This controversial decision by Governor Cuomo has even fueled secession talk by the southern part of the state that has sat idly by and watched neighbor Pennsylvania enjoy the huge economic benefits of shale development (as such, states like Texas and Oklahoma are banning fracking bans!). Fracking technology, after all, is a proven commodity that has been safely deployed for over 60 years in over a million wells – across the country to great success.
Finally, the Environmental Protection Agency has admitted what the oil and natural gas industry has been saying for more than 60 years: “Hydraulic fracturing activities have not led to widespread, systemic impacts to drinking water sources.”EPA’s five-year-long study, requested by Congress, examined more than 950 pieces of information, including published papers and technical reports. While finding “potential vulnerabilities, some of which are not unique to hydraulic fracturing,” the report basically pronounces fracking safe.
Fracking for shale oil and gas has not led to widespread pollution of drinking water, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draft report said on Thursday, although it warned some drilling activities could potentially cause health risks.
A federal report finds that states once unlikely to have temblors now have them due to these injection wells.
In the last few days dozens of articles have suggested a causal link between fracking and an increase in radon levels in homes in Pennsylvania. Headlines range from conservative as USA Today’s article – “Study suggests fracking could release radon from ground” and CBS News with a question “Is fracking causing a spike in radon levels?” to inflammatory headlines from liberal activists stating that a link between fracking and rising levels of radon gas in homes near fracking sites has been established based on a study published yesterday in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Radon is a chemical element with symbol Rn and atomic number 86. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tastelessnoble gas, occurring naturally as an indirect decay product of uranium or thorium.
In fact no such link was found by the study. The authors say they focused on Pennsylvania because it has one of highest residential radon levels in the country, and because the state has a huge, detailed database of home radon measures. They found that levels in some sites had risen since 2004, which is the date they claim fracking started to increase, however there is no controlled analysis of claim. The authors state the study is a preliminary “first look” into a “possible connection” between fracking and radon. (more…)
Previous studies using very small sample sets reported that there may be higher concentrations of methane dissolved in groundwater near wells using hydraulic fracking methods in northeastern Pennsylvania.1,2
The new peer reviewed study by Syracuse University published in Environmental Science and Technology used a database of over 11,000 sites, hundreds of times larger than the previous studies. No statistically significant relationship was found between dissolved methane concentrations in groundwater from domestic water wells and proximity to pre-existing oil or gas wells. Previous analyses used small sample sets compared to the population of domestic wells available, which may explain the difference in prior findings compared to the new findings using over 10,000 data points. (more…)
America’s smart drilling revolution has bestowed numerous economic and environmental benefits. Innovative entrepreneurs who combined horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing have led to huge increases of domestic energy production, making the U.S. the number one oil and gas producer in the world. We did all this while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.
It’s puzzling, then, that Lois Marie Gibbs would claim in an op-ed on this site that “the science and experiences of Americans” show that hydraulic fracturing poses “immense harm to people across the nation.” The reality is exactly the opposite. Read more -> By Thomas Pyle, TheHill.com
Hydraulic fracturing is highly controversial; whereas its proponents advocate the economic benefits of more extensively accessible hydrocarbons, opponents argue that the environmental impactsof fracking include the risks of contaminating ground water, depleting fresh water, degrading air quality, potentially triggering earthquakes, noise pollution, surface pollution, and the consequential hazards to public health and the environment. The benefits of reducing green house gas by replacing coal with natural gas and addressing the very real problem of climate change far outweigh the risks of hypothetical problems that alarmists have raised. (more…)
State public health officials in Colorado have publicly disavowed the latest paper from a team of researchers whose work is routinely cited by political activist groups that want to ban hydraulic fracturing. Read more -> energyindepth.org