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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...

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...

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 Signs Two Executive Orders Giving Himself &#...

Crosby, Texas — During a day of fundraisers and rallies across Texas, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders intended to speed up the approval process for oil and gas projects. The orders also limit states’ ability to intervene in these projects. “My action today will cut though destructive permitting and delays,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd at the International Union of Operating Engineers. Trump stated...

The Hidden Risk in the Fracking Boom

Are pipeline safety regulations keeping pace with the flood of natural gas? At 10:40 a.m. on Monday, January 21st, a pipeline carrying natural gas ruptured in rural Noble County, in southeastern Ohio, producing a fireball that surged 120 feet into the air and engulfed the Noll family home, with 12-year-old son Nash inside. The boy’s grandfather rushed into the inferno and rescued him, says Noble County Emergency Management...

Economics professor discovers concerning effects f...

Oil and gas “boomtowns,” such as Ohio’s Belmont County, may be bearing the costs of drilling without reaping all of its benefits, according to a newly published paper by Dr. Amanda Weinstein, assistant professor of economics at The University of Akron. Weinstein, along with coauthors Mark Partridge and Alexandra Tsvetkova from The Ohio State University, researched the flow of money in energy boomtowns...

Global corporate renewable purchases hit 13.4GW in...

Fueled by a growing corporate appetite for clean energy, 121 companies around the world signed long-term deals for 13.4 GW of wind, solar and other renewables in 2018, smashing a prior record of 6.1 GW in 2017, BloombergNEF said in a report released Jan. 28. More than 60% of the newly contracted power, or 8.5 GW, is in the United States, where nearly three dozen first-time buyers expanded the non-utility market for...

Proposed Unconventional Oil & Gas Well Emissi...

Ohio EPA News Releases epa.ohio.gov 1 min read 11/20/18 PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160 MEDIA CONTACT: Heidi Griesmer CITIZEN CONTACT: Mary McCarron Ohio EPA Requests Early Stakeholder Input for Potential Oil and Gas Rules Ohio EPA is requesting early stakeholder input until Dec. 19, 2018, on potential rules that would cover air pollution emissions from existing non-conventional oil and gas facilities that are not...

Critics say Ohio pipeline protest bill is unnecess...

Ohio lawmakers have tweaked a bill meant to deter damage from pipeline protests, but environmental groups, civil liberties advocates and other opponents still say the bill could be unconstitutional. “From our perspective, it still has a whole lot of free speech problems,” said Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. Substitute Senate Bill 250 would make it a crime to knowingly destroy or...

Questionable Economics Threaten The Keystone XL Pi...

Now that a federal judge has squelched the Keystone XL Pipeline, the question facing its owner, TransCanada Corp., is whether the oil economics justify its completion. Not only is the price of oil still relatively low and falling but, competing pipelines are coming out of Canada and into this country. While the price of a barrel of oil has risen from $50 in recent years to $75 in recent months, it is now down to about $60....

Why Plans to Turn America’s Rust Belt into a New P...

The petrochemical industry anticipates spending a total of over $200 billion on factories, pipelines, and other infrastructure in the U.S. that will rely on shale gas, the American Chemistry Council announced in September. Construction is already underway at many sites. This building spree would dramatically expand the Gulf Coast’s petrochemical corridor (known locally as “Cancer Alley”) — and establish a new plastics and...

Trump Administration Wants to Make It Easier to Re...

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration, taking its third major step this year to roll back federal efforts to fight climate change, is preparing to make it significantly easier for energy companies to release methane into the atmosphere. Methane, which is among the most powerful greenhouse gases, routinely leaks from oil and gas wells, and energy companies have long said that the rules requiring them to test for emissions...

Trump to Roll Back Obama-Era Methane Rules

The Trump administration is planning to roll back Obama-era rules on methane emissions from oil and gas production, the New York Times reported Monday. Documents reviewed by the Times show that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning as early as this week to significantly relax two-year-old regulations on how often drillers must monitor and repair methane leaks, and let producers in states with lax methane...

How a Family Surrounded by Shale Gas Plants Took A...

Allen Young and his family are surrounded. They can see three sizable natural gas plants–operated by Dominion and Energy Transfer Partners–without taking a step off their property. Over the past three years, these facilities have taken over the boomerang-shaped ridge less than a half-mile from the Young’s home in Powhatan Point, Ohio. Soon after the compressor stations went into operation, Allen, his wife and two...

Texas Oil Companies Want Federal Dollars to Protec...

The burning of fossil fuels is the driving force behind climate change, and now the companies responsible want the government to help pay to protect them from the consequences. Texas is seeking at least $12 billion to build a network of seawalls, levees, gates and earthen structures that would protect a stretch of the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the area south of Houston that houses 30 percent of U.S. oil refining capacity,...