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The wheels come off shale oil

  A flurry of coverage about the gloom and outright calamity in the shale oil business appeared last week. Low prices continue to dog the industry. But so does lack of investor interest in financing loss-making operations for yet another season. Plunging stock prices portend more bankruptcies if circumstances don’t change. I received considerable pushback last January when I asked whether U.S. shale oil had entered a...

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...

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...

Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% M...

Researchers at the University of Colorado studied pregnant women who are among the 17 million Americans living within a mile from an active oil or gas well “Looking at where mothers lived immediately before pregnancy and during the first critical weeks after conception and what was going on at nearby fracking wells, researchers found startling patterns,” said public health advocate Dr. Sandra Steingraber. (Photo:...

‘Something’s wrong here’: Washington County parent...

Pediatrician: Plenty of other potentially harmful environmental hazards in the area Cindy Valent says her youngest son Curt had a smile “that would light up a room.” He loved sports like baseball and hockey — he aspired to have a job that paid well enough to afford Pittsburgh Penguins season tickets. But in his first year in college, Curt started complaining about a pain in his shoulder. A doctor told him it was probably...

Fracking in Ohio: State law gives energy companies...

Deciding what happens on private property might seem like a basic right. But when it comes to fracking, Ohio and other oil and gas-producing states have laws that can force landowners to lease their underground mineral rights to energy companies. That’s what happened to Patrick Hunkler and his wife, Jean Backs. It began in 2010, when a landman for an energy company knocked on their door. Hunkler didn’t know much about...

Former Shale Gas CEO Says Fracking Revolution Has ...

Steve Schlotterbeck, who led drilling company EQT as it expanded to become the nation’s largest producer of natural gas in 2017, arrived at a petrochemical industry conference in Pittsburgh Friday morning with a blunt message about shale gas drilling and fracking. “The shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor in the shale gas industry with very few limited exceptions,”...

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 Admin Argues No Constitutional Right to a Sa...

Almost exactly two years after President Trump announced his plans to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, a groundbreaking youth climate change lawsuit challenging the federal government’s promotion of fossil fuel energy was back in court for a long-awaited hearing. Before a three-judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Trump administration, which has tried numerous times to derail the suit, argued that...

GE bet on fossil fuels, lost nearly $200B in misju...

General Electric’s profitability collapse over the past few years can be largely attributed to the company’s inability to judge the accelerating pace of the global energy transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewables, a new study claims. The analysis comes from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), which says that “GE made a massive bet on the future of natural gas and thermal coal, and...

Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism’s Imminent De...

Capitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new report commissioned by a group of scientists appointed by the UN Secretary-General. The main reason? We’re transitioning rapidly to a radically different global economy, due to our increasingly unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s environmental resources. Climate change and species extinctions are accelerating even as societies are experiencing rising...

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...

Warren Buffett, Fear, and Greed in Fracked Oil Fie...

Warren Buffett, CEO of investment holding company Berkshire Hathaway, is considered one of the top investors in history and can back up that track record with a personal wealth of around $90 billion. Buffett is known for advising investors to be “fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. In the U.S. fracked oil industry, this month can be read like a textbook version of Buffett’s fear and greed...