hydraulic fracturing

  Over the past decade a new and controversial energy extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has rocketed to the forefront of U.S. energy production. With fracking, millions of gallons of water, dangerous chemicals, and sand are injected under high pressure deep into the earth, fracturing hard rock to release oil and gas.

Wenonah Hauter, one of the nation’s leading public interest advocates, argues that the rush to fracking is dangerous to the environment and treacherous to human health. Frackopoly describes how the fracking industry began; the technologies that make it possible; and the destruction and poisoning of clean water sources and the release of harmful radiation from deep inside shale deposits, creating what the author calls “sacrifice zones” across the American landscape.

Robert Kennedy Jr, addressing gas pipeline opponents at a rally at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
Karen Dewitt

Fracktivists, as anti hydrofracking activists are called, hope to play a role in New York’s presidential primary. They are asking Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as Republican candidates, to take a stand against the Constitution pipeline and other natural gas pipelines that if approved could criss- cross the state.

Capital District Against Fracking

Environmentalists are welcoming the official end to the years-long fracking debate in New York. 

EANY

A new report examines the possibility and practice of potentially radioactive out-of-state fracking waste getting dumped in New York despite Governor Cuomo’s ongoing implementation of a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

When New York became the second state in the nation (after Vermont)  to ban the controversial gas drilling method hydraulic fracturing, some were surprised that Governor Andrew Cuomo finally took a stance on the issue.

The fracking announcement December 17th came after six years of a de facto moratorium with a long-awaited health impact study. New York State acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, who said “I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York.”

HV Congressman Speaks To NY Fracking Ban

Dec 18, 2014
Capital District Against Fracking

A Hudson Valley congressman is weighing in with his view of Wednesday’s decision from top state administration officials to ban fracking in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration is banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in New York, citing concerns about health and environmental risks. Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney says his views on the issue have not changed.

NY Fracking Ban Decision Elicits Different Reactions

Dec 18, 2014

It will probably go down as the biggest decision of the year in New York State – a ban on fracking. Wednesday’s news came the same day casino license recommendations were announced. Supporters of a fracking ban are celebrating the long-awaited decision while opponents say they are disappointed and the Southern Tier, where fracking would have taken place, is doomed.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Health professionals and scientists are out with two new independent summations of the risks and harms of shale gas development and hydraulic fracturing. The two documents were formally released Thursday at the Legislative Office Building in downtown Albany.

As Election Day draws nearer, polls show the Green Party candidate for governor of New York with higher-than-expected support. Today, Howie Hawkins discussed hydrofracking and the Common Core.

The Green Party's Howie Hawkins spoke to reporters at length about one the key planks of his political platform: making sure hyrdrofracking never sees light of day in New York.    "Astorino's obviously for it. Cuomo's sittin' on the fence, waiting for the election to be over."

WAMC News

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made some of his most extensive comments on the controversial topic of hydrofracking to date. But the governor says he’s still studying the matter and won’t make a decision before Election Day.

Environmental Working Group

Hydraulic fracturing is responsible for a surge in domestic production of natural gas. Although the contentious process is in political limbo in New York, several upstate counties may be virgin ground for the mining of what's called "frac sand."

Activists may be breathing sighs of relief that the Empire State doesn't appear to be close to resolving whether or not it will allow hydrofracking, but environmentalists are warning New Yorkers they may have trouble breathing, if mining companies start digging for the silica sand needed by drillers for the fracking process.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

A Yale University study has found people living within the shadows of natural gas wells and hydrofracking pads exhibit higher instances of health problems. The study of Pennsylvania residents comes days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to visit a gas drilling site in the Keystone State.

The Yale study of people in southwestern Pennsylvania found a greater prevalence of health symptoms reported among residents living close to natural gas wells, including those drilled via hydraulic fracturing.

WAMC News

The Clinton County Legislature has approved a law banning the sale, transport, storage and disposal of fracking and other waste. The League of Women Voters had pushed for its passage.

Tim Hurst / Flickr

New York State continues wait for final word on hydraulic fracturing, the controversial gas drilling method on hold since 2008.  Monday's Court of Appeals decision upheld communities’ right to use traditional local zoning laws to keep fracking out of their borders.

The New York Court of Appeals ruling came in two cases decided jointly:  one brought by an oil company and the other a dairy farm that wanted to lease its land, challenging the towns of Dryden and Middlefield’s decisions to ban the industrial activity there.

The issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing make headlines nearly every day. This afternoon in Albany, State Senate Democrats held a public forum on the environmental risks posed by fracking by-products—specifically with regard to public water supply.

WAMC (Dave Lucas)

Green group "Elected Officials to Protect New York" today released copies of local resolutions from municipalities around the state, urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to continue the de facto moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

The resolutions, released over the last several months, for the most part recommend increasing investment in renewable energy, noting the success of the New York Sun initiative and growth in electric vehicle charging stations.

New York: Shale Fail

Apr 17, 2014
Tim Hurst / Flickr

The future of hydrofracking in New York State, which has been on hold under a de facto moratorium for almost seven years, may be on shakier ground than ever.

New York’s hydrofracking debate has been under national scrutiny for some time. Those who favor it say fracking will boost rural economies and help communities grow and prosper. Those against sound the alarm that the process will inflict ecological and environmental damage.

Capital District Against Fracking

The future of hydraulic fracturing has been in limbo since the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation began a review of the practice in 2008. Now, six public hearings are being held across New York to receive public comment on the draft State Energy Plan... one of them in Albany today.  Environmental groups are also at the Capitol today calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to put renewable energy ahead of fossil fuels in his effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Fracking Debate Goes On

Dec 2, 2013

A recent Quinnipiac Poll shows New Yorkers are opposed to hydraulic fracturing, as arguments for and against the controversial gas drilling practice continue.

Two HV Congressmen Vote The Same On A Fracking Bill

Nov 21, 2013
AP Photo

Two New York congressmen from the Hudson Valley voted against legislation that would prohibit federal oversight of fracking.

    In his new book, The Frackers, journalist Gregory Zuckerman tells us the back-story. Far from the limelight, Aubrey McClendon, Harold Hamm, Mark Papa, and other wildcatters were determined to tap massive deposits of oil and gas that Exxon, Chevron, and other giants had dismissed as a waste of time.

By experimenting with hydraulic fracturing through extremely dense shale—a process now known as fracking—the wildcatters started a revolution. In just a few years, they looked to relieve America’s dependence on imported energy, triggered a global environmental controversy—and made and lost astonishing fortunes.

AP Photo

It’s been nearly a year since the administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state health commissioner would conduct a review to determine whether hydrofracking could be done safely in New York. Since then, little information has been released on the on going study. Now, an anti-fracking group is suing the state to find out what exactly is being reviewed.

WAMC's political observer Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the latest news concerning hydraulic fracturing in New York State and the verdict in the case against Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

WAMC News

A new Duke University study links hydraulic fracturing, the controversial gas drilling process, to water contamination. But, like similar studies in the past, there are pros and cons, and questions linger.

The study, co-authored by Rob Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, found that homeowners living near shale gas wells appear to be at higher risk of drinking water contamination from stray gases.

A new report says U.S. oil and gas reserves are up by about a third - that number rise higher thanks to hydraulic fracturing. The paper released by the Energy Information Administration, the research branch of the U.S. Energy Department, says that reserves of oil and gas that can be developed using current technology are up 35 percent this year from 2011.

WAMC/Allison Dunne

In New York today, in Kingston, a new anti-fracking group announced its formation. A number of environmentalists and elected officials are on board with the initiative that stems from the Hudson Valley.

Ben Sklar

One of the most contentious areas of debate over the expansion of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas concerns a spike in seismic activity in unlikely areas that have begun fracking nearby. Some alarmed scientists say containment wells are putting undue pressure on faults deep underground. But industry interests disagree – that is, when they say anything at all.

Tim Hurst / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The trustee of New York's $150.1 billion pension fund has reached an agreement with Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. to disclose what it's doing to reduce risks of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Tuesday that Cabot has agreed to publicly disclose its policy and procedures for eliminating or minimizing the use of toxic substances in fracking fluids. In turn, DiNapoli has withdrawn his shareholder proposal submitted for the company's 2013 proxy statement to demand such disclosure.

Anti-fracking coalition plans big rally in Albany - story from The Times Union.

Bill McKibben and Josh Fox were in studio today and taking listener calls.

What do you think New York's policy on shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing should be?

An anti-fracking group has released results of a study that finds New York State is backlogged when it comes to inspecting existing gas wells - the paper says that the New York State department of Environmental Conservation wouldn't be able to make additional inspections that would be required should Hydrofracking be allowed - even if the practice is limited to just a few counties.

Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports...

Pages