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Inside Energy Questions: Is Fracking Dangerous?

There are many hazards associated with oil and gas development: air and water pollution, accidents, and threats to mental health. Clearly, oil and gas development can be dangerous, but HOW dangerous? And for whom? That’s what we will try to lay out in this story, with some important caveats to keep in mind: Some hazards are very likely to happen; Some hazards have a low probability of happening Some hazards are very...

Even Big Oil doesn’t like the EPA’s methane rollba...

Powerful members of the fossil fuel lobby support the Trump administration’s rollback, but not all of the industry is on board. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday announced it will reverse Obama-era limitations on the greenhouse gas methane, which is far more potent than carbon dioxide and often associated with fracking. In a statement Thursday, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the Trump...

Fracking may be a bigger climate problem than we t...

A shale gas drilling rig, against the obligatory stock photo sunset.Shutterstock As greenhouse gases go, methane gets less attention than carbon dioxide, but it is a key contributor to climate change. Methane doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long as CO2 and is reabsorbed into terrestrial cycles via chemical reactions within 12 years or so. But while it’s up there, it’s much more potent, trapping heat at roughly 84 times the...

Report: ‘No Evidence That Fracking Can Operate Wit...

In 2010 when I first started writing about hydraulic fracturing — the process of blasting a cocktail of water and chemicals into shale to release trapped hydrocarbons — there were more questions than answers about environmental and public-health threats. That same year Josh Fox’s documentary Gasland, which featured tap water bursting into flames, grabbed the public’s attention. Suddenly the term fracking — little...

Trump drilling leases could create more climate po...

US has offered close to 378m acres of public lands and waters for oil and gas leasing since Trump took office through April 2019 Donald Trump’s leases of public lands and waters for oil and gas drilling could lead to the production of more climate-warming pollution than the entire European Union contributes in a year, according to a new report. The Wilderness Society estimates heat-trapping emissions from extracting and...

Natural gas leaks are a much bigger problem than w...

Natural gas has been touted as a green energy source by some because, when burned for fuel, it emits less CO2 than coal. But before that happens, leaks from across the natural gas supply chain — from the drilling process to gas stoves — can unintentionally vent methane into the atmosphere. That’s especially bad news, since methane is roughly 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. And, according to a new study in...

BUT AT WHAT COST? -To many, the pipelines are a li...

The first signs of change came to Belmont County several years ago, as natural gas extraction company trucks rumbled over the roads. Next came drilling rigs and pipelines for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. To many, the pipelines are a lifeline in impoverished Appalachia, bringing in jobs and money. Despite the economic boom, environmentalists and some residents are questioning the health and safety of...

Total Ban on Fracking Urged by Health Experts: 1,5...

A comprehensive analysis of nearly 1,500 scientific studies, government reports, and media stories on the consequences of fracking released Wednesday found that the evidence overwhelmingly shows the drilling method poses a profound threat to public health and the climate. The sixth edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (the Compendium), published by...

Research links fracking to higher radon levels in ...

Map showing the distribution of 1,162 fracking wells in Ohio. Credit: The University of Toledo A new study at The University of Toledo connects the proximity of fracking to higher household concentrations of radon gas, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. Measuring and geocoding data from 118,421 homes across all 88 counties in Ohio between 2007 and 2014, scientists found that closer distance to the 1,162...

Trump’s EPA Signs ‘Deadly’ Clean Power...

Former coal lobbyist and Trump-appointed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a rule Wednesday that officially replaces the Obama-era Clean Power Plan with a new regulation that Wheeler said could lead to the opening of more coal plants, the Associated Press reported. While the Obama administration plan would have established national limits on greenhouse gas emissions and mandated...

A Bi-Partisan Group of Former EPA Heads Say the Ag...

Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leaders from four different administrations testified before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Tuesday, and all agreed on one thing: They don’t like what the Trump administration has done with the place. Officials who had led the EPA under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama urged Congress to use its authority to make sure the agency...

Automakers Tell Trump His Pollution Rules Could Me...

WASHINGTON — The world’s largest automakers warned President Trump on Thursday that one of his most sweeping deregulatory efforts — his plan to weaken tailpipe pollution standards — threatens to cut their profits and produce “untenable” instability in a crucial manufacturing sector. In a letter signed by 17 companies including Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Volvo, the automakers asked Mr. Trump to go back to the...

As Ohio Valley Ponders Plastics Growth, Report War...

As a new plastics industry emerges in the Ohio Valley, a report by environmental groups warns that the expansion of plastics threatens the world’s ability to keep climate change at bay. The report released Wednesday by the Center for International Environmental Law, Environmental Integrity Project, FracTracker Alliance, and others used publicly available emissions data and original research to measure greenhouse gas...

Trump’s EPA is ‘cooking the books’ to justify its ...

Experts call it a “deeply cynical strategy” that puts lives at risk. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to distort the way it measures the benefits of some of the agency’s most impactful policies, regulations that safeguard human health by limiting air pollution. The primary beneficiary of such distortion? The coal industry. When the government evaluates the health and financial benefits of clean air,...

Millions of abandoned wells spark climate, safety ...

A couple of years ago, Charlie Brethauer started to smell gas in the backyard of his home. Figuring it was a leak from the service line that heats his garage, he grabbed a shovel and started digging in a patch of blackened soil about 20 feet from the back door of his rural home in Richland Township, Pa., 15 miles north of Pittsburgh. The shovel struck a plastic bucket covering the end of a vertical steel pipe. As he widened...