TagMarcellus Shale

Billionaire’s death exposes the hubris of the fracking industry

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Roughly a decade into the fracking boom in America, the unconventional drilling process has pretty much been exposed for all the world to see. To be sure, the advances in drilling technology that allowed Big Oil and Gas to tap the fossil fuels once trapped inside shale formations has helped to lower the cost of energy in America, and created some jobs (although never nearly as many as promised)...

When will fracking’s other shoe drop? Cancer

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The process of fracking is a relatively new one. In fact, sometimes I think we forget just how new it is. It was just mid-2000s that word spread among industry officials about a new technology to affordably free up oil and natural gas trapped in tiny pockets within shale formations — and Congress and the Bush administration enacted favorable energy legislation. In those early years...

New La. oil spill is a danger warning on pipeline safety

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The Big Oil folks who’ve been trying to cram a vast network of pipelines down the throats of the American people — including the massive Keystone XL project that would transport copious amounts of dirty tar sands oil from western Canada across the U.S. heartland to Gulf refineries, where a lot of it would be shipped abroad — have been preaching a gospel of safety. That sounds...

Republican ex-Pa. health chief on fracking risks: “Don’t BS the public”

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The fracking health scandal in the state of Pennsylvania just keeps getting worse. It was just last month that I told you that former mid-level workers in the Pennsylvania state Health Department had admitted to a reporter that they started getting unusual directives on fracking not long after the state’s pro-Big-Oil Republican governor, Tom Corbett, took office in 2011. They received a...

The salty, radioactive gunk that Big Fracking doesn’t want you to know about

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The big oil companies love to portray the rise of fracking as a great American success story — using 21st Century technology and know-how to locate and extract pockets of cheap energy that were thought to be unreachable, reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and lowering your energy cost. But Big Oil doesn’t want you to know the sausage-making, as it were, that goes into...

Other than toxic air, earthquakes and explosive oil, what’s so bad about fracking?

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There are reports that the federal government is thinking about allowing the export of American oil again. The U.S. used to be a large oil exporter, decades ago, but that stopped in 1973 as crude production on domestic soil reached a peak and an Arab oil embargo threatened our economy. But then came fracking, which has been a game changer for producing oil and natural gas, from Pennsylvania to...

Confirmed: State regulators in Pa. in the tank for Big Oil and Gas

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Every day, new evidence emerges that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas or oil is not the environmentally safe procedure that industry officials keep insisting that it is. Whether it’s swarms of earthquakes in fracking zones, the massive amounts of drinkable water that is wasted in the drilling process, or the toxic air invading rural communities, the huge risks of the...

Pa. is getting tired of being the fracking capital of the world

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There hadn’t been a ton of oil and gas drilling in Pennsylvania for more than a century — not since the days of John D. Rockefeller — but that started to change about seven or eight years ago. That’s when companies like Halliburton had advanced the technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to remove large quantities of natural gas trapped in geologic...

Is the Obama administration looking the other way on fracking?

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Nearly five years into the Obama administration, we’ve watched with great frustration as Washington so often says the right things on the environment — then goes off and does something else. That was certainly the case after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, as federal regulators seemed much more likely to side with BP in trying to make the issue disappear, rather than undertake a...

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