Will Fracking Spread Across America?

The Prez has hardly made it a secret that he supports fracking as part of his push for domestic oil and natural gas development, with the Obama administration announcing last week that it plans on setting environmental standards for hydraulic fracturing.

And what happens in D.C. does not stay in D.C. -- states other than those sitting atop the gas-rich Marcellus shale are eager to get on the bandwagon, though environmental and public health concerns have yet to be resolved.

In Michigan, where a form of some hydraulic fracturing has been going on since the 1960s, some have called for an expansion of exploration.

The state's Dems have just shot back with proposed legislation that would require frackers to disclose chemicals used during the process, according to MLive.com.

And Salon.com has a report today that state politicians in Pennsylvania and Colorado have tried to override local pols' attemps to ban fracking from their municipalities.

Meanwhile, ProPublica just reported that ALEC (and ExxonMobil) have been staunch advocates of keeping the chemicals secret. Shortly after, a report came out today claiming that environmental officials in England linked fracking activities to minor earthquakes.

In New York, fracking remains shrouded in mystery, though Albany is expected to release recs on the practice soon.

Check back to the Voice for updates.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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"...linked fracking activities to minor earthquakes."_this is a common mistake in the press. the earthquakes in the US relate to INJECTION wells, which deep-inject USED fracking fluids (99.9% water) , located too close to faults whether in ohio, arkansas, or oklahoma. once shut-down, and relocated, the quakes stop.

fracking is not new & is a 30+ yr old process. what is new is the increased scale involved. not only is the extracted natural gas more environmentally safe vs oil, and is the last petrocarbon fuel which we will use (bridge fuel), but is the ONLY near term fuel which can provide energy independence thus freeing us from mid-east oil conflicts.

as to contaminated water wells, the main problem is old boreholes (50-100 yrs old) which are unknown & for which the old bore-plugs (usually telephone poles driven into the hole) have eroded. these old boreholes allow some upwards migration of gas which can cause some minor water well contamination (geographically) which require remedy for the effected property owners. this is why the propietary fracking chems must be disclosed to provide each cos chem signature to establish liability.

however, water well contamination is well-below 1% of wells in any fracking area & can be remedied for the few owners effected.

on balance, near-term energy independence is a MUCH LARGER accomplishment than all known derogatives associated w gas extraction, esp when remedies can, & are being used.

thank you     


What is going on?!  Why are we still Fracking?! Are there other options?

Randy Albright
Randy Albright

The oil and gas industry has no real interest in US 'energy independence', all they are interested in are profits; right now they are mining coal and producing gas at rates greater than the US can consume it, and they are in the process of trying to establish a variety of West Coast coal and natural gas export facilities so they can sell the excess coal and natural gas they are producing in the US and Canada to China and other Far East nations.

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