition to assessing future emergency responder training needs, Tennessee Gas has begun and will continue to discuss concerns such as manpower, equipment, security measures, and increase of presence patrols with local fire and police departments along the proposed Project route,” he said in the email. Seeking answers In October 2015, Carney submitted two, page-and-a-half lists of questions and comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about public safety concerns she and other area fire chiefs have about the pipeline. At the time, the project was in the pre-filing process with the agency. It’s now in the filing process, with Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials asking the commission to approve their application by the fourth quarter of this year so they can begin construction in January 2017. FERC is the sole agency that has the power to approve or deny the project. In her letter, Carney asked about Kinder Morgan’s emergency response plan, both during and after the pipeline’s construction, when her fire department would receive a copy of those plans, and how would emergency responders be able to access roads crossed by the pipeline that only have one way in and out. She also asked if the company would provide and pay for training and equipment for all first responders to handle potential pipeline emergencies, and what security monitoring would be done along the pipeline, according to the letter. “There are still definitely more questions than answers,” Carney said last week. As a fire chief, she needs to be prepared, and that includes identifying hazards and pre-planning for pipeline incidents, she said. “It’s not my position to say whether I’m for or against the pipeline, but I have some concerns,” she said. “The hardest thing for me as fire chief is I want to pre-plan, but I’m not getting the information, or they keep changing it.” Through the FERC process, some of the questions posed by area fire chiefs have gotten the attention of Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials, who responded to them and others in a filing with the federal agency on March 17. In the document, FERC officials asked company representatives to address certain public safety concerns including local public services, such as police and fire departments, not having the manpower or equipment to respond to pipeline or compressor station emergencies. In response, Project Management Specialist Samuel L. Johnson 2nd wrote that company officials had addressed the concerns throughout the pre-filing process, and would continue to discuss them during the application process. “In the unlikely event of an incident, local emergency officials will be responsible for managing and protecting people (i.e. traffic control, handling injuries),” he wrote. Wheatley said in his email Friday that Tennessee Gas Pipeline officials have begun to coordinate with first responders on how to handle a construction or gas pipeline emergency. “Tennessee Gas has established and maintains liaison with fire, police, and public officials in areas where it currently operates and will establish liaison in those areas where it currently does not have facilities,” he said. He added that company officials have participated in a collaborative effort with the N.H. State Fire Marshal “to proactively address questions by stakeholders” affected by the pipeline. Degnan said last week that the Feb. 3 meeting was held because his office saw gaps in responses from communities outside of Keene during that city’s gas emergency in December 2015. A power outage caused a propane-air distribution system owned by Liberty Utilities in Keene to malfunction, sending pure propane to customers with the potential for carbon monoxide to be release when burned. The fire marshal’s office also used the meeting as an opportunity to provide some preliminary training to those departments about the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, Degnan said, and he intends for there to be additional meetings and training that will go into more detail. As for getting Kinder Morgan to pay for equipment such as gas meters, and getting the necessary information to pre-plan, it would be up to the communities to talk directly with the company, he said. “We don’t have any role; if a fire chief calls us, we would assist them,” he said. “We don’t have the staffing to sufficiently get involved with every town on that side of it.” The meeting in Keene, and another one that happened the next day in Hudson, focused on topics including how the pipeline and related infrastructure works, planning for emergencies, mutual aid response to a pipeline community, and future pipeline emergency and safety training should the project be approved, Wheatley said. Officials from the New Hampshire towns along the proposed pipeline route and those that provide mutual aid to those communities were invited to attend the meetings, he said. “Tennessee Gas will continue this communication effort with all towns along the Project route,” he said. “Safety is always paramount to Tennessee Gas and its parent company Kinder Morgan.” Rindge Fire Chief Rick Donovan said he and other town officials have enough information to begin planning for the pipeline, but there are still some questions he doesn’t have answers to — including the exact location of the route — and he doesn’t expect he’ll have them until FERC approves the project. “To be honest, I’d like to see the information as soon as possible like everybody else,” he said. He’d especially like to see that information before construction starts, if the project is approved, he said. “I don’t think that is unreasonable to ask.” Kellom agreed, saying there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity yet to pre-plan for the pipeline, and he’d like to be prepared before the pipeline goes through, if it’s approved. “We’ve never seen anything to this scale,” he said, noting that the biggest project his department has had to plan for to-date is an asphalt plan in town that runs on compressed natural gas brought in by truck. Carney said access to training, the frequency of that training, and having the proper equipment, including the gas meters, are her top concerns. Both she, one of her officers, and Donovan attended some pipeline incident training put on by the state last spring, and she expects more training for herself and other firefighters to follow, she said. If there were a pipeline emergency in Fitzwilliam, there is no doubt her fire department would call in the surrounding communities to help, but she wonders how far out she would have to go, especially if she needed more gas meters, she said. And if another town along the route is facing a pipeline emergency at the same time, it would be worse in a situation where time is of the essence, she said. There is rationale for her concern. Her department was one of 64 fire and emergency medical services agencies to respond to Keene to deal with a city-wide gas problem in December 2015. Part of the reason why so many communities were called in, Carney said, was the city needed more gas meters. ——— ©2016 The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.) Visit The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.) at www.sentinelsource.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. The Rindge Fire Department has four of them, Fitzwilliam has two, and Temple and Winchester each have one. The devices — known as multi-gas detectors or meters — measure levels of combustible gas so firefighters can determine if an area affected by a natural gas or propane leak is safe. The equipment also scans for potentially deadly chemicals, such as carbon monoxide. In these small, rural southwestern New Hampshire towns that don’t have natural gas distribution systems, the fire departments — some on call, others volunteer — can get by with the gas detectors they already have, their fire chiefs say. But if the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline is built, that may change. The fire chiefs are concerned they may need more to protect their residents, particularly if a problem with the high-pressure, natural gas transmission line were to arise. And with that, the question becomes who will pay for additional gas meters: the fire departments, whose annually operating budgets can be blown by repairs to a broken down fire truck or a hazardous waste event, or the North American energy company proposing the approximately $5.2 billion controversial project?   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Feds: Climate change to impact Western water trends
The Hill
Devin Henry

Climate change will hasten existing water supply concerns in the Western United States, the Interior Department concluded in a report released Tuesday. A warming climate is excepted to bring higher temperatures and changes to precipitation, snowpack and water flow throughout the West, the report found. Officials said the threat highlights the need for “collaborative strategies acres each river basin” in the west to protect water supplies there. “One of the greatest challenges we face is dealing with the impacts of climate change on our nation’s water, which is really the lifeblood of our economy,” Interior Deputy Secretary Michael Connor said in a statement. Climate change’s impact on water will vary across regions, the report predicts. Southern California, for example, will see increased water demand and heighten the need for imported or recycled water. Reduced snowpacks in the Colorado River Basin and points south will mean a smaller supply of water for irrigation and hydropower operations.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Climate Change: 10 Billion Tons Of Carbon Are Now Being Released Every Year, The Fastest In 66 Million Years
IBT
AVANEESH PANDEY

In another indication of the profound, and perhaps irreversible, change humans are having on the planet, new research has shown that our species is pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere 10 times faster than at any time during the past 66 million years. This means that the last time the rate of carbon emissions was this high, dinosaurs were still walking on the face of Earth. “In studying one of the most dramatic episodes of global change since the end of the age of the dinosaurs, these scientists show that we are currently in uncharted territory in the rate carbon is being released into the atmosphere and oceans,” Candace Major, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Division of Ocean Sciences, which funded the research, said in a statement.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
The scientist who first warned of climate change says it’s much worse than we thought
Grist
Ameila Urry

The rewards of being right about climate change are bittersweet. James Hansen should know this better than most — he warned of this whole thing before Congress in 1988, when he was director of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies. At the time, the world was experiencing its warmest five-month run since we started recording temperatures 130 years earlier. Hansen said, “It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here.” Fast forward 28 years and, while we’re hardly out of the Waffle House yet, we know much more about climate change science. Hansen is still worried that the rest of us aren’t worried enough. Last summer, prior to countries’ United Nations negotiations in Paris, Hansen and 16 collaborators authored a draft paper that suggested we could see at least 10 feet of sea-level rise in as few as 50 years.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Sabal Pipeline project files 160 eminent domain lawsuits
Orlando Sentinel
Paul Brinkmann

natural-gas pipeline project for Duke, FPL and Spectra has filed 160 eminent-domain lawsuits in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. The lawsuits seek to seize hundreds of acres from landowners, and more lawsuits may follow. The project, called the Sabal Trail Transmission pipeline, is targeting 25 properties in Central Florida, mostly in Osceola County. The pipeline company began filing the suits in federal court last week.  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
229 leaks found in state's underground gas storage facilities, most considered minor
Los Angeles Times
Paige St. John

Only one of the dozen underground gas storage facilities in California had no leaking gas wells or fixtures, according to tests required by state regulators in the wake of a well blowout in Southern California. The leak reports were filed in mid-February but not released by the California Public Utilities Commission until Tuesday, after most of the identified problems could be fixed. A public statement accompanying the report characterized most of the 229 leaks found as minor, requiring no more action than tightening a valve. Only one was found below ground.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
Kinder Morgan pipeline project scorns state constitution, could set precedent
The Berkshire Edge
Heather Bellow

Sandisfield — Deep in the woods in this town of 800 people near the Connecticut border, an energy giant has already made a chess move that might wipe out a large swath of state-protected forest so it can add a 3.8 mile natural gas storage extension loop to a preexisting pipeline route for use in Kinder Morgan’s larger Northeast Extension Direct (NED) project. To accommodate the new pipeline extension this pipeline corridor would be expanded, taking 60 to 100 feet of forest on the left side the cleared path. Photo: Heather Bellow Two pipelines already exist on this path — one was built in 1951, the other in 1980. The problem with this one is that it will require an easement to cut through forest next to the existing route. And not just any forest, but some of Otis State Forest’s 900 acres, protected by the state’s constitution through Article 97, which legislates the powerful notion that citizens have the right to “a clean environment,” and gives the state the ability to buy land to protect it. The state bought these acres for $5.5 million about 10 years ago, the largest land sale in state history, according to Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox).  [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
30 Scientists, 100+ Environmental, Health Groups Urge Federal Government to Maintain Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in California
Yuba Net
Center for Biological Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2016 - In a letter sent today, more than 30 prominent scientists urged the federal government to continue the moratorium on fracking in federal waters off the California coast and to prepare a comprehensive environmental impact statement for the controversial oil-industry technique.   [Full Story]

Mar 22, 2016
US NATURAL GAS PIPELINE DEVELOPERS FACING CHALLENGING FUTURE
Platts


Developers of US pipeline projects face a host of challenges, many more than in past years, in getting their projects certified and built, Don Santa, the president of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America said Tuesday. The pipeline certificate process, by which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approves new interstate pipelines "is under a lot of pressure," both in the form of legal challenges and from activists who show up at FERC meetings to protest the proceedings, Santa said at the annual Pipeline Opportunity Conference, presented by the Pipeline & Gas Journal. "Activist groups have become very active in these certificate proceedings, in part to set them up to them for an appeal in the courts," he said.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
How can gas company offset emissions from the Aliso Canyon leak? Regulators offer a plan
Los Angeles Times
Tony Barboza

offset greenhouse gas emissions from the massive Porter Ranch leak, Southern California Gas Co. could pay to plug abandoned wells, install methane-gobbling digesters at dairy farms and help people buy more efficient furnaces and water heaters, state regulators say. Those are the kinds of projects the gas company will be required to fund to make up for the damage to the climate from releasing nearly 100,000 tons of methane from its Aliso Canyon storage facility, according to a plan by the California Air Resources Board.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
PEC Opposes Killing Conventional Drilling Regs, Clean Power Plan Delay In Fiscal Code
PA Environment Digest


The PA Environmental Council Wednesday sent a letter to all members of the Senate expressing its opposition to provisions House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike) amends the Fiscal Code to among other things, kill DEP Chapter 78 conventional drilling regulations and make DEP start over, reduce Growing Greener watershed restoration funding by $15 million this fiscal year and to slow consideration of any state plan to comply with the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
House Environmental Committee Meets March 23, Possibly To Discuss Drilling Regs
PA Environment Digest


The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on March 23, however no agenda has yet been posted. At the Committee meeting last Wednesday, Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the Committee, said the Committee will be reviewing the final DEP Chapter 78 and 78a oil and gas drilling regulations “at its next meeting.”  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
Local task force members hope group can bring positive change to gas drilling industry
Citizens Voice
Elizabeth Skrapits

Participating in Gov. Tom Wolf’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force taught a local college professor new things, and gave a local residents’ advocate a chance to spotlight safety in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s rural regions.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
Our View: Halting offshore drilling plan a wise move
Fayette Observer
Opinion

The Obama administration decision to drop plans for oil and gas drilling off our coast is neither a major setback nor a dramatic victory. For both sides of the contentious issue, it's a bump in the road, one more twist in a decades-long tale.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
Global Shale Gas Market Poised to Surge from USD 63.0 Billion in 2014 to USD 105.0 Billion by 2020 – MarketResearchStore.Com
Econo Times


Deerfield Beach, FL, March 21, 2016 -- Zion Research has released a new report titled “Shale Gas Market by Technology (Horizontal Drilling, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Water Usage Issue) for Power Generation, Residential, Industrial, Commercial, Transportation and Other Applications: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, and Forecast, 2014-2020.” According to the report, the global demand for shale gas was valued at USD 63 billion in 2014 is expected to reach USD 105 billion in 2020, growing at a CAGR of around 9% between 2015 and 2020. In terms of volume, the global shale gas market stood at around 10.0 trillion cubic feet in 2014.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
Thousands to Gather in New Orleans to Stop New Oil and Gas Leases in the Gulf
EcoWatch
Janet MacGillivray & Lee Ziesche

While the community is still recovering from this state of emergency, Obama’s BLM is sticking to plans to auction off 43 million acres of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore drilling leases on March 23. These oil and gas leases contain the eighth largest source of carbon pollution on our planet.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
County Commission to review fracking laws for area
Northest Georgia News
Blake Doss

Manager Jamie McCord plans to clarify the county’s fracking laws during Tuesday’s County Commission meeting, following a barrage of emails to county officials from concerned residents. Buckeye Exploration is seeking to acquire mineral rights from property owners in northern Floyd County in the hopes of finding gas or oil.   [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
Frontera plans key Georgia fracking campaign
Energy Voice
Phil allan

Oil and gas exploration company Frontera Resources is set to carry out a crucial frack campaign ahead of the large scale exploitation of Georgia’s South Kakheti gas complex’s Oil Window initiative.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
Schlumberger chief: Oil services crisis isn’t just oil prices
FuelFix
Robert Grattan

HOUSTON — The oil service industry needs a fundamental shift in the way it approaches working with exploration and production companies if it’s to thrive again, the CEO of Schlumberger warned Monday. Both services companies and their clients are being held back by an outdated business model that has disconnected service companies from their producer, stifled technological innovation and done little to hold down costs, said Paal Kibsgaard, who holds the top job at Schlumberger. “Our industry has simply not progressed sufficiently in terms of total system performance to enable cost-effective development of increasingly complex hydrocarbon resources,” Kibsgaard said. Kibsgaard spoke at the Scotia Howard Weil conference in New Orleans, and a transcript was provided to Fuelfix.com.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
Oil Company Taps IBM's Watson To Fend Off Anti-Fracking Attacks On Twitter
Forbes
Christopher Helman

Leave it to IBM to use artificial intelligence to reverse-engineer authenticity. Last year a big American oil company felt bad because it was getting picked on by anti-fracking activists who were hurling insults on Twitter TWTR +0.24%. The oil company wanted to do something, anything, to stop those misguided fracktivists who were only propagating long disproven fracking propaganda. But first the oil company had to figure out how to work this Twitter thing. They noticed that some tweets spread virally, get retweeted all over the place. While other tweets saying pretty much the same thing just fall flat. ¯\_(?)_/¯ The oil company wanted to fight back at fracking detractors by interacting with them on Twitter, by pointing out the error of their anti-fracking screeds, by trying to find ways to convince them that fracking is a safe and reliable part of standard oil and gas drilling and has been in use across America for more than 50 years. But that was kind of a bad idea.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
The Air Around Aliso Canyon Is Declared Safe. So Why Are Families Still Suffering?
InsideClimate News
Phil McKenna

Residents returning home a month after gas leak ends report lingering illnesses as SoCal Gas prepares to cut off relocation housing payments this week  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
Momentum Builds Against Obama Admin Plans To Auction Oil and Gas Drilling Rights In Gulf of Mexico
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

Hundreds of Gulf Coast residents are expected to join a coalition of environmental and social justice groups on Wednesday to protest outside the Superdome, where the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) intends to auction off leases for offshore oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Forty-seven organizations sent a letter to President Obama last week calling for him to cancel the planned lease auctions that would release millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling. The sales include 43 million acres set to be auctioned on Wednesday, and another 47 million acres proposed for auction in 2017. Only two people spoke at BOEM’s public hearing in New Orleans on March 17 on the bureau's proposed plan to offer 47.41 million acres to the oil and gas industry to lease in the Central Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico in 2017.  [Full Story]

Mar 21, 2016
The Air Around Aliso Canyon Is Declared Safe. So Why Are Families Still Suffering?
Inside Climate News
Phil McKenna

Residents returning home a month after gas leak ends report lingering illnesses as SoCal Gas prepares to cut off relocation housing payments this week.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2016
Pro-fracking writer ignored essential dangers of drilling: Tish O'Dell, Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhoods
Cleveland.com
Tish O'Dell Opinion

Industry lobbyists representing one of the wealthiest industries on the planet use every form of media available to propagandize: millions of dollars spent on TV and radio advertising, the purchase of elected officials through campaign contributions who speak on their behalf, full color glossy mailers and print advertisements – and, of course, print media. All to convince us – we, the people – that shale gas drilling and fracking is environmentally safe and an economic benefit for all.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2016
Bill sets firm 6-month window to collect ballot signatures
Elkhart Truth
David Eggert

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers are pushing to require that all signatures for a statewide ballot initiative be collected within a six-month period, a move that would stymie marijuana and anti-fracking activists from potentially receiving more time thanks to improved technology.   [Full Story]

Mar 20, 2016
Fractured Land Review Documentary Takes A Close Look Into Fracking And Its Effect On First Nations Communities
Link
Amy Halloran

Tomorrow, students will have the opportunity to peer into the devastating world of fracking from a unique and telling perspective.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2016
Environmental Activists Take to Local Protests for Global Results
The New York Times
John Schwartz

READING, N.Y. — They came here to get arrested. Nearly 60 protesters blocked the driveway of a storage plant for natural gas on March 7. Its owners want to expand the facility, which the opponents say would endanger nearby Seneca Lake. But their concerns were global, as well. “There’s a climate emergency happening,” one of the protesters, Coby Schultz, said. “It’s a life-or-death struggle.”  [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2016
Can the U.S. really go frack-free? Sanders, Clinton take aim at hydraulic fracturing
San Diego Union-Tribune
Rob Nikolewski

Earlier this month, both candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for president took shots at "fracking" — hydraulic fracturing, the process that extracts oil and natural gas by using high-pressure liquids to break through shale rock formations.   [Full Story]

Mar 19, 2016
SUE THE FRACKERS ! $4.2 Million Fracking Verdict Sparks More Suits
NO FRACKING WAY
Peter Hayes

From Toxics Law Reporter March 14 — A recent jury verdict and $4.2 million award in favor of two Pennsylvania families who alleged fracking operations contaminated their well water is likely to trigger the filing of more suits, sources tell Bloomberg BNA. A jury March 10 found Cabot Oil & Gas acted negligently in drilling fracking wells in Dimock, Pa., which created a private nuisance and significantly harmed the plaintiffs in their use and enjoyment of the property. A number of other families involved in the litigation settled before trial for a total amount less than what was awarded here.   [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2016
Activist group plans 'rebellion against FERC' for fossil fuel work
SNL
Sean Sullivan

When it comes to stopping the permitting of natural gas pipelines and LNG terminals, some groups feel driven to drastic action. "The rebellion against FERC is one aimed at radically transforming how energy is produced, transported and used in this country," Beyond Extreme Energy organizer Lee Stewart said. Many groups that oppose fossil fuels in the U.S. to protect the environment and communities conduct their fight under rules laid down by FERC and federal law, challenging gas infrastructure in the commission's review process for energy projects and afterward in federal court. But Beyond Extreme Energy and allied groups have said the rules do not work for opposition groups. Turning to other methods, they have shouted at FERC meetings and organized a February campaign that delivered anti-gas messages to the homes of FERC commissioners. And they plan to increase such activities. Beyond Extreme Energy sees no penalty for breaking the rules if it is done without violence.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2016
During Porter Ranch, stealthy oil workers hid another methane gas leak
SCPR


In the midst of the much bigger Porter Ranch gas leak, another natural gas leak was spewing methane into the air. The oil company responsible for the second leak has been fined $75,000 by state oil regulators. The Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal called the methane leak brazen and intentional violations of state law. Workers for The Termo Company had snaked a 2.5-inch pipe away from oil pumping equipment to hide its opening under a tree some distance away. The pipe was used to vent natural gas that was produced along with oil.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2016
Peekskill’s Nancy Vann needed wheelchair after being dragged out of FERC meeting
The Peekskill Post
BRYAN FUMAGALLI

Peekskill resident Nancy Vann left the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Building in Washington, D.C. in a wheelchair on Thursday after she was knocked down and forcibly removed by security personnel while attempting to speak at a public meeting of the FERC Board of Commissioners. Vann was in Washington with a group of area residents trying to get answers as to why the government agency has not granted Gov. Cuomo’s request to temporarily halt construction of Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline project while state agencies conduct an independent safety assessment of the pipeline and its proximity to Indian Point Energy Center.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2016
Morning Agenda: TransCanada to Buy Columbia Pipeline Group
New York Times
Amie Tsang

TRANSCANADA TO BUY COLUMBIA PIPELINE GROUP | TransCanada will buy the Columbia Pipeline Group for $10.2 billion after failing to obtain approval for its Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, Ian Austen reports in DealBook.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2016
Landmark Acidization Study Finds Oil Companies Using Dozens of Hazardous Chemicals in California Wells
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

LOS ANGELES— Oil companies use dozens of extremely hazardous chemicals to acidize wells in California, raising water contamination and public-safety concerns, according to a new study in the Journal of Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry. San Ardo oil field The University of California-Los Angeles study, which has national significance because it seems to be the first ever to examine the toxicity of acidization chemicals, finds that almost 200 different chemicals have been used in the process, which is frequently employed in urban areas of Los Angeles County.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2016
Pipeline lawsuit called ‘aggressive,’ precedent-setting
The Recorder
Richie Davis

With the state attorney general expected to weigh in on a pipeline lawsuit challenging the Massachusetts Constitution’s protection of conservation lands, area officials are calling for a vigorous defense of open space. Pointing to Tennessee Gas. Pipeline Co.’s suit against the state over a proposed natural gas pipeline through state-protected forest in Sandisfield, state Rep. Stephen Kulik said Friday he plans to call for the Massachusetts House to file a “friend of the court” brief in the case. He said the constitutional provision, called Article 97, will also likely come into play in the controversial Northeast Energy Direct pipeline through eight Franklin County towns. The pipeline company asserts that its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval for its Berkshire County route supercedes the state’s constitutional protection of conservation land there.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2016
Teachout Calls For Economic Impact Study Of Pipeline
State of Politics


Democratic congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout on Friday released a letter to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli calling for a review of the economic impact of the proposed Constitution pipeline. “Given the high stakes for the State and its residents, the Office of the State Comptroller should review the project with an eye toward assessing the net economic impact of the project,” she wrote in the letter. The pipeline, 100 miles of which will cut through New York and the Hudson Valley, has raised concerns from residents and environmental groups.  [Full Story]

Mar 18, 2016
A Tale of Two Leaks: Fixed in California, Ignored in Alabama
InsideClimate News
Neela Banerjee

EIGHT MILE, Ala.—Willa Vassar brought a small purple box into her living room and emptied it onto her coffee table. She set out a series of ointments, a white tube of Soolantra, one of Tazorac, a tube of Elidel, and an assortment of pills, all to treat an angry rash that has spread across her face. Lithe and dressed in a black warmup suit, the retiree said she never had rashes before moving to the High Point apartments.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Sandisfield spur: TNG wants court's OK to start cutting trees for pipeline Rep. Pignatelli assails Kinder Morgan's 'total disrespect,' FERC's 'total disregard' for Sandisfield
The Berkshire Eagle
Clarence Fanto

As a court confrontation looms between a Kinder Morgan affiliate and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a state lawmaker has issued a sharp denunciation of the energy infrastructure company's actions and the federal regulators who approved the 3.8-mile Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline spur through Otis State Forest in Sandisfield this week. Several rapid-fire developments on Thursday included Kinder Morgan's Tennessee Gas Co. filing an injunction in Berkshire Superior Court seeking to grant the company immediate access to the state-protected land so tree-cutting can begin promptly. In connection with the Endangered Species Act, federal guidelines limit tree-clearing to a period between Oct. 1 and March 31. The company aims to put the pipeline into service next winter.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Explosive history prompts pipeline safety proposal to address gaps in oversight
The Patriot News
Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials moved Thursday to strengthen safety rules for the nation's 300,000-mile network of natural gas transmission pipelines in response to numerous fiery accidents, including a 2010 California explosion that killed eight people and injured more than 50. The Department of Transportation proposal would expand inspection and repair rules to include lines in some rural areas and newly installed lines in burgeoning gas drilling fields. Pressure-testing for leaks would be required on older lines that were previously exempt, such as the Pacific Gas and Electric Company pipe constructed in 1956 that broke and torched a residential neighborhood in San Bruno, California, six years ago.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Canaport Conversion to LNG Exports Scuttled by Market
Natural Gas Intelligence
Gordon Jaremko

Deterioration of hopes for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from Canada on a large scale has spread from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast. Repsol Energy Canada and Irving Oil have put on hold their plan -- called Saint John LNG -- to convert their Canaport import site in New Brunswick into an export terminal. Saint John LNG is the third Canadian casualty of global gas price deterioration this year. The first two were export projects on the Pacific Coast.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
US LNG exports unlikely to compete in Europe
Interfax Energy
Peter Stewart

Europe has often been touted as a natural home for American LNG given the EU’s concerns about energy security and its dependence on pipeline flows from Russia. However, the fall in oil and gas prices has made US LNG unattractive to European buyers. Significantly, the first cargo from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant was sold to Brazil, and future shipments look set to head to Turkey, South America, the Middle East and Asia. When global oil and gas prices were high, Henry Hub-based pricing had a clear competitive edge over oil-indexed LNG in Europe and Asia – hence the push from large consumers such as Japan and South Korea to diversify their purchasing strategies away from oil indexation towards gas-on-gas pricing.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Methane Emissions Are Spiking, But It Might Be More Cow Than Car
Think Progress
Natasha Geiing

Since 2006, atmospheric levels of methane — a greenhouse gas 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period — have steadily been on the rise. For years, scientists weren’t sure what was behind the rising levels of methane, but they had a few ideas: namely an increase in fossil fuel-related emissions. Now, a new study is pointing to a different culprit: agriculture-related methane emissions, especially from livestock and rice production.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
TransCanada to Buy Columbia Pipeline Group in $10.2 Billion Deal
New York Times
Ian Austen

TORONTO — After failing to obtain approval for its Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, TransCanada said on Thursday that it would buy the Columbia Pipeline Group for $10.2 billion. The all-cash deal will make the Canadian company a major force in the distribution of natural gas produced in the northeastern United States through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Fracking review: Companies not required to negotiate land access under WA Government reform
ABC
Sarah Tallier

Oil and gas companies that want to carry out fracking on West Australian land will not be obliged to negotiate with landowners, despite recommendations to Government to make it mandatory.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Colorado House Advances Fracking-Quake Bill
CBS Denver
Joseph Salazar

DENVER (AP) – A bill enabling Coloradans to sue oil and gas drilling firms whose operations damage property or harm people has advanced in the Democrat-led state House. Specifically, the bill would hold energy companies liable if their operations cause damaging earthquakes.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Fracking ballot initiative gets state OK for petition drive
News & Observer
Associated Press

DENVER Backers of a proposal that would let local governments regulate or ban fracking have won approval to circulate petitions to put it before voters.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Fayette alters fracking ban ordinance to strengthen its legality
Register-Herald
Sarah Plummer

FAYETTEVILLE — Fayette County Commission moved forward Monday with its countywide ban on the storage, disposal or use of oil and natural gas waste to strengthen the ordinance from legal scrutiny.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Photograph by Bryan Schutmaat for Bloomberg Businessweek Boom Times for Fracking's Toxic Wastewater Come to a Shaky End
Newsweek
Matthew Phillips

In 2010, as fracking was taking off in Oklahoma, Jeff Andrews, a former oil rig manager and drilling consultant, had an idea for how to cash in on the boom. Rather than drill a well that would produce oil, Andrews decided to drill one that could be used to dispose of all the salty, toxic waste?water that comes up with it. At the time, it seemed like a sure bet. For every barrel of oil produced in Oklahoma, drillers produce an average of about 10 barrels of wastewater. While other states tend to treat and recycle their oil and gas wastewater, Oklahoma has a long history of shooting it back down a hole in the ground—and forgetting about it. By mid-2014, oil production in Oklahoma had jumped to 300,000 barrels a day. That summer, Andrews was injecting about 9,000 barrels of wastewater down his disposal well daily—and charging about 75¢ a barrel. He and his partners were on their way to recouping the $3.2?million they’d invested in the business. But there was one rather large problem looming on the horizon: Oklahoma was fast becoming the earthquake capital of the U.S., and scientists were starting to connect wastewater wells to the state’s sharp rise in seismic activity.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Dear President Obama: The Clean Energy Revolution is Now
Huffington Post
Mark Ruffalo & Jon Bowermaster

A few short blocks from the White House, our new film Dear President Obama: The Clean Energy Revolution is Now (directed by Jon Bowermaster, narrated and produced by Mark Ruffalo) will premiere this week at National Geographic’s headquarters as part of the 24th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. At issue: President Obama’s environmental tenure and legacy, which has included both substantial steps forward and backward. He enacted the automobile fuel efficiency standard, has invested in renewable energy like solar and wind, has taken a strong stance against climate deniers and saw through the Paris climate agreement. At the same time, he oversaw a massive expansion of oil and natural gas drilling, much of it by more and more dangerous and extreme methods, chiefly fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Idaho oil and gas industry advocacy group blows up
Idaho Statesman
ROCKY BARKER

The Idaho Petroleum Council. an independent voice for Idaho's infant oil and gas industry, disintegrated this month after the representative of Alta Mesa Idaho, the sole producer of natural gas in the state, demanded its respected executive director step down. Suzanne Budge, executive director of the organization she’s led for five years, resigned March 4, a day after Alta Mesa chief counsel John Pieserich e-mailed members of the council’s executive committee demanding her dismissal. At the same time Petroleum Council President Scott Madison, executive vice president and general manager of Intermountain Gas, and Petroleum Council Vice President Paul Powell, president of Utah oil- and gas-drilling company Petrogyth Energy, also resigned. Other local companies have left since.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Anti-fracking campaigners celebrate small victory
The Press
Alex ross

ANTI-FRACKING campaigners have secured a small victory in their bid to stop controversial drilling in Ryedale. Ryedale District Council's planning committee met on Tuesday evening to discuss an application to frack in Kirby Misperton and voted against Third Energy's application.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Company that carried out shale gas exploration closes New Brunswick office
The Province


MONCTON, N.B. - The company that carried out shale gas exploration in New Brunswick has closed its office in the province. In an emailed statement, SWN Resources says the move comes amid uncertainty about the timetable for developing the shale gas industry in the province.   [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Fracking Now Responsible For Half Of US Oil Output
Manufacturing.net
Andy Szal

U.S. energy officials estimate that fracking accounts for a majority of the nation's crude oil output for the first time.  [Full Story]

Mar 17, 2016
Boom Times for Fracking's Toxic Wastewater Come to a Shaky End Regulations to reduce fracking-related earthquakes in Oklahoma are wrecking disposal businesses.
Bloomberg Businesss
Matthew Philips

In 2010, as fracking was taking off in Oklahoma, Jeff Andrews, a former oil rig manager and drilling consultant, had an idea for how to cash in on the boom. Rather than drill a well that would produce oil, Andrews decided to drill one that could be used to dispose of all the salty, toxic waste?water that comes up with it.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Environmentalists Say Fracking Fight Isn’t Over
Capitol News Service
Matt Galka

Environmentalists fought tooth and nail this year against the controversial procedure known as Fracking, and as Matt Galka tells us, they won, for now. Anti-fracking groups became a familiar site at Florida’s Capitol for the past two months. Armed with what they said was contaminated water from other states – the advocates against the controversial practice railed against proposals to regulate it statewide.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Dimock Water Contamination Verdict Prompts Calls for Federal Action on Fracking
DeSmog Blog
Sharon Kelly

Last week, in a historic verdict, a Pennsylvania jury awarded $4.24 million to two families in Dimock, PA who sued a shale gas driller, Cabot Oil and Gas Corp., over negligent drilling that contaminated their drinking water supplies.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Carson introduces a ban on fracking, acidizing of oil wells
Daily Breeze
Sandy Mazza

Two years after first considering a ban on aggressive oil well-stimulation methods, Carson has introduced a prohibition on fracking, acidizing and similar operations and will add further oil industry restrictions next month.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Brevard County approves controversial ban on fracking Brevard County approves ban on fracking
Click Orlando
Veronica Brezina

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brevard County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to ban fracking in the county, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Fracking 'would ruin tranquil fields', inquiry hears
BBC News


Shale gas extraction would turn "tranquil fields"' into "industrial installations", anti-fracking campaigners have told a hearing. Energy firm Cuadrilla is appealing against Lancashire County Council's decision to refuse permission to extract shale gas at sites in Roseacre Wood and Little Plumpton.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Fracking Out to Pasture
Munchies
Alex Swerdloff

If you think the United States government protects the food supply raised and harvested near sites of hydraulic fracking—the fracturing process through which oil and natural gas is extracted from deep within shale rock deposits—think again. In 2009, Michelle Bamberger, a veterinarian, and Professor Robert Oswald, of Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, became worried about this lack of oversight, and their 2012 report confirmed that their concern was warranted.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
$4.2 Million Fracking Verdict Likely to Spark More Suits
Bloomberg BNA
Peter Hayes

March 14 — A recent jury verdict and $4.2 million award in favor of two Pennsylvania families who alleged fracking operations contaminated their well water is likely to trigger the filing of more suits, sources tell Bloomberg BNA.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Obama Administration Cancels Plans For Atlantic Oil & Gas Drilling
Clean Technica
Joshua S Hill

The Obama administration announced this week that the United States would abandon its plans for oil and gas drilling in Atlantic waters, due to strong opposition.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Environmentalists continue fighting fracking
News 4 Jax
Matt Galka

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Environmentalists fought tooth and nail this year against the controversial procedure known as fracking. Environmentalists said fracking is too risky for the state because of the possibility that chemicals can get into Florida’s drinking water.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
World’s Largest Mangrove Forest In Danger As Huge Coal Plant Comes To Bangladesh
Climate Progress
Katie Valentine

The Sundarbans, as the world’s largest mangrove forest, is home to more than 300 species of plants, 200 species of fish, 315 species of birds and 49 species of mammals. And soon, the World Heritage site will sit just over eight miles south from two huge coal plants — planned developments that many worry will damage the air and water quality of the forest and destroy the livelihoods of the thousands in Bangladesh and India. If environmental and human rights protesters have anything to do with it, however, that won’t happen. Last week, hundreds of activists marched more than 150 miles from the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka to the southwestern Bagerhat District, a four-day protest that ended over the weekend. The protesters called on the government to halt plans for the 1,320-megawatt Rampal coal plant and the 565-megawatt Orion coal plant, both planned for Bangladesh. The larger Rampal plant, which would take up more than 1,800 acres of land, is scheduled to go online in 2021.   [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Environment In North Dakota’s Booming Oil Patch, One Tribe Beat Back Fracking
Alternet
Sarah van Gelder

The Turtle Mountain Band was among the first tribes to ban the drilling process. Here’s the difference it made. Drive the long, straight roads of north-central North Dakota, and you pass lake after lake amid hayfields and forests. Migratory birds, attracted by the abundance of water and grain, pause here. Farmers, boaters, and fishermen orient their lives around the pure water. The water, more than anything, explains why members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians acted so quickly when they learned their region was next in line for fracking. Within just a few weeks of tribal women meeting on the topic in late 2011, the council banned fracking on the 77,000-acre reservation. Their ban was one of the first in North America. The process started in November 2011 when a tribal elder, Carol Davis, called the women of the tribe together. Fracking was booming on the Fort Berthold reservation just 190 miles away in the heart of the Bakken oil fields. Davis had heard that the Turtle Mountain reservation could be next. In the tribe’s tradition, women are responsible for protecting the water, so she invited the women to discuss fracking over a meal. After Davis explained her concerns to the group of women, Monette and her half-sister, Cedar Gillette, decided they needed to learn more about the process behind hydraulic fracturing or fracking.When she first heard about fracking in Fort Berthold, Christa Monnette, a member of the Turtle Mountain Tribe, thought that an oil and gas boom on her remote reservation would be a good thing. “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, how lucky they are! How come we can’t strike oil here?’”  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
World Water Day Reminds Us Not to Take Clean Water for Granted
EcoWatch
Dr David Suzuki

dsuzukiEarth’s oceans, lakes, rivers and streams are its circulatory system, providing life’s essentials for people, animals and ecosystems. Canada has one-fifth of the world’s freshwater, a quarter of its remaining wetlands and its longest coastline. With this abundance, it’s easy to take water for granted. Many of our daily rituals require its life-giving force. Yet do we recognize our good fortune in having clean, safe water at the turn of a tap? Not everyone in Canada is so lucky. On any given day, more than 1,000 boil-water advisories are in place across the country. Imagine having to walk to your local church every morning to fill plastic jugs with clean drinking water for your family. Or having to drive to your town’s fire station or community center to collect bottled water. Imagine having to boil water for everything you do at home—cooking, cleaning, washing. This is the sad reality for people who live in communities with boil-water advisories, some for decades at a time.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
Renewables surge helps suppress CO2 emissions growth for second year - IEA
PV Tech
Ben Willis

The global surge in renewable energy deployment has been credited for greenhouse gas emissions remaining flat for the second year running, according to the International Energy Agency. The organisation said the figures suggested that the decoupling of global emissions and economic growth – a key objective in efforts to tackle climate change – was beginning to become a discernable trend. “The new figures confirm last year’s surprising but welcome news: we now have seen two straight years of greenhouse gas emissions decoupling from economic growth,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change.” According to IEA data, global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.1 billion tonnes in 2015, having remained essentially flat since 2013. The agency said that electricity generated by renewables played a “critical” role, having accounted for around 90% of new electricity generation in 2015. Alongside the stalled rise in greenhouse gas emissions, the global economy continued to grow by more than 3%, offering further evidence that the link between economic growth and emissions growth is weakening, the IEA claimed.  [Full Story]

Mar 16, 2016
FLINT CRISIS: Panel issues emails showing EPA reluctance to confront state
E&E Publishing
Tiffany Stecker

U.S. EPA's Region 5 office tiptoed around Michigan's environmental agency to avoid conflict on the lead contamination issue in Flint, Mich., even questioning whether to issue a violation for failing to prevent corrosion to the city's lead pipes, emails show. Documents released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday show an agency that seemed more intent on maintaining a relationship with the state than enforcing environmental law. As EPA employees began to realize in the summer of 2015 that Flint's public drinking water was not treated to reduce corrosion before coursing through the city's network of pipes and into homes, they discussed in an email chain how to address "this situation in Flint." "I'll bet that the State will take this personally since they are responsible for the City of Flint's actions; which isn't a bad thing, but they may get VERY defensive," wrote Jennifer Crooks, Michigan program manager in Region 5's groundwater and drinking water division, in a July 9 email. "We need to move forward and work with the State as our partner ... I don't see the benefit in rubbing their nose in the fact that we're right, and they're wrong." Crooks added that she saw little use in requiring the state to issue a "Treatment Technique" -- or TT -- violation, which occurs when a water system fails to treat its water in the way that EPA prescribes. "If the State/City agree to issue public education on how citizens must properly flush their taps, I'm wondering what the benefit would be to force the State to issue a TT violation to Flint," wrote Crooks. Janet Kuefler, program leader for the drinking water division, agreed. "I think focusing on what the system and local health department ... or [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] can do in the short term to assess the extent of the issue and offer remediation options that can be quickly implemented, if needed, is a sound approach," she wrote. The sore thumb in the conversation was Region 5 regulations manager Miguel Del Toral, who wrote a well-publicized memo last year to alert his supervisor of alarmingly high lead levels in Flint residents' tap water. "I very much disagree with not issuing a TT violation here," wrote Del Toral. "If you open this door for Flint ... other systems elsewhere inside/outside [Region 5] are going to want the same treatment."  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
In Shift, Obama Won’t Open Southeast Atlantic Coast to Drilling
New York Times
Coral Davenport

When the Obama administration unveiled a proposal in January 2015 to open the southeastern Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling for the first time, environmental advocates were shocked and enraged — and the oil industry was delighted.   [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Obama’s offshore drilling plan, mostly a win for environmentalists with a caveat
Grist
Rebecca Leber

The administration released a new version of its five-year plan for offshore drilling on Tuesday, and the most significant change is its reversal on its plan from a year ago to open the mid-Atlantic to offshore development. The Arctic, meanwhile, is still open for business: The new proposal solicits comments on whether to drop Arctic leases entirely or whether to limit them in some areas. But it also still has an option that includes leases in the Chuckhi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Cook Inlet — much criticized by environmentalists who say a spill anywhere in the Arctic will have devastating effects for the rest of the region. The Gulf will be open for 10 leases. The Interior Department’s plan for offshore drilling essentially sets the course for oil and gas development long after Obama leaves office. Technically it covers a period from 2017 to 2022, but oil and gas exploration offshore can take years to get off the ground, even decades before paying off the cost. Any delay is promising: While presidential candidates could promise to reverse course, in practice, they are unlikely to do so, explained Natural Resources Defense Council’s Beyond Oil Director Franz Matzner. “This administration sets the five-year plan for the next administration,” Matzner said in an email. “The next administration could, in theory, try to undo that, but we have not seen that precedent in the past. Far and away the most secure route for the Obama administration would be to permanently withdraw the Arctic and Atlantic from all future leasing, using his executive authority under [the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act].”  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Florida Republicans Demand Climate Change Solutions Democratic and Republican mayors in the Sunshine State realize something must be done about global warming
Scientific American
Erika Bolstad

Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado's phone started ringing. CNN's Jake Tapper had just used the Republican city leader's question about climate change and sea-level rise in a GOP presidential debate, and the candidates for president were being asked about what might be the greatest threat to jobs, housing and the wider economy of the Sunshine State. "I started answering the phone," Regalado said. "People kept me awake until midnight." Regalado may not have gotten the exact answer he was looking for from fellow Republicans. But on the eve of an election that will shape who goes on to the White House, Regalado was more than pleased that the polarizing topic made it into the national conversation, especially during a debate in his hard-hit state.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Renewable energy jobs fall by 27% in four years
The Guardian
Michael Slezak

More than a quarter of the jobs in the renewable energy industry have disappeared since 2011, with a continued decline in the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The clean energy industry, consumer groups and conservationists all blamed federal government actions, like reviewing the renewable energy target and maintaining the policy of axing the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, despite the bills axing them being blocked by the Senate. Dismantling Australian climate policy: a case study in disagreement Ketan Joshi Read more In the most recent data from the 2014-2015 financial year, 5,100 full-time equivalent jobs had gone from the sector since the 2011-2012 financial year, a drop of 27%, leaving 14,020 people working in the industry.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Comptroller: State must improve gas safety oversight
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — The state Department of Public Service must tighten its oversight of gas safety, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has found in a new audit. The Cuomo administration is too reliant on gas-line operators to self-report mishaps or incidents, and as a result, the state DPS was not properly notified of six gas-related pipeline incidents in 2015 alone, the audit found.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Marcellus downturn causes Baker Hughes to close $40 million Clinton County facility
Penn Live
John Beauge

MACKEYVILLE — The slowdown in Marcellus Shale activity has caused a major supplier of services to the natural gas industry to close the $40 million facility in Clinton County it opened in 2012. The Clinton County Economic Partnership learned late last week Baker Hughes has closed its pressure pumping facility in Lamar Twp., Executive Director Michael Flanagan said Monday. Lack of activity in the Marcellus region, the result of low natural gas prices was among the factors given for the decision to close the facility that has 90,000 square feet under roof and 20 acres of parking, he said. Baker Hughes vehicles fill most of the parking but Flanagan expects them to be moved out. Baker Hughes, a source for years of the number of drilling rigs operating in the United States, bought the 32 acres from the partnership in late 2011 for $2 million. It then spent $40 million the following year to develop the site.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Feds want two-person crews on rail lines Federal agency wants two workers on all trains; industry group objects
Times Union
Dan Freedman

Washington Railroads would be required to deploy two-person crews on all trains to guard against crashes and derailments, according to a proposed rule put out Monday by the Federal Railroad Administration. In promulgating the rule, the FRA cited two accidents in 2013 that the agency said illustrated how crew size affects accident outcome. In one that occurred in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, near the U.S. border with Maine, a lone crew member improperly secured train cars that then rolled down a hill. The ensuing crash and explosion of cars containing oil from North Dakota killed 47, decimated major portions of the town and forced evacuation of 2,000.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Obama to kill off Arctic oil drilling
The Guardianu
Suzanne Goldenberg

The Obama administration is expected to put virtually all of the Arctic and much of the Atlantic off limits for oil and gas drilling until 2022 in a decision that could be announced as early as Tuesday. The decision reverses Barack Obama’s move just last year to open up a vast swathe of the Atlantic coast to drilling – and consolidates the president’s efforts to protect the Arctic and fight climate change during his final months in the White House. The five-year drilling plan, which will be formally announced by the interior department, was expected to block immediate prospects of hunting for oil in the Arctic, according to those familiar with the proposals.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Mark Ruffalo and Colin Firth lead celebrity open letter telling David Cameron to stand up against fracking
Mirror
HAMISH MACKAY

Mark Ruffalo, Colin Firth and Vivienne Westwood are among celebrities to have written an open letter to David Cameron urging him not to allow his government to impose fracking on communities that have already rejected it. Lancashire residents and councillors voted overwhelmingly against planning applications by energy company Cuadrilla to drill for shale gas at two sites last year. But the decision was then taken out of their hands, with Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark now making the final call following a public inquiry, which ends tomorrow.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Obama rescinds Atlantic coast drilling plan
The Hill
Timothy Cama

President Obama is rescinding his proposal to open the Atlantic Coast to offshore drilling after encountering strong opposition. The Interior Department announced the decision Tuesday, reversing Obama’s previous proposal for 2017–2022 of organizing a single lease sale on the outer continental shelf in the area from Virginia to Georgia. In abandoning the proposal, the department cited the current oil market, with its weak demand and historically low prices, along with local opposition and potential conflicts with commercial and military activity on the East Coast.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
FERC Approves TGP's Northeast-Focused Connecticut Expansion
Natural Gas Intelligence
Joe Fisher

FERC has approved Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. LLC's (TGP) Connecticut Expansion Project, which would expand delivery capability to the Northeast, accessing supply from the Marcellus Shale. The project [CP14-529] would augment the pipeline's existing system in three states (New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut) to expand delivery capability to the northeast by up to 72.1 MMcf/d. Three pipeline loops would be constructed totaling about 13 miles on the pipeline's existing 200 and 300 Lines. Modifications would also be made to an existing compressor station in Hampden County, MA. Appurtenant facilities would also be installed along the mainline loops.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Midstream Investment Continues in the Utica
WKSU
Tim Rudell

Despite the stall in the Utica Shale boom, the nation’s biggest pipeline company is set to begin construction on a half-a-billion dollar transmission system across northern Ohio. Kinder Morgan’s ‘Utopia East’ pipeline would be for ethane, a secondary product of natural gas drilling vital to chemical plants. The 12- inch line is planned to run from Harrison County to a system near Toledo; that would send the ethane on to Canada  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Can federal regulators keep up with the pipeline boom?
WITF
Marie Cusick

(Lebanon) -- As Pennsylvania's natural gas pipeline building boom continues to grow, so does concern among people who live near the lines. Some are skeptical that federal regulators can keep up. Groups opposed to the pipelines hosted a public forum in Lebanon County Monday night. It's an area where two new major lines are proposed to carry gas and natural gas liquids across the state. Eric Friedman drove in from his home near Philadelphia, which is also along the route of a liquids pipeline and was one of about 40 people at the gathering. He's concerned the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (known as PHMSA) is under-staffed. "My understanding of the way PHMSA does their business is they rely almost completely on the operators to self-report data on the number of incidents and about failure investigations and about the damage about the leaks caused by hazardous liquids," he says. A PHMSA spokeswoman at the forum says the agency does perform its own inspections and audits, but does not verify every incident report it receives from pipeline companies.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Hydraulic fracturing accounts for about half of current U.S. crude oil production
EIA


Even though hydraulic fracturing has been in use for more than six decades, it has only recently been used to produce a significant portion of crude oil in the United States. This technique, often used in combination with horizontal drilling, has allowed the United States to increase its oil production faster than at any time in its history. Based on the most recent available data from states, EIA estimates that oil production from hydraulically fractured wells now makes up about half of total U.S. crude oil production. Hydraulic fracturing involves forcing a liquid (primarily water) under high pressure from a wellbore against a rock formation until it fractures. The fracture lengthens as the high-pressure liquid in the wellbore flows into the formation. This injected liquid contains a proppant, or small, solid particles (usually sand or a manmade granular solid of similar size) that fills the expanding fracture. When the injection is stopped and the high pressure is reduced, the formation attempts to settle back into its original configuration, but the proppant keeps the fracture open. This allows hydrocarbons such as crude oil and natural gas to flow from the rock formation back to the wellbore and then to the surface. Using well completion and production data from DrillingInfo and IHS Global Insight, EIA created a profile of oil production in the United States. In 2000, approximately 23,000 hydraulically fractured wells produced 102,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil in the United States, making up less than 2% of the national total. By 2015, the number of hydraulically fractured wells grew to an estimated 300,000, and production from those wells had grown to more than 4.3 million b/d, making up about 50% of the total oil output of the United States. These results may vary from other sources because of the types of wells included in the analysis and update schedules of source databases.  [Full Story]

Mar 15, 2016
Meet the Koch-affiliated fracker behind Marco Rubio's energy policy
The Ecologist
Zachary Davies Boren

Barring a miracle Marco Rubio is set to be Trumped in the Republican primary tomorrow in Florida, his home state, putting an effective end to his campaign. But it's not for want of support from one of the US's biggest frackers, Devon energy, and its politically active CEO Larry Nichols. And with or without Rubio, Nichols's influence on the red states' energy policy is only going to get bigger.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
As NASA releases climate “bombshell”, more questions raised over fracking’s climatic impact
Oil Change International
Andy Rowell

Last week, I blogged about how “nearly every day another record is smashed regarding climate change.” Well another record has just been smashed and we should all sit up and take notice. According to data released by NASA, the temperature record for February has been broken by an “unprecedented” amount. The scientists have found that February was 1.35C warmer than average.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Obama Reverses Course on Drilling Off Southeast Coast
The New York Times
CORAL DAVENPORT

The Obama administration is expected to withdraw its plan to permit oil and gas drilling off the southeast Atlantic coast, yielding to an outpouring of opposition from coastal communities from Virginia to Georgia but dashing the hopes and expectations of many of those states’ top leaders. The announcement by the Interior Department, which is seen as surprising, could come as soon as Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the decision who was not authorized to speak on the record because the plan had not been publicly disclosed. The decision represents a reversal of President Obama’s previous offshore drilling plans, and comes as he is trying to build an ambitious environmental legacy. It could also inject the issue into the 2016 presidential campaigns, as Republican candidates vow to expand drilling.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Scranton Times: Jury Awards Dimock Couples $4.24M, Finds Cabot Responsible
PA Environment Digest


The Scranton Times reported Thursday a federal jury has awarded two Dimock Township couples just under $4.24 million after finding Cabot Oil & Gas responsible for contaminating their well water.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Susquehanna River Basin Commission Fines Cabot Oil & Gas $11,000
PA Environment Digest


The Susquehanna River Basin Commission Thursday approved a compliance settlement agreement with Cabot Oil & Gas fining the company $11,000 for undertaking projects subject to SRBC approval without that approval. SRBC also approved settlement agreements with the King Valley Golf Course for $10,000 for consumptively using water in excess of SRBC’s regulatory threshold and Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc. for $9,000 for failing to notify SRBC of the change in ownership of the Beech Mountain System.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Auditor General Launches Audit Of PUC’s Administration Of Gas Well Impact Fees
PA Environment Digest


Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Wednesday announced the start of a performance audit of the Public Utility Commission’s administration of the collection and disbursement of the unconventional shale gas well impact fees provided for in Act 13 of 2012.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Offshore drilling proposal expected soon
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The Obama administration is likely to release a new proposal this week to govern offshore oil and natural gas drilling lease sales through 2022. People familiar with the plan said the proposal could be released by the Interior Department as early as Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Landowners question need for NEXUS pipeline
Times Reporter
Shane Hoover

The Coalition to Reroute NEXUS has long opposed the plan to build a high-pressure natural gas pipeline through the city of Green and other communities in northern Ohio. Now, the landowner group is contesting the need to build a pipeline at all.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
No revenue sharing, no expansion of US offshore drilling: Fuel for Thought
Platts


The clearest indication yet that the Obama administration has little intention of allowing oil and gas exploration off the coast of Virginia is contained in the president’s proposed 2017 budget.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Virginia, Ground Zero in Drilling Debate, to Learn Its Fate Soon
Bloomberg Politics
Jennifer A Dlouhy

From the shores of Savannah, Georgia, to the Beaufort, North Carolina beachfront, coastal communities in conservative southern states have locked arms in opposition to oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic waters lapping their shores.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Apache with Shell eye Egypt for unconventional gas in June Apache and Shell will start drilling the North African country’s first unconventional gas well in a pilot project by the end of March
Gulf News
Bloomberg

CAIRO: Apache Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc plan to start producing unconventional gas from their joint venture in Egypt’s Western Desert by the end of June even as Apache is cutting investment in the nation because of falling oil prices.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Pacific coast natural gas pipeline rejection by feds likely little impact on NYS proposals
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany A surprise federal rejection of a $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline and export project in the Pacific Northwest gives pipeline opponents in New York little sense that the federal government is moving from its history of routinely approving such energy projects. Friday's decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject the Jordan Cove project in Oregon is "not a signal" that the commission might take a more critical stance on pipeline proposals in New York, said Maya van Rossum, head of the environmental group Delaware Riverkeeper Network.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Group seeks ethics review of top aide to California governor
The News & Observer
JULIET WILLIAMS

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. A former executive of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. signed an agreement to protect the reputation of the utility as part of a $1 million settlement she reached with PG&E when she left to work as a top aide for the California governor, a consumer group alleged in a complaint filed with the state's political watchdog. The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog said Monday that it has asked the Fair Political Practices Commission to investigate whether Nancy McFadden had a conflict of interest because of her stock holdings in PG&E and the settlement while working as executive secretary to Gov. Jerry Brown. The group says McFadden took the lead for Brown on matters dealing with the Public Utilities Commission while she owned more than $100,000 in PG&E stock. McFadden reported owning stock in PG&E in 2011, 2012 and 2013.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Obama’s Atlantic oil drilling plan takes friendly fire — from the Pentagon
Washingto Post
Darryl Fears

The Obama administration is reworking its plan to open the southern Atlantic Coast to offshore oil exploration because of strong opposition from the Pentagon, which says the activity could hurt military maneuvers and interfere with missile tests the Navy relies on to protect the coast.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Gov't proposes requiring at least 2-member train crews
AP The Big Story
Joan Lowy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trains would have to have a minimum of two crew members under rules proposed Monday by federal regulators. The move is partly in response to a deadly 2013 crash in which an unattended oil train caught fire and destroyed much of a town in Canada.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
ELECTION 2016 'Gasland' Director Urges Fracking States to Vote Sanders on Super Tuesday
AlterNet
Alexandra Rosenmann

Josh Fox, the director of the celebrated 2010 documentary Gasland and more recently, How to Let Go of The World (And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change), which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, has a message to voters about environmental dangers, Super Tuesday and Bernie Sanders. What do these three have in common? Well, there are primaries in five states on Tuesday, March 15: Florida, Missouri, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio. With the exception of Missouri, all of them are fracking states where there are significant anti-fracking movements on the ground.  [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Timing Is (Almost) Everything: FERC Implements D.C. Circuit Guidance on NEPA Review of Multiple Pipeline Construction Projects
The National Law Review


In the wake of two recent D.C. Circuit decisions, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has begun to implement its new policy concerning the review of natural gas pipeline construction proposals under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). To decide whether a NEPA review must include other projects proposed by the pipeline, FERC will look at the timing and maturity of other proposals and the independence of the projects. In the first decision, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that FERC failed to consider the cumulative environmental impact of four projects that had been separately proposed by the same pipeline. The D.C. Circuit held that the projects were not financially independent and were “a single pipeline” that was “linear and physically interdependent,” so the cumulative environmental impacts must be considered concurrently. In the second decision, Minisink Residents for Environmental Preservation and Safety, the D.C. Circuit held that FERC had properly considered and rejected an alternative site to build a natural gas pipeline compressor station. Contrasting the decision to Delaware Riverkeeper, the court clarified that the “critical” factor in the previous decision was that all of the pipeline’s projects were either under construction or pending before FERC for environmental review at the same time.   [Full Story]

Mar 14, 2016
Extreme Weather, Widespread Flooding Hammer Louisiana as Federal Government Prepares to Lease Gulf of Mexico for Drilling
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

Walter Unglaub never thought flooding would threaten the carriage house he rents in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. It is on a bluff 30 feet above the Bogue Falaya River, in an area that is not considered a flood zone. But that didn’t stop a flash flood from forcing Unglaub to swim for his life to get to higher ground awaiting rescue last Friday. “No one is safe from extreme weather,” Unglaub told DeSmog on Sunday when he returned to sort through his belongings to see what, if anything, was salvageable.   [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2016
Protect Monterey County Takes Another Step Towards Fracking Ban
Indy Bay


On February 23, Protect Monterey County gathered at the steps of the old court house in Salinas to announce the delivery of their notice of intent to circulate the petition: "Protect Our Water: Ban Fracking and Limit Risky Oil Operations Initiative." The group is now seeking signature gathering help to put the anti-fracking Initiative on the ballot in Monterey County for November 2016.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2016
We stand by our conclusions on methane emissions and fracking
Financial Times
Letter: Prof Nick Cowern

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/94f6faa4-e62a-11e5-a09b-1f8b0d268c39.html#ixzz42yVyHmdX Sir, Dr Euan Nisbet (Letters, March 7) takes issue with Dr Robin Russell-Jones (Letters, March 4) over the sources of increasing atmospheric methane. Dr Russell-Jones pointed to a review paper which he and I recently presented to the Committee on Climate Change, which shows that fracking in the US has produced such high emissions of methane that natural gas is a worse source of climate-changing gases than coal.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2016
Another Ohio court slaps down a city's anti-fracking ‘bill of rights’ Struck-down law similar to existing Athens city law, and proposed Athens Co. bill of rights
Athens News
Terry Smith

Another Ohio court case has gone against community activists seeking local restrictions on oil and gas drilling. The appeals court’s decision in this Cuyahoga County civil case is especially noteworthy in that it directly addresses – and dismisses – the legal underpinnings of “community bill of rights” laws that voters have passed in the city of Athens and other communities around the state.   [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2016
Dozens From Around the US Rally Against Dominion’s LNG Export Terminal at Cove Point
Blue Virginia
lowkell

Solomons Island, MD — In protest of the construction of Dominion’s liquefied natural gas export terminal, dozens of activists and community members held a rally on March 13 on the boardwalk at Solomons Island that was accompanied by a flotilla of kayaks in the Patuxent River. Among those assembled were people fighting LNG export terminals in Texas and Oregon, as well as those fighting fracked gas infrastructure throughout the mid-Atlantic.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2016
Women on the Front Lines Fighting Fracking in the Bakken Oil Shale Formations
EcoWatch


There are some crystalline moments in which the challenges we face as a civilization become brutally clear. Moments in which corrupt aspects of American democracy and the fractures in our social, economic and political systems are exposed with unsurpassed clarity. Moments in which we are reminded of how fundamentally ruptured our dominant culture’s relationship with the Earth has become and in which we see before our eyes how this split has led to almost unfathomable acts of violence against the Earth, against women and against the original inhabitants of North America.   [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2016
Hundreds of New Illnesses Reported After Gas Leak sealed:VIDEO
MSNBC


Hundreds of residents in the Porter Ranch community of Los Angeles are reporting new illnesses after they were told it was save to return.  [Full Story]

Mar 13, 2016
Marcellus Shale health registry stalls
The Times-Tribune
JON O'CONNELL

A state registry and advisory panel to track health-related data out of the Marcellus Shale industry have all but tanked. Gov. Tom Wolf included a $100,000 earmark last year in his 2015-16 budget proposal, a sum that drew criticism by those who said it wasn’t nearly enough. Meanwhile, bills in both the state House and Senate that would assess health-related issues among people living near gas development have stalled in committee for more than a year. The state Department of Health began tracking health complaints in March 2011 that had to do with air quality, physical symptoms and well water contamination. So far, it has looked into more than 140 individual complaints, posting totals on its website every week.  [Full Story]

Mar 12, 2016
Fracking King Aubrey McClendon Hit 89 MPH Without Braking Before Fatal Crash, One Day After Being Indicted
Gawker
Brendan O'Connor

According to a report issued by the Oklahoma City Police Department on Monday, Aubrey McClendon, the fracking magnate and right-wing power broker, hit speeds of 89 miles per hour just before fatally crashing his SUV into a concrete bridge earlier this month. McClendon, who once claimed that “I have a fossil fuel that makes other fossil fuels obsolete,” wasn’t wearing a seat belt, police said, and his Chevy Tahoe crossed the centerline more than 60 yards before the crash. Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty said McClendon tapped his brakes several times but did not appear to have made an attempt to stop, hitting the bridge at about 78 mph. According to the Wall Street Journal, police are still looking into McClendon’s phone records and speaking to those who knew him about his state of mind.  [Full Story]

Mar 12, 2016
Dimock verdict unlikely to prompt big change in drilling
Times-Tribune
David Falchek

Those on all sides of the oil and gas exploration debate mulled over the possible impact of Thursday’s $4.24 million jury award to two Dimock Twp. couples who accused Cabot Oil & Gas of contaminating their water wells with methane.   [Full Story]

Mar 12, 2016
How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself
The New York Times
ANDREW SCOTT COOPER

FOR the past half-century, the world economy has been held hostage by just one country: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vast petroleum reserves and untapped production allowed the kingdom to play an outsize role as swing producer, filling or draining the global system at will.  [Full Story]

Mar 12, 2016
FERC Denies Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rejected the proposal for the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Pacific Connector Pipeline because its public interest value did not outweigh the project’s adverse effects.  [Full Story]

Mar 12, 2016
Utahns react to fracking effects
The Daily Universe
Katie Rhoton

More than 45,000 acres of public land in Utah were approved for fracking in 2015. Several environmentally friendly focused companies filed formal protests. The land was approved to be used for fracking by the Bureau of Land Management in January according to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity.  [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Should fracking decisions be made locally?
The Conversation


The future role of gas in the UK is the subject of significant debate. There is controversy about how much gas we could use and for how long, and whether this will be compatible with statutory climate change targets. As North Sea supplies decline, there are also starkly differing views about whether some of the gas we will need in future should come from domestic shale gas resources.   [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Baroness Lynne Featherstone writes…We must be an anti fracking party
Liberal Democrat Voice
Lynne Featherstone

This weekend we have an opportunity to change our position on fracking. I believe we should take it.Since becoming party spokesperson for energy and climate change, I have spent many hours listening to party activists, experts and public reaction. It is clear to me that it is time for change. We need energy security. We need sustainable energy. We need to meet our legally binding targets. Fracking will not deliver any of these. But it will deliver greenhouse gases.  [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Court Tells US Company to Frack Off and Pay 'Gasland' Victims
TelesurTV


A federal jury awarded the amount to two families in Pennsylvania after their water had been contaminated due to energy company Cabot drilling for gas. A federal jury ruled Thursday that Cabot Oil & Gas Co must pay more than US$4.2 million in damages to two families in northeastern Pennsylvania that claimed the company's fracking operations contaminated their groundwater.   [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Fracking likely to burden small towns
LOL
Sarah Wild

Cape Town - Fracking, already controversial for its potential environmental impact, could spell disaster for poor and corrupt municipalities, bringing further harm to areas already poorly governed.   [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Federal Jury awards $4.24M To Dimock Families In Fracking Case
WSKG
Susan Phillips

An eight-member federal jury found Cabot Oil and Gas negligent and ordered the driller to pay a total of $4.24 million to two Dimock families for polluting their well water starting back in 2008. The company says it will appeal the decision.   [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Jury awards $4.2 million in Pennsylvania fracking lawsuit
Midwest Enrgy News
Ken Paulman

OIL AND GAS: A jury awards $4.2 million to two Pennsylvania families who say their water was contaminated by nearby fracking operations. (Reuters)   [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
NOAA: Carbon Dioxide Levels ‘Exploded’ in 2015, Highest Seen Since End of Ice Age
EcoWatch
Climate Nexus

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose 3.05 parts per million in 2015, the largest year-to-year increase ever recorded, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report finds.   [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Nicola Sturgeon 'highly sceptical' about fracking
BBC


Nicola Sturgeon has again said she is "highly sceptical" about fracking, but no decision on whether it should be banned will be taken before next year. The Scottish first minister was speaking ahead of the SNP conference, which will be held in Glasgow over the weekend.   [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
PA: Fracking Company Ordered to Pay for Well Water Contamination
Democracy Now


In Pennsylvania, a court has ordered fracking company Cabot Oil & Gas to pay more than $4 million to families whose well water was contaminated by fracking. The landmark legal ruling comes after an eight-year battle between residents and Cabot. Filmmaker Josh Fox, who featured some of the families in his film "Gasland 2," said the case sets a legal precedent for holding fracking companies responsible for water contamination.  [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Fracking Earthquakes Bill Passes First Hurdle
Colorado Public Radio
Mike Lamp

A bill that would hold oil and gas drillers liable for causing earthquakes passed a Democratic-controlled House committee Thursday. The measure would allow home owners to sue over property damage from earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing. That’s the process when water, sand and chemicals are blasted into the ground to free up oil and gas.   [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Cabot is fined (again) for drilling without approval
NPR State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

Cabot Oil and Gas is paying an $11,000 settlement to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission for commencing gas drilling operations before it received permission to do so. Last year the company paid a $50,000 to the commission for a similar infraction. Every gas wellpad needs to have the SRBC’s approval before drilling operations can begin. Commission spokeswoman Gwyn Rowland says Cabot is paying for a violation that occurred in 2013 in Susquehanna County. It was discovered during a recent audit of several natural gas companies.  [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Fracking Becomes an Issue in Presidential Primaries
Truthout
Julie Dermansky

Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders made their positions on fracking clear last weekend. Trump is all for it. Clinton too, but only if a list of conditions met. Sanders is against it. Trump brought up fracking on Friday at a New Orleans campaign rally. "New York has been let down, they didn't allow them to frack," Trump said. "If they fracked in New York, New York would lower its taxes, would have no debt, would have made a fortune. Instead Pennsylvania took all their money."  [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Williams delays construction of Constitution Pipeline
NPR State Impact PA
Jon Hurdle

Construction of the controversial Constitution Pipeline to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York State has been delayed by about six months because its developer, the Williams Companies, is unable to complete tree cutting by a March 31 federal deadline that is designed to protect migratory birds, the company said on Thursday. Williams said it now expects to have the pipeline, the first that would carry natural gas directly from the Marcellus Shale to New York and New England, in service by the second half of 2017 compared with its previous target of the fourth quarter of 2016. “The in-service date adjustment is in response to the rapidly closing environmental window to complete tree-felling activities prior to March 31,” the company said in a statement. It said it has completed “nearly all” tree felling on the Pennsylvania section of the pipeline route.  [Full Story]

Mar 11, 2016
Delaware Riverkeeper sues FERC over Leidy pipeline
The Columbus Dispatch
Bob Downing

Delaware Riverkeeper Sues FERC Over Leidy Pipeline FERC’s approval process of Transco projects violate federal law BRISTOL, PA – The Delaware Riverkeeper Network filed a lawsuit on March 8th against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) challenging its approval of the Leidy Southeast Expansion Project pipeline. Filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit alleges that FERC violated the National Environmental Policy Act by engaging in illegal ‘segmentation’ in its decision-making process, and by issuing its approval of the pipeline before the State of Pennsylvania had given Clean Water Act approval for the project. According to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, FERC violated the National Environmental Policy Act  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Gov. Wolf hails shale ethane exports, pipeline expansion
Philadelphia Inquirer
Andrew Maykuth

Gov. Wolf on Thursday hailed the departure this week of the first ship containing Marcellus Shale ethane from Sunoco Logistic Partners' terminal in Marcus Hook as a "vital first step" in completing a cross-state pipeline to tap into Pennsylvania's new energy fortunes. "Sunoco Logistics is making a $3 billion investment in Pennsylvania's energy economy by keeping Marcellus Shale resources for manufacturing right here in Pennsylvania, rather than sending this business, revenue, and jobs to other states," Wolf said.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Constitution natural gas pipeline pushes back completion date
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany Stymied from cutting trees along the path of the proposed Constitution natural gas pipeline, its owners Thursday pushed back the start of the line's expected operation at least six months, from the end of 2016 to the second half of 2017. The company blamed the delay on a "rapidly closing environmental window" to cut trees along the line's planned route in New York, where gas from the hydrofracking fields of northern Pennsyvania would move through the Southern Tier to the Schoharie County town of Wright. Limits imposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allow Constitution to cut trees only between Nov. 1 and March 31 in order to protect migratory songbirds and the northern long-eared bat, whose numbers have been decimated by a fungal disease. The bat is listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Pennsylvania families win $4.2 million damages in fracking lawsuit
Reuters
DAVID DEKOK

A federal jury ruled on Thursday that Cabot Oil & Gas Co must pay more than $4.2 million in damages to two families in northeastern Pennsylvania who said the company's fracking operations contaminated their ground water. Six jurors in federal court in Scranton awarded $1.3 million each to Scott Ely and Monica Marta-Ely, a married couple in Dimock. Each of their three children received an award of $50,000. A second couple, Ray and Victoria Hubert, also of Dimock, about 32 miles (50 km) south of Binghamton, New York, each received $720,000, and their daughter Hope was awarded $50,000. "This has been an exhausting 6-1/2 years," Scott Ely said after the verdict.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
TransCanada in Talks to Buy Columbia Pipeline Group: Sources
The New York Times
Reuters

(Reuters) - TransCanada Corp, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline project, is in talks to buy U.S. natural gas pipeline operator Columbia Pipeline Group Inc, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The two companies have so far failed to agree on a price, and a deal remains uncertain, one of the sources said. TransCanada said in a statement it was in discussions with a third party for a potential transaction, but no agreement had been reached.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Attorney General Loretta Lynch has 'considered taking legal action against climate change deniers'
Daily Mail


He compared the climate change deniers to members of the tobacco industry - the advocates the Clinton administration won a racketeering case against. Whitehouse said: 'The similarities between the mischief of the tobacco industry pretending that the science of tobacco's dangers was unsettled and the fossil fuel industry pretending that the science of carbon emissions' dangers is unsettled has been remarked on widely, particularly by those who study the climate denial apparatus that the fossil fuel industry has erected.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Helis Oil wins fracking appeal
WWLTV
Mary Staes & Ashley Rodrgue

MANDEVILLE, La. -- St. Tammany Government Officials announced Thursday due to an appeals court decision, Helis Oil is free to continue fracking in the parish.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
U.S. jury awards millions after finding natural gas 'fracking' polluted well water
CTV News
Associated Press

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Two couples were awarded nearly $4.25 million on Thursday after a federal jury found one of the largest natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania polluted their well water. The verdict came at the end of a bitter and long-running federal lawsuit pitting homeowners in the village of Dimock against Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Natural Gas Water Truck In Accident, Spills Brine Near Barnesville Reservoir
The Intelligencer
Casey Junkins

BARNESVILLE - Gulfport Energy contractors may not be drawing any water from the village reservoir, but an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokesman said the company is responsible for 5,000 gallons of brine that leaked into a stream leading to the reservoir Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
EPA's plan would broaden methane emission limits
Houston Chronicle
James Osborne

WASHINGTON - The White House's move Thursday to expand methane emission limits to all oil and natural gas wells upped the stakes in the administration's campaign to fight climate change. Building on already pending rules to cut methane leaks from both new oil and gas wells and those on federal lands, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now plans to bring to the oil sector the tough emissions standards it previously applied to automobiles and power plants.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
IPAA: White House rules target independent producers
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) Executive Vice President Lee Fuller released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s plans to add costly and unnecessary new mandates on independent oil and natural gas producers:   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Obama to expand methane leak crackdown in oil and gas industry
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The Obama administration is expanding its newest pollution crackdown for the oil and natural gas industry, now targeting existing wells for the first time. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) effort was announced Thursday as part of a joint climate change declaration between the United States and Canada.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Family Wins Case Against Fracking Company After 7 Years Of Polluted Drinking Water
Think Progress
Katie Valentine

Two Pennsylvania families who have been fighting to prove that a fracking company polluted their well water got a major win in court this week. A federal jury awarded the Dimock, PA residents $4.24 million Thursday, after finding that Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. — one of Pennsylvania’s largest oil and gas companies — guilty of polluting their well water with methane.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
The Mystery of the Global Methane Rise: Asian Agriculture or U.S. Fracking?
Inside Climate News
Phil McKenna

A new study points the finger at the growth in farming in China and India, but others believe natural gas is to blame.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Obama seeks tighter rules on methane emissions from oil, gas drillers
TribLive
David Conti & Tory N. Parrish

President Obama on Thursday promised a further crackdown on methane emissions from oil and gas operations — a plan that could face an uncertain future if a Republican wins the White House this fall.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Stop-work order on fracking project to be lifted by St. Tammany Parish
The Times-Picayune
Robert Rhoden

A cease and desist order that halted work last year at a proposed drilling and fracking site near Mandeville will be lifted Thursday (March 10) by St. Tammany Parish government, a spokesman said. However, the parish has not yet decided whether to continue a legal challenge after an appeals court ruled against the parish and a citizens group on Wednesday, the spokesman, Ronnie Simpson, said.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Jury find Cabot Oil and Gas Responsible for Well Contamination

Stacy Lang

A jury ruled that Cabot Oil and Gas did contaminate wells belonging to two families in Susquehanna County. Cabot Oil and Gas must pay millions of dollars to the families involved in the federal civil suit.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Jury Awards Two Dimock Couples $4.2 Million After Finding Cabot Oil & Gas Negligent in Fracking Contamination Case
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

A federal jury awarded two Dimock Township couples $4.24 million today after finding Cabot Oil & Gas responsible for contaminating their well water. A state investigation found that Cabot Oil & Gas had allowed gas to escape into the region’s groundwater supplies, contaminating at least 18 residential water wells. The federal lawsuit—Scott Ely, et al. v Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation et al.—involved, Scott Ely and Monica Marta-Ely, and Ray and Victoria Hubert, who claimed that Cabot Oil & Gas Corp contaminated their water supply during fracking operations near their homes. The decision, following the 14-day trial and 8.5 hours of deliberation over two days, is a huge victory for the families.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Pa. families win $4.24M verdict against Dimock
Press Connects
Associated Press

SCRANTON, Pa. — A federal jury has awarded two couples nearly $4.25 million after finding one of the largest natural gas drillers in Pennsylvania polluted their well water. The verdict Thursday comes at the end of a bitter and long-running federal lawsuit pitting homeowners in the village of Dimock against Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
BREAKING: The EPA Will Limit Methane From Existing Oil And Gas Facilities
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

The EPA will limit methane emissions from existing oil and gas facilities — a huge move by the federal agency, announced in conjunction with President Obama’s meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday. The new rule will help the two countries achieve their goal of cutting methane emissions from oil and gas by 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. “The two leaders regard the Paris Agreement as a turning point in global efforts to combat climate change and anchor economic growth in clean development,” the White House said in a statement. “They resolve that the United States and Canada must and will play a leadership role internationally in the low carbon global economy over the coming decades.”  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
UPDATE 1-Pennsylvania families win $4.2 million damages in fracking lawsuit
Reuters
David DeKok

A federal jury ruled on Thursday that Cabot Oil & Gas Co must pay more than $4.2 million in damages to two families in northeastern Pennsylvania who said the company's fracking operations contaminated their ground water. Six jurors in federal court in Scranton awarded $1.3 million each to Scott Ely and Monica Marta-Ely, a married couple in Dimock. Each of their three children received an award of $50,000.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Jury orders Cabot to pay millions to two Dimock families
WBNG


The Hubert family and the Ely family both claimed their water was contaminated by natural gas drilling operations. The jury awarded $2.75 million dollars to the Ely family. The Hubert family was awarded $1.49 million dollars. In 2012, other families in Dimock reached settlements with Cabot.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Pennsylvania couples win $4.24 million in lawsuit against fracking company Cabot Oil & Gas Co. vows to appeal federal verdict
Philly Voice
Michael Tanenbaum

Two couples from Dimock Township in northeastern Pennsylvania have been awarded $4.24 million after a federal jury reached a verdict Thursday in a lawsuit against Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, which stood accused of polluting well water as a result of its natural gas drilling projects.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
As EPA Struggles With Fracking Pollution Data, Polluters Safely Settle Lawsuits
Think Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

Before Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation fracked inside the property of Frederick and Debra Roth, the couple’s groundwater had always been clean.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
OU Student Film A Rallying Point Among Anti-Fracking Activists
SW Times
Mack Burke

When University of Oklahoma film student Taylor Mullins began work on his senior thesis, he thought that fracking and its link to earthquakes in Oklahoma was a good topic for a film. What he didn’t expect is for it to become a rallying point for a movement.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Our view: Fracking presents cross-pressures for voters
Roanoke Times
Editorial

Well, this much is certain about the 2016 presidential election: We’ll find out this fall just how strongly people feel about the proposed natural gas pipelines. At their debate in Flint, Michigan on Sunday, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton came out against “fracking,” the common name for the procedure known as “hydraulic fracturing” by which most natural gas is now brought out of the ground.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
County commissioners enact ordinance against fracking
Greene Publishing
Selina Iglesias

The Madison Board of County Commissioners gathered on Wednesday, March 9 at 9 a.m. at the Madison County Extension Office due to early voting in the board meeting room of the Courthouse Annex. The first item on the agenda under new business was a request for Resolution 2015-03-11 regarding fracking to be enacted as an ordinance. Gale Dickert took to the podium and thanked the board of commissioners for all they have done in the fight to ban fracking in Madison County.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
What’s Been Going On with the EPA’s Fracking Report?
Union of Concerned Scientists
Yogin Kothari

Since the report’s release, an EPA Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) has publicly met multiple times to deliberate the findings and review public comments (including those provided by more than 18,000 UCS supporters and Science Network members last September). So far, several of the SAB panelists agree that the EPA’s high-level conclusion that the agency did not find “widespread, systemic impacts” is not representative of the data presented in the 998 pages of the report.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
U.S. to Target Existing Oil, Gas Wells in Effort to Cut Methane Emissions U.S., Canada to commit to reducing emissions by 2025
The Wall Street Journal
AMY HARDER

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration is expected to announce its first step toward regulating methane emissions from hundreds of thousands of oil and natural gas wells across the U.S., a move likely to face pushback from an industry battered by cheap oil and to be cheered by environmentalists.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Pushing Carbon Tax and Fracking Ban, Sanders Lays Down Gauntlet on Climate
Common Dreams
Jon Queally

"I hope that Secretary Clinton would join me if we are serious about climate change, about imposing a tax on carbon on the fossil fuel industry and making massive investments in energy efficiency and sustainable energy. And by the way... I hope you’ll join me in ending fracking in the United States of America."  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Constitution company delays pipeline schedule to 2017

Joe Mahoney

The Constitution Pipeline company conceded Thursday that it will have to delay its projected date of putting the natural gas transmission system into service from late this year to the second half of 2017. The pipeline company had said that in order to proceed this year it would have to cut trees along the planned route in New York by the end of this month to comply with environmental concerns regarding bird habitat. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has not acted on the company's request for a "limited notice to proceed" with the New York tree felling.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Auction Ends with No Bids as Protesters Disrupt Fossil Fuel Lease Sale
Common Dreams
Nadia Prupis

Protesters marched from the landmark Reno arch to the casino, holding banners and signs that read "Stand up to big oil" and "Keep it in the ground."  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Democratic Debate Puts Fossil Fuel Industry on Notice
EcoWatch


Perhaps it was the rising seas lapping on the doors of the debate hall in Miami last night, but for the first time this election the public got a raucous and spirited debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton over the climate policies they would support as president. “The moderators finally broke their climate silence and the public got what it has been waiting for: a real debate about who will do the most to combat climate change,” said Jamie Henn, a spokesperson for 350 Action.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Bill McKibben: We Don't Need A Bridge To Renewables
The Real News
Bill McKibben

DHARNA NOOR, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I'm Dharna Noor joining you here in Baltimore. This week, 57 people were arrested at a protest in Watkins Glen, a village in central New York State. The protest was part of an ongoing series of acts of civil disobedience organized by the group We Are Seneca Lake. This group is fighting the proposed gas storage expansion in the salt caverns of Seneca Lake, facilities that are proposed by the energy company Crestwood Midstream. Now joining us to talk about this fight is Bill McKibben. Bill was arrested at Monday's protest. Bill is an author, an educator, and environmentalist, and a co-founder of 350.org. Thanks for joining us, Bill, it's so good to have you with us.  [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Northampton: Exclude Va. from offshore drilling
Delmarva Now
Malissa Watterson

The Northampton Board of Supervisors voiced its opposition to the federal government’s plan to lease an area off the Virginia coast for oil and natural gas drilling on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
EPA expands methane rules to all oil and gas wells
Fuel Fix
James Osborne

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expanding its crackdown on methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling to all existing wells. The announcement from the White House Thursday came as part of a joint agreement with Canada on climate change, curbing methane emissions from North America and taking steps to protect the Arctic region from rising temperatures and oceans.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Oil, gas bill passes House and Senate floors
Independent-Enterprise
April Ehrlich

The Idaho Legislature passed a bill speeding up oil and gas processes Monday morning. Senate Bill 1339 shifts many duties from the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to the Idaho Department of Lands, particularly those involving integration, a process that pools all mineral interest owners in a county section into an oil and gas drilling unit.   [Full Story]

Mar 10, 2016
Obama, Trudeau Agree to Safeguarding Arctic, Reducing Methane Emissions
EcoWatch
Climate Nexus

The leaders committed to cutting methane emissions 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. This will require the U.S. to regulate not only proposed oil and gas projects, but also existing ventures. They also pledged to institute new Arctic initiatives, including shipping corridors with low environmental impact and new protections on marine areas. The announcement comes ahead of a meeting today on U.S.-Canada joint issues.   [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Utica Shale natural gas, oil production in Ohio increasing
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Production of natural gas and oil continues to grow in Ohio’s Utica Shale. Natural gas production from Ohio’s horizontal wells grew by almost 25 percent from third quarter 2015 to fourth quarter 2015 and oil production jumped by 10 percent in that time, according to new production data released on Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.   [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
County restricts gas drilling in Deep Creek Lake watershed
Eagle Ford Texas
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) — The Garrett County Commissioners have adopted a watershed management plan that limits natural-gas drilling on nearly 41,000 acres around Deep Creek Lake, a popular vacation destination in western Maryland. The three-member board voted unanimously Monday to adopt the plan.   [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Md. county restricts gas drilling in Deep Creek Lake watershed
Observer-Reporter


OAKLAND, Md. – Garrett County commissioners have adopted a watershed management plan that limits natural gas drilling on nearly 41,000 acres around Deep Creek Lake, a popular vacation destination in western Maryland. The three-member board voted unanimously Monday to adopt the plan.   [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Federal bureau says offshore fracking doesn't impact environment; Environmental Defense Center says report falls short
Santa Maria Sun
BRENNA SWANSTON

Offshore well stimulation treatments, including acidizing and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), do not significantly impact environments in the Santa Barbara Channel’s federal waters, according to a draft environmental review released in February by federal agencies. The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) responded critically to the review, claiming it “falls short in several fundamental respects.” Offshore well stimulation techniques inject sand, water, and chemicals into rock formations to fracture or dissolve them and withdraw gas. The practice has been criticized in recent years for the lack of research on its environmental impacts and because it tends to occur in quiet operations.  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
21 Kids Are Suing President Obama Over Climate Inaction
The Nation
Zoë Carpenter

The complaint accuses the government of infringing on “the fundamental right of citizens to be free from government actions that harm life, liberty, and property” by “approving and promoting fossil fuel development.”   [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Jurors Deliberating in Water Contamination Case
WNEP
STACY LANGE

SCRANTON -- Jurors are deliberating in a federal civil trial to determine if Cabot Oil and Gas contaminated wells belonging to two families in Susquehanna County. Two families from Dimock Township sued Cabot, claiming their water was contaminated from natural gas drilling back in 2009. The Hubert family and the Ely family, both from Dimock Township, are the only residents who did not settle with Cabot Oil and Gas over water contamination. In 2012, 40 other residents settled with the company.  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
'What makes it a public utility?': Pa. Supreme Court hears arguments on oil and gas regulations
The Patriot News
Candy Woodall

As oil and gas drillers continue to pull up rigs and close operations in Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court is asking whether the industry was given special treatment during the shale boom. The court on Wednesday heard two cases that date back to the first half of the Corbett administration and challenge Act 13, a 2012 law that overhauled oil and gas regulations.  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
The Fracked Gas Power Plant That Could Put New York City Underwater
EcoWatch
Josh Fox and Lee Ziesche

The Town of Wawayanda is in the fertile, black dirt region of New York State, not far from Pennsylvania. Like many communities in neighboring Pennsylvania, the rural way of life in this area of Orange County is now under threat from America’s shale gas boom. New York has banned fracking, but not the mass build out of fracked gas infrastructure and that’s put many New York communities on the fossil fuel chopping block.  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Not in anybody’s backyard
River Reporter
Editorial

Following the first years of furor over fracking for natural gas in this area, it seemed for a while that the conflagration had died down. In November of 2011, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted against approving fracking regulations, and since then there has been a moratorium on fracking in the Delaware River Basin while that body ponders how to proceed. In 2013, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division affirmed the right of state towns to ban fracking via zoning. In the same year, New York declared a moratorium on fracking throughout the state while health impacts were studied. And in 2015, the resulting study was completed, recommending a ban that was duly implemented. But even though these developments put the natural gas drilling issue in our area on the back burner for a while, a rising drumbeat of natural-gas-related controversies is giving us notice that the issue is returning through the back door.  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Josh Fox: Clinton v. Sanders on fracking
MSNBC
Chris Hayes

The Gasland filmmaker weighs in on the candidates' positions on climate change issues in the wake of the Democratic debate. Duration: 5:49  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Senators oppose NED pipeline
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Schumer, Gillibrand send letter citing potential impacts New York's two U.S. senators came out Wednesday against the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline and urged federal regulators to reject it. In a joint letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Norman Bay, senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urged rejection of the pipeline for environmental, health and safety reasons. The 400-mile pipeline would connect the natural gas hydrofracking fields of Pennsylvania to Boston, and pass through southern Albany and Rensselaer counties. Said Gillibrand, "Potential impacts to the communities and their residents along the proposed route far outweigh any stated benefit. It remains unclear if (state) rate payers will ever benefit from this proposal, but what is clear, the health, safety and quality of life of hundreds of New Yorkers could forever be altered."  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Hillary Clinton Wants to Regulate Fracking, but Still Accepts a Lot of Fracking Money
The Intercept
Alex Emmons

Hillary Clinton continues to fundraise with fracking investors, despite her assertion Sunday that she would largely curtail fracking inside the U.S. Fracking is a controversial mining technique used to extract natural gas from shale rock. It releases vast quantities of methane into the atmosphere and groundwater, frequently poisoning the water supply of nearby communities. On Wednesday, Clinton will appear at a $575-a-head fundraising lunch at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the Northern California coast hosted by Alisa Wood, a partner at the international private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR). In 2009, KKR began heavily investing in fracking, purchasing large shares of three North American oil and gas companies, and selling two of them for billions in profits. The third was hit hard by plummeting gas prices, and declared bankruptcy last year. But KKR was not deterred, and still owns a large portfolio of small fossil fuel companies, at least two of which — Cinco Industries and Comstock Resources — use fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Massive blast rips Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood, gas leak suspected
CNN
Greg Botelho

(CNN)A natural gas leak may have caused a massive explosion early Wednesday in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood -- obliterating at least one building, damaging many others and sending nine firefighters to the hospital. One battalion chief and eight firefighters were transported to Harborview Medical Center after the incident, said Seattle fire spokeswoman Corey Orvold. These eight men and one woman all had been released as of 8 a.m. (11 a.m. ET), according to the hospital. Their injuries ranged from cuts to abrasions.  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Truck overturns, spills drilling wastewater that taints reservoir
The Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

A truck hauling drilling wastewater overturned in eastern Ohio early this morning, sending thousands of gallons of toxic water into a nearby creek and contaminating a reservoir in Barnesville in Belmont County. The truck crashed along a curve just after 3 a.m. today, said Barnesville Fire Chief Bob Smith. The driver, Hiley Wogan of Chesterhill, Ohio, was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Columbus, Smith said. About 5,000 gallons of drilling wastewater spilled into a field, then a creek and finally into one of Barnesville's three reservoirs.   [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Fracking inquiry hears dispute over noise level
The Gazette


Noise generated by a proposed shale gas drilling rig would cause annoyance and sleep disturbance to residents in the area, an acoustics expert has said.   [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Federal bureau says offshore fracking doesn't impact environment; Environmental Defense Center says report falls short
Santa Maria Sun
Vrenna Swanston

Offshore well stimulation treatments, including acidizing and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), do not significantly impact environments in the Santa Barbara Channel’s federal waters, according to a draft environmental review released in February by federal agencies. The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) responded critically to the review, claiming it “falls short in several fundamental respects.”  [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
How to get a handle on potential risks posed by fracking fluids
EurekAlert
American Chemical Society

The latest skirmishes over hydraulic fracturing in Florida and California are, at their core, about water. Many fracking-related spills have been recorded, and opponents say that such incidents pose unacceptable threats to water supplies. But the issue is fraught with uncertainties. Scientists review what's known about the fluids in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology and conclude that a comprehensive assessment of potential risks requires full disclosure of fracking fluid contents.   [Full Story]

Mar 9, 2016
Ohio Fracking Wells Double Production in 2015
Idea Stream


At a time when oil prices are below $2 a gallon, the amount of oil and gas produced by wells in Ohio has doubled. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued fourth quarter results today (Wed). Details from Ideastream’s Mark Urycki.   [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
What To Do With Texas' Leftover Oil & Gas Wells
KUT.org
MOSE BUCHELE

When the oil and gas fields of Texas are booming, it’s busy times for the state agency that regulates the industry. And when there’s a downturn, it can be even busier. One reason: abandoned oil and gas wells. That was a big takeaway from a meeting this week of the Texas House Energy Resources Committee. The topic came up when Chairman Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) said people around his hometown are seeing oil and gas companies get into financial trouble and walk away from their wells.   [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Oklahoma's Getting Even More Fracking Restrictions as Earthquakes Continue to Rattle the State
Vice News
Ciara O'Rourke

Trying to stem the dramatic increase in earthquakes that have rattled Oklahoma residents over the past few years, state regulators are asking the oil and gas industry to reduce the disposal of wastewater in wells that scientists suspect could be responsible. About 125 well operators in Central Oklahoma received a letter from the state Corporation Commission on Monday directing them to bring the volume of wastewater pumped deep underground to 40 percent below what it was in 2014. About 400 wells in the Arbuckle formation, which spans most of the state, disposed of more than 433 million barrels that year. That was also the year Oklahoma experienced a sharp rise in the magnitude and number of earthquakes, said Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the commission.  [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Following Sudden Death of Indicted Former Chesapeake Energy CEO, Justice Department Investigation into Collusion Continues
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

Last Tuesday, the Justice Department announced criminal charges against former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, stemming from an alleged lease bid-rigging conspiracy between McClendon and another unidentified oil and gas company. The felony count against McClendon carried up to a decade in prison and $1 million in fines. Shortly after 9 AM the next day, McClendon crashed his SUV at over 50 mph into a concrete highway overpass and died instantly of blunt force trauma. Police are continuing to investigate McClendon's cause of death, awaiting toxicology results and other data, and have not ruled out the possibility that the car wreck may have been a suicide. “He pretty much drove straight into the wall,” Oklahoma City Police Department Capt. Paco Balderrama told a local NBC affiliate. “There was plenty of opportunity for him to correct and get back on the roadway and that didn’t occur.”  [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Oily slime from Porter Ranch well temporarily closes nearby park
Los Angeles Times
Alice Walton

park in Porter Ranch was closed Tuesday after city officials discovered playground equipment covered in an oily residue that likely came from a leaking well in Aliso Canyon. The playground at Holleigh Bernson Memorial Park had been given the all-clear by county health officials Sunday, but staff members with Councilman Mitch Englander’s office revisited the park Tuesday and found the small brown droplets of oil, which can cause skin irritations. The park was temporarily closed so crews with the Southern California Gas Co. could clean the equipment.   [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Bankruptcy court ruling stings operators of energy pipelines
Reuters
TOM HALS AND TRACY RUCINSKI

Sabine Oil & Gas Corp won an important court ruling on Tuesday that will allow the bankrupt energy producer to shed certain pipeline contracts, potentially exposing companies that transport and process gas to the crisis in the energy industry. The ruling by New York's influential bankruptcy court is the first major test of whether Chapter 11 can be used to end a contract with companies in what is known as the midstream sector of the energy industry. "The debtors have satisfied the standard for the rejection of the contracts," said Judge Shelley Chapman in Manhattan, who read the opinion from the bench.  [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Democratic Debate Shows Split over Shale Gas FrackingBy
Environmental Leader
Ken Silverstein

Like parts of the nation, the Democratic presidential contenders are split over hydraulic fracturing, which is the technique used to withdraw shale gas from a mile beneath the earth’s surface.   [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Local zoning control among issues in Pa. Supreme Court cases
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura legere

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in Philadelphia Wednesday in two major gas drilling cases with implications far beyond the shale fields.   [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Democratic Debate Brings Anti-Fracking Movement to Center Stage
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter

The Democratic debate Sunday night discussed important issues to our food and water, including the contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water supply and climate change. The fact that CNN allowed University of Michigan student Sarah Bellaire to ask the candidates whether or not they support fracking—bringing a real discussion about dirty fossil fuels to center stage—shows how large and influential our movement to ban fracking has become.   [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Oil and gas firm reactivates long-idle wells near L.A. school after residents seek to plug them
Los Angele Times
Emily Alpert Reyes

Hoping to force an oil company to plug more than a dozen wells that had been sitting idle next to a Washington Boulevard school, local residents urged the Los Angeles Fire Department to take action.   [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Fossil fuels 'probably dead,' says Canadian Pacific Railway CEO Hunter Harrison
The Star Phoenix
Ross Marowits

MONTREAL - People need to get their heads around the idea that fossil fuels are "probably dead," the CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway said Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Lawsuit claims FERC is just rubber stamp for pipelines
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

Many local landowners who've resisted eminent domain power handed to the Constitution Pipeline company have been left angry not only with the natural gas industry but also with the federal agency that regulates interstate transmission projects. The argument that the pipeline review process is a stacked deck favoring the gas shippers has become a familiar refrain from those who attempted to keep the gas infrastructure off their land. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's process for reviewing and approving pipeline projects is facing a federal lawsuit that aims to establish what pipeline foes say would be a more-level playing field in how such applications are evaluated.  [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Oil workers say their pay was stolen before the bust
MarketPlace
Dan Boyce

Continuing low oil prices have left tens of thousands of oil workers out of a job. Now, a growing number of oil workers are turning to the courts, saying they weren't paid fairly even when times were good. With the exception of a couple weeks in November, 28-year-old oil driller Kody Armajo has been out of work for a year. He has returned home to live with his parents in Riverton, Wyoming. "I should have saved a lot more," said Armajo, his long brown hair tied back with a bandanna. "I should be debt free and have thousands in the bank, but I don't."  [Full Story]

Mar 8, 2016
Higher Hospitalization Rates Near Fracking Sites
WorldHealth.net


Hydraulic fracturing – otherwise known as simply "fracking" ­­ is a form of oil and gas drilling that has expanded vastly in the United States over the past ten years, leading to increasing concerns about water and air pollution. According to a new study, people who live near "fracking" sites may be at higher chances for hospitalization for heart problems, neurological disorders and other conditions. In this study, the hospitalization rate in three northeastern counties in Pennsylvania was explored. Pennsylvania was chosen as it is a known hotspot for fracked wells. Two of the counties, Bradford and Susquehanna, had a substantial surge in fracked wells between 2007 and 2011. The third, Wayne county, remains free of gas wells, due to the de­facto moratorium on drilling in the Delaware River Basin. Wayne county’s hospitalization toll rates actually decreased in keeping with nationwide trends. Wayne county, which has similar demographics as Bradford and Susquehanna counties, served as the control for the study. Prior to 2007, hospitalization rates were trending down in all three counties. The experts assessed the top 25 specific medical categories for more than 198,000 hospitalizations among residents of the three counties between 2007 and 2011.  [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
From Boomtown to Ghost Town?
WNEP
DAVE BOHMAN

SAYRE -- Falling natural gas prices and the financial troubles of Chesapeake Energy have turned parts of Bradford County from boom to bust in relatively a short period of time. Bradford County has more natural gas wells than any other county in our state. Almost all of those wells are operated by Chesapeake Energy. But the corporation's layoffs, falling stock price, and its recent decision to stop drilling new wells threaten to slowly turn boomtowns into ghost towns. Downtown Sayre sits three miles from Chesapeake Energy's regional corporate headquarters. Empty storefronts now dot the main streets.  [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Oklahoma Puts Limits on Oil and Gas Wells to Fight Quakes
The New York Times
Michael Wines

Faced with a six-year barrage of earthquakes that piecemeal responses have been powerless to stop, Oklahoma regulators are imposing sweeping restrictions on the oil and gas industry wells causing the tremors. On Monday, the state Corporation Commission asked well operators in a Connecticut-size patch of central Oklahoma to reduce by 40 percent the amount of oil and gas wastes they are injecting deep into the earth. The directive covers 411 injection wells in a rough circle that includes Oklahoma City and points northeast.  [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
The Latest: Trump says fracking approval can help him win NY
Elkhart Truth


GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump says he thinks he can win New York, despite Democrats' significant voter registration advantage, because he's in favor of a practice called fracking   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Clinton and Sanders Clash Over Fracking at Flint Debate
EcoWatch
350.0rg

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders engaged in a serious discussion about the environmental injustices facing Flint, Michigan and communities around the country in a spirited debate on Sunday night. While  [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Bill McKibben Arrested + 56 Others in Ongoing Campaign Against Proposed Gas Storage at Seneca Lake
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

The fight over the fate of the Finger Lakes received national attention today when best-selling author, environmentalist and founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, joined the opposition. McKibben, 55, was arrested this morning with 56 area residents as part of an ongoing civil disobedience campaign against proposed gas storage in Seneca Lake’s abandoned salt caverns.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Rise of Fracking Wastewater Injections in Ohio Sparks Fears of Earthquakes, Water Contamination
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Ohio has become a major wastewater dump for the fracking industry, sparking fears of groundwater contamination and concerns that injection of wastewater into wells could trigger the same earthquakes currently rattling frack-happy Oklahoma.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Clinton’s anti-fracking debate pledge puts her at odds with Obama
Bloomberg Government
Mark Drajem

When it comes to fracking, there’s been little the natural gas industry and environmental groups have agreed on over the past seven years, except this: The Obama administration has a soft spot for natural gas. Under Obama, the EPA walked away from three investigations of residents’ complaints that fracking contaminated their water; it relied on cheap natural gas for its landmark climate rule; and it concluded in a comprehensive study that fracking wasn’t responsible for “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water.” If another Democrat takes office next year, the reception may be chillier. In their debate last night, Bernie Sanders said fracking is a “national crisis” and can’t be done safely. Frontrunner Hillary Clinton didn’t sound much different: “I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking can continue to take place,” with all the conditions that would be imposed in a Clinton administration, she said. “We’ve got to regulate everything that is currently underway.”   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Bill McKibben Among 50+ Arrested in Upstate New York over Fracking Project
ENewsPark Forest


Environmentalist Bill McKibben was among more than 50 activists arrested Monday morning for blockading the gates of the Crestwood Midstream gas storage facility on the shores of Seneca Lake in upstate New York.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Marcellus drilling cutback reduces money available for tourist promotion
PennLive
John Beauge

WILLIAM SPORT — The cutback in drilling activity in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania is affecting tourist promotion funding.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
States, gas industry: Feds do not have power to regulate fracking
The Hill
Timothy Cama

The federal government overstepped its authority by issuing a rule to regulate hydraulic fracturing, according to several states and the gas industry. In briefs filed in their lawsuit against the Interior Department’s fracking rules, the states and industry groups accuse Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of claiming overly broad authority over oil and natural gas drilling on federal land.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Injections of wastewater rise in Ohio despite lull in fracking
Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

The amount of fracking wastewater pumped underground in Ohio increased by more than 15 percent last year, even as shale drilling has slowed nationwide, according to new numbers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Chesapeake Will Soon Be Selling Natural Gas For $0
Seeking Alpha
Paulo Santos

Summary Chesapeake changed the way it reports natural gas prices and revenues. A closer look at why this happened reveals an amazing truth. At the present market prices, Chesapeake will soon be selling natural gas for a zero net price. This is yet another reason why it won't avoid bankruptcy.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Report: More fracking wastewater pumped underground in Ohio
Hastings Tribune


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State data shows the amount of hydraulic fracturing wastewater pumped underground in Ohio increased by more than 15 percent last year. The increase comes as drilling for shale in the process known as fracking has slowed nationwide.  [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Hillary Wants To Basically Ban Fracking After Promoting It In Other Countries For Years
Daily Caller
Michael Bastasch

Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a long answer for all the situations she’s against hydraulic fracturing, eventually admitting there would be very few places where fracking is legally allowed to take place — a near reverse of her past stance while heading the Department of State.  [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Hillary Clinton won’t call for ban on fracking; climate activists question front-runner’s position
Washington Times
Ben Wolfgang

At Sunday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton stopped short of calling for an outright ban on fracking, raising alarm bells among some climate change activists who say the former secretary of state still has work to do to convince Americans she’s serious on global warming.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Natural Gas Extends Rebound Prices rise on expectations that a decline in drilling will lead to lower production
Wall Street Journal
Nicole Friedman

NEW YORK--Natural-gas prices rose Monday on expectations that a decline in drilling will lead to lower production.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Rise of Fracking Wastewater Injections in Ohio Sparks Fears of Earthquakes, Water Contamination
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Ohio has become a major wastewater dump for the fracking industry, sparking fears of groundwater contamination and concerns that injection of wastewater into wells could trigger the same earthquakes currently rattling frack-happy Oklahoma.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Did Shell's Failure to Disclose Climate Risks Break the Law?
Inside Climate News
David Hasemyer

Three members of Congress have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Shell Oil Co. violated securities laws by failing to adequately disclose material business risks from climate change. Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by California Democrat Ted Lieu, said in a letter to the SEC that Shell understood the consequences of climate change and made business decisions based on that knowledge.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Ohio industry group testifies before EPA panel on water
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Today, Energy In Depth (EID) testified at the Science Advisory Board (SAB) Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel’s public teleconference. EID highlighted the new results of the University of Cincinnati's groundbreaking study of Ohio's drinking water wells near shale gas extraction.   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Disclose school settlement with Chesapeake
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Editorial

By the time Chesapeake Energy opened its Fort Worth field office in 2007, the Oklahoma City-based natural gas giant had already drilled more than 300 wells in the North Texas Barnett Shale field. It had leased more than 200,000 acres for drilling, and the company’s chairman, the late, legendary Aubrey McClendon, vowed, “We plan to drill it all.”   [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Citizens Groups Seek Public Funding for FERC Interventions
RTO Insider
Rich Heidorn Jr.

A group of citizens groups has dusted off a forgotten provision of the 1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act that it said requires FERC to provide public funding for interventions before the agency. In a filing Monday, watchdog group Public Citizen and more than two dozen environmental and public interest groups called on FERC to create an Office of Public Participation, as they say was required by the act. The act appropriated $2.4 million for compensating intervenors in fiscal year 1981, before FERC switched to its current funding mechanism, based on fees on industry participants.  [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
Fracking Supply Chain a Climate Disaster, Doing Little to Uplift Poor Communities: Studies
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

Two recent studies further call into question the oil and gas industry's claims of the climate benefits and community benefits of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). One of those studies, published in Environmental Research Letters and titled, “Just fracking: a distributive environmental justice analysis of unconventional gas development in Pennsylvania, USA,” concludes that “the income distribution of the population nearer to shale gas wells has not been transformed since shale gas development.” The other, a report released by Environmental Integrity Project titled, “Greenhouse Gases from a Growing Petrochemical Industry,” examines the post-fracking supply chain and concludes that the petrochemical industry's planned construction and expansion projects announced in 2015 alone are the “pollution equivalent to the emissions from 19 coal-fired power plants.” Not Quite “Shaleionaires”  [Full Story]

Mar 7, 2016
STUDY: How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change In 2015
Media Matters
Kevin Kalhoefer, Denise Robbins, & Andrew Seifter

ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox collectively spent five percent less time covering climate change in 2015, even though there were more newsworthy climate-related events than ever before, including the EPA finalizing the Clean Power Plan, Pope Francis issuing a climate change encyclical, President Obama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, and 195 countries around the world reaching a historic climate agreement in Paris. The decline was primarily driven by ABC, whose climate coverage dropped by 59 percent; the only network to dramatically increase its climate coverage was Fox, but that increase largely consisted of criticism of efforts to address climate change. When the networks did discuss climate change, they rarely addressed its impacts on national security, the economy, or public health, yet most still found time to provide a forum for climate science denial. On a more positive note, CBS and NBC -- and PBS, which was assessed separately -- aired many segments that explored the state of scientific research or detailed how climate change is affecting extreme weather, plants, and wildlife.   [Full Story]

Mar 6, 2016
Pigman tells his side of fracking story
Highlands Today/ Tampa Tribune


SEBRING — Why did a representative from Central Florida, where there are no known oil or gas reserves, take up a fracking bill? “It is critical to understand that right now, today, fracking is legal in Florida,” said Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park. And it’s unregulated.   [Full Story]

Mar 6, 2016
Mineral owners assert property rights in Colorado's oil and gas fight Access to underground assets must be protected as drilling restrictions proliferate
Denver Post
John Aguilar

At a contentious meeting in Adams County in January that carried on until the early-morning hours, several mineral rights owners stood up before the commissioners and lambasted a proposed 10-month drilling moratorium as an abrogation of their property rights.  [Full Story]

Mar 6, 2016
How Clinton and Sanders differ on fracking
Politico
Matthew Nussbaum

Hillary Clinton had a long, nuanced answer when asked for her position on fracking. Bernie Sanders had a far shorter one. Asked about "fracking" — an oil and natural gas extraction technique that involves injecting chemicals deep below the planet's surface — Clinton said that she would seek to stringently regulate the process. “I don’t support it when any locality or state is against it,” Clinton said. “I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present.”   [Full Story]

Mar 6, 2016
Bernie Sanders on fracking: ‘My answer is a lot shorter’
Boston
Nik DeCosta-Klipa

When it comes to the environment, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are similarly positioned on most issues. From addressing climate change to the Keystone XL pipeline, the two candidates stand on the same side, with the Vermont senator edging Clinton slightly to the left.   [Full Story]

Mar 6, 2016
Secret energy strategy could transform valley area
The Times-Tribune
DAVID FALCHEK

A golden book of economic development leads++= So thorough, it names specific energy-intensive companies and industries to lure to Northeast Pennsylvania. And, the $50,000 study, developed by the Institute of Public Policy and Economic Development and completed more than a year ago, is a carefully guarded secret — despite its powerful descriptions. Fewer than a dozen people — mostly economic development leaders — have even seen the 222-page Energy Economic Development Strategy. And, few ever will. Those who did view it signed a confidentiality pledge. The Institute, a nonprofit think tank supported by local colleges and universities, developed the plan with money raised from natural gas exploration and pipeline companies and the institute’s private partners, including Sordoni Construction of Forty Fort. William E. Sordoni is helping shepherd the effort. Presidents of the area colleges and universities were permitted to review parts of the strategy pertaining to education and workforce development. Even while saying the secrecy was essential, Teri Ooms, executive director at the Institute, downplayed the cloak-and-dagger approach that stands in contrast to the press conferences heralding glossy new initiatives.  [Full Story]

Mar 6, 2016
Transcript of the Democratic Presidential Debate in Flint, Mich.
The New York Times
Transcript

SANDERS: This is a crisis we have got to deal with now. COOPER: Senator Sanders, though... (APPLAUSE) ... to Secretary Clinton’s point, there are a number of Democratic governors in many states who say that fracking can be done safely, and that it’s helping their economies. Are they wrong? SANDERS: Yes.  [Full Story]

Mar 6, 2016
On Fracking, Clinton And Sanders Give Vastly Different Answers
ThinkProgress
EMILY ATKIN

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders gave vastly different answers on fracking at the CNN Democratic debate on Sunday, illustrating a key policy contrast between the two................ “My answer is a lot shorter. No. I do not support fracking,” he said to applause.  [Full Story]

Mar 6, 2016
To drill or not to drill: For gas utilities, increasingly that is the question
Billings Gazette
Benjamin Storrow

LANDER, Wyo. — Buy local. It's a slogan usually reserved for selling food or crafts. But for more than three decades, 1 million natural gas customers in Idaho, Utah and southwestern Wyoming have been doing just that.   [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2016
Solon voters at Town Meeting on Saturday agree to ban fracking A 32-12 vote came with residents knowing that the chance of "striking oil or gas" in Solon was slim because of Maine's geology.
Central Maine
Doug Harlow

SOLON — Residents passed an ordinance Saturday at Town Meeting banning the practice of hydraulic fracturing — fracking — but they did so without the passion and long discussion of last year’s meeting, when the idea first was raised.  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2016
Fracking could be behind startling increase in US methane surge, experts say Rapid rise in the global-warming gas, 86 times more powerful than CO2, is spotted by satellites
Independent
Geoffrey Lean

Startling increases in one of the main pollutants that cause global warming have been unexpectedly discovered over the United States – and the main suspect is the country’s booming fracking industry.   [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2016
Proposed Bill Aims To Protect Homeowners From Fracking Damage
CBS Denver


DENVER (CBS4)– A bill proposed at the state Capitol aims to protect homeowners from damage caused by fracking. This comes after Colorado approved dozens of wells to be drilled in residential areas of Adams County.   [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2016
Thornton homeowners fighting against new oil and gas drilling sites
The Denver Channel
Eric Lupher

THORNTON, Colo. - Plans are constantly being written up for new oil and gas drilling sites in the state of Colorado, and one lawmaker is taking steps to protect the growing number of concerned homeowners.   [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2016
Seafood, beaches and oil: Peaceful county at odds over drilling plan
The State
Sammy Fretwell

With a major federal decision expected soon on whether to open the South Atlantic coast for oil and natural gas drilling, opponents like Howell and Baughmann are eager to hear whether the government sticks with a plan that has coastal communities from Virginia to Georgia in an uproar. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is expected in the next month to update its draft proposal for offshore energy development. Drilling opponents, and some who support offshore energy exploration, say the bureau’s updated plan will say a lot about how the government moves ahead with drilling in the South Atlantic.   [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2016
Fracking could be behind startling increase in US methane surge, experts say
The Independent UK
Geoffrey Lean

Startling increases in one of the main pollutants that cause global warming have been unexpectedly discovered over the United States – and the main suspect is the country’s booming fracking industry.  [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2016
Federal probe of bid-rigging goes beyond Chesapeake ex-CEO
Albany Times Union
David Koenig & Tom Murphy

DALLAS (AP) — As advanced drilling technology opened untapped sources of oil and natural gas, it triggered fierce competition among energy companies to scoop up rights to drill on vast swaths of land across the country. The rush caused lease prices to skyrocket in the most promising fields. In a few cases, gas companies responded by cutting secret deals to rig the bidding and hold down their costs. Federal officials are now investigating to see if these shady practices are more common than believed.   [Full Story]

Mar 5, 2016
How Koch-, Oil-Funded Climate Deniers Inserted Themselves Into Natural Gas Debate in Israel
DeSmog Blog
Itai Vardi

Individuals and groups associated with climate denial or science obfuscation have recently inserted themselves into the raging public debates over the use of Israel’s newly discovered natural gas fields.  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
JUDGE PUTS THE BRAKES ON CUOMO'S MAJOR ENERGY INDUSTRY REFORMS
The Village Voice
Jon Campbell

After sweeping regulatory reforms were announced last week, New York State’s retail energy industry, long marked by unscrupulous sales tactics and allegations of fraud, has come out swinging against the state’s attempts to rein it in. Today it won a major victory, when a judge in Albany temporarily halted the implementation of the reforms heavily touted by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Calling the new rules "devastating" and "catastrophic" for their industry, trade groups representing energy services companies — private utilities that sell electricity and gas, commonly called ESCOs — went to court Thursday in an eleventh-hour bid to stop the changes.  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
Markey Amendments to Strengthen Natural Gas Pipeline Infrastructure in Pipeline Reauthorization Bill Pass Full U.S. Senate
Senator Edward J. Markey
Press Release

Amendments to SAFE PIPES Act would help increase safety of natural gas pipelines and transparency related to oil spills Washington (March 4, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after the full U.S. Senate yesterday voted to pass the “Securing America’s Future Energy: Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety (SAFE PIPES) Act, which included three Markey amendments to strengthen America’s natural gas pipelines. Two of Senator Markey’s amendments would help address lost and unaccounted for natural gas from aging, leaky pipelines. The Obama Administration’s recently released Quadrennial Energy Review highlighted the fact that most safety incidents on natural gas pipelines occur on distribution pipelines. A recent Massachusetts analysis found approximately 20,000 potentially dangerous and damaging natural gas pipeline leaks. Senator Markey’s April 2013 report found that Massachusetts ratepayers paid up to $1.5 billion from 2000-2011for gas that never reached their homes and businesses. A third Markey amendment would improve oversight by ensuring companies submit complete, unredacted oil spill response plans to Congress. “The need to update our old, leaking, dangerous, and polluting natural gas pipelines is long overdue,” said Senator Markey. “Aging infrastructure is costing Massachusetts consumers money and putting our first responders and our climate at risk. Repairing these aging and leaking natural gas pipelines is a win for safety, a win for job creation, a win for consumers who have to pay for this lost gas and a win for the climate. This important legislation passed despite the strong objections of the American Petroleum Institute and other fossil fuel interests, and I will continue to fight to make it law this year.”  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
Anti-Eminent Domain but Pro-Pipelines: A Republican Conundrum
InsideClimate News
Phil McKenna

As Donald Trump emerges from Super Tuesday as the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, one ghost from his past refuses to disappear. In the mid 1990s, Trump tried unsuccessfully to seize the home of Vera Coking, an elderly widow in Atlantic City, to build limousine parking for his adjacent Trump Plaza hotel and casino. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have attacked Trump over the case, calling it a clear abuse of eminent domain—the mandatory sale of private land for public use. The Cruz campaign in a recent ad called eminent domain a "fancy term for politicians seizing private property to enrich the fat cats who bankroll them—like Trump."  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
California Gas Leak Threatens Jerry Brown’s Image as a Climate Change Hero
The New York Times
IAN LOVETT and MICHAEL WINES

LOS ANGELES — In his final term as California’s governor, Jerry Brown has made the battle against climate change a signature issue: he is fighting to vastly reduce the state’s emissions of greenhouse gases, to accelerate the move to electric cars, and to rewire the state’s electrical grid. In December, he had a star turn with world leaders at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris. FROM OUR ADVERTISERS But despite all his efforts, California’s emissions rose modestly over the first three years after he took office in 2011, the last years for which data is available. The latest blow came from Porter Ranch, a Los Angeles suburb where a breach at an underground natural-gas storage site in October released 107,000 tons of climate-changing methane and ethane — the largest such leak in American history — before it was capped late last month.  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
New York pension fund could have made billions by divesting from fossil fuels – report Moving money out of fossil fuels and into environmentally-friendly tech could have made members of the state’s pension fund an extra $4,500 each
The Guardian
Alison Moodie

New York State’s pension fund would have an additional $5.3bn to give to its retired employees if it had divested from fossil fuel companies and put that money into clean energy, according to a new report.   [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
Aubrey McClendon’s Legacy Serves as Another Warning That the Age of Oil Barons Must End
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter

Just moments after posting a scathing comment to Facebook regarding former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon’s indictment Tuesday by the Department of Justice on conspiracy charges, I read news of his shocking death in a car accident. I didn’t know McClendon personally, but he is indeed a legend in the story of the fracking boom. So much so I dedicated an entire chapter of my forthcoming book Frackopoly to him. And in the light of news of his death my scathing assessment of him may seem uncharitable to those unfamiliar with his record.  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
Feds Refer Exxon Climate Investigation to FBI
EcoWatch
Nadia Prupis

Environmental groups on Thursday welcomed news that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had referred the federal investigation into ExxonMobil‘s decades-long suppression of climate science to the FBI’s criminal division.  [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
Two Dimock families, Cabot fight on over fracking and tainted water
Inquirer & Daily News
Andrew Maykuth

SCRANTON - Erik Roos waited more than six years to tell a jury his story about shale-gas drilling and water contamination in rural Dimock Township. When he finally got a chance to testify this week, he was done in about a half-hour.   [Full Story]

Mar 4, 2016
Ohio Group Still Calling For Increased Fracking Tax
WYSO
Andy Chow

Thursday, and low prices have led to worry among lawmakers about the nature of Ohio’s oil and gas industry—but one group is still calling for an increase to the drilling tax.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
McClendon's Legacy As Warning Aubrey McClendon's legacy should serve as another warning that the age of oil barons must end.
Food & Water Watch
Wenonah Hauter

Just moments after posting a scathing comment to Facebook regarding Aubrey McClendon’s recent indictment by the Department of Justice on conspiracy charges, I read news of his shocking death in a car accident. I didn’t know McClendon personally, but he is indeed a legend in the story of the fracking boom. So much so I dedicated an entire chapter of my forthcoming book Frackopoly to him. And in the light of news of his death my scathing assessment of him may seem uncharitable to those unfamiliar with his record.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Natural gas foes sue federal pipeline agency over alleged bias
Times Union
Brian Nearing

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an environmental group that focuses on the Delaware River in New York and three other states, is suing the Federal Energy Regulator Commission, claiming the agency is biased to approve natural gas pipelines to protect its budget.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Filmmaker to screen climate change feature in Nassau
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Filmmaker to screen climate change feature in Nassau   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Kezia Dugdale: I will outlaw fracking in Scotland
Scotsman
Scott Macnab

LABOUR has pledged an outright ban on fracking going into the May Holyrood election and warned the SNP Government is poised to life the current moratorium on the controversial practice.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Shipping Fracking Wastes by Barge
Huffington Post
Elizabeth Glass Geltman

When GreenHunter Water LLC proposed shipping fracking wastes by barge, a lot of folks objected. The USCG decision last week to evaluate permits to barge fracking wastes case-by-case has not quelled public concern.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Thumb up: Bad fracking bill has lost momentum
TC Palm
Editorial

GOODBYE, FRACKING BILL: The sponsor of a Florida Senate bill to regulate fracking and strip local governments of control over the practice said last week he would not ask the Senate Appropriations Committee to reconsider the measure.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Offshore Fracking Topic of Congressional Hearing
Edhat
Office of Rep Lois Capps

Yesterday, Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) questioned the Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Brian Salerno, and the Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Abigail Ross Hopper, on the status of the investigation into the potential environmental risks of offshore fracking. Her questions focused on the overwhelming lack of transparency regarding where these techniques are being employed and what chemicals are being used in the process. Video of Rep. Capps questioning Directors Hopper and Salerno is available here.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Divide Grows in Southeast Over Offshore Drilling Plan
New York Times
Coral Davenport

KURE BEACH, N.C. — On a recent frigid evening, anxious residents, many in “Protect Our Coast” sweatshirts, packed the town hall here, spilled onto the lawn, and then erupted in cheers as their town government gaveled in a resolution urging President Obama to block oil drilling off their shoreline. “Some things are just too precious to risk,” Mayor Emilie Swearingen declared.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Has the 'Fracking' Miracle Crushed Oil Prices?
The Desert Sun
Morris Beschloss

When analyzing the expanding price instability of the global oil markets and their resultant negative impact on such diverse economies as Russia, Brazil, Iran, Venezuela, as well as the U.S., much of the blame seems focused on the waning commodity appetite of China.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Natural gas prices eyeing multi-decade lows Record storage and tepid demand are punishing Canadian natural gas prices.
CBC News
Paul Haavardarud

Overshadowed by the meltdown in global oil markets, free falling natural gas prices are the latest trial for the country's beleaguered energy companies.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP SUES FEDERAL AGENCY FOR ALLEGED CONFLICT OF INTEREST
NJ Advance Media
Tom Johnson

n its suit against FERC, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network claims the review and approval process for pipeline projects is fundamentally flawed maya van rossum Maya Van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper Ratcheting up a fight against the expansion of natural-gas pipelines, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network yesterday filed a lawsuit against the federal agency that oversees construction of such projects. In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the group claimed that the review and approval process for pipeline projects by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is infected by structural bias.  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Questions raised over SNP fracking stance
BBC News


Nicola Sturgeon has insisted "there will be no fracking" as Labour claimed the SNP were preparing to "give the green light" to the technique. Scottish Labour has declared itself firmly behind banning unconventional extraction of oil and gas.  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
U.S. Fracking Industry Shocked By Death Of Pioneer Aubrey McClendon
NPR


David Greene talks to Russell Gold, author of The Boom, about Aubrey McClendon, ex-CEO of Chesapeake Energy. He died in a car crash a day after being indicted for allegedly violating anti-trust laws.   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Study finds no water well contamination from fracking
Times Leader
Casey Junkins

BELMONT - Drinking water well contamination is only one of the potential environmental pitfalls of Marcellus and Utica shale fracking, but a recent University of Cincinnati study shows no evidence this is happening.  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
The Greek tragedy of the billionaire who fracked up Pa.
Philadelphia Inquirer


racking – the controversial technique of drilling for natural gas and oil – claimed some new victims in Pennsylvania yesterday: A once-majestic stand of maple trees that the Holleran family of Susquehanna County has been working to produce maple syrup since the 1950s. A big pipeline firm, the Williams Companies, successfully used the right of eminent domain to win the right to clear the Hollerans' stand of trees to make way for a new pipeline intended to carry to natural gas fracked from the Marcellus Shale to large urban markets. According to StateImpact PA, at least three U.S. Marshals armed with semi-automatic weapons and pistols and wearing bulletproof vests were there to protect the pipeline workers from about 20 peaceful protesters carrying signs that read “No Eminent Domain for Corporate Gain” and “Sap Lines Not Pipelines.”   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Isla Aitken: Why fracking and UGE is a pointless exercise ultimately harming our planet
Commonspace.scot


WHEN it comes to unconventional gas extraction, there is the inevitable spin from the frackers and their buddies. And there is perhaps an element of scaremongering from those who are vehemently opposed to the process. But in between the two extremes, there are some incontestable truths from academics and scientists about the polluting aspects of unconventional gas extraction (UGE).  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
A flawed visionary, McClendon ignited shale revolution, courted controversy
Reuters
JESSICA RESNICK-AULT AND ERNEST SCHEYDER

Aubrey McClendon, the oil and gas entrepreneur whose outsized ambition and high tolerance for risk made him a leading figure in the American energy revolution, died after crashing his car into a concrete wall on Wednesday in Oklahoma City. He was 56. McClendon was considered one of the most influential energy executives of his generation, revered by oilmen but criticized by environmentalists for championing the extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that ushered in U.S. energy independence. He was often compared to the titans of American commerce - an Andrew Mellon or John Rockefeller of his time. But his final years, and hours, were marked by controversy, and some investors had begun to view him warily for his reported lavish spending and mingling of personal and corporate investments.  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
WATCH: What’s the big fracking idea?
Vryheid Herald


According to environmental studies that have been done, the cons of fracking far outweigh the pros. From a decrease in water supply in areas where fracking has been done, to an increased presence of toxic chemicals in ground water, what long term benefits could one possibly expect from this practice?   [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Oil and gas industry has pumped millions into Republican campaigns Fossil fuel barons have invested more than $100m in Republican presidential Super Pacs – raising concerns over special interests if GOP takes White House
The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg & Helena Bengtsson

Fossil fuel millionaires collectively pumped more than $100m into Republican presidential contenders’ efforts last year – in an unprecedented investment by the oil and gas industry in the party’s future.  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
Delaware Riverkeeper sues FERC, alleging bias and corruption in pipeline cases
NPR State Impact PA
Jon Hurdle

A Pennsylvania-based environmental group has stepped up its campaign against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a lawsuit accusing the agency of corruption and routine bias toward the natural gas industry’s applications to build pipelines. Delaware Riverkeeper Network says the agency, which regulates interstate pipelines, is unable to make objective decisions about whether a pipeline should be built because it is the only federal agency that is funded by the industries it regulates, including the natural gas industry.  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
OBITUARY: Shale impresario Aubrey McClendon dies on heels of indictment
E & E Newswire
Mike Lee, Saqib Rahim and Mike Soraghan

Aubrey McClendon, the larger-than-life co-founder of Chesapeake Energy Corp. who was a leader of the American oil and gas renaissance, died yesterday in a fiery car crash, less than a day after the Justice Department announced he had been indicted on federal antitrust charges. McClendon was at the wheel of a 2013 Chevy Tahoe that crossed the center line of a road in Oklahoma City and crashed into a bridge support just after 9 a.m. local time yesterday, Capt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department said in a videotaped news conference. The Tahoe was engulfed in flames (E&ENews PM, March 2). "He pretty much drove straight into the wall," Balderrama said. "There was plenty of opportunity for him to correct or get back on the road, and that didn't occur."  [Full Story]

Mar 3, 2016
SandRidge Ex-CEO Ward Said to Be Alleged McClendon Conspirator
Bloomberg
Joe Carroll and David McLaughlin

The natural gas explorer who allegedly conspired with the late Aubrey McClendon to rig drilling auctions was Tom Ward, then chairman and chief executive officer of SandRidge Energy Inc., according to people familiar with the matter. Ward is an industry veteran who in 1989 co-founded Chesapeake Energy Corp. alongside McClendon, a shale pioneer who built the company into a U.S. gas giant before being pushed out in 2013. McClendon died in a one-vehicle car crash on Wednesday, according to Oklahoma police, one day after the U.S. Justice Department announced his indictment for allegedly rigging auctions for oil and natural gas leases in northwestern Oklahoma. Tuesday’s indictment alleged that from December 2007 to March 2012, McClendon orchestrated a scheme between his company and the chief executive officer of another large oil and gas company to coordinate bidding. McClendon at the time led Chesapeake. The second company was SandRidge, led at the time by Ward, according to the people familiar with the matter.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Gas Money Gone
Fort Worth Weekly
Peter Gorman

When the landmen arrived in Fort Worth in 2007, they didn’t promise that every home owner would make a killing from leasing his or her land for natural gas exploration. But they did promise that every house would be getting free mailbox money monthly for 30 to 50 years, maybe a couple of hundred bucks per home, even if that home sat on only a 6,000-square-foot plot. Over the next several years, the wells that those landmen dreamed about were put in, and when the price of natural gas was high, above $10 per 1,000 cubic feet or 1 million British Thermal Units, there actually was some mailbox money. Not quite as high as the landmen projected — some people with 6,000-foot plots received only a $100 check every two years or so — but for folks with an acre or more, the money arrived monthly.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Solon Town Meeting residents to mull fracking ban The proposal to ban using hydraulic drilling to fracture rock for oil was proposed by Town Meeting voters last year, when voters enacted a moratorium until a ban could be drawn up.
Central Maine
Doug Harlow

Voters at the Solon Town Meeting on Saturday will be asked to adopt an ordinance that would ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing — fracking — drawn up by the Planning Board at the request of last year’s Town Meeting voters.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Aubrey McClendon, 56, Ex-Chief of Chesapeake Energy, Dies in Crash a Day After Indictment
The New York Times
Clifford Krauss

HOUSTON — Aubrey McClendon was the face of the nation’s natural gas boom, a swashbuckling innovator who pioneered a shale revolution. He built a fortune as head of Chesapeake Energy, whose embrace of new production techniques unlocked previously untapped deposits and helped wean the United States from ever-increasing dependence on imports.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
SUPREME COURT: Possible pick has long enviro record, ties to Paul Ryan
E&E Publishing
Robin Bravender

Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who's reportedly in the running to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has a long track record on energy and conservation cases. Jackson has been a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia since 2013 after she was nominated by President Obama and confirmed unanimously by the Senate. In her current job, the 45-year-old African-American judge has heard a host of challenges to federal agency policies including Forest Service management plans, federal approval of oil pipeline construction and Energy Department loans to promote clean energy vehicles. Jackson, who's related to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) by marriage, is being vetted by the White House as a possible nominee for Scalia's vacant seat, The National Law Journal reported last week. Her office today declined to comment on whether she's in the running, and the White House media office didn't respond to a request for comment. If Obama indeed picks Jackson as his nominee for the bench, her judicial record -- including the environmental cases she's weighed in on -- will come under a microscope.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Solar Energy Will Beat Natural Gas Energy Growth For The First Time Ever This Year
Climate Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

For the first time ever utility-scale solar projects will add more new capacity to the nation’s grid than any other industry this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Tuesday. Natural gas and wind energy follow somewhat closely, according to the EIA’s monthly report, which notes that solar, gas and wind energy will make up 93 percent of all new energy. Solar projects will generate about 9.5 gigawatts of new energy. Natural gas, meanwhile, will add 8 gigawatts while wind is poised to create 6.8 gigawatts. One gigawatt is enough energy to power about 700,000 average homes. “I think it’s great, it’s evidence that the [solar] industry’s moved really into the mainstream,” said Justin Baca, vice president of markets and research at the Solar Energy Industries Association, in an interview with ThinkProgress. Seven years ago solar energy was proving that it was a real alternative to fossil fuels, he said, but now, “we’ve demonstrated that we are a real significant player in electricity markets.” The EIA report comes less than a month after the Solar Foundation said the U.S. solar industry now employs slightly over 200,000 workers, representing a growth of 20 percent since November of 2014. The new report further cements the scale of solar energy growth, since solar additions coming online this year are much higher than the 3.1 GW added to the grid in 2015. What’s more, this year’s growth would be more than what the industry achieved in the past three years combined.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Opposition groups take aim at Constitution Pipeline, FERC
The Daily Gazette
Kyle Adams

Megan Holleran, whose family has made headlines in Pennsylvania this week for opposing the clear-cutting of their maple trees for the Constitution Pipeline, traveled to Albany on Wednesday to warn against the same thing happening in New York. The tense, ongoing situation at the Holleran farm is the first on-the-ground standoff as the Constitution Pipeline begins clearing the way for its $700 million natural gas pipeline despite the opposition of many landowners along its route  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Gas Money Gone The mailbox money that was supposed to arrive monthly for 30 years has dried up in the Barnett Shale.
Fort Worth Weekly
Peter Gorman

When the landmen arrived in Fort Worth in 2007, they didn’t promise that every home owner would make a killing from leasing his or her land for natural gas exploration. But they did promise that every house would be getting free mailbox money monthly for 30 to 50 years, maybe a couple of hundred bucks per home, even if that home sat on only a 6,000-square-foot plot.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Fracking, tribal lands, and the Bureau of Land Management: What happens next?
Grist
Aura Bogado

The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota has been home to the Three Affiliated Tribes since 1870, after encroaching colonialism and smallpox compelled the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations to come together. In more recent times, it’s become home to drilling rigs pulling oil and natural gas out of the ground — along with all the trouble that the oil and gas industry brings to tribal communities. Think drug addiction, sexual assaults, and oil spills.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Florida Senator Pulls Plug On Fracking Bill
WGCU
Margie Menzel

The Senate sponsor of a controversial bill about the regulation of "fracking" in Florida withdrew it from consideration Tuesday, saying he didn't have the votes to get through a key committee.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Texas fracking boom hits hard times after oil price collapse
CCTV
Jim Spellman

The center of the U.S. oil industry is in Texas, where fracking helped create the 2nd largest state economy in the United States. Twenty months into the oil price collapse the heart of the oil industry is beginning to break.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Florida drops bill to open fracking in the Everglades after public outcry
The Oklahoman


Environmentalists in Florida are celebrating the failure of an oil industry-backed bill they say would have opened a pathway to fracking in the ecologically sensitive Everglades wetlands.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Questions remain about legality of drilling near lake
The Leader
Chris Roark

The next few weeks will be a waiting game when it comes to how much land near Lewisville Lake, if any, will be auctioned off for natural gas drilling activities.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
David Gray: Shale oil obstructs alternative energy progress
New Castle News


How could it be that for all of the versions of our Safe Water Acts, Safe Air Acts and Safe Drinking Water Acts, fracking has been largely excluded from the scrutiny and safeguards provided in those acts (the so-called Halliburton Loophole)? The two large sources above unequivocally document that some people and livestock will get sick, some fields will be polluted and crops fail, many water sources will be lost and farms and residences impoverished when drilling is done in agricultural zones.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Large Methane Leaks Highlight Ongoing Risk to Climate
Desmog Blog
Justin Mikulka

A new study of the recent methane leak in Aliso Canyon, California confirms that it was the largest methane leak in US history. According to the study, the disaster’s impact on the climate will be equivalent to the effect of annual greenhouse gas emissions from over half a million cars.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Jobs leaking from oil and gas exploration sector as Northern Territory debates fracking moratorium
ABC
Matt Brann

A Northern Territory construction company says it's losing contracts and will shed workers because of Labor's proposed moratorium on fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Fracking unsustainable as Chesepeake Energy closes
Collegian
Nate Larkin opinion

For nearly a decade, government officials in Pennsylvania have allowed fracking companies to exploit our land, our water and our people.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Oklahoma takes action on fracking-related earthquakes — but too late, critics say
Los Angeles Times
William Yardley

They feel them in the little city of Cushing, where a web of pipelines and giant oil storage tanks makes the area a crucial international hub — and vulnerable. They feel them in the time-capsule town of Guthrie, where plaster is cracking in storefronts built in the 19th century. And they feel them in rural Fairview, where cows get loud when pastures move beneath them.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Sean Lennon And Vivienne Westwood's Sons Combine For Anti-fracking Song
Contact Music


An anti-fracking campaign song written by Sean Lennon is to be re-recorded by Vivienne Westwood's son.  [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Sierra Club, Public Justice join dispute over Oklahoma 'frackquakes'
Legal Newsline
Emma Gallimore

OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) — The Sierra Club and Public Justice have added a third lawsuit to the two already pending against energy companies in Oklahoma, alleging that fracking is increasing earthquakes throughout the state.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Legislation Dying In Race To The Finish Line
WFSU
Jim Ash

Some of the most controversial bills of the legislative session are dying as lawmakers rush to complete their work for the 2016 session. The casualties include a fracking bill backed by the oil and gas industry and an agreement with the Seminole Tribe that would have expanded gambling.   [Full Story]

Mar 2, 2016
Texans Remember Late Fracking Magnate's Impact
Texas Tribune
Jim Malewitz

Aubrey McClendon didn’t invent fracking, and he was not the first energy executive to embrace that revolutionary way to fee up oil and natural gas. And the dyed-in-the-wool Oklahoman didn’t live in Texas.   [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
State lawyers to FERC: Leave those New York trees alone
The Daily Star
Joe Mahoney

The state Attorney General's office filed a legal brief with federal regulators Tuesday, arguing that felling trees in New York to clear the path of the Constitution Pipeline would constitute "construction" — an activity that shouldn't happen until the company gets environmental permits. The filing by the state's chief legal authority, the second in a month, comes at a time when the pipeline company, backed by a consortium of energy firms involving in shale gas fracking in Pennsylvania, is pushing hard to get federal and state regulators to allow the $700 million project to move forward.  [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
Commentary: Clean Power Plan is neither clean nor powerful
The Ithacan
Sandra Steingraber

Last December, I attended the U.N. climate talks in Paris as a science journalist. Equipped with a press pass, I had extraordinary access to the goings-on and witnessed a climate change agreement drafted, finalized and approved by virtually all of the world’s nations. Many stars aligned to make possible the success of this 21st attempt at a climate change treaty — not the least of which was the introduction of a process that compelled each of the parties to submit, in advance of negotiations, a proposal for cutting emissions that was specific to its own nation.   [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
EPA Urged to Reject California Plan to Dump Oil Waste Into Underground Water
DeSmogBlog
JUSTIN MIKULKA

Last week the Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking the agency to deny a proposal by California oil officials to turn underground water in the Price Canyon area of San Luis Obispo County into a permanent disposal site for oil wastewater. The state’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources submitted the exemption application to federal officials earlier this month. If the EPA approves the plan to exempt the aquifer from Safe Drinking Water Act protections, oil company Freeport-McMoRan could move forward with plans to drill hundreds of new oil wells in the area. The letter to the EPA argues that the state of California has not taken into account nearby drinking water supplies and allowing waste water injection could contaminate those supplies.   [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
What Are Gov. Cuomo's Motives In Calling For Halt On Natural Gas Pipeline Project?
Forbes
Ken Silverstein

New York is taking another bite at natural gas, this time via a pipeline that would carry the fuel from neighboring states that produce it. Governor Andrew Cuomo says that the line comes dangerously close to a nuclear power plant that has had some serious safety issues and until all that is resolved, he wants regulators to postpone the project.   [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
Exclusive: Newly Released Inspection Reports on Keystone XL’s Southern Route Fuel Doubt Over ‘Safest Pipeline Ever Built' Claims
DeSmogBlog
Julie Dermansky

TransCanada’s claim that the southern route of the Keystone XL Pipeline is the safest pipeline ever built in the in the United States is challenged by the release of new documentation confirming multiple code violations. Daily inspection reports on the construction of the pipeline obtained by the Tar Sands Blockade, an activist group, renew questions about the pipeline’s integrity. Mounting evidence that the pipeline was not built to mandated minimum requirements established by the American Petroleum Institute increases the chances the pipeline will leak or experience a catastrophic spill.   [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
Judge says NO to Kinder Morgan appeal on Palmetto Pipeline
WSAV
JoAnn Merrigan

The Savannah Riverkeeper says score one for property rights in Georgia when it comes to the proposed Palmetto Pipeline and the possible use of eminent domain. A Fulton County Superior Court judge today ruled against Kinder Morgan (the company planning the pipeline.)  [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
Natural gas leaseholders hope to salvage $11 million settlement
The Times-Tribune
Terrie Morgan-Besecker

Concerned Chesapeake Appalachia LLC may file for bankruptcy, natural gas leaseholders included in an $11 million settlement are asking a federal judge to appoint a mediator to resolve a court action filed by the state attorney general’s office that jeopardizes the agreement.   [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
US methane emissions are higher than reported
New Mexico In Depth
Laura Paskus

I know, I know. I keep hitting NMID readers with studies lately. There is so much work being done out there in the wide world—as people study everything from emissions to warming trends—that it would be a shame for New Mexicans to miss out on all this important information. Especially since many recent papers relate directly to the Land of Enchantment: our groundwater, the drier climate, declines in river flows, and the impacts of warming on snowpack and water supplies.   [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
Ex-Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon first to be indicted in federal investigation of oil and gas industry
The Patriot News
Candy Woodall

Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy, was indicted Tuesday for rigging bids to buy oil and gas leases. The scheme occurred in northwest Oklahoma from December 2007 to March 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Justice Department said McClendon's indictment is "the first case resulting from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the oil and natural gas industry."  [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
Fracking Fracas: Sanders Attacks Clinton on Environment
The American Prospect
JUSTIN MILLER

The environmental policy debate between Democratic contenders Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton could soon become much more heated. Leading up to Super Tuesday, a slew of contests that could make or break Bernie Sanders’s candidacy, the Vermont senator has gone on the offensive on the surprising issue of fracking—the controversial method of drilling for natural gas. The campaign last week made several media buys in Minnesota and Colorado for a new ad that touts Sanders as the only candidate who firmly opposes fracking.  [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
Bill Banning Fracking Bans Gets Shut Down In Florida Senate
ThinkProgress
Samantha Page

t wouldn’t have been the first time something like this happened. People in small towns and counties get together, vote, and agree to ban fracking. And then the state legislature comes in and passes a ban on bans. But not this time. The Florida Senate’s Appropriations Committee has finally killed a bill that would have stopped towns from banning fracking, a week after the committee voted the measure down by a 10-9 vote. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Garrett Richter (R) made a motion Tuesday to not consider the bill.  [Full Story]

Mar 1, 2016
Fracking regulation bill withdrawn, likely dead
TC Palm
Arek Sarkissian

TALLAHASSEE -- A bill that would regulate fracking and do away with local bans is likely dead after it was withdrawn from consideration Tuesday during its second chance before the same committee that had rejected it.  [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Companies continue to drill despite low oil and gas prices
Lawrence Journal-World
Associated Press

WICHITA — Contracts with landowners are forcing a small number of companies to drill for oil and natural gas regardless of unfavorable market conditions.  [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Natural Gas Prices Fall to 17-Year Low Weather forecasts for the next two weeks turned warmer
Wall Street Journal
Nicole Friedman

NEW YORK--The U.S. natural gas market faces another year of ultralow prices as winter comes to an end and the start of liquefied natural gas exports has failed to boost prices.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Some Colorado officials support rules on natural gas burning
News Tribune
Associated Press

DENVER More than two dozen elected officials from western Colorado cities and counties have endorsed a federal crackdown on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public land. They sent a letter to federal officials Monday saying the practice causes pollution and robs taxpayers of royalties they could have earned on the gas.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
EPA director warns methane rules will challenge oil, gas
Kallanish Energy


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency director Gina McCarthy vowed to do more to regulate methane leaking from oil and natural gas drilling operations and defended the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Making a Scene: North Dakota native edits anthology on fracking
Inforum
Meredith Holt

The anthology, edited by Brorby and Stefanie Brook Trout, a writer and teacher based in Michigan, features essays, stories and poems by more than 50 authors that explore the complexities of fracking and its effects on American communities, including western North Dakota.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
How the fracking boom could cause Louisiana air pollution to soar
Times Picayune
Jennifer Larino

The nation's stockpiles of cleaner-burning natural gas are overflowing, the result of a shale fracking boom some politicians and scientists argue has helped reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. A new report says Louisiana air pollution may skyrocket because of the shale revolution.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Protecting Our Drinking Water
Huffington Post
Steven Cohen

As America's population grows, people and businesses continue to settle in places that used to be left alone, damaging some of the natural systems that provide and clean our water. In addition, as our infrastructure corrodes, our water supply becomes more susceptible to leaks and contamination.  [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Cuomo: Halt Algonquin pipeline; gov. cites Indian Point
The Journal News
Joseph Spector

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday urged the federal government to halt construction of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline, citing the potential dangers of its proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant. In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Cuomo administration urged the agency to postpone the pipeline until a safety review is completed. Cuomo cited recent problems at the Buchanan, Westchester County, nuclear facility and an ongoing state investigation into a radioactive water leak.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Spectra defies Cuomo: ‘Algonquin pipeline will continue’
The Peekskill Post
BRYAN FUMAGALLI

On Monday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for work on the Algonquin Pipeline to be halted due to its proximity to Indian Point, pending a safety risk analysis by multiple state agencies. On Monday afternoon, a spokesperson for Spectra Energy, the pipeline’s owner, told The Peekskill Post that “Algonquin pipeline will continue with its construction in accordance with its permits and approvals.”  [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Cuomo to feds: Stop Algonquin pipeline for more safety review (updated)
Times Union
Casey Seiler

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, never a fan of the Indian Point Nuclear Facility, has commanded four state agencies — the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Public Service Commission, Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department of Health — to issue a letter calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to “immediately halt construction of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline until a comprehensive safety review is completed.” The pipeline would cut across New York at the Lower Hudson Valley. Entergy and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission have both written to FERC saying that an explosion of the pipeline wouldn’t pose a threat to Indian Point even if it blows up at the closest point to the plant. In October, FERC gave Spectra Energy the OK to begin work on several sections of the project.  [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
There’s a proposed natural gas pipeline next to a nuclear power plant. What could go wrong?
Grist
Katie Herzog

What’s scarier than an aging nuclear power plant? An aging nuclear power plant next to a natural gas pipeline. That could be the new reality for the Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power station located in Westchester County, just 45 miles north of Manhattan. A proposed expansion of a natural gas pipeline across the power station’s property has environmentalists and other groups concerned that an accident could turn the power plant into an unrivaled disaster. It’s a bit like smoking next to a gas tank — a gas tank filed with nuclear fuel near one of the densest population centers on the planet.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Community air monitoring of oil and gas pollution: a survey of issues and technologies
Earthworks
Nadia Steinzor

While the United States has a long history of oil and gas development, the recent rise in activity has been rapid and steep. Between 2000 and 2014, more than 173,000 new natural gas wells went into production, while the average rate of oil production grew nearly 50%.[1] As of 2014, there were more than 1.1 million active oil and gas wells nationwide.[ii]   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Report: Cheap natural gas leads to more plants and pollution
AP The Big Story
Cain Burdeau

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The nation's boom in cheap natural gas — often viewed as a clean energy source — is spawning a wave of petrochemical plants that, if built, will emit massive amounts of greenhouse gases, an environmental watchdog group warned in a report Monday.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Bernie Sanders highlights climate change during Minnesota stop
USA Today
Nicole Gaudiano

MINNEAPOLIS — Bernie Sanders focused on climate change during a rally here Monday, announcing opposition to two pipeline projects that would affect the state.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
Budget: DEP Does Not Have Enough Staff To Meet Needs In Any Of Its Programs
PA Environment Digest


DEP Secretary John Quigley was very direct in telling the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday that his agency does not have enough staff to meet the needs of any of its programs because of persistent and continuous budget cuts over the last decade.   [Full Story]

Feb 29, 2016
PA Faces Losing Control Of Environmental Programs Due To DEP Funding, Staff Cuts
PA Environment Digest


The PA Environmental Council and Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA wrote to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday to raise concerns about the risk of losing control of key environmental regulatory programs to the federal government and courts because of the cuts in funding and staff at the Department of Environmental Protection over the past decade.   [Full Story]