EPA to study hydraulic fracturing, again. This time (hopefully) with science.

By Alan Septoff

March 22, 2010

Yesterday, the U.S. EPA announced that they will spend more than $1.9 million to study the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water quality and public health.  EPA did a similar study in 2004 which concluded not only that fracking constitutes no risk to drinking water, but that no further study of the issue should be conducted.  

So why is EPA conducting this new study anyway?  Let me count the ways (after the jump):

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Tagged with: epa, hydraulic fracturing, study

EARTHWORKS co-founder Stewart Udall has died

By Jennifer Krill

March 21, 2010

Former Secretary of the Interior, former US Congressman and EARTHWORKS cofounder Stewart Udall died today at his home in New Mexico at age 90. During his long career as a conservationist, Udall co-authored the Wilderness Act of 1964, which protected millions of acres from development, stewarded the creation of more than 60 national parks, and sued the federal government on behalf of Navajo uranium miners and people suffering health impacts from above aboveground nuclear tests.

In 1988, Stewart Udall joined with Phil Hocker and Mike McCloskey to form the Mineral Policy Center, later EARTHWORKS, where he served on our board of directors until 1997. We will always remember Stewart and do our best to carry on his vision of environmental justice, clean air, clean water, and protection for our treasured natural resources.

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Texas OGAP launches. DRILL RIGHT TEXAS shows way forward for TX drillers and regulators.

By Alan Septoff

February 25, 2010

Yesterday, EARTHWORKS launched the Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project   a new watchdog to keep an eye on the drilling industry in the Barnett Shale of north central Texas.Texas OGAP also released DRILL RIGHT TEXAS, a guide to gas extraction best practices.

Like its cousin, the Marcellus Shale gas play that underlies most of the north central Appalachian Mountains including New York and Pennsylvania, the Barnett Shale contains vast reserves of natural gas that recently became economic to extract. 

The reason it's now economic: a relatively new drilling technique called horizontal hydraulic fracturing.

You may have heard that natural gas is better for the environment than other fossil fuels. When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, that is true certainly when compared to coal. But and it's a big but when it comes to local impacts, natural gas extraction/processing/transport as currently practiced is not something you'd wish on your worst enemy, or their drinking water.

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Tagged with: texas ogap, barnett shale, best practices, drill right texas

DISH, Texas Mayor's message to drilling-impacted communities of the Marcellus Shale

By Alan Septoff

February 24, 2010

Because of his experience exposing the industry's malfeasance, and the public health impacts associated with it (and his success in moving state government to respond),  DISH, Texas Mayor Calvin Tillman was invited up to the Marcellus region in New York and Pennsylvania to share his wisdom -- and to get to know the experiences of other gas industry impacted communities.

After a week "up north" he wrote the following message:

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Tagged with: texas, marcellus shale, dish, mayor tillman

Democracy Now! features GASLAND, Congressional investigation into fracking

By Alan Septoff

February 24, 2010

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Tagged with: fracking, new york, democracy now

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@EricaGrieder @NYGovCuomo I do not agree. NIMBY implies preferring it still occurs somewhere.
RT @NYGovCuomo: Listen to audio from today's Cabinet Meeting, including an update on fracking:

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