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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...

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...

Pennsylvanians demand a fracking halt until rare c...

After a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigation identified 47 cases childhood cancer—most of them very rare—in several rural Pennsylvania counties, locals are calling on Governor Tom Wolf to investigate a possible link between fracking and childhood cancer. More than 100 organizations and 800 people have signed the letter requesting that all new shale gas permitting be suspended until the Department of Health can demonstrate...

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...

New research links fracking to earthquakes in cent...

In states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, hydraulic fracturing wells are more common than wastewater injections. April 26 (UPI) — Scientists have uncovered more evidence linking fracking to earthquakes, this time in the central and eastern United States. At the 2019 Seismological Society of America meeting, held this week in Seattle, researchers detailed the connection between hydraulic fracturing wells and...

After a decade of research, here’s what scientists...

“This should be of serious concern to policymakers interested in protecting public health.” Fracking has been linked to preterm births, high-risk pregnancies, asthma, migraine headaches, fatigue, nasal and sinus symptoms, and skin disorders over the last 10 years, according to a new study. Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a process of extracting oil and gas from the Earth by drilling deep wells...

CDC, state officials investigating multiple cases ...

Many in the Canon-McMillan School District first learned about Ewing sarcoma, a rare childhood bone cancer, when Luke Blanock of the village of Cecil was diagnosed on Dec. 5, 2014. The media did stories about the community rallying around the smart, handsome teenager and his family, then returned on Feb. 19, 2016, to cover Mr. Blanock — pale, thin and having just been told he had only two weeks to live — when he married his...

Fracking 2.0 Was a Financial Disaster, Will Fracki...

Two years ago, the U.S. fracking industry was trying to recover from the crash in the price of oil. Shale companies were promoting the idea that fracking was viable even at low oil prices (despite losing money when oil prices were high). At the time, no one was making money fracking with the business-as-usual approach, but then the Wall Street Journal published a story claiming all of this was about to change because the...