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The Drinking Water “Reeks of Chemicals”: EPA Ties Fracking to Severe Groundwater Pollution in Wyoming Town

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There’s something very wrong with the water in Pavillion, Wyoming. It reeks of chemicals. Local health officials warned residents not to drink it after the EPA found pollution in their wells. Some residents have reported health problems – shortness of breath, nausea, itchy skin and rashes, headaches and dizziness – consistent with chemical poisoning. So what’s causing all the trouble...

Fallout from the Fracking Zone: Natural Gas Drillers Bury Toxic Sludge on Private Property – With Impunity

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As fracking operations are exploding across the country, so is the promise of big money – in royalties and bonuses – for property owners who allow gas companies to drill on their land. Think (in concept only) “Beverly Hillbillies,” the 1960s TV sitcom featuring a backwoods family that moves to a lavish Beverly Hills mansion after striking oil in their backyard. It all worked out...

Putting the Brakes on the Fracking Boom: Federal Panel Warns of “Excessive Environmental Impacts”

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A federal committee has formalized in a highly critical report what many of us have been shouting about for years: Fracking will cause “excessive” damage to the environment if steps aren’t immediately taken to minimize its impacts. A little late to the party, but we appreciate the first truly candid federal assessment of a natural gas extraction process known to contaminate...

The Fracking of America: New Website Devoted Exclusively to Tracking Our Most Urgent Environmental Threat

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Fracking represents the most urgent environmental threat the United States has faced in 30 years. It’s a threat that demands our attention and a robust national debate. An informed public is imperative as we – as a nation – grasp to strike a balance between our thirst for energy resources and the need to protect the environment and ensure public health and safety. To that end, we are...

Epic Contamination: Fracking Could Foul the Ancient Roman Hot Springs of Bath

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Julius Caesar is rolling over in his grave. Some 2,000 years ago, the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing compound around Great Britain’s only hot spring. To this day, the complex in the ancient city of Bath flows with natural, steamy waters known around the world for their health benefits and powerful healing qualities. During the heady days of the Roman Empire, it was said...

Caving In To Fackers: Feds Move to Dismiss NY Lawsuit Aimed at Protecting the Drinking Water of 15 Million Americans

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In a brazen pro-industry legal maneuver, the U.S. government has obtained permission from a federal judge to move to dismiss a lawsuit in New York that represents the last line of defense in protecting the drinking water of 15 million Americans. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against federal regulators on May 31 seeking a thorough examination of the negative impacts...

Earthquake Outbreak: Arkansas Bans Fracking Operations Inside Thousand-Square-Mile Area

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As if radioactive wastewater, exploding wells and flammable tap water weren’t bad enough, fracking has now been tied to another environmental threat – earthquakes, thousands of them. Geologists have tied fracking wastewater disposal wells in central Arkansas to an outbreak of more than 1,200 so-called “minor earthquakes” (an oxymoron if ever there was one). At least one startled...

The Holy Grail: Drinking-water Contamination Confirmed in EPA Report Threatens U.S. Fracking Operations

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Considering all the money oil and gas companies pay their PR strategists and crisis management gurus, industry officials should have known better than to proclaim with absolute certainty that “fracking,” the controversial natural gas extraction process, not only has not, but cannot, contaminate drinking-water supplies. They should have known to leave a little wiggle room should an...

With the Drinking Water of 15 Million Americans at Stake, Feds Side with Frackers

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Just in case there’s anybody out there who still thinks our federal government has a shred of integrity following the debt-ceiling debacle, news from the fracking front will quickly disabuse any remaining die-hards of that notion. Rather than exercising their power to stop the oil and gas industry from continuing its feast at the fracking trough, the feds have entered the fray on the side...

Distorting the Facts: Oil and Gas Industry Pays Penn State $100,000 for Pro-Fracking Study

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We’re all aware that money talks, but the degree to which pro-industry interests are distorting public information on fracking was in particularly high relief this week as natural gas companies are in no-holds-barred pursuit of billions in potential profits. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it’s more commonly called, injects large volumes of pressurized water, sand...

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