TagMarcellus Shale

One more reason to hate fracking: It wastes water


You don’t need to be a rocket scientist — or a top geologist, or that matter — to understand that fracking for natural gas is not only a highly risky but a poorly thought-out process. In the half-dozen years since the boom in drilling for shale gas spread from the oil belt of Texas to new regions like the Marcellus Shale underneath Pennsylvania, we’ve watched poorly...

Fracking boom already well underway, now Pa. decides to check for lethal radiation


When it comes to fracking — the popular term for the natural-gas drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing — the approach has been to shoot first and ask questions later , even if thousands of innocent civilians are caught in the line of fire. Nobody in America outside of a small circle of oil- and gas-men and some engineers had even heard of fracking in the mid-2000s when...

Obama administration trailing public opinion on fracking boom


The boom in fracking took a lot of folks by surprise when it really took off at the end of the last decade. And when the first news accounts came out about this surge of domestic drilling for natural gas, the business types and their political enablers spun this as a great way to create jobs, lower energy prices, and promote a cleaner alternative to traditional fuels such as coal. Things started...

You might even say it glows: The fracking wastewater edition


You’re probably familiar with the old saying, “Water, water everywhere — and not a drop to drink.” But when it comes to the hundreds of millions of gallons of wastewater that have been produced in the explosion of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas from Pennsylvania to California, it’s much, much worse than that. Evidence is mounting that the...

No wonder Pennsylvania doesn’t want to talk about fracking anymore


In Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Gov. Tom Corbett gave his annual televised budget address. It was in this setting, two years ago, that the Republican governor famously made his pledge to make Pennsylvania “the Texas of natural gas,” with fracking rigs from border to border, even on college campuses as a way to make up for decreased taxpayer support for higher education. But this year...

Quest for cheap dirty energy divides the Va. countryside


As President Obama launches into his second term, evidence abounds that he needs to re-focus his energy policy on how the government can do more to promote alternative sources of power — especially wind, solar and hydro. Other Western nations are increasingly banking on alternative energy — but here in the United States our approach has been a free-for-all for the cheapest energy...

Frack buddies: A toxic mix of politics and waste in Pa.


One thing that often gets lost in all the conversation about fracking is the thing that really lubricates the whole machine: The toxic mix of money and politics. One place where that’s been on full display has been Pennsylvania, which has been the epicenter of the fracking boom since the technology opened up large supplies of natural gas under the Marcellus Shale. In 2010, right as the...

Fracking and politics: A toxic mix in Pa.


The exploitation of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale has epitomized everything that’s can go wrong with fracking. Drilling companies have run roughshod over a state that has little modern experience with the oil and gas industry. Drilling companies have polluted streams with waste — some of it radioactive — and numerous residents have abandoned their wells. As Josh Fox...

Pa. fracking test outrage shows need for leadership


Even though the candidates haven’t discussed it nearly enough, today’s election is going to be critical for the future of the environment…and the future of the planet. On some big-ticket issues such as climate change, the challenges — and the contrasts between America’s two political parties — are fairly obvious. But what voters forget is that day-to-day...

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