fracking & south africa

A man with very little background in activism and social organizing - or film-making for that matter - accomplished in South Africa (briefly) what Josh Fox couldn't in the United States. Jonathan Deal led a successful grassroots effort to ban fracking in the Rainbow Nation in February 2011. At the time, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabango, happily passed the moratorium, citing environmental risks.

produced water recycling

Sustainable energy has always been a hot topic among environmental groups.  These days, hydraulic fracturing is receiving similar attention.  However, fracking is less of a hot topic than a hot debate. Unfortunately, a lot of activists seem more interested in demonization than innovation.  Let’s see if we can expand the discussion.  When we’re talking about [...]

Pennsylvania fracking regulations

Since the implementation of oil and gas exemptions in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, large federal agencies such as the EPA have been forced to cede regulatory power over hydraulic fracturing to individual state governments.  While this power shift creates a lack of national standards, environmentalists and industry representatives alike have acknowledged the advantage of [...]


William Ellsworth's latest study in Science connects Oklahoma's 5.7 magnitude earthquake in 2011 to fracking operations in the area. These quakes, along with 2 others in Western Texas and Southern Colorado, are known as "trigger induced earthquakes," or after-shock seismic activity, which occurs sooner and more dramatically near regions saturated with industrial activity.

natural gas and lng

Due to more efficient ways of converting and transporting natural gas to faraway, increasingly hungry energy markets, there is now manifesting what analysts call a global "dash for gas". Based on a 2008 portfolio of global investment decisions, economists figure that LNG (or "liquefied natural gas") will likely become more freely and flexibly traded worldwide as investors pour money into LNG infrastructure.

nitrogen gas fracking

Central to the natural gas and fracking discussion in the past few years has been a lot of talk about unconventional gas and unconventional reserves.  Should we produce them?  How can we produce them safely? How can we do this most efficiently?  To answer these questions, we may need to shift our attention from unconventional [...]

Texas fracking regulations

While reviewing state regulatory frameworks for oil & gas drilling (especially legislative updates that address fracking operations), it became immediately apparent that Texas is the exemplar, the model state. Texas illustrates that to create and modernize a regulatory process with appeal for environmentalists and industry officials alike is possible. Indeed, the Lone Star State was the first state to require well-by-well disclosure of fracking fluid chemicals in 2011...

Cuadrilla's Proposed Fracking Site

According to a 911 dispatcher, 8 workers were injured in an early morning explosion at a drilling site in West Virginia on Sunday, July 7.  Although the identities and medical conditions of those injured have not yet been released, it has been confirmed that 5 victims were evacuated to West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh, [...]

california fracking regulations

14 states have all but banned or restricted fracking, awaiting the onset of safeguards and firm regulatory foundations. In sharp contrast with other energy-rich states, California has veritably no regulatory framework in place for hydraulic fracturing. And yet the state contains what may be the largest shale oil reserves in the U.S - the prized Monterey shale formation - which was host to 628 fracking operations in 2011 alone.

fracking effects

A Duke University study published last week showed high levels of methane contamination in water wells in Pennsylvania, but concluded that the causes of individual contamination are not as closely linked to hydraulic fracturing as feared by residents. The study was published online by the United States Geological Survey last week and was an update [...]