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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.