Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Some fracking stories worth checking out

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Over the past few days, several significant news stories about fracking have emerged. In addition to the developments around New York's review of the technique. Here’s a partial roundup.

• A federal judge dismissed state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's lawsuit over fracking regulations for the Delaware River Basin. Schneiderman sued the Delaware River Basin Commission, which is developing the regulations, in an attempt to force a full environmental review of the process. But the judge tossed out the case because "development plans are in the early stages and the threat of harm is speculative," reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

• The Associated Press published a report detailing how millions of dollars in federal funding helped drilling companies develop and perfect high-volume hydraulic fracturing. This isn't a new story, but it does point out the discrepancy between drilling companies' recent claims that the fracking boom happened because government took a hands-off approach. It quotes fracking pioneers who say the technique's success shows why government should support research into future energy sources, even if the technology takes decades to be productive. The article also illustrates the role that government has played in encouraging continued reliance on fossil fuels; whether that was intended by the author is another matter.

• Earthworks, an environmental group that opposes fracking, issued a report on oil and gas drilling regulatory enforcement efforts in various states. New York was among the states it evaluated. It says state environmental officials did not inspect 76 percent of active wells. It also faulted the state for failing to monitor disposal of wastewater from existing wells.

• Environment New York, another anti-fracking environmental group, released a report called "The Costs of Fracking." The report highlights costs related to road damage, water contamination, fracking waste treatment, and public health issues.

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