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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
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 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 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 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]

Feb 28, 2016
Gas price drop affects environmental funds
Standard Speaker
Robert Swift

HARRISBURG — The drop in natural gas prices is undermining the revenue flow supporting three state environmental programs. The Oil and Gas Lease Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund and Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund all depend to varying degrees on production-based fees paid by gas drillers or the royalties they pay from drilling wells on state forest land.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Inside the fight to frack Penn Township
Public Source
Natasha Khan

New communities in Southwestern Pennsylvania are still experiencing the ups and downs that occur when fracking comes to town, even though gas prices have declined.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Oil Giant Cuts Budget By 80 Percent And Suspends Fracking
OilPrice.com
Charles Kennedy

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:WLL), the largest oil producer in North Dakota, has announced that it will suspend all fracking in the state and cut its budget for this year by 80 percent in a move that sent its shares up 9 percent on Wednesday, back down to a record low on Thursday, and $4.02 this morning. Across the E&P patch, it’s a volatile game of craps right now that has investors torn between responding positively to spending cuts to weather the oil price downturn, and negatively to the notion that all these companies are doing is narrowly avoiding bankruptcy.  [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Top Drillers Shut Down U.S. Fracking Operations as Oil Prices Continue to Tank
DeSmogBlog
Steve Horn

It was a tumultuous week in the world of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for shale oil and gas, with a few of the biggest companies in the U.S. announcing temporary shutdowns at their drilling operations in various areas until oil prices rise again from the ashes. Among them: Chesapeake Energy, Continental Resources and Whiting Petroleum. Chesapeake formerly sat as the second most prolific fracker in the U.S. behind ExxonMobil, while Continental has been hailed by many as the “King of the Bakken” shale basin located primarily in North Dakota. Halliburton too, the drilling services goliath and namesake of the “Halliburton Loophole” exempting the industry from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act as it applies to fracking operations, has recently announced it will cut 5,000 drilling jobs globally (8 percent of its workforce).   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
PennEast applies for water discharge permit on pipeline
The Morning Call
Christina Tatu

PennEast's application for a 114-mile natural gas pipeline is being reviewed by the Delaware River Basin Commission, one of the many regulatory agencies whose approval is needed for the project to move forward. PennEast has applied for a surface water withdrawal and discharge permit from the DRBC, said PennEast spokeswoman Patricia Kornick.  [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
US shale frackers eye world conquest despite bloodbath
The Telegraph
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Dozens of indebted US shale companies face annihilation over coming months as their hedge protection runs out and creditors pull the plug, but veteran frackers insist defiantly that the slump will not stop the industry's march to world conquest. ADVERTISING "What is happening scares the heck out of you. We're going to see a decimation for the industry, with bodies and corpses all over the place," said Mark Papa, the former head of EOG Resources.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Some Colorado officials support rules on natural gas burning
The Denver Post
Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — 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. The Obama administration proposed new rules last month. The Bureau of Land Management is holding a public meeting on the proposals Monday in Lakewood.  [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Geneseo woman leads charge against fracking
Quad City Times
Doug Schorpp

Crystal Yost has been on a crusade the past three years to educate the public about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Plan to Expand a Pipeline at Indian Point Raises Concern
New York Times
Lisa W. Foderaro

BUCHANAN, N.Y. — Every so often, catastrophes prompt fresh worries about the Indian Point nuclear power plant, whose twin domes loom over the Hudson River about 45 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
George Kerevan: Huge gas leak at Aliso Canyon in California shows the dangers of fracking
The National
George Keveran

The Aliso leak made very little impression in the UK media when it occurred (surprise, surprise). But to put this colossal environmental disaster into context, we are talking about an event on the scale of the BP Gulf oil spillage back in 2010.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Oil Giant Cuts Budget By 80 Percent And Suspends Fracking
Oil Price
Charles Kennedy

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:WLL), the largest oil producer in North Dakota, has announced that it will suspend all fracking in the state and cut its budget for this year by 80 percent in a move that sent its shares up 9 percent on Wednesday, back down to a record low on Thursday, and $4.02 this morning.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Long after the boom went bust, a few Kansas oil and gas drillers still working
Wichita Eagle
Dan Voorhis

With the price of oil and natural gas far below what it costs to drill a well in Kansas, it’s to be expected that oil and gas drilling in the state would grind to a halt. But a few companies are still drilling anyway. There were 21 active rigs in the state in January, down 80 percent from late 2014, according to the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
After gas leak, Porter Ranch homeowners hold their breath over property values
Los Angeles Times
Alice Walton & James Rufus Koren

The capping of a massive gas leak this month brought relief to the Porter Ranch community. But as thousands of displaced residents return to their homes, many are worrying if their property values have taken a big hit.   [Full Story]

Feb 28, 2016
Look for balance in natural gas pipelines
Akron Beacon Journal
Editorial

Low prices are continuing to dampen new drilling for oil and natural gas in Ohio’s Utica Shale. In recent days, the state’s No. 1 driller, Chesapeake Energy, announced a halt in new drilling this year in eastern Ohio. Chesapeake is also calling a halt to new wells in Pennsylvania, where it is the top driller, too.  [Full Story]

Feb 27, 2016
Anti-Fracking Protesters Interrupt Climate Change Event in D.C.
PJ Media
NICHOLAS BALLASY

Anti-fracking protesters interrupted a climate change event at the Center for American Progress, yelling "climate leaders don't frack” at Gov. Tom Wolf (D-Pa.). The moderator of the discussion between Wolf, Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.) and Tom Steyer, founder of NextGen Climate, took just two questions from the audience before abruptly ending the event after the protesters interrupted. The protesters held up signs that said “Gov. Tow Wolf: Ban Fracking Now” with the Food and Water Watch Fund’s logo on them. Pennsylvania remains one of the top gas-producing states in the country.  [Full Story]

Feb 27, 2016
Plan to Expand a Pipeline at Indian Point Raises Concern
The New York Times
LISA W. FODERARO

On Monday, the state plans to notify the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it will take a hard look at the project in light of a series of problems at the nuclear plant since last May. In addition, the state will ask federal regulators to suspend their approval of the project — effectively halting construction — until the study is completed. “I am directing my administration to commence an immediate independent safety analysis of the natural gas pipeline project,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, said. “The safety of New Yorkers is the first responsibility of state government when making any decision.”  [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
Biggest methane leak in U.S. history at old Calif. well
E & E Publishing
Gayathri Valdyanathan & Debra Kahn

The well blowout in Aliso Canyon near Los Angeles was the largest methane leak in U.S. history and could cost the world more than $100 million in climate damage, experts said.   [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
Slowdown in Pennsylvania natural gas industry adds to state budget crisis
World Socialist Web Site
Douglas Lyons

The Pennsylvania natural gas industry, located in the western Marcellus Shale region, has responded to an oversupply and declining gas and oil prices globally by cutting spending, curtailing operations, and laying off hundreds of workers.   [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
Porter Ranch ‘Monster’ Gas Leak Largest in U.S. History
EcoWatch
Deirdre Fulton

The Aliso Canyon natural gas well blowout, which lasted for months and sickened scores of nearby residents, has been confirmed as the largest methane leak in history.   [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
Mark Ruffalo Calls Out Governor Jerry Brown Over L.A.’s Urban Drilling
Vanity Fair
Julie Miller

There are two Oscar-nominated actors this year who have worked tirelessly as environmental activists offscreen—Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio. And on Thursday, four days before the Academy Awards, the brothers-in-eco-arms pulled focus to L.A.’s dangerous practice of urban drilling by embarking on a “toxic tour” of all of the drilling sites in Los Angeles proper.  [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
Coast Guard to review applications to ship fracking waste on Ohio River
Columbus Dispatch
Laura Arenschield

The Coast Guard announced this week that it is pulling its proposal to allow companies to ship fracking wastewater by barge on the Ohio River. The plan was particularly contentious in southeastern Ohio and prompted more than 70,000 public comments.  [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
Lawmakers OK plan to drop coal and natural gas surtax
Register-Herald


CHARLESTON (AP) — West Virginia is looking to drop surtaxes on coal mining and natural gas drilling. The House voted 96-3 Thursday to approve dropping the additional severance tax of 56 cents per ton of coal and 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas. The Senate previously passed the bill, and still would need to vote on House amendments.   [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
Bernie Sanders: 'Hillary Clinton Supports Fracking. I Do Not.'
Daily Kos


“Hillary Clinton supports fracking. I do not.” These words appeared in a recent fundraising email from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, which fiercely attacked fracking and Hillary Clinton’s support from and for the natural gas industry. In blunt language, Sanders contrasted his call for a national moratorium on fracking against Clinton’s fundraising from natural gas investors:   [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
AG: Gas pipeline vet could drain $650G
Boston Herald
Brian Dowling

Attorney General Maura Healey is warning her ?office could waste as much as $650,000 to vet a controversial plan to force electric customers to pay for natural gas pipelines — a proposal that’s facing a challenge in the state’s highest court later this year. “Hundreds of thousands of ratepayers’ dollars will be placed at risk, since the [attorney general’s office] will need to move forward with engaging and paying the consultants and experts,” which would be funded by electric customers, Healey’s office said in a motion to halt the hearings on the contested state plan.  [Full Story]

Feb 26, 2016
Audit faults Federal Railroad Administration for lack of oversight on oil trains
NPR State Impact PA
Susan Phillips

The Federal Railroad Administration lacks a comprehensive risk assessment for crude-by-rail shipments, as well as rail transport of ethane, toxins and poisonous inhalation materials that travel the nation’s tracks. That’s according to an audit released Friday by the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General. The OIG says that in the absence of any clear understanding of the risks, the FRA cannot know whether it has effectively allocated its inspection resources. The audit also faulted the FRA for not pursuing criminal prosecutions, and issuing the lowest possible fines, which the OIG says do not serve as a deterrent.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Senate committee kills fracking bill, but measure could return
Miami Herald
Mary Ellen Klas

TALLAHASSEE Amid growing public opposition to the controversial practice of fracking for oil and gas, a divided Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday rejected a bill to regulate and authorize the technique in Florida beginning in 2017. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 10-9 to reject SB 318 by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, which imposes a temporary moratorium on fracking permits until a study of Florida’s hydrology is completed to determine what potential impact the operations will have on the state’s geology and fragile water supply.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Florida: Bill to Regulate Fracking Fails to Advance
The New York Times
LIZETTE ALVAREZ

A bill to regulate fracking, an oil and gas extraction technique that is relatively new to Florida and vigorously opposed across the state, was voted down on Thursday by a pivotal State Senate committee. The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the measure in a 10-to-9 bipartisan vote. Florida’s extremely porous geology raised fears among environmentalists and Florida residents that well stimulation could more easily lead to contamination of underground aquifers, the source of drinking water for almost all Floridians. The bill, which had passed the House, proposed regulating only two forms of well stimulation in the state but left out a third method, matrix acidizing, that is conducted with low pressure. It also would not require oil and gas companies to reveal all of the chemicals they would put into the ground because some are protected by federal law. The legislation called for a study on the potential effect of well stimulation, but matrix acidizing would not be part of the study. Local governments objected to the legislation because it would prohibit them from banning well stimulation. Nearly 80 counties and cities have passed resolutions or ordinances that banned or opposed fracking. The bill can be called up again in the Senate committee. Well stimulation is not regulated in Florida and does not require a separate permit.  [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
US shale giant quits fracking as OPEC policy bites
Arabian Business
Ed Attwood

One of America’s largest fracking companies, North Dakota’s Whiting Petroleum Corp, has said it will suspend all fracking in the latest sign that OPEC’s policy not to cut oil production is paying dividends.  [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Bid for Worcester councillors to make a stand over fracking is rejected
Malvern Gazette
Tom Edwards

A BID to lobby the Government over fracking has failed to win the support of Worcester councillors - despite fears about a "lack of democracy".   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Fracking Opponents Say Idaho Pols Want to Give Tax Money to Big Oil
Courthouse News Service
Philip A Janquart

BOISE (CN) - Idaho politicians are paving the way for the oil and gas industry to frack the state and spend tax dollars to provide the industry with information it can hide from the public, stripping landowners of property rights and due process, a grassroots coalition claims.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Five Fundamental Failings in Draft Study by DOI of Offshore Fracking and Acidizing in Southern California The large majority of California’s offshore oil platforms (19 of the 23 platforms in federal waters are located in the Santa Barbara Channel
Yuba Net
Environmental Defense Center

February 25, 2016 - As required by EDC’s recent lawsuit settlement, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) (agencies of the U.S. Department of the Interior) on Monday announced the availability of a draft environmental analysis of the use of fracking and acidizing from offshore oil platforms in southern California, including the Santa Barbara Channel. The announcement initiates a 30-day period in which the public may review and submit comments on the document, entitled Programmatic Environmental Assessment of the Use of Well Stimulation Treatments on the Southern California Outer Continental Shelf (deadline of Wednesday, March 23).   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Thumb down: Fracking vote disrespects locals
TC Palm
Editorial

FOUR OF FIVE FOR FRACKING: Four of five local representatives voted in favor of a bill in the state House that would regulate fracking but also nullify existing fracking bans and sharply curtail local control over the controversial practice.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Fracking bills die in Va. Assembly
Journal Press


Both pieces of state legislation that would have exempted ingredients in hydraulic fracturing fluid from public disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Act are dead for this year in the Virginia General Assembly. Senate Bill 706 was struck last week on Feb. 15 at the patron’s request in a state senate subcommittee.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Little Elm files formal protest against Lewisville Lake fracking
Star Local Media
Lorelei Day Iday

The recent buzz around the upcoming sale of a section of Lewisville Lake for drilling activities caused the Little Elm Town Council to file a formal protest to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) opposing the auction.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Frontline Groups React to Coast Guard Decision to Deregulate Fracking Waste
Huntington News


On February 22, front line community groups throughout the Ohio River valley received notification that the U.S. Coast Guard has determined that no new rules are needed to barge shipments of toxic, radioactive hydraulic fracturing waste. The Coast Guard instead decided to proceed using 40-year-old regulations that fail to address unconventional oil field waste from hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Time to protect America’s waters from fracking
Bucks County Courier Times
Editorial--Sharon Guynup

Five years ago, 420,000 gallons of oilfield wastewater engulfed the Johnson ranch in Crossroads, New Mexico. Today, those High Plains pastures are dead, and the family worries about the safety of the aquifer below. This is just one of the many stories of harm done to American land and water by the hydraulic fracturing industry.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Ineos tries to reassure residents about fracking
PRW


Ineos has told a group of residents in an area of North West of England there was no reason why its fracking activities should have an impact on subsidence in the locality.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Shale Drillers Halt Bakken Fracking as Saudis Send Gloomy Note
Bloomberg Business
Joe Carroll

One day after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said it was time for high-cost producers to call it quits, two Bakken shale drillers announced they’re doing just that.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Low oil, natural gas prices lead to delayed completions of wells
The Oklahoman
Adam Wilmoth

Continued low oil and natural gas prices have created numerous strategic challenges for companies throughout the oil patch. For producers, one of the biggest questions is how much oil to recover. Low prices mean lower revenues. As a result, many wells no longer make economic sense.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
W.Va. lawmakers OK
WTRF


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia is looking to drop surtaxes on coal mining and natural gas drilling. The House voted 96-3 Thursday to approve dropping the additional severance tax of 56 cents per ton of coal and 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas.  [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Chesapeake: No New Gas Wells in 2016
WNEP
Dave Bohman

Chesapeake Energy announced that the company has stopped drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania after losing $15 billion last year. Chesapeake Energy's CEO announced its debt, and low natural gas prices are forcing the company to make cutbacks.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Northam wants U.S. to exempt Virginia from offshore drilling
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Andrew Cain

Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, the likely Democratic nominee for governor in 2017, is urging U.S. officials to exclude Virginia from offshore drilling, putting him at odds with other top Democrats in the state on the issue.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
UCI maps methane leaks across Los Angeles Basin
Interret


Hundreds of methane-emitting hot spots have been identified across the Los Angeles Basin, including a “clean ports” truck refueling facility near the Port of Long Beach, power plants, water treatment facilities, and cattle in Chino, according to new findings by the University of California, Irvine. Atmospheric scientists conducted a mobile survey across Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties, and their results, published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, identify the region’s highest emitters. Methane is the second-largest known contributor to global climate change, behind carbon dioxide.  [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Leviathan partners submit natural gas plan aiming for 2019 Leviathan partners hope to have gas start flowing by the end of 2019
The Jerusalem Post
Michelle Malka Grossman

Development of the Leviathan natural gas field is being led by Texas-based Noble Energy, Israel’s Delek Group (through its units Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas) as well as Ratio Oil and Exploration.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Porter Ranch gas leak doubled methane emissions for entire L.A. Basin, scientists say
Los Angeles Times
Amina Khan

Scientists who flew a sample-gathering airplane through the plume of natural gas leaking into the Porter Ranch area have found that while it was ongoing, the nearly four-month leak released more than 100,000 tons of methane -- effectively doubling the methane emissions of the entire Los Angeles Basin. The findings, published by the journal Science, cement the leak as the largest methane leak in U.S. history – and highlight the need for rapid scientific response if and when such disasters do strike.  [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Protest over fracking outside Collier County Government Center
Naples Daily News


Organized by the Stone Crab Alliance, a Naples-based anti-fracking group, protesters said Senate Bill 318, introduced by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, does not go far enough to protect the environment and unjustly strips local governments of their power to ban the oil drilling method.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Fracking stopped in Florida Senate — for now
Palm Beach Post
John Kennedy

A measure which supporters say would provide a framework to regulate hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — in Florida, but opponents denounce as a welcome mat for the high-risk industry was rejected Thursday by a key Senate panel.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Senate chairman says fracking bill will face tough fight on Senate floor over loss of local say
Naples Daily News
Arek Sarkissian

TALLAHASSEE — A key Senate committee chairman said Wednesday a bill to regulate fracking will face a tough battle on the Senate floor because it tosses out local bans on the controversial drilling practice. Sen. Tom Lee, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he believes the bill sponsored by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, is unfair because it strips power from local governments.   [Full Story]

Feb 25, 2016
Battle over fracking in Monterey County intensifies.
Monterey County Weekly
David Schmalz

About a dozen activists gathered in front of the Monterey County courthouse Feb. 23 to announce a proposed ballot measure that would ban, among other things, hydraulic fracturing—commonly known as fracking—within the county.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Colorado fracking activists drop 7 more anti-oil and gas ballot proposals
9 News


DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - Supporters of 11 initiatives aimed at Colorado’s oil and gas industry as of Tuesday have withdrawn eight of the proposals, leaving three still standing.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
ND's largest oil producer suspends fracking, slashes budget after big loss
Inforum
Ernest Scheyder

North Dakota oil producer Whiting Petroleum Corp said on Wednesday it will suspend all fracking and spend 80 percent less this year, the biggest cutback to date by a major U.S. shale company reacting to the plunge in crude prices.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Fracking legislation a bad deal for Florida An anti-fracking protest sign sits in the window of a residential property in Balcombe, West Sussex in the United Kingdom.
Miami Herald


The Florida Senate has a chance to stop fracking in Florida — and it should. On Thursday, Senate Bill 318 will be heard by the the Senate’s Appropriations Committee Senate. A sister HB 191 bill easily passed last month in the House. This is getting scary.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Cheniere Poised to Export First LNG Cargo Today to Brazil
Bloomberg Business
Harry Weber & Jonathan Crawford

Cheniere Energy Inc. expects to ship the first cargo of liquefied natural gas on Wednesday to Brazil with another tanker to be loaded a few days later, marking the historic start of U.S. shale gas exports and boosting its shares to the highest level in a month. The Asia Vision tanker will carry the first shipment of LNG from the company’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, Meg Gentle, president of Cheniere’s marketing unit, said at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Hundreds Of Lawmakers Are Ganging Up Against The Clean Power Plan
ThinkProgress
ALEJANDRO DAVILA FRAGOSO

The Clean Power Plan, which mandates carbon emission reductions in the electricity sector, is having a rough time. First there were the court challenges that began soon after the Environmental Protection Agency published the rule last year. Then, the Supreme Court unexpectedly put it on hold earlier this month as a federal appeals court decides its legality. Now, more than 200 lawmakers opposing the historic regulation say the rule usurps Congressional power to craft climate and energy policy.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Chesapeake Energy stops drilling in Marcellus, Utica shales
Tribune-Review


The biggest shale gas producer in Pennsylvania has stopped drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shales and is planning for less activity in 2016 as it sells off wells and land. Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. said Wednesday it has signed agreements to divest $700 million in gas fields and other assets and plans to sell another $500 million to $1 billion in properties this year while shutting down at least half the drilling rigs it has under contract. The company released the single rig it was operating in Northeast Pennsylvania's Marcellus and the two that were exploring the Utica in Eastern Ohio. Its shale gas production in Pennsylvania fell 14 percent last year compared with 2014, though it remained the top producer, state records show.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Bill requiring compensation for fracking bans dies in Colorado Legislature Democrats kill measure in House panel party-line vote
Durango Herald
Peter Marcus

ENVER – Democrats in the state Legislature on Wednesday killed legislation that would have required local governments to compensate mineral-rights owners in the event of a ban on hydraulic fracturing.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Oregon Set To Pass One Of The Most Ambitious Environmental Bills In Decades
Climate Progress
Natasha Geiling

A bill that would require Oregon’s two largest utilities to phase out coal completely by 2030, coupled with a requirement to double the state’s renewable energy mandate, is working its way through the state Senate after being passed by the House earlier this year. If successful, environmentalists argue that it could represent some of the strongest environmental legislation in the state — and across the country — in decades. The bill, dubbed the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan, passed through the Oregon House on February 15 by a vote of 39-20, and would require both PacifiCorp and Portland General Electric (PGE) — Oregon’s two largest, investor-owned utilities — to stop using coal in their energy mix by 2030. It would also require those utilities to provide at least 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2040. Currently, the state’s energy mandate requires utilities to provide 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. Written largely as a compromise by both utilities and environmental groups, the bill has garnered support from Democratic legislators and some House Republicans. Environmentalists had threatened to push a more stringent proposal in the 2016 legislative session, but during closed-door meetings in January, utilities agreed to throw their support behind the current version of the bill in exchange for environmentalists dropping a proposed ballot initiative that would largely have required utilities to drop coal and switch to a greater share of renewable energy. According to Renew Oregon polling, seven in 10 Oregonians support policies similar to the proposed bill; if it had gone to a public ballot initiative, it could have been a public relations problem for the utilities.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Hundreds Of Lawmakers Are Ganging Up Against The Clean Power Plan
Climate Progress
Alejandro Davila Fragoso

The Clean Power Plan, which mandates carbon emission reductions in the electricity sector, is having a rough time. First there were the court challenges that began soon after the Environmental Protection Agency published the rule last year. Then, the Supreme Court unexpectedly put it on hold earlier this month as a federal appeals court decides its legality. Now, more than 200 lawmakers opposing the historic regulation say the rule usurps Congressional power to craft climate and energy policy. “Congress never authorized EPA to compel the kind of massive shift in electricity generation effectively mandated in the [Clean Power Plan],” said the lawmakers in a court brief filed Tuesday supporting the massive lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan. “If Congress desired to give EPA sweeping authority … Congress would have provided for that unprecedented power in detailed legislation.” Thirty-four senators and 171 representatives signed the amicus brief, including presidential candidates and senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX). All signatories are Republicans, except Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a coal-dependent state. The Clean Power Plan — a cornerstone of President Obama’s climate change initiative — calls for reductions in carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 32 percent over 2005 levels in the next 15 years. This historic rule sets emission standards for states and guidelines to follow, yet it allows states to decide how to comply with the standards. The Clean Power Plan does threaten to impose an EPA-designed plan on states that don’t comply. Supporters say the Clean Power Plan is a major tool to tackle greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming, and that it’s key in meeting emission reductions targets pledged in Paris. For their part, critics say the rule is flawed and too costly for the industry and jobs. “The power plan won’t even meaningfully affect global carbon emissions, and could actually increase emissions by offshoring American manufacturing to countries that lack our environmental standards,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in a statement last year. McConnell is a signatory of the brief.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Chesapeake Energy halting drilling for new wells in Ohio’s Utica Shale
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

Financially strapped Chesapeake Energy Corp. is halting new drilling in Ohio’s Utica Shale. The company, Ohio’s No. 1 Utica driller, announced Wednesday that it does not intend to drill new wells in eastern Ohio in 2016 because of financial constraints.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
7 Things You Need to Know About the Porter Ranch Gas Leak
KCET
Chris Clarke

As of February 18, the massive natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon oil and gas field in the Santa Susana Mountains is declared plugged. Residents of Porter Ranch, the community hardest hit by the catastrophic fossil fuel spill, are preparing to return to their homes, and the state's lawmakers are now deciding whether to make SoCalGas, the owner of the leaking well, close down its Aliso Canyon gas storage operations entirely.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
U.S. energy industry emits more methane than thought: EPA chief
Reuters
ERNEST SCHEYDER

The U.S. oil and natural gas industry emits more methane than previously thought, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said on Wednesday as she defended efforts to curb its output. The regulator last year said it would try to reduce emissions of methane, which is far more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide, by requiring new oil and gas processing and transmission facilities to find and repair methane leaks and for producers to capture or limit methane from shale wells.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
EPA’s McCarthy: “The clean energy train has left the station”
FuelFix
James Osborne

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy warned the world’s energy leaders Wednesday they would need to adapt, shifting away from fossil fuels towards cleaner burning sources like wind and solar power. “The clean energy train has left the station, folks,” McCarthy said at the IHS Energy CERAWeek conference in Houston. “We are really hitting the ground running in 2016. The energy market is shifting and we anticipate taking meaningful climate action.”   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Oil-train opponents want low-income community involved in permit review
Capital New York
Scott Waldman

ALBANY — Opponents of oil trains are asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation to analyze the effects of crude oil terminals at the Port of Albany on a nearby minority and low-income community.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Exclusive: New York asks SEC to force climate vote onto Exxon proxy
Reuters
Ernest Scheyder

New York state's comptroller and four other Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) shareholders asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week to force the oil producer to include a climate change resolution in its annual shareholder proxy, according to a filing seen by Reuters.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Nevada Residents Fight Energy Monopoly's Attempts to Control Solar Power
Truthout
Alexis Bonogofsky

The Nevada Public Utilities Commission's two unassuming office buildings in Carson City and Las Vegas, usually only occupied by attorneys and engineers, are now the staging ground for a populist revolt against monopoly utility NV Energy, owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. Nevadans have turned out in force against new regulations enacted by the three-member commission that effectively wiped out the fastest growing residential solar market in the United States. This is not your run-of-the-mill environmentalist versus industry fight, with government cowering in the corner. This is a conflict that has brought people from all walks of life and all political leanings out in force. It is a struggle that defies categorization and ideology - a struggle that ultimately may decide the future of distributed, people-owned power throughout the nation.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Erin Brockovich on Oklahoma Earthquakes: ‘It’s Fracking, Let’s Just be Honest’
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

Erin Brockovich is speaking out on Oklahoma’s alarming earthquake activity and she’s not afraid to tie the state’s seismicity to a certain industry.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
180+ Infrared Videos Show Methane Pollution All Across America
EcoWatch
EARTHWORKS

Just as the worst methane leak in California’s history is sealed and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledged that America pollutes much more methane than previously estimated, Earthworks—the group that filmed the videos revealing the scope of the methane disaster in Los Angeles County—released a map of 180+ infrared videos of oil and gas methane pollution events across the country.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
High-Profile Trial Begins in Dimock, PA Water Contamination Case
DeSmogBlog
Sharon Kelly

Trial began this week in a case alleging that an oil and gas company contaminated drinking water in Dimock, Pennsylvania. The tiny town is now internationally notorious over claims that drilling and fracking tainted people's drinking water and caused it to become flammable. This lawsuit is the first such case out of Dimock to reach a jury, nearly a decade after many residents of Carter Road, a short stretch of dirt road in the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania, first noticed that their water seemed to have gone bad.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Trial begins for driller sued over fouled Pa. wells
Star Gazette
Associated Press

Trial begins for driller sued over fouled Pa. wells. Opening statements were made in a lawsuit involving Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Chesapeake sells off assets to cover $500 million debt
Star-Telegram
Joe Carroll

Chesapeake Energy said it will pay off the remainder of a half-billion dollar debt that’s coming due in three weeks after raising more than twice as much as planned from asset sales. Shares soared 15 percent. The company has signed agreements to divest $700 million in gas fields and other assets, overshooting the $200 million to $300 million target communicated to investors in December, the Oklahoma City-based shale driller said Wednesday. The company plans to sell another $500 million to $1 billion in properties this year while shutting down at least half the drilling rigs it has under contract.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
State seeing little activity on natural gas leases for forest land
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Laura Legere

Stalled development of natural gas leases on Pennsylvania state forests is mimicking the natural gas industry’s broader downturn in the commonwealth.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Fracking Cases in Pennsylvania Expose the Human Cost of Drilling
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

The environmental costs of fracking, from earthquakes to an alarming rise in methane emissions, has been well reported. The human cost of fracking, however, is not heard often enough. In Pennsylvania, two recent cases in Susquehanna County have put the controversial drilling process at the forefront. As jury selection kicks off in the notorious fracking water contamination case in Dimock against Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, a family of maple syrup farmers in the same northwestern county will potentially lose their trees, and thus their livelihood, to make way for the company’s latest fracking pipeline project, the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline.  [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Pennsylvania fracking trial begins; Two families accuse Cabot Oil & Gas Corp of contaminating water with methane
Lawyer Herald


Cabot Oil & Gas Corp faces a civil trial on Tuesday after two families accused its drillers of contaminating their well water with methane in northeastern Pennsylvania. The families are currently trying to persuade a federal jury to hold the Cabot Oil & Gas Corp accountable. Attorney Leslie Lewis, who represents the two families, told a six-member jury that the company had shown "reckless disregard" for the safety of her clients and other residents in the area, as Reuters reported. Opening statements were made at the outset of the trial, which pits residents in the village of Dimock against one of the largest natural gas driller company in Pennsylvania.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
South Strabane, Range Resources reach agreements on drilling conditions
Observer-Reporter
Karen Zapf

A Washington County judge Wednesday signed off on two consent agreements that end the dispute between South Strabane Township and Range Resources over drilling at the Baumel and Zediker Station West well sites. Each of the agreements signed by Washington County Judge Gary Gilman stipulates 40-plus conditions for Range Resources to drill for natural gas.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Capitol Intrigue Feb. 24
Tallahassee Democrat
Bill Cotterell

Not in my backyard: Wakulla County Commissioner Howard Kessler joined with Sen. Darren Soto Wednesday to urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to reject SB 318. The committee will consider the proposal Thursday. It preempts local anti-fracking ordinances. Kessler said as a doctor he cannot support fracking and as a local elected official he thinks whether or not to frack is a decision that should be made locally.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
UPDATE 2-Whiting slashes budget, suspends fracking; shares jump
Reuters
Ernest Scheyder

Feb 24 North Dakota oil producer Whiting Petroleum Corp said on Wednesday it will suspend all fracking and spend 80 percent less this year, the biggest cutback to date by a major U.S. shale company reacting to the plunge in crude prices.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Senate Dems huddle up to oppose fracking bill
Sunshine State News


After a fire alarm delayed the start of Wednesday’s meeting by almost half an hour, the Senate Democratic caucus finally got down to the task at hand: opposing the Republican-sponsored legislation, particularly an energy exploration bill that has environmentalists up in arms.   [Full Story]

Feb 24, 2016
Fracking’s Secret Sauce
Forward Florida
Dave Cocchiarella

In Florida’s SB 318 offered by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, trade secrets similarly defined by Florida Statute 688 provides oil and gas drillers a grand vault of their own. The bill intends to regulate Florida’s oil and gas resources, requiring permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the disclosure of the chemicals contained in the fracking fluid. The loophole lies in the bill’s exemption of any information subject to chapter 688, trade secrets.   [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
Massive Methane Leaks From Texas Fracking Sites Even More Significant Than Infamous Porter Ranch Gas Leak
EcoWatch
Claire Bernish

After the mammoth methane gas leak that spewed uncontrollably from a damaged well in California’s Aliso Canyon was finally capped last week, residents of nearby Porter Ranch began trepidatiously returning to their homes. Lingering doubts over whether Southern California Gas Company will continue using the underground storage field have left many wondering if concerns for their safety are being considered at all—particularly considering the company has, so far, only been charged with misdemeanor violations.   [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
Anti-fracking group trying to get ban on November ballot
KSBW
Caitlin Conrad

MONTEREY, Calif. —Protect Monterey County announced Tuesday it’s gathering signatures to get an anti-fracking initiative on the November ballot. Activists with the group held a press conference at the Monterey County Courthouse to share why they want to ban fracking in the county and to ask for the community’s support. The big reason Protect Monterey County is against fracking is water.  [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
Aliso Canyon Gas Operations Won’t Resume Anytime Soon
KQED
BRIAN MELLEY?

LOS ANGELES – The gas-storage facility that spewed methane uncontrollably for almost four months, driving thousands of families from their homes, won’t resume operations until it has undergone tougher tests than ever required before, a process that will take months and perhaps even longer. The massive leak near Porter Ranch in Los Angeles drew attention to Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage facility and the larger subject of old energy infrastructure nationwide. It also put heat on the state to speed up tougher new regulations that will outlaw a risky practice that put the well in jeopardy of a blowout.  [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
Residents Explain Why They Settled in Cabot Lawsuit
WNEP
CARMELLA MATALONI

DIMOCK TOWNSHIP -- The issue of contaminated water is now the center of a civil lawsuit filed by two families in Susquehanna County against Cabot Oil and Gas. Opening statements were heard Tuesday in that lawsuit being heard in federal court in Scranton. The families suing Cabot talked with the media on Monday about what they claim is dirty, tainted water that they cannot drink from the taps. They blame the contamination on Cabot's drilling for natural gas, but dozens of other people near Dimock decided not to be part of this lawsuit and instead settled with Cabot.  [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
In Florida, an Unlikely Battle Over Fracking Intensifies
The New York Times
LIZETTE ALVAREZ

MIAMI — With geology akin to a wet sponge and fragile underground aquifers that supply almost all its drinking water, Florida has never been considered part of the agitated battle over fracking as a technology for extracting oil and gas. But that began to change two years ago when a Texas-based oil and gas company was found to have been using hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, and matrix acidizing, a fracking-like method that dissolves rocks with acid instead of fracturing them with pressurized liquid. Neither residents nor local governments knew about it because well stimulation, the catchall term for both techniques, does not require a separate permit and is not regulated.  [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
Coast Guard Drops Controversial Proposal to Ship Toxic Fracking Waste
EcoWatch


In a win for clean water and public health, the U.S. Coast Guard quietly dropped its proposal today to allow barges on the nation’s rivers and inter coastal waterways to transport toxic fracking wastewater. “Shipping thousands of barrels of toxic wastewater down the rivers we drink from was a recipe for disaster,” said Rachel Richardson, director of Environment America’s stop drilling program. “For the sake of our drinking water and our safety, we’re glad to see this bad idea put to rest.”  [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
Gas industry slow to sign up for voluntary methane cuts
Reuters
Valerie Volcovici & Scott Disavino

The head of the U.S. natural gas industry group responsible for persuading companies to voluntarily report their methane emissions says he has not seen - and does not expect to see - a high number of companies participating in the program.   [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
SCIENTISTS DISCOVER PIPELINES BELCHING BENZENE IN EAST HOUSTON
Houston Press
DIANNA WRAY

When researchers piled into vans stocked full of testing equipment and drove around Galena Park and Manchester on the east side of Houston measuring toxic vapors in February 2015, it wasn't exactly a surprise that they picked up benzene in the air. After all, Houston has long grappled with air pollution, and toxic substances like benzene — a chemical that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined causes cancer — have been showing up in neighborhoods near the refineries and other industrial complexes along the Houston Ship Channel for years.  [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
DENIED: Cayuga power plant retrofit
Star Gazette
Andrew Casler

A battle over whether New York State Electric & Gas Corp. customers would have to pay to retrofit Lansing's coal-fired power plant for burning natural gas was settled Tuesday when the state's Public Service Commission rejected the proposal. Along with denying plans for NYSEG customers to foot the bill for retrofitting the plant, the PSC approved construction plans for an electric transmission line, and authorized the sale of the Cayuga and Somerset coal power plants to Riesling Power LLC, an independent power producer.  [Full Story]

Feb 23, 2016
The Biggest Oil Leak You’ve Never Heard Of, Still Leaking After 12 Years
EcoWatch
Tim Donaghy

Far away from TV cameras and under the radar of the nightly news, oil has been continuously leaking from a damaged production platform located just 12 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico—causing an oily sheens on the surface that stretch for miles and are visible from space.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Fracking Pioneer Agrees to Guide Energy Policy for Rubio
Daily News
Daniel McDonald

The co-founder and former chief executive officer of Devon Energy Corp. has signed on to shape energy policy for Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination. Larry Nichols will lead Rubio’s energy steering committee. Nichols, who cut a $50,000 check to the super PAC supporting Rubio in December, also will host a Feb. 26 fundraiser for Rubio in Oklahoma, ahead of the state’s March 1 primary. The oilman, who helped develop the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing along with developer George Mitchell a decade ago, says he is enticed by Rubio’s view that “the path to our energy future is not through regulation but through innovation.”  [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Fossil fuel funded report denies the expert global warming consensus The infamous Heartland Institute has distributed to elected officials a nonsense, non-science report full of denial
The Guardian
John Abraham

We all know about the various organizations that fund or support the climate-change denial industry. Perhaps the best known is the Heartland Institute, which actually puts on climate “conferences” and publishes materials that appear at first glance to be scientifically sound. We who work and follow the climate change science and public discussions know enough to be skeptical about anything produced by groups like the Heartland Institute – their veneer of scientific credibility is very thin.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
The fractured terrain of oil and gas opposition In one of the West's biggest arguments, the battle lines are complicated and opaque.
High Country News
Patty Limerick

The fractured terrain of oil and gas opposition In one of the West's biggest arguments, the battle lines are complicated and opaque.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Federal trial begins in the case of Dimock’s water contamination
State Impact
Susan Phillips

Jury selection begins today in U.S. District Court in Scranton for a fracking contamination case that put the village of Dimock in the crosshairs of the debate over shale gas drilling. Only four plaintiffs remain of the original 44 who filed suit back in 2009. The others have settled with the company, Cabot Oil and Gas.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Majority of Americans support government action on energy security, poll shows
The Daily Texan
Audrey Zhang

A majority of Americans across the political spectrum say government and industry should cooperate to strengthen U.S. energy security, according to the semiannual UT Energy Poll. The poll, released during UT’s Energy Week, surveyed 2,043 Americans on a variety of energy issues including energy security, climate change and hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Science confirms it: Denial of climate change is all about the politics
Washington Post
Chelsea Harvey

...some clarity is being offered in the form of a new analysis published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, which reviews all the existing literature on climate change beliefs and pulls out the broad conclusions that can be drawn from all the combined research. The findings highlight two major ideas about the public’s feelings on climate change. First, the analysis suggests that out of all the personal characteristics examined by scientists so far, political affiliations, worldviews and values were the most significant predictors of a person’s beliefs about climate change. Second — and perhaps somewhat disheartening — a person’s belief in climate change doesn’t necessarily translate into big support for climate-friendly action.  [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
NYC Considers Ban On All Fracking Byproducts
Gothamist
Miranda Katz

New York State banned high-volume hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, in 2014, but the city wants to go one step further and ban all fracking byproducts, making it illegal to discharge, dispose, sell, or use waste produced from hydraulic fracking in the city limits.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Colorado activists set their sights on a ballot measure to limit drilling Previous attempts have been blocked and current regulations disappoint.
High Country News
Joshua Zaffos

Over the past two years, plummeting natural gas and oil prices have caused energy companies in Colorado to lay off thousands of employees, and put state and local governments in a pinch from declining tax revenue. But if you thought this might cool the anti-fracking fever on the populated Front Range, you were wrong.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Study: Methane in Ohio county’s water from coal beds, not fracking
MidWest Energy News
Kathiann M Kowalski

A multi-year study has found that coal beds, not fracking, are most likely to blame for methane found in water wells in an Ohio county. But that doesn’t mean fracked wells won’t cause contamination in the future, said geologist Amy Townsend-Small of the University of Cincinnati.  [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Fracking Pioneer Agrees to Guide Energy Policy for Rubio
Bloomberg Business
Jennfer A Dlouhy

The co-founder and former chief executive officer of Devon Energy Corp. has signed on to shape energy policy for Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Federal Officials Release Cursory Offshore Fracking Risk Analysis Three Weeks After Settling California Lawsuit
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

LOS ANGELES—Three weeks after agreeing to take a hard look at offshore fracking’s threats to California’s coast, the U.S. Department of the Interior has released a draft environmental assessment that fails to answer key questions about the risks of this controversial oil-extraction technique.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Protest Targets Fed Fracking Plan for 5,700 Acres in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas Fracking Could Harm Municipal Drinking Water Supplies
Center for Biological Diversity
Press Release

DALLAS— Conservation groups have filed a formal administrative protest challenging a Bureau of Land Management plan to auction about 5,700 acres of federal fossil fuels in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas for fracking. The protest, filed late Friday, came a day after the U.S. Forest Service, responding to the concerns of conservation groups and local officials, withdrew 31,169 acres of national forest lands in Texas from the same auction, slated for April 20 in Santa Fe, N.M.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Two Pennsylvania families who say fracking fouled water take case to trial
Reuters
David DeKok

SCRANTON, Pa., Feb 22 (Reuters) - Jury selection began on Monday in a federal lawsuit in which two northeastern Pennsylvania families allege that Cabot Oil & Gas Corp contaminated their well water with methane when it began fracking for natural gas near their homes.  [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
'Really impressive' turnout for anti-fracking protest procession
Get Surrey
James Chapple, Charlotte Tobitt

More than 100 anti-fracking campaigners cycled and walked to a controversial drilling site near Horley on Saturday (February 20) to protest the proposed extraction of oil.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Can Colorado activists win anti-fracking measures in 2016? Previous attempts have been blocked and current regulations disappoint.
Colorado Independent
Josh Zaffos

Over the past two years, plummeting natural gas and oil prices have caused energy companies in Colorado to lay off thousands of employees, and put state and local governments in a pinch from declining tax revenue.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Fracking business withstands oil bust by manufacturing farming equipment
KOCO
Crystal Price

FAIRVIEW, Okla. —In the midst of the oil industry’s downturn, many Oklahoma companies associated with oil and gas have been feeling the pinch.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Science Board Checks EPA on Fracking Water Study
Earthworks
Aaron Mintzes

The EPA report is currently undergoing a peer review process from their Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is holding open meetings and has made their initial suggestions available for public comment.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Bid to warn off fracking in Worcester
Malvern Gazette
Tom Edwards

A BID to warn off fracking could be launched in Worcester - amid concerns the city could be stripped of powers to resist the controversial tactic. The Government is considering smoothing the process of securing fracking approval by taking it out of the hands of local planning authorities.   [Full Story]

Feb 22, 2016
Methane Discovered in Drinking Water Near Fracking Wells
TakePart
Padma Nagappan

A Stanford researcher found the highest risk of leaks was from shallow natural gas wells drilled in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas.   [Full Story]

Feb 21, 2016
AMS releases solar powered thermal mass flow meters for remote fracking well site flare gas measurement
Ferret


AMS Instrumentation and Calibration announces the launch of solar powered thermal mass flow meters designed for use in flare gas measurement applications at remote fracking well sites.   [Full Story]

Feb 21, 2016
Fossil fuel emissions behind Australia's record-breaking spring heat, suggests study
The Guardian
Graham Readfearn

A new study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters by Dr Ailie Gallant, of Monash University, and Dr Sophie Lewis, of Australian National University, has come to a conclusion.   [Full Story]

Feb 21, 2016
6 things Bernie Sanders would do to crack down on fracking, even if Congress doesn’t go along
Grist
Ben Adler

Sanders recently called for passing a law that would dramatically scale back fracking on private land by closing the so-called “Halliburton loophole” that exempts fracking operations from the Safe Drinking Water Act.   [Full Story]

Feb 21, 2016
Maple syrup farmers lose fight against fracking pipeline
RT


A family of maple syrup farmers in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania cannot stop their trees being cut down to make way for a new fracking pipeline project owned by billion dollar oil companies, a federal judge ruled Friday.   [Full Story]

Feb 21, 2016
SoCalGas fights against reporting amount of massive Porter Ranch gas leak
Los Angeles Daily News
Mike Reicher

The Southern California Gas Co. is fighting potential state rules that would require it to report how much methane it lost in the catastrophic leak that spewed greenhouse gases into the air above Porter Ranch. In a filing with the state Public Utilities Commission last week, an attorney representing the Gas Co. and other utilities argued regulators were stepping outside their bounds in considering the rules and that utilities don’t know how to measure the amount of methane escaping from major leaks. The state Air Resources Board estimated the broken well at the Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage facility leaked 94,000?metric tons of methane, the same climate impact as roughly 1.7?million passenger cars on the road for a year.  [Full Story]

Feb 21, 2016
Natural Gas Price Increase Inevitable In 2016
Forbes
Art Berman

Every week, the EIA proclaims a new record for natural gas production. But their own forecasts show that the U.S. will be short on supply by October of this year. A price increase is inevitable beginning later in 2016.   [Full Story]

Feb 21, 2016
Editorial: Legislature stomping on local control
Tampa Tribune


It happens every session of the Florida Legislature. Lawmakers, usually at the behest of special interests, seek to gut local regulations and strip cities and counties of their ability to meet residents’ needs.   [Full Story]

Feb 21, 2016
OUR VIEW: Downturn in energy market dims chances for severance tax boost Kasich's bid for severance
Hudson Hub times
Opinion: Marc Kovac

Gov. John Kasich's bid for an increase in the severance tax -- also known as the fracking tax -- on gas and oil production appears to be dead in the water, at least as long as the downturn in energy industry persists.  [Full Story]

Feb 20, 2016
After 10 years, neighbors of a Wilmington oil drilling operation still complain of health, environmental issues
Los Angeles Times
Bettina Boxall & Joe Mozingo

decade ago, Los Angeles city planners gave an energy company permission to drill up to 540 wells and produce up to 5,000 barrels of oil a day on a Wilmington site next door to a youth baseball field and blocks of homes. The next few years were, in the words of one neighbor, "a living hell." People living nearby complained of foul odors, gas flaring, oily dust, round-the-clock noise, diesel truck traffic and foundation-damaging vibrations. They said the fumes made them nauseous, gave them headaches and itchy eyes.   [Full Story]

Feb 20, 2016
Scientists attack their 'muzzling' by government State-funded scientists could be prevented from lobbying for change in their field under Cabinet Office proposals
The Guardian
Robin McKie

Senior scientists have denounced a potential move to “muzzle” colleagues whose findings are disliked by the government. The proposal – announced by the Cabinet Office earlier this month – would block researchers who receive government grants from using their results to lobby for changes to laws or regulations.   [Full Story]

Feb 20, 2016
Government ditches pro-fracking consultant after Sunday Herald investigation
Herald Scotland
Rob Edwards

The Scottish Government has ditched a major contract to investigate the environmental impact of fracking after the Sunday Herald revealed it had been awarded to an avowed supporter of the controversial technology.   [Full Story]

Feb 20, 2016
Maple Syrup Farmers vs. the Constitution Pipeline
EcoWatch
Sandra Steingraber

The civil disobedience movement of which I’m a part, We Are Seneca Lake, opposes the transformation of a beautiful upstate New York lakeshore into a giant storage depot for natural gas from out-of-state fracking operations. To that end, whenever possible, we like to lend a hand to those who are also fighting out-of-state fracking operations, including pipelines.   [Full Story]

Feb 19, 2016
Residents rally against SoCalGas’ Aliso Canyon storage field
Los Angeles Daily News
Gregory J. Wilcox,

State officials have certified that no gas is leaking from the Southern California Gas Co. broken well above Porter Ranch, but that hasn’t stopped activists in the area. They rallied once again Friday night with one demand: to shut down the Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage facility, where not just the now retired well spewed greenhouse gas into the air, but where 114 others have drawn the ire of residents.  [Full Story]

Feb 19, 2016
With policy chief John Hanger's exit, Wolf's 'team of rivals' is no more
The Patriot News
John L. Micek

n a building full of sharp elbows, John Hanger possessed some of the sharpest. But you wouldn't know it to look at him. Wonkish to a fault, the Wolf administration's Policy Czar could come off as a tad rumpled and academic in person. But if you spent more than a couple of minutes in conversation with Hanger, it wouldn't take long for the gloves to come off.  [Full Story]

Feb 19, 2016
More natural gas wells awaiting approval in Penn Township
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jake Flannick

A Marcellus Shale gas drilling company is planning to develop more wells in Penn Township, awaiting approval of the first of several new permit applications to conduct fracking operations in this rural community.   [Full Story]

Feb 19, 2016
California: Natural gas blowout is sealed after four months
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

LOS ANGELES — A blowout at a natural gas well that spewed massive amounts of climate-changing methane for nearly four months and drove thousands of Los Angeles families from their homes has been permanently sealed, state officials declared Thursday.   [Full Story]

Feb 19, 2016
Pennsylvania family fails in court to save sugar maples from pipeline
Reuters
David Dekok

A federal judge ruled on Friday that a Pennsylvania family that runs a maple syrup business cannot stop most of their trees from being cut down to make way for a shale gas pipeline, but he stopped short of charging them with contempt of court. Judge Malachy Mannion of the U.S. District Court in Scranton said his previous order allowing the tree-cutting could not be challenged in court. But he said lawyers for the company building the Continental Pipeline failed to prove the five defendants who own the property were guilty of obstructing the tree cutting.  [Full Story]

Feb 19, 2016
Is Oklahoma's New Earthquake-Reduction Plan Enough to Stop the Shaking?
Inside Climate News
Zahra Hirjii

Following an earthquake swarm that included the state's third-largest quake ever, regulators moved to reduce wastewater disposal by oil and gas producers.   [Full Story]

Feb 19, 2016
Republicans' favorite climate chart has some serious problems As usual, cherry picking and misrepresentations are used to oppose climate policies
The Guardian


The chart, which tries to compare estimates of the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere to model simulations, is full of problems. Its purpose is clear – to make it appear that climate models are unreliable, and thus cast doubt on all of climate science and the tremendous risks posed by human-caused global warming. In other words, its purpose is to undermine climate policy efforts to reduce those risks by slowing global warming.   [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Keep It in the Ground: Author Terry Tempest Williams Buys 1,750 Acres of Oil & Gas Leases in Utah
Democracy Now!


In Utah, more than 100 protesters disrupted a federal auction of oil and gas leases, spontaneously bursting into song until they were forced to leave. Author and activist Terry Tempest Williams, registered as Bidder 19, successfully bought rights to 1,750 acres of land to spare it from fossil fuel extraction. When asked by a Bureau of Land Management official if she was making a "legitimate bid for energy development," Tempest Williams said: "You can’t define what energy is for us. Our energy development is fueling a movement." Terry Tempest Williams joins us from Salt Lake City.  [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Eco groups in Albany to blast Feds over pipeline tree cutting
Times Union
Brian Nearing

Albany Opponents of the Constitution natural gas pipeline on Thursday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to block the project by denying necessary water pollution permits from the Department of Environmental Conservation. The planned $750 million pipeline would carry hydrofracked natural gas from Pennsylvania into New York, crossing through Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties, where gas then could move into the Iroquois pipeline into Canada and New England for potential overseas export. While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the project, it still needs water quality permits from DEC, which has an April deadline to make a decision.  [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Protestors to target Constitution Pipeline at event in Albany
Albany Business Review
Marie J. French

Environmental groups will oppose the construction of the Constitution Pipeline from Pennsylvania to Schoharie County at an event in Albany on Thursday. The Constitution Pipeline would carry natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing, which is banned in New York. The pipeline company got approval from federal regulators on Jan. 29 to clear trees along most of the 25-mile route in Pennsylvania.  [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Tomgram: Bill McKibben, It's Not Just What Exxon Did, It's What It's Doing
Tom Dispatch
Bill McKibben

The time scale should stagger you. Just imagine for a moment that what we humans do on this planet will last at least 10,000 more years, and no, I’m not talking about those statues on Easter Island or the pyramids or the Great Wall of China or the Empire State Building. I’m not talking about any of our monumental architectural-cum-artistic achievements. Ten thousand years from now all the monuments to our history may be forgotten ruins or simply obliterated, while what we’re doing at this very moment that’s truly ruinous may outlast us all. I’m thinking, of course, about the burning of fossil fuels and the sending of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere. It’s becoming clearer by the month that, if not brought under control relatively quickly, this process will alter the global environment in ways that will affect humanity and everything else living on this planet for what, from a human point of view, is eternity.  [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Colorado Supreme Court Considers Legality of Fracking Bans
Heartland
Kenneth Artz

Colorado is on the front lines of a battle between states and local communities who want to ban or impose moratoria on fracking, overriding state control of the oil and gas industry.  [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
A Gas Leak Is Capped, but Neighbors Are Wary
New York Times
Ian Lovett

LOS ANGELES — With a mix of pride and great relief, state officials here announced on Thursday that the leaking natural gas well near the Porter Ranch neighborhood — which over the last four months had pumped thousands of tons of methane and other chemicals into the atmosphere, sickening residents and prompting more than 6,000 households to flee — had finally been capped permanently.   [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
A Texas based company is asking for more time to complete expansion of a gas storage facility
WETM
BOB ROCKSTROH

LMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - A Texas based oil company, Crestwood Midstream, is asking the Federal Regulatory Commission for two extra years to get operational on a project to expand a gas storage facility in the state’s Finger Lakes region. The project was approved federally in 2014 with a May 2016 start date, but the company says they've been delayed because the state hasn't issued an underground storage facility permit.  [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Decision nears on oil and natural gas drilling offshore
Post and Courier
Bo Petersen

Federal regulators are expected to announce in March whether they will propose leasing more offshore oil and natural gas exploration and drilling in the Atlantic, including off South Carolina, say environmental attorneys who are monitoring the decision.   [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Driller cuts back 20 percent of 2016 capital program
Pittsburgh Business Times
Paul J Gough

A big player in the Marcellus and Utica shale is planning to spend $1.4 billion for natural gas drilling in 2016, although that number is about 23 percent less than it spent in 2015. Antero Resources (NYSE: AR) said low natural gas prices were the reason for the reduction but said it is flexible enough to change its drilling plans if prices go up or down.   [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Ohio Senate candidate in GOP primary wants to raise fracking taxes
Columbus Dispatch
Jim Siegel

A Republican Senate candidate in Franklin County says it’s time for legislative action to increase the severance tax on fracking, an issue that remains contentious for Ohio leaders.   [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
FRACKING ON PAPER Shale a focus of new exhibit at WNYBAC
ArtVoice
Jack Foran

rtists’ books with pages of stone—or what looks just like it—and what looks and feels like tissue paper are currently on display at the Western New York Book Arts Center. The stone pages books—shale, slate—are by Timothy Frerichs and have reference to fracking and other techniques in use to drain the last drop of fossil fuel—oil and gas—out of the North American subsurface, and damn the environmental consequences, which we’re complacent about because our heat bills are down, and gas at the pump is less than two dollars a gallon. (And hey, maybe all this fracking revenue will translate into the Bills and/or Sabres making playoffs sometime in the next decade or so.) The tissue paper diaphanous books are by Jill Kambs, and feature drawing and photogravure illustrations by Kambs to inscrutable poetry by Jane Wong in one book and Ellie Schiedermayer in another.   [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Lawsuit Filed Against Companies Fracking In Oklahoma Following Record Rise In Earthquakes
Mint Press News
Jonathon Berman

Oklahoma City, OK – Sierra Club and Public Justice have filed a federal lawsuit against three energy companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in Oklahoma, alleging that production waste from fracking and oil production have contributed to an alarming increase in earthquake activity in the state. The suit comes in the wake of a 5.1 magnitude earthquake on Saturday, which was the third strongest ever recorded in the state. The suit, filed against New Dominion, Chesapeake Operating and Devon Energy Production Company, demands the companies, as a first step, “reduce, immediately and substantially, the amounts of production waste they are injecting into the ground.”   [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Media Zoo anti-fracking demonstrators plead guilty in court
PR Week
Anna Reynolds

Five anti-fracking demonstrators who forced their way into the offices of Media Zoo PR last year have pleaded guilty to aggravated trespass at Hammersmith Magistrates Court.   [Full Story]

Feb 18, 2016
Gas company pleads innocent in massive California methane leak
Reuters


Feb 17 Southern California Gas Co pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to criminal charges it waited three days to report a huge methane leak that has forced thousands of Los Angeles residents from their homes, officials for the company and prosecutors said.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Vaughn Palmer: A lot of hot air in budget’s gas-drilling revenue
The Vancouver Sun
Vaughn Palmer

The $704 million in the budget includes deferred revenue — the real total for the current year is $18 million   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
United States On Path to Becoming Major Exporter of Natural Gas Despite Climate Impacts
DeSmog Blog
Julie Dermansky and Sharon Kelly

The natural gas export industry may grow even more rapidly if the first new bipartisan energy legislation drafted since 2007 passes. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, known as S. 2012, would expedite permitting for LNG export terminals.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Growth of Pa. shale drilling cooled in 2015
TribLive
David Conti & Tory N. Parrish

The growth of Pennsylvania's shale gas production cooled in 2015 as companies dialed back drilling and shut off some wells because of low prices, state data show.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
EPA science panel, in new draft, repeats concerns about fracking report
State Impact PA
Jon Hurdle

A scientific panel that is evaluating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark report on hydraulic fracturing and drinking water issued a second draft of its study on Tuesday, making many changes to language and tone but continuing its earlier criticism of the report’s finding that it found no evidence of a widespread impact on drinking water.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Fracking petition to be submitted to Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire
Stefan Mackley

A PETITION with more than 87,000 signatures opposing fracking in Wiltshire will be submitted to the county council next week. Campaigners are asking the local authority for a delay on any form of oil or gas extraction in Wiltshire until a local environmental assessment is carried out.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Hundreds sign Fracking petition
Leek Post & Times


Hundreds of people have signed a petition opposing fracking in North Staffordshire. Campaigners are concerned about a controversial practice coming to the area after licenses to frack were awarded for parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands, Newcastle and Stoke-on-Trent. The petition – calling on the Government to revoke the licences – has attracted 392 names so far.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
US 'likely culprit' of global spike in methane emissions over last decade
The Guardian


Harvard study shows 30% rise across the country since 2002 with peaks coinciding with shale oil and gas boom, reports Climate Central   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Southfield spars with church over plans for oil well
Detroit Free Press
Bill Laitner

The newly elected mayor of Southfield has walked a picket line to block petroleum drilling in his city, joined the City Council in passing back-to-back bans on it, and on Wednesday night, expects scores of residents and carloads of environmentalists from other counties to be on his side at a public hearing.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Florida lawmakers struggle with local governments over who should have more control on some issues
Naples Daily News
Jeff Schweers

TALLAHASSEE — Each session of the Legislature is a tug of war between Florida lawmakers and local governments over home rule, revenue sharing and unfunded mandates.  [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Big Oil could be hit with a wave of oil company bankruptcies
Grist
Katie Herzog

A new report by the auditing and consulting firm Deloitte warns that a third of publicly traded oil companies could go bankrupt this year. Auditors looked at 500 natural gas and oil production companies around the globe and found that 175 are at high risk of going under. Collectively, the companies owe more than $150 billion to creditors.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Drilling downturn hits Marcellus Shale industry hard
State Impact PA
Marie Cusick

The sound of humming drill rigs has been tapering off lately. It’s been happening for a while, but this year, the industry is going through a particularly rough patch. Drillers are laying off workers and cutting spending in the face of low natural gas prices.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Lawsuit Filed Over Oklahoma’s ‘Fracking’ Earthquakes as Its Third Largest Quake Is Felt in 7 Other States
EcoWatch
Lorraine Chow

The Sierra Club and the public interest law firm Public Justice have filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against three energy companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, in Oklahoma.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
EPA Science Advisors Buck Enviro Pressure And Affirm ‘Fracking’ Is Safe
Daily Caller
Michae Bastasch

Environmental Protection Agency science advisers affirmed the agency’s findings of no “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water” from hydraulic fracturing operations, despite reports from liberal media outlets claiming scientists disagree with EPA’s landmark report.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
New bills would increase fracking safeguards
ABC 10


LANSING — A package of bills addressing the use of high volume hydraulic fracturing to harvest oil or gas reserves- commonly known as “fracking” – was introduced to the Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Air-quality monitoring at issue for Wayne Co. task force
Detroit Free Press
Eric D. Lawrence

The head of a newly formed Wayne County Commission environmental task force wants to return air-quality monitoring to county control.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Petroleum industry argues against more regulation
Journal Star
Don Walton

Representatives of the gas and oil industry told a legislative committee Wednesday that there is no demonstrated need for additional regulation of their operations and no evidence that drilling has led to groundwater contamination in Nebraska.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Huge Methane Spike in US “Coming From Fracking”
Price of Oil
Andy Rowell

One of the main arguments that the pro-frackers put forward about adopting the controversial technology is that it is a clean, secure fuel that can be used to bridge the gap between dirtier fossil fuels and cleaner renewable energy. However, the industry’s critics argue that that this position has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Tighter Fracking Disposal Regs Heard; 18-Year-Old Officeholders Debate Continues
NET
Fred Knapp

In the Nebraska Legislature, oil industry representatives opposed a plan to tighten regulations on the disposal of fracking fluid in the state; while debate continued on allowing 18-year-olds to hold elective office.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Fracking could be a freaking disaster here
WFTV


Charlotte, Florida — The oil fracking bill sailed through the Florida House but is meeting some resistance in the Senate -- as well it should. Let’s hope senators like Charlie Dean, Anitere Flores and Tom Lee will continue to oppose putting Floridians’ health and safety at risk.  [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Lee commissioners oppose state ‘fracking’ bill
Naples Daily News
Maryann Battle

Lee commissioners have rejected a state senate bill that aims to regulate an oil drilling method known as "fracking." In a letter dated Tuesday, they ask a Senate committee to reject SB 318. Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, sponsored the bill.  [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Encana: 'We stand behind agreement' with Erie on fracking
Erie News
Whitney Bryen

Encana Oil and Gas will stand behind an operator agreement with the town of Erie despite questions that arose after the state's regulating body refused to back some of the terms.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Oklahoma Wants 40% Cut in Fracking Wastewater Burial to Counter Dramatic Increase in Earthquakes
AllGov
Daniel C. Houston

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma oil-and-gas regulators on Tuesday issued their most far-reaching directive yet in response to a surge in earthquakes by asking the operators of nearly 250 injection wells to reduce the amount of wastewater they inject underground by 40 percent.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Book with Iowa connection examines use of ‘fracking’ in oil drilling
Radio Iowa
Matt Kelley

The controversial oil drilling technique known as “fracking” is the subject of a new book called, “Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America.”   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Natural Gas Likely To See $5 Within 2 Years
Seeking Alpha
Darian Frost

Natural gas prices in the United States have hovered around $2-3 for months now. As crude prices have nosedived, many traders have taken that as a cue to take natural gas further down as well. I believe this thinking to be flawed, and that natural gas prices will rebound over the next year to $4-6 per million btu.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Senators wade into debate over Nebraska oil, gas regulations
Washington Times
Grant Schulte

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - An effort to impose new regulations on Nebraska’s oil and gas industry drew support Wednesday from environmental advocates but opposition from company officials, who say the proposals are unnecessary and redundant.  [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
The Biggest Natural Gas Discovery Of 2016 Just Got Bigger
Oil Price
Dave Forest

International natural gas is shaping up as one of 2016’s most interesting spots in energy. Given that prices in many world markets are still running high, even as valuations for E&Ps subside. And one of those markets is in Southeast Asia — where the year’s most interesting natgas drilling discovery just got a whole lot more substantial.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
What is fracking and what are the dangers?
Express
Alice Foster

ENVIRONMENTAL activists are campaigning against fracking and want to prevent drilling in the UK. But what is it?  [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Fracking fears prompt protests over leasing near lake
Athens Daily Review
John Austin

North Texas cities, from Highland Village, population 15,500, to Dallas, are protesting plans to auction federal lands for gas-well exploration around a lake that supplies drinking water to millions.   [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Dem candidates mull issues, split on fracking ban at forum
Athens News
David DeWitt

The biggest disagreement between the two Democratic candidates vying for the nomination to run to replace state Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany in Ohio’s 94th House district came over the issue of oil-and-gas fracking during a public forum Tuesday night.  [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
LNG plant could wipe out salmon in northern B.C., Russian researchers warn
National Observer
Charles Mandel

The pink salmon runs in Aniva Bay, once among the largest largest in the world, collapsed after Shell built its LNG facility on the Russian island of Sakhalin in the late '90s. There's no conclusive evidence that the plant is linked to the the collapse of the salmon fishery and the LNG plant was 30 kilometres away from the closest, important spawning river, but Dimitry Lisitsyn — a Russian scientist visiting British Columbia — said the plant had a “significant and sometimes catastrophic impact on the very many species.”  [Full Story]

Feb 17, 2016
Methane-Spewing U.S. Linked to Global Surge in Potent Greenhouse Gas
Common Dreams
Andrea Germanos

New research has linked the United States to the massive rise in global methane emissions. Bobby Magill reported on the Harvard University study at Climate Central on Tuesday. Using satellite data, the researchers found that methane emissions in the country rose over 30% over the 2002–2014 period, and that increase "could account for 30–60% of the global growth of atmospheric methane seen in the past decade," the study's abstract states. Though the study does not attribute the increase in the U.S. to a particular source, Magill notes that the rise coincided with the fracking boom.  [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Coalition of US states pledge to accelerate renewable energy efforts
The Guardian
Oliver Milman

Bipartisan accord signed by governors of 17 states sets out commitments to expand energy efficiency and use more solar and wind generation for electricity   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Fracking Operation May Have Triggered the 4.8 Earthquake, Canadian Regulators Say
Inquisir
Dawn Rapple

A hydraulic fracturing operation near Fox Creek was shut down last month after a magnitude 4.8 earthquake hit the area, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator. The regulator ordered the shutdown of the Repsol Oil & Gas site located 35 kilometers north of Fox Creek. Carrie Rosa, spokeswoman for the regulator, said that the company is working with the regulator in order to make sure all environmental rules are followed and that “the company has ceased operations … and they will not be allowed to resume operations until we have approved their plans.”   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Bay County Commissioners ban fracking in the county
WJHG


BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Fracking has led to lower gas prices, but the practice also comes with huge risks to the environment; risks that Bay County commissioners are not willing to take.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Bay County Commission says 'hell no' to fracking
News Herald
John Henderson

The Bay County Commission on Tuesday sent an emphatic message to state legislators who are pushing laws that would give the state — instead of counties — the final say on fracking: Mind your own business.  [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Greens sue 3 fracking companies over Okla earthquakes
The Hill
Timothy Cama

A pair of environmental groups is suing three oil drilling companies over their responsibility for thousands of earthquakes in Oklahoma.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
As Obama’s Team Explores for Shale Gas Fracking Solutions, Stanford University Weighs InBy
Environmental Leader
Ken Silverstein

When it comes to drilling for natural gas, the Obama administration is also exploring for answers. And it has concluded that the best way to ensure safer hydraulic fracturing is for the federal government to increase its oversight.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Time is running out to stop fracking
Tallaassee Democrat
Howard Kessler Opinion

Time is running out for the people of Florida to let their legislators know they expect them to protect Florida from a fracking proposal that will threaten our health, our water supply, our property values, our right to govern our counties and our quality of life.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Legislation to let companies keep fracking ingredients secret gets District 28 Sen. Stuart’s vote in Richmond
The Journal


One of two bills moving through committees of the state’s General Assembly session that would keep fracking fluid ingredients secret is moving ahead to a full committee of the senate.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
With fracking, ride-hailing, state lawmakers challenge local control
Tampa Tribune
Jeff Schweers

TALLAHASSEE — Each session of the Legislature is a tug of war between state lawmakers and local governments over home rule, revenue sharing and unfunded mandates. Most people don’t notice, or at least they don’t see it in these terms.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Environmental Groups File Fracking Lawsuit Against Three Energy Companies Operating in Oklahoma
ENews Park Forest


Oklahoma City, OK –(ENEWSPF)–February 16, 2016. Sierra Club and Public Justice have filed a federal lawsuit against three energy companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in Oklahoma, alleging that production waste from fracking and oil production have contributed to an alarming increase in earthquake activity in the state.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
BP’s Rosy Long-Term View of US Fracking and Tight Gas/Oil
Metal Miner
Stuart Burns

Following on from our post Monday reporting on BP’s forward-looking Global Energy Outlook report we thought, with the current turmoil in the fracking industry bought on by OPEC induced low prices, it would be interesting to look at what the oil major has to say about the prospects for that business model.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
No coal, no fracking: end fossil fuel production on UK soil by 2020!
Ecologist
Guy Shrubsole

The government makes bold claims about tackling climate change and phasing out coal power stations, writes Guy Shrubsole. Yet it's 'relaxed' about two huge new coal mines that would produce ten million tonnes of coal, blighting landscapes and afflicting the health of vulnerable communities. It's time to say no to all onshore fossil fuel production.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Dozens attend Oxted anti-fracking meeting
Surrey Mirror


More than 70 people attended an anti-fracking meeting in Oxted on February 6. Organised by the Surrey Against Fracking group, subjects discussed included a simple guide on fossil fuels, pollution and health hazards of fracking, UK decarbonisation targets, shale oil exploration and the true costs of fracking.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Forge Creek, Wy Yung in East Gippsland take anti-fracking stance with gas field-free declaration
ABC News


More than 70 communities around Victoria have said they oppose onshore unconventional gas mining and exploration. A parliamentary committee inquiry last year into unconventional gas exploration was unable to reach a consensus on whether to impose a permanent ban on the sector.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Environmental groups sue oil companies over Oklahoma earthquakes
KFOR


OKLAHOMA CITY – As Oklahoma leaders continue to contemplate what to do about the rise in earthquakes in the Sooner State, a pair of environmental groups have filed a lawsuit.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Video: Mark Ruffalo talks about David Cameron anti-fracking plea at BAFTAs
Belfast Telegraph


Mark Ruffalo spoke on the red carpet of the BAFTAs last night over his recent plea to David Cameron over fracking.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Companies Over Rising Quake Risks
Bloomberg Business
Kartikay Mehrotra

The Sierra Club weighed into the controversy over fracking and increased earthquake risk with a lawsuit accusing a Chesapeake Energy Corp. unit, Devon Energy Production Co. and New Dominion LLC of triggering tremors in Oklahoma and Kansas.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Second Review of EPA’s Fracking Study Urges Revisions to Major Statements in Executive Summary
EcoWatch
Wenonah Hauter

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) independent Scientific Advisory Board Members of the Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel released today a second review of the U.S. EPA’s draft assessment saying that that they still have “concerns” regarding the clarity and adequacy of support for several findings presented in the EPA’s draft Assessment Report of the impacts of fracking on drinking water supplies in the U.S.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Oklahoma agency calls for wastewater cuts to stem quakes
Washington Post
Daniel C. Houston

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma oil-and-gas regulators on Tuesday issued their most far-reaching directive yet in response to a surge in earthquakes by asking the operators of nearly 250 injection wells to reduce the amount of wastewater they inject underground by 40 percent.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Energy secretary says California gas leak a symptom of age
Fuel Fix
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A major gas leak near Los Angeles has brought attention to the nation’s aging energy infrastructure and points to a need for new gas storage regulations, the U.S. energy secretary said Tuesday. Secretary Ernest Moniz visited the site of the Southern California Gas Co. well blowout to learn lessons to help frame a multiagency approach to improving safety at energy facilities nationwide.  [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Europe Seeks Alternatives to Russian Gas Imports
New York Times
James Kanter

BRUSSELS — European Union authorities on Tuesday stepped up efforts to reduce reliance on Russian natural gas as the two sides face off over a litany of geopolitical disputes, from the conflict in Ukraine to the civil war in Syria.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Study Ties U.S. to Spike in Global Methane Emissions
Climate Central
Bobby Magill

There was a huge global spike in one of the most potent greenhouse gases driving climate change over the last decade, and the U.S. may be the biggest culprit, according a new Harvard University study. The United States alone could be responsible for between 30 percent and 60 percent of the global growth in human-caused atmospheric methane emissions since 2002 because of a 30 percent spike in methane emissions across the country, the study says.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Aliso Canyon gas leak exposes infrastructure vulnerabilities across country
Los Angeles Times
Alice Walton

Crews are within days of declaring that a leaking gas well in Aliso Canyon has been sealed, but the impact of the environmental disaster that began last fall will continue to be felt now that it has exposed how much work America has to do to protect itself from aging infrastructure, the U.S. Energy secretary said Tuesday in a visit to the San Fernando Valley.  [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Why 175 Oil And Gas Companies Could Go Bankrupt This Year
Think Progress
Katie Valentine

About a third of U.S. oil and gas production and exploration companies are at high risk of going bankrupt in 2016, according to a new report.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
As Obama’s Team Explores for Shale Gas Fracking Solutions, Stanford University Weighs InBy
Environmental Leader
Ken Silverstein

When it comes to drilling for natural gas, the Obama administration is also exploring for answers. And it has concluded that the best way to ensure safer hydraulic fracturing is for the federal government to increase its oversight.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Flower Mound protests lease of land for drilling near lake
Star Local Media
Chris Roark

The Flower Mound Town Council on Monday approved a resolution to protest the proposed sale by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BML) of minerals near the Lewisville Lake area for natural gas drilling.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
With oil prices at rock-bottom, Louisiana companies that depend on drilling are in survival mode.
Business Report
David Jacobs

Even in the midst of the worst oil industry slump in 30 years, the company remains reasonably profitable, he says, but only through painful cost-cutting. They’ve had two rounds of layoffs since rig counts started falling at the end of 2014, reducing their workforce from 100 to about 70.   [Full Story]

Feb 16, 2016
Pipeline company seeks court order to remove tree protesters
Times-Tribune
Terrie Morgan-Besecker

A pipeline company blocked from cutting down maple trees at a Susquehanna County family business seeks a court order to allow state police to remove protesters preventing it from clearing the land.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Drillers may use hydro power, but natural gas will still be burned
Alaska Highway News
Opinion

Energy Minister Bill Bennett is quoted saying “electrifying natural gas projects is “a pretty significant benefit to British Columbians” because it cuts emissions.” Nonsense.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Star: ‘Fracking in county would be an injustice’
Blackpool Gazette


Amidst all the glamour of the movie awards season, Hollywood A lister Mark Ruffalo shone the spotlight on fracking in Lancashire. The actor, nominated for best supporting actor at the BAFTAs last night, wore a ‘Frack Free Lancashire’ badge on the red carpet.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Fracking research contracts tendered after SNP reject motion calling for complete ban
The National
Stefan Schmid

THE tendering of the first set of research contracts to study the potential effects of fracking in Scotland has been announced. It was confirmed at the weekend that four separate bodies will research elements of the fracking process, including seismic damage, effects on the economy and transport and the decommissioning of drilling sites.  [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Dirty Water or Dirty Politics? The Fracking Connection
A New Domain
Jim Kelly

As evidence showing how fracking potentially contaminates drinking water mounts, the pressure is on public officials to balance public vs economic welfare. Jim Kelly reports.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Teaching assistant spends half-term fighting against fracking
2BR


An inquiry into why fracking applications were refused in Lancashire will enter its second week on Tuesday.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Shallow fracking wells contaminate drinking water, warns US scientist
Climate Change News
Alex Pashley

A kitchen tap catching fire in 2010 documentary Gasland highlighted the risks of the US shale boom, and energised a movement of anti-fracking activists. Amid the controversy, does living near a gas or oil well really affect your drinking water?   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Fracking and polluting of democracy
Lancashire Evening Post
Darryl Morris

As a B Double tanker truck rumbles through the once quaint town of Dickinson, North Dakota, en route to collect the spoils of the earth below, the debate about fracking Lancashire rumbles through the newspapers and council chambers of home; although debate may be a strong word.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Why fracking’s a burning issue
NT News


THERE are some big issues facing the Territory. At the moment, there are few bigger than the fracking debate. The issue implores us to find a middle ground between the jobs onshore gas can provide and the environmental concerns that have been raised by activists. It has split both political parties down the centre and there’s no sign of an easy fix.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Oklahoma Earthquake Gives More Impetus To Fracking Fears
Oil Price
James Burgess

Oklahoma was struck by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake on Saturday, the third-strongest quake ever recorded in the state, which has experienced a surge in seismic activity in recent years, feeding ongoing fears about the connection to hydraulic fracturing.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Scientists, Environmental Activists Question EPA’S Broad Conclusion On Fracking Scientific reviewers are challenging part of agency’s draft report
C&EN
Jessica Morrison

The public is looking to the Environmental Protection Agency to provide accurate and clear information about the safety of hydraulic fracturing as a method to drill for oil and gas. EPA is compiling the most comprehensive report to date on the impacts of fracking on drinking water. Federal lawmakers and state regulators are expected to use the document as they set policies for the extraction practice.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Keystone XL Pipeline, Meet Oklahoma Earthquakes
Clean Technica
Tina Casey

Last month the Intertubes began buzzing with news that the notorious Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline is stirring back to life, so now would be a good time to revisit the rise of fracking-linked earthquake hazards in Oklahoma. The two intersect because the Keystone XL pipeline would be part of a larger project involving the major oil hub of Cushing, which happens to in the region of much of the earthquake activity in the state — and it happens to be a national security hotspot, too.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
The Australian river so polluted it boils with methane gas - and BURNS when you hold a match to the bubbling water
Daily Mail


A river with mysterious bubbles exploding from the surface has been photographed being set on fire and is said to smell like 'dead fish.' Pictures of the Condamine River near Chinchilla in Queensland's Darling Downs region by local landowner John Jenkyn show bubbles bursting from beneath the water.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Main Factors That Are Dragging Global Oil Prices Down
Sputnik News


Over the last two years, global oil prices have dropped by nearly two-thirds. Here is a list of the main factors which have transformed the global energy market.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Scalia’s death changes outlook on Clean Power Plan
Midwest Energy News
Ken Paulman

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death means it is more likely that key EPA rules that aim to curb climate pollution will be upheld. (Climate Central)   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Watch: Chester anti-frackers throw victory party
Chester Chronicle
David Holmes

Anti-fracking opponents threw a Valentine's Day party with a difference to celebrate an energy company pulling out of two sites earmarked as test drill sites for coal bed methane (CBM) exploration.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Climate scientists more concerned than dare say
Gisborne Herald


Dr Glikson, an earth and paleo-climate scientist, says many climate scientists are privately more concerned about the consequences of global warming than they dare to say. His article claims distraction and intimidation by a relentless campaign against climate scientists. They tend to avoid any statements that might get them labelled “alarmists”. It’s the old story of bullying and harassment, not unlike America’s post-war McCarthyism — the anti-communist, witch-hunting era.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Democrats' US Senate race heats up over natural gas industry
The Herald


HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — In Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate Democratic primary race with few differences over issues, jousting over natural gas drilling is providing an opening. It began in recent days among three Democrats seeking to challenge Republican incumbent Pat Toomey.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
Drilling and fracking debate firing up in Lewisville
Fox 4


LEWISVILLE, Texas - Gas and oil leases for some land on Lewisville Lake are about to be auctioned off by the federal government. Monday night, council members joined a growing list of local governmental agencies opposing any oil and gas drilling on the shore of and under Lewisville Lake. It’s a source of drinking water for millions and a lake with a problem dam.   [Full Story]

Feb 15, 2016
New York’s Recent Renewable Energy Goals a Step Backward in Climate Fight
Green Education & Legal Fund
Mark Dunlea

While Governor Cuomo has positioned New York as a national leader on climate change, his goals are weaker in several ways than those adopted seven years ago by Governor Paterson.   [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
State OKs Ahtna plan to drill for gas near Glennallen
Alaska Dispatch News
Alan Bailey

Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas has issued a notice approving the drilling of the Tolsona gas exploration well by Ahtna Inc., the Native regional corporation for the Copper River region. The planned well is in state land about 11.5 miles west of Glennallen. As part of its conditions of approval, the state requires status reports on the drilling project in May and November of each year.   [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
Bill to Ban Hydraulic Fracking Fails First Hurdle in State Legislature
KELO
Marnah Lee

(Pierre, SD) - A bill to ban hydraulic fracking failed its first hurdle in the state legislature. Fracking involves putting high pressure fluid in a well to fracture rocks underground in order to increase oil and natural gas extraction. Those who oppose fracking say the process hurts the environment and threatens water resources.   [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
Does living near an oil or natural gas well affect your drinking water?
Eurekalert


"The answer to that question is usually 'no,' but there are exceptions," said Stanford Professor Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford University, and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Precourt Institute for Energy.   [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
For Valentine’s Day, Democrats Want To ‘Break Up’ With Fracking Photo of Andrew Follett
Daily Caller
Andrew Follett

Michigan Democrats want to celebrate Valentine’s Day by “breaking up” with hydraulic fracturing by introducing a bill to ban it across the state.   [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
Stanford professor finds that fracking doesn't always, but can affect drinking water.
inverse
Liz Tracy

Nothing says romance quite like fracking. Amirite? Well, at least on this Valentine’s Day, the potentially dangerous well-stimulation technique was the focus of a discussion at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.   [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
Study Shows Americans Think Science Is Cool National Science Foundation finds that American public perception of science and technology is pretty darn positive.
Inverse
Liz Tracy

But while it’s pretty obvious that science and technology are essential parts of our society, there is now a study by the National Science Foundation that proves that most Americans’ perception of science and scientists are actually favorable. Research also showed that they believe that the benefits outweigh the negatives when it comes to science and that technology will open more doors for future generations.  [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
Democrats Call For Fracking Regulations
WSJM


Fracking companies would operate under new rules and regulations under legislation introduced by Democrats in the Michigan House. State Representative Christine Greig says the package of bills would go a long way in protecting the state’s most vital industries.   [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
Justice Scalia’s Irreplaceable Views on CO2 and Climate
The New York Times
ANDREW C. REVKIN

Tens of thousands of words will flow in the coming days on the significance of the life and death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia at a Texas resort. Adam Liptak leads Times coverage here. His death came just a few days after an unprecedented move by the court put a roadblock in the way of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan regulating carbon dioxide from power plants. (David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council does a good job here of dissecting the meaning of the stay in the context of a broad suite of factors driving greenhouse gas reductions in the United States.)  [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
California’s gas leak is finally capped, but the next disaster could be right around the corner
QZ
Corinne Purtill

Engineers have finally staunched a leaking gas well in southern California’s Aliso Canyon. Since the leak was discovered four months ago, the well has bled 96,000 metric tons of methane, the equivalent of running an extra 505,000 cars on the road for a year.  [Full Story]

Feb 14, 2016
Aliso Canyon was major pollution source before massive leak
inewsource.org
Ingrid Lobet & Mike Reicher

Even before a catastrophic well failure turned Aliso Canyon into an international greenhouse-gas pariah, the natural gas storage facility was one of the industry’s worst climate polluters. Carbon dioxide flowed from its heavy machinery, and methane seeped from valves and equipment.  [Full Story]

Feb 13, 2016
California Capped a Massive Methane Leak, but Another is Brewing — Right Here in Texas
Texas Observer
Naveena Sadasivam

The Aliso Canyon Oil Field, a natural gas storage facility in southern California, spewed an estimated 96,000 metric tons of methane into the air over the last four months, before it was temporarily capped this week. At its worst, the leak, which has been likened to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was responsible for a 25 percent increase in the state’s daily methane emissions. It also pushed hundreds of residents of the nearby Porter Ranch neighborhood out of their homes and prompted California’s governor to declare a state of emergency. But a comparable climate disaster brewing in Texas has received far less attention from regulators and the media — perhaps because there isn’t a single huge leak to point to. Every hour, natural gas facilities in North Texas’ Barnett Shale region emit thousands of tons of methane — a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide — and a slate of noxious pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and benzene.  [Full Story]

Feb 13, 2016
Mark Ruffalo: There’s No Fracking That Can Be Done Safely
EcoWatch
Mark Ruffalo

This weekend I have the pleasure and honor of coming to London for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for Spotlight, a film honoring the victims of a terrible injustice and celebrating exceptional journalism that brought the story to light. I’m also taking this opportunity to lend my voice to residents of Lancashire who are fighting to prevent another kind of injustice, drilling and fracking in their neighborhoods.   [Full Story]

Feb 13, 2016
Why the federal government agreed to halt offshore oil fracking in California
Daily Breeze
Sandy Mazza

The first federal study of offshore hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses greater quantities of hazardous chemicals than traditional oil extraction methods, is now underway because of a lawsuit brought by an environmental organization with offices in Los Angeles and Oakland.   [Full Story]

Feb 13, 2016
SNP Government walks into row by announcing research into fracking
Herald Scotland


SCOTTISH Ministers have announced three controversial pieces of research into fracking, fuelling fears the Government will back the disputed energy extraction method after the election.   [Full Story]

Feb 13, 2016
Oklahoma hit by magnitude 5.1 and 3.9 earthquakes
The Guardian
Reuters

Two earthquakes, one with a magnitude 5.1 and the other of 3.9, struck northern Oklahoma on Saturday morning and were felt through much of the state. No damages were immediately reported, the US Geological Survey and local media said.   [Full Story]

Feb 13, 2016
Dems’ US Senate race heats up over natural gas industry MARC
Pittsburgh Star Gazette
Marc Levy

HARRISBURG, Pa. – In Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate Democratic primary, where there are few differences over issues, jousting over natural gas drilling is providing an opening.   [Full Story]

Feb 13, 2016
N. Texas cities ask fed officials to cancel drilling leases
Star-Telegram


Some North Texas cities and environmental groups have asked federal officials to halt plans to allow gas drilling under a lake that’s a drinking water source for millions and has a dam cited by the Army Corps of Engineers as being in hazardous condition.   [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
CAMPAIGN 2016: Pa. Dems squabble over fracking -- and guess who's for it?
EE News
Jnnifer Yachnin

In the battle for Pennsylvania's competitive Senate seat this fall, candidates have spent recent weeks squabbling about the future of hydraulic fracturing in the state as well as taking aim at each other over campaign contributions tied to the energy industry.   [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Colorado anti-fracking measures: 1 down, 10 remain
9 News
Denver Business Journal

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - A ballot proposal asking Colorado voters to ban fracking will be pulled from consideration for the 2016 ballot, according to a member of the group that filed the proposal in December.   [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Leaking Well Temporarily Plugged as New Questions Arise About SoCal Gas’ Actions
InsideClimate News
Phil McKenna

A relief well succeeded in stemming the flow of methane, but the gas company has not halted the flow of criticism for its handling of the leak.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Trial Date Nears in Fracking Suit Against Cabot
Bloomberg
Bruce Kaufman

Feb. 9 — A seven year-old fracking suit by dozens of Pennsylvania homeowners allegedly harmed by Cabot Oil's natural gas drilling operations will advance to trial Feb. 22 in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The rebuttable presumption that a well operator is presumed responsible for pollution of a water supply within 1,000 feet of oil or gas operations will apply to this case, Judge Martin C. Carlson's Feb. 5 opinion said. The court rejected Cabot's argument that the presumption, from 58 Pa. Const. Stat. Ann. §3218, only applied to administrative enforcement actions brought by the state.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
A sign of what’s in the pipeline? Some area activists show solidarity to Pa. sugarers
The Recorder
Richie Davis

The plastic tubing that collects sap from sugar maples at the Holleran family’s maple operation in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County is the only pipeline the family wants to see cutting through their 23 acres, but a tree-cutting crew is poised to clear a path for the 125-mile-long Constitution gas pipeline. So far the family and friends have kept tree-cutters at bay. But following a Jan. 29 partial notice by federal regulators to proceed with nonmechanized tree cutting, those crews began cutting last week near the New Milford, Pa., sugarbush, located at Mile 5 of the planned natural-gas line that’s already starting to be built to Wright, N.Y., as part of the 416-mile-long Northeast Energy Direct project.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Williston Farmer Reacts to the Second Saltwater Spill on his Land in One Year
KXNEWS


Over the last few years, farmers in the western part of North Dakota have had a front-row seat to the effects of the oil boom. One of the most concerning issues has been saltwater spills. Ben Smith speaks to a Williams County farmer who knows all too well how bad they can be. It's the first week of the year and the first thing that farmer Ronald Sylte sees when driving across his land is a construction crew digging a hole in the ground. "They're cleaning up a saltwater spill, brine spill they call it. Sure be nice if somebody would tell me," says Ronald Sylte, a Williams County Farmer About 180 barrels of saltwater spilled on a 50 foot section of farm land. Saltwater coming from oil production.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Despite Supreme Court Decision, Clean Energy Revolution Continues to Grow
EcoWatch
Mary Anne Hitt

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear—while the Supreme Court’s decision to put a temporary hold on the Clean Power Plan was disappointing, it won’t revive the fortunes of the coal industry, slow the transition to clean energy or cripple progress toward meeting the climate commitment the U.S. made in Paris last year. Tuesday’s decision means the Supreme Court is temporarily pausing the Clean Power Plan from going into effect, while the courts consider the merits of the case. As that legal process unfolds, likely into 2017, something else will continue unfolding as well—the steady progress of the Sierra Club and our allies to retire coal plants and replace them with clean energy. As we outlined in a report released late last year, our strategy gives us a pathway to meet our climate targets, even as the Clean Power Plan makes its way through the courts.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
SoCalGas fixes gas leak that gushed methane into Los Angeles for 16 weeks
The Guardian
Associated Press

Though well needs to be permanently sealed and inspected, announcement marked first time leak has been under control since it was reported in October A blowout at a natural gas well that gushed uncontrollably for 16 weeks and drove thousands of residents from their Los Angeles homes was plugged on Thursday, a utility said. The leak is expected to cost Southern California Gas Co, a division of Sempra Energy, at least $250m, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While the well still needs to be permanently sealed with cement and inspected by state regulators, the announcement marked the first time the leak has been under control since it was reported 23 October.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Bills would halt Michigan fracking, require chemical cocktail disclosure
The Ann Arbor News
Garret Ellison

LANSING, MI — It's not us, fracking. It's you. House Democrats want Michigan to dump high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial oil and gas extraction practice that some lawmakers want to temporarily halt until updated regulations are passed in the wake of a failed petition drive last year to place a statewide ban on the 2016 ballot. Democrats say that, while vertical fracking has been used for years in Michigan, the newer technique of horizontal fracking requires updated regulations that better address the chemicals and massive volumes of water used in the process.  [Full Story]

Feb 12, 2016
Bluegrass Pipeline loss big win for landowners
Courier-Journal
James Bruggers

The Kentucky Supreme Court has let an appeals court decision stand that only regulated utilities can use the power of eminent domain to get land for pipelines.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
High court emissions ruling won't deter clean energy drive
Reuters
Valerie Volcovici & Scott Disavino

The U.S. power sector's shift toward burning less coal and using more natural gas and renewable energy will not be derailed by the Supreme Court ruling against the Obama administration's limits on carbon emissions, state regulators and utilities said on Wednesday.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Porter Ranch gas leak stopped, officials say
Los Angeles Daily News
Gregory J. Wilcox,

The massive gas leak at Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage field above Porter Ranch that since October has forced an estimated 15,000 residents to flee the communityhas been halted, SoCalGas officials declared today. “We have ... begun the process of sealing the well and permanently stopping the leak.” said Jimmie Cho, SoCalGas senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity, and SoCalGas incident commander. “I was very glad we achieved this for the community and our customers. And I am most pleased that we did it without any safety incidents with the workers who have been working on this from day one.”  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Here’s What Happened to the Exxon-funded EU Think Tanks After It Pledged Not To Fund Climate Denial
DeSmogBlogUK
Kyla Mandel

This is the second part of DeSmog UK’s series mapping Exxon’s ties to EU think tanks and lobby groups. Here we explore what happened to Exxon’s EU think tank ties after it pledged to stop funding climate denial. Pressure is mounting on ExxonMobil to explain why the oil giant funded climate denial around the world years after its own scientists established global warming was real. Exxon has a long history of funding climate denial and last September it was revealed that it did so despite a full scientific knowledge about the impacts of manmade climate change in the 1970s’ and ‘80s. This prompted the New York Attorney General to subpoena ExxonMobil to “determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business.” A similar investigation has also been launched in California. These revelations tell us what Exxon knew. The investigations in New York and California are asking ‘what did Exxon do?’   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Gas Free Seneca And Supporters Rally In Albany
WNEP
Logan Wilson

Albany, N.Y. (WENY) -- A coalition of business owners, local politicians and the group Gas Free Seneca were in Albany Thursday to reiterate there stance against liquid petroleum gas being stored along Seneca Lake. They represented more than 400 businesses that oppose the gas storage plan. "We implore the Governor to take a precautionary approach that evaluates the independent science, and the potential negative impacts to our economy, the environment and public health when making a decision about this ill-conceived plan," said Yvonne Taylor, the Vice President of Gas Free Seneca. The coalition has fought against Texas based company Crestwood Midstream storing LPG & natural gas at their facility in Reading. Finger Lakes winery owner Rick Rainey joined the coalition to tell the Governor that storing gas at Crestwood goes against everything he and his father have accomplished in New York's wine industry.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
SCOTUS Conservatives Give the Kochs What They Want and Ruled Against Humanity
Politicus


It is curious that although America generally has pathetically poor voter participation in elections, a couple of state primary elections are more than sufficient to distract the public’s attention from extremely important news. Tuesday night, or Wednesday, were no different and while people were intent on the results of one small state’s primary results, they missed the news that the Koch-surrogates on the Supreme Court issued a ruling that reveals their contempt for the Earth’s population; like typical Koch Republicans.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Even President Obama is freaking out about these fracking earthquakes
Raw Story
Sarah K. Burris

President Obama signed an executive order last week that has gone largely unnoticed by the mainstream media. The order amended the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 which was originally intended “to reduce the risks of life and property from future earthquakes” in all 50 states. This was before hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” became a common practice for oil and natural gas drilling. Since fracking has become more popular, earthquakes have increased from single digits in the early 2000s to 584 quakes in 2015 alone.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
CRBI hosting public information meeting about fracking in Floyd County on Feb. 18
Rome News-Tribune
Press Release

The Coosa River Basin Initiative will host an informational meeting on Thursday, February 18 for local property owners to better understand their mineral rights and to discuss concerns associated with fracking, a controversial drilling technique used to extract fossil fuels found in underground shale formations.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
The Latest: Fracking tax not on legislative leaders' agenda
WRAL


Republican and Democratic leaders of the state legislature say now is the not the time to change Ohio's tax on oil and gas drillers, saying it could be problematic to the industry.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
State democrats to present new bill package on high volume fracking
WLNS


LANSING, MI. (WLNS) – New drilling projects and pipelines crossing the state have brought the topic of fracking into the minds of Michigan residents.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Conservationists aim to stop lease sale, worried about fracking in East Texas national forests
Red River Radio
Kate Archer Kent

Dozens of environmental and conservation groups from East Texas and across the nation are calling on the Bureau of Land Management or BLM to stop an April 20 sale of federal oil and gas drilling leases on more than 36,000 acres, mostly in Texas.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Natural Gas Becomes a Fracking Mess
Floyd County Times
Emily Schwartz Greco

The Porter Ranch disaster may erase the industry’s undeserved reputation as a clean energy source.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Is Detroit becoming a national dumping ground for hazardous waste?
MLive
Gus Burns

DETROIT, MI -- Balancing economic growth with environmental safety is often precarious. Theresa Landrum lives in the Detroit's Delray neighborhood, once dubbed the most polluted area in Michigan.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
8 Things California Gov. Brown Doesn’t Want You to Know
EcoWatch
Linda Capato Jr.

One year ago, we did something pretty dang incredible. Over the course of a few months, we coordinated a massive march and rally to highlight that fracking is not only insane and dangerous, but that our water, our climate and our communities in California are in danger from fossil fuel extraction and suffering as a result. More than 8,000 people converged in Oakland for the largest-ever mobilization against fracking in U.S. history.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Chesapeake Energy Corporation Collapse May Have Domino Effect on US Pipeline Companies
Business Finance News
Sam Hanson

US midstream oil pipeline companies might be at risk, as oil producers look to restructure their debts. Many of these companies are master limited partnerships (MLP), which charge toll from the exploration and production (E&P) sector to move and store their oil and gas supplies. These have long-term contracts with the E&P companies, such as Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK), one of the largest gas exploration business. On Monday, the Chesapeake stock fell as low as $1.51 a share, as it was rumored to hire Kirkland and Ellis, a law firm, to restructure its $9.8 billion debt. This created tension for the midstream oil companies, as Alerian MLP (NYSEARCA:AMLP), an index for oil and gas pipelines, fell 10% during the same day trade.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Sullivan County Legislator Wants County Study on Compressor Station
TWC News
Jackson Wang

Sullivan County may soon be taking a closer look at the potential impact of a natural gas compressor station in Eldred. TWC News' Jackson Wang has the latest. MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- Sullivan County Legislator Nadia Rajsz is asking the county attorney to draft a resolution for a study on the potential impact of a compressor station in Eldred. This comes after several residents spoke out against the planned facility, which is linked to the Millennium pipeline. “The studies will include all of the emissions ... [and] that they will study the chemicals that are being emitted and their adverse effects on health,” Rajsz said. She says towns in that area have drafted their own resolutions calling for full environmental and health impact studies. Now she's hoping the county will do the same. The study would be conducted by an independent group, approved by both the county and Millennium. "With this resolution, we can impress upon Millennium that they need to do some studies, health assessment studies, and hopefully just not put the compressor station in there," Rajsz said.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Landowners win eminent-domain case against defunct Bluegrass Pipeline proposal
Lexington Herald-Leader
JACK BRAMMER

FRANKFORT Landowners who had opposed efforts to put a natural gas liquids pipeline across 13 Kentucky counties were victorious Thursday in the Kentucky Supreme Court. The state’s highest court decided not to review a May 2015 ruling from the Kentucky Court of Appeals that said Bluegrass Pipeline LLC did not have the power of eminent domain because it was not a utility regulated by the state Public Service Commission. Since the Supreme Court decided not to review the appeal, the appellate court’s decision stands, said Tom FitzGerald, attorney for Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
17 House Democrats Introduce ‘Keep It In the Ground Act’ to Prohibit New Fossil Fuel Extraction on Public Lands
EcoWatch
Stefanie Spear

Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and 16 other members of Congress introduced today the Keep it in the Ground Act. If passed, the bill would reduce carbon emissions by permanently barring new fossil fuel leases on all federal public lands and in federal waters.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Environmentalists protest pipeline with Valentine's Day cards
Buck County Courier Times
Kyle Bagenstose

As the saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. But which is more useful to protest pipelines: turmoil or tulips? Environmentalists tried the latter this week as they continued their quest to have the Delaware River Basin Commission hold an expansive review of the proposed PennEast pipeline. Groups including the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Clean Air Council and the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club arrived at the DRBC’s February meeting carrying bouquets and oversized Valentine’s Day cards signed by opponents of the proposed 114-mile pipeline. The meeting was held in Washington Crossing State Park, Upper Makefield.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Lawyers suggest oil firms could be litigated like Big Tobacco
E & E Newswire
Robin Bravender,

A Democratic senator and several lawyers today suggested that oil companies could be treated like Big Tobacco in court. Sharon Eubanks, a former Justice Department attorney who won a major victory against tobacco companies in a racketeering case, thinks the fossil fuel industry could be treated similarly. "Exxon Mobil funded climate denial around the world years after its own scientists had established that global warming was real," Eubanks said today at an event hosted by the American Constitution Society in Washington, D.C. "Its campaign of misinformation was one that it conducted not alone, but through an association with others to help carry out its message of doubt even though its internal documents and records made clear that Exxon's own scientists had concluded that carbon pollution caused climate change and other environmental harms and continued to dispute scientific findings linking carbon pollution and climate with the knowledge that their assertions were false," added Eubanks, who now works at Bordas & Bordas. Eubanks said oil companies could be held liable -- as were tobacco companies -- under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. "To do so would not be overreaching," she said.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
California's New Methane Rules Would Be the Nation's Strongest
InsideClimate News
Lisa Song

California resident testifies at a public hearing over efforts to stop the Aliso Canyon methane leak, which has drawn attention to the wider issue of methane leaking from oil and gas production. Credit: David McNew/Getty Images California proposed new regulations to curb methane from the oil and gas industry last week, adding momentum to a state and federal push to reduce emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas. If enacted, California's rules would be the strongest in the country, outpacing similar efforts from the Obama administration and several other states, said Dan Grossman, an expert on state oil and gas programs at the Environmental Defense Fund.  [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Phila. judge: Pipeline suit can proceed
Philadelphia Inquirer
Michaelle Bond

A Philadelphia judge has ruled that an environmental advocacy group and Delaware County landowners can proceed with legal action to try to stop Sunoco Pipeline from using eminent domain for its latest project. "This is a great victory for Pennsylvania residents and landowners," Joseph Otis Minott, executive director and chief counsel of the Clean Air Council, said in a statement Wednesday. Sunoco is expected to appeal the ruling to Superior Court   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Pipeline opponents welcome court ruling on challenge to eminent domain
State Impact PA
JON HURDLE

A Philadelphia judge ruled that a legal challenge to Sunoco Logistics’ use of eminent domain for construction of its Mariner East 2 pipeline can go ahead despite the company’s call for the court to dismiss the case.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
No shale natural gas or oil deposits in Cumberland County, samples show
Fayette Observer
Andrew Barksdale

Soil samples taken last spring in Cumberland, Hoke and Scotland counties indicate there are no oil or natural gas deposits deep below the ground, the state's Department of Environmental Quality says.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
ONGC aims for new drilling contracts in cost-saving drive: Sources
Reuters


Oil and Natural Gas Corp hopes to agree new cheaper drilling contracts for its western offshore fields, two sources involved in the matter said, in its biggest ever cost-saving drive in response to lower crude prices.   [Full Story]

Feb 11, 2016
Highland Village to send letter protesting gas lease at Lewisville Lake
Star Local Media
Chris Roark

But they are well aware of the concerns that many residents have of the potential impacts. Tuesday, the council approved a resolution to protest the Bureau of Land Management auctioning off 259 acres of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property on Lewisville Lake for gas drilling activities.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
What does the Supreme Court's emissions regulation freeze mean?
Christian Science Monitor
Ben Thompson

The US Supreme Court's decision on Tuesday put the brakes on the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. But this likely will not be the high court's last word on the matter.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Town to draft resolution opposing Millennium Pipeline
Times Herald Record
Andrew Beam and Steve Israel

ELDRED - The Highland Town Board on Tuesday night directed its town attorney, Michael Davidoff, to draft a resolution opposing the Millennium Pipeline Company compressor station proposed for the southwestern Sullivan County town. The reason was concern about potential health impacts. The directive came at a meeting attended by about 50 opponents of the compressor station, including members of the new organization formed to oppose it, Sullivan County Residents Against Millennium (SCRAM). The compressor would sit between other compressor stations in the Town of Hancock in Delaware County and one in the Town of Minisink in Orange County, which has generated strong opposition.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
From Self-Driving Cars To Clean Energy, Obama Lays Out His Plan For A Climate-Smart Economy
Climate Progress
Natasha Geiling

President Obama sent his final budget proposal to Congress Tuesday, and there’s a lot in there for environmentalists to love. Of the $4.1 trillion in proposed spending, more than $47 billion would be spent on programs related to the environment and climate change, from expanding climate resilience to greening the nation’s transportation system. “We have made great strides to foster a robust clean energy industry and move our economy away from energy sources that fuel climate change,” Obama wrote in his introduction to the budget, outlining advances that have been made in renewable energy in the past few years. “Despite these advances,” Obama continued, “we can and must do more. Rather than shrinking from the challenge, America must foster the spirit of innovation to create jobs, build a climate-smart economy of the future, and protect the only planet we have.” Most, if not all, of these budget proposals are unlikely to pass through a Republican controlled Congress, so the document is more of an outgoing presidential wish-list than a hard-and-fast road map for the future. Still, here’s a breakdown of just how Obama’s proposed budget would create a climate-smart economy and a more sustainable national infrastructure: Greening the transportation sector while taxing oil One of the primary targets of the 2017 proposed budget is the transportation sector, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions — the second-highest sector behind electricity.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Fighting Fracking in Brazil: Images From an Ongoing Struggle
EcoWatch
Luis Afonso rosario, Nicole Oliveira, Jenny Zapata & Paulo Lima

Last December, the anti-fracking movement celebrated an important victory in Brazil. A federal judge in the city of Cruzeiro do Sul, State of Acre, ordered the suspension and cancellation of all oil and gas exploration activities, including fracking, in Juruá Valley, a region recognized as the most important stronghold of the last uncontacted indigenous peoples in the planet.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
California Farmers Irrigate Crops With Chevron’s Oil Wastewater in Drought-Stricken Central Valley
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

When most people think of California, the first images that probably come to mind are the state’s sun-soaked beaches, the Hollywood hills and the fog-drenched Golden Gate Bridge. But a new documentary web series, Spotlight California, wants to show viewers the California you don’t see on postcards. The five-part series, hosted by actress and comedian Kiran Deol, is investigating the impact of drought, water and air pollution, and gas price gouging in California.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Lease auction draws fire Area city leaders concerned over dam integrity, water safety
Denton RC
Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

News that federal oil and gas leases under Lewisville Lake have been scheduled for auction caught many local officials by surprise. But they are wasting little time in deciding their preliminary position on the matter.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Placing the Clean Power Plan in context
Washington Post
Jonathan H. Adler

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a stay blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations controlling greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants under the Clean Air Act. Under the stay, the EPA cannot take actions to implement or enforce the CPP until pending legal challenges against the rule are resolved in the courts. These cases are currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. As a follow-up to last night’s post about the stay, this post is intended to provide more background on the underlying legal issues. One thing this post should make clear is that while the Supreme Court’s action is, in many respects, without precedent, so too is the CPP. It is not only the most ambitious climate-related initiative undertaken by the EPA, but it also relies upon unprecedented assertions of legal authority. And, to be clear, by “unprecedented” I mean just that — without precedent. This is not the same thing as saying that a specific argument or action is unlawful or wrong, only that it raises new legal questions that courts have not had cause to answer before.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Adams County Decides To Temporarily Pause Fracking
Colorado Public Radio
Grace Hood

Adams County Commissioners have decided to temporarily pause oil and gas development in urban areas. The move comes as some companies are seeking to develop wells in more urban areas.   [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Movie Review: 'Split Estate' explores drilling and private land
Ruidoso News
Lisa Maue

The purchase of property does not guarantee complete ownership. Under the Stock Raising Homestead Act (SRHA) of 1916, surface rights belong to the owner of land patented under the SRHA, but not the mineral rights that lie beneath that land. The result is a split estate and this film explores what happens when energy companies come onto private land to drill for natural gas.  [Full Story]

Feb 10, 2016
Farmington tops U.S. in unemployment rate jump
Farmington Daily Times
James Fenton

Local economic development and oil and gas industry officials all agree on the cause: The collapse of crude oil prices over the last year on the commodities market hit the local economy — which relies heavily on the oil and gas industry — particularly hard.   [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Living On Top Of Forgotten Oil And Gas Wells
Wyoming Public Media
STEPHANIE JOYCE

[FASCINATING STUFF; THE ONE CLEARLY ABANDONED WELL I SITE-VISITED. IN WESTERN NY, WAS SIMPLY A 20 INCH HOLE IN THE GROUND SET OFF BY ORANGE SNOW FENCING. I WAS TOLD IT WAS FOUND WHEN OPERATORS WERE FRACKING A SMALL STRIPPER OIL WELL SEVERAL HUNDRED FEET AWAY AND THE ABANDONED HOLE BLEW OUT. THIS RUINED THE FRACK AND THE DRILLER ABANDONED THE NEW WELL AND JUST LEFT, LEAVING THE OLDER HOLE. THE speculation is that many such older wells had their pipes pulled for scrap and that ny has probably 30,000 to 40,000 such old wells, probably mostly unplugged (pa is thought to have as many as 200,000 such old undocumented wells).]  [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Cape Coral votes to ban fracking in city limits
News-Press
Frank Bumb

Cape Coral joined the growing list of municipalities and local governments opposed to fracking at Monday evening’s meeting. By a vote of 7-1, Cape Coral voted to ban fracking within its city limits. Met by a standing ovation from members of the crowd, the ban is a direct challenge to legislation being debated by the state legislature in Tallahassee. There, Senate Bill 318 and House Bill 191 would – among other effects – prohibit local governments from banning fracking within city limits.  [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Highlights of Gov. Tom Wolf’s second state budget proposal
Centre Daily Times
Associated Press

HARRISBURG Highlights of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s spending plan for the 2016-17 budget year that starts July 1: NATURAL GAS: Imposes a new tax on natural-gas production — 6.5 percent of value — to generate $218 million. Effective Jan. 1. INSURANCE PREMIUMS: Imposes a surcharge of 0.5 percent of premiums to fire, property and casualty insurance to generate $101 million. Effective Jan. 1.   [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Gov. Brown's Cozy Ties to Oil & Gas Is a Threat to California's Coast and Democracy
EcoWatch
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr

Gov. Jerry Brown has been quietly maneuvering to oust the California Coastal Commission’s outspoken director, Dr. Charles Lester, during the commission’s quarterly meeting in Morro Bayon tomorrow. Brown’s campaign to unseat Dr. Lester is an unsheathed assault on that agency’s integrity and a dire threat to the California coast. It is also an audacious display of industry power. The coastal commission has a regulatory authority over all permits, licenses and funding approvals for projects impacting coastal resources, including offshore oil and gas development.  [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Markey: gas pipeline firms want to 'use New England as a throughway' for international export
The Republican
Mary Serreze

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey lashed out at the U.S. Department of Energy for approving the export of domestic natural gas via pipeline to a Canadian shipping port on Friday, saying the move "would be a disaster for our consumers and our region" because it would link New England energy prices to international markets. Markey said the Feb. 5 announcement regarding the Goldboro Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Nova Scotia confirms his view "that the ultimate goal of some natural gas pipeline proposals" is to "use New England as a throughway to export U.S. natural gas to Canada and ultimately to overseas markets" instead of helping residents.  [Full Story]

Feb 9, 2016
Supreme Court whacks Obama’s Clean Power Plan
Grist
Julia Lurie

In a setback for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked one of the president’s key climate initiatives. The Clean Power Plan, issued by the U.S. EPA last summer, requires states to cut power plant emissions — the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gases — by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The regulations are expected to revamp the energy industry in the coming decades, shutting down coal-fired plants and speeding up renewable energy production. But 29 states, together with dozens of industry groups, sued the EPA, claiming the plan was “the most far-reaching and burdensome rule the EPA has ever forced onto the states.”  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
TruStar Energy expands compressed natural gas stations
Akron Beacon Journal
Bob Downing

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- TruStar Energy, one of the nation's leading developers of compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations, announced today that the company completed 41 stations for public and private use in 2015, almost doubling the number of CNG stations from 2014, and bringing total completed stations by TruStar Energy to 120. This was accomplished during this period of unusually low oil prices.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Tinicum Conservancy makes strategy for removing gas leases
The Intelligencer
Christopher Ullery

Upper Bucks County landowners who want to remove an oil and natural gas lease from their deed can now get help through a plan developed by the Tinicum Conservancy.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Mark Ruffalo to David Cameron: Fracking Push Is ‘Enormous Mistake’
EcoWatch
Cole Mellino

Actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo warned in a video message to UK Prime Minister David Cameron that he was making an “enormous mistake” by “going all out” for fracking.   [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Many Chemicals Used in Texas Fracking Remain a Mystery
5BNCDFW
Susan Carroll & Matt Dempsey

For the past five years, biochemist Zac Hildenbrand has investigated potential links between unconventional drilling and water quality, collecting thousands of samples throughout the major shale plays in Texas.  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
A vow to fight any attempts to bypass locals on fracking
Northumberland Gazette
Ben OConnell

A north Northumberland councillor ‘condemns with all his might’ any attempt by the Government to exclude local people from decisions on fracking. R  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
@EPA Missed Thousands of Water Complaints After Telling Public Fracking is Safe
Public Herald
Melissa Troutman

In September 2015, Public Herald published a groundbreaking report about the release of thousands of citizen complaints related to water contamination from unconventional oil and gas mining – or ‘fracking’ – in Pennsylvania, and a massive cover-up on the scale and scope of drinking water pollution across the state.  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016
Scottish Greens pledge to ban fracking as party launches campaign
Herald Scotland
Magnus Gardham

The Scottish Greens have launched their Holyrood election campaign with a pledge to ban fracking.  [Full Story]

Feb 8, 2016