TagBlair County

“Fresh, frizzy…fracked”: What else must fracked Wyoming homeowners do to get help?

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Meet Louis Meeks — a longtime landowner outside the picturesque rural community of Pavillion, Wyoming. The rolling hillsides here have hosted natural gas wells for decades, but the pace of activity has increased in recent years with the growth of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Something else has increased over the last couple of years — nasty...

“A New Right of Love”: A Pennsylvania Farmer’s Moving Anti-Fracking Eulogy To His Wife

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I’ve been reading a lot lately about everyday Americans getting fed up with fracking — with the way that the big gas companies have been running roughshod over lush rolling hills and pristine farmland with their unsightly rigs, poisoning water supplies and polluting the air. But nothing has quite gotten to me like the simple words of a Pennsylvania farmer named Stephen Cleghorn...

Mystery Illness and Mystery Smells: The Neighbors of America’s Fracking Boom Need Answers

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Kay Allen is a nurse who deserves some answers. She works at a health clinic in Burgettstown, Pa. — in the southwestern corner of the Keystone State where the rolling hills are now pockmarked with fracking wells in a natural-gas gold rush. In one sense, Allen and her co-workers at the Cornerstone Care community clinic are like a lot of health care professionals across the suddenly...

A Timid First Step: Obama’s Proposed Fracking Rules Don’t Go Nearly Far Enough

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If there’s anything we’ve learned in the last couple of years since the word “fracking” entered our lexicon, it’s this: Natural gas drillers don’t want you to know what they’re up to. From the Oklahoma prairie to the forests of Pennsylvania, from the moment they get your name on a lease until the last tank of wastewater is dumped, these energy giants go...

Drought Dangers: Frackers in Colorado Will Have Plenty of Water But Farmers May Go Without

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More upside down priorities from the western fracking front. In drought-struck Colorado, oil and gas companies will have plenty of water for their fracking operations this summer, but farmers may not have enough to irrigate their crops. It seems our insatiable thirst for fossil fuel is now even trumping our most basic need for food. Can you eat natural gas? Consider this from an April 2 Denver...

What Are They Hiding? “Gasland” Filmmaker Handcuffed, Escorted Out of Public Hearing on Fracking

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Why would House Republicans bar an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker from last week’s public hearing on hydraulic fracturing? Hmmmmmm. Could it be that they’re hiding something? Nah, couldn’t be – particularly in light of the fact that the filmmaker happened to be environmental crusader Josh Fox, whose film “Gasland” awoke America to the grave environmental and...

Feds Pave Way for Fracking Industry to Perpetrate Biggest Land Grab in U.S. History

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Officials from Central New York Oil & Gas recently informed landowner Bob Swartz that the company plans to cut “a 50-foot-wide, 400-foot-long gash through an ancient stand of trees” in his front yard to clear the way for a $250 million, 39-mile natural gas pipeline in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania. Not surprisingly, Mr. Swartz balked at the company’s heavy-handed...

Engineering Expert Calls Fracking a “Chillingly Effective and Thorough Method” of Poisoning Drinking Water

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Few people know fracking better than Paul Hetzler. He’s an environmental engineering technician who for years worked for New York’s Department for Environmental Conservation (DEC). Mr. Hetzler managed dozens of groundwater remediation projects in the 1990s. He’s pored over “thousands of lab results from contaminated wells,” and he’s intimately familiar with the...

Time Magazine Dubs Fracking America’s “Biggest Environmental Issue” of 2011

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Time Magazine got it right when it outed hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as the biggest environmental concern our nation is facing as we head into the new year. Why fracking? The world’s largest weekly news magazine, boasting a global circulation of 25 million, points to “the threats that shale gas drilling could pose to water supplies” and the fact that “natural gas...

Ohio Officials Halt Fracking Operations After “Suspicious” String of Earthquakes Hits Youngstown Area

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More evidence rumbled in over the holiday weekend tying fracking operations to earthquakes. The most recent and largest tremor – in a “suspicious” string of 11 – to hit the Youngstown area since last March measured 4.0 on the Richter scale. The epicenter, according to a Jan. 1 New York Times report, is “a well that has been used for the disposal of millions of gallons of brine...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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