EARTHblog » Dusty Horwitt
October 31, 2013
A recent state report showed that oil and natural gas producers in North Dakota were flaring (burning it at the wellhead) 29 percent of the approximately 31 billion cubic feet of natural gas produced in the state in August. That’s about nine billion cubic feet of natural gas that never made it into people’s homes to provide heat or into factories to produce goods. To put this figure in perspective, the nine billion cubic feet of natural gas flared in a single month (more than $30 million at August natural gas prices) is enough to supply residential customers in North Dakota for most of an entire year. The state’s residential customers used 9.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Nor will private landowners collect royalties or the state collect production taxes on the flared gas. Nationally, only one percent of natural gas is flared.
September 10, 2013
New York City is not the only major metro area whose drinking water supply could be threatened by shale gas drilling. The Washington, DC area has joined the club.
That’s because the U.S. Forest Service could decide as early as October 2013 to allow horizontal drilling for shale gas in the George Washington National Forest, a 1.1. million-acre tract located in western Virginia and West Virginia that is the closest National Forest to Washington D.C. and contains the headwaters of the Potomac River that provides drinking water to more than 4 million people in the Washington area.