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Fracking: A Bad Bet for the Environment and Economy | EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement


Green Lifestyle  (tags: energy, hydrofracking, natural gas, methane, water supply pollution, toxic chemicals, earthquakes, air pollution, health hazards )

Sylvie
- 699 days ago - ecowatch.org
As New York considers new hydrofracking regulations that would allow companies to drill an estimated 48,000 gas wells across the countryside, many see the pitched battle over the state's fracking plan as a tug-of-war between the environment & the economy.



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Comments

Sylvie Bermannova (39)
Wednesday December 26, 2012, 9:09 pm
Tell the DEC and Gov. Cuomo Not to Frack with NY’s Water!

http://www.riverkeeper.org/news-events/news/safeguard-drinking-water/tell-the-dec-and-cuomo-dont-frack-with-nys-water/

Public comment period closes Jan. 11.
 

Florence Eaise (132)
Thursday December 27, 2012, 11:18 am
Done thanks sylvie noted and shared
 

LMj Sick Sunshine (134)
Friday December 28, 2012, 10:22 am
TY!!
 

Nikhil D (2)
Friday December 28, 2012, 6:56 pm
No fracking
 

Alice C. (1797)
Wednesday August 28, 2013, 8:27 am
SkyTruth Tracks Fracking From the Edge of Space August 27, 2013

SkyTruth
For the past year, our satellite monitoring of infrared data from around the world has detected immense amounts of light and heat coming from natural gas flares in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. A recent study concluded that 30 percent of the natural gas produced in North Dakota is being wasted by a process called flaring, and the carbon dioxide emissions alone are equivalent to the annual emissions of 1 million automobiles.

This does not even touch the unknown air quality impacts from burning fracked gas in large, open flames at ground-level. To study this issue further, we are teaming up with a non-profit called Space For All to send cameras and instruments on a weather-balloon to the edge of space—well, the upper tropopause—to examine air quality and infrared emissions from oil shale fracking and flaring.
But what is flaring and why is it an issue? Flaring is the practice of burning off natural gas to dispose of it, primarily this happens right after a well is put into production or when other methods of using the gas are more expensive to implement than its market value. Operators do not want methane (the primary hydrocarbon in natural gas) accumulating on their wellpads where it can explode, and burning it off is slightly less harmful to the climate than venting it directly to the atmosphere.
But there is so much flaring going on that the fields around Williston, ND, positively glow, and there is limited information on other air quality impacts from flaring all of this gas produced as a by-product from fracking for oil. Help us Skytruth the Bakken to find out what is really going on …
Flaring and rig lights in the Bakken Shale are clearly visible, but we want to better understand the difference between flaring and use this data to better detect wasteful flaring around the globe.
Flaring and rig lights in the Bakken Shale are clearly visible, but we want to better understand the difference between flaring and use this data to better detect wasteful flaring around the globe.
With your help, we are planning to go to North Dakota to groundtruth satellite detections of flaring, and launch cameras and air quality instruments to the edge of space, tethered to a high-altitude balloon rig. We will combine our ground observations with detections from the balloon rig, and compare that to satellite data to measure the amount of natural gas flaring there. This will help us test the accuracy of our satellite-based flaring detections so we can do a better job of monitoring environmentally damaging (and unnecessarily wasteful) flaring that happens in the Bakken and around the world. The more good data we can collect, the more we can help groups that are working to reduce and eliminate it.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
 

Alice C. (1797)
Sunday December 1, 2013, 8:24 am
New Report Exposes Impacts of Fracking on Water

EcoWatch | October 30, 2013 1:44 pm | Comments
2877 10Share2 185 3880
A new report released today reveals the impacts of Marcellus Shale gas development on freshwater resources in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The report, Water Resource Reporting and Water Footprint from Marcellus Shale Development in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, provides the most recent and comprehensive investigation of water used and waste generated by fracking operations in the two states.

“Water use and contamination are among the most pressing and controversial aspects of shale gas and oil development,” says Evan Hansen of Downstream Strategies. “Industry and policymakers must heed this information to prevent water and waste problems from escalating.”

gaswellpermits

The report—based on state and industry data—finds that the volumes of water and waste are a cause for concern, and inadequate industry reporting requirements leave the true extent of the problem unknown, according to a press release. The fracking boom has put a major strain on water resources all over the U.S.

“Our analysis of available data and identification of missing data indicates that, even with new reporting requirements, we still don’t know the full scale of impacts on water resources,” says Dustin Mulvaney of San Jose University. “States should require operators to track and report water and waste at every step, from well pad construction to fracturing to disposal.”

Screen shot 2013-10-30 at 1.54.20 PM

Among the findings:

More than 90 percent of the water injected underground to frack gas wells never returns to the surface, meaning it is permanently removed from the water cycle. This could have huge repercussions in water-poor states.
More than 80 percent of West Virginia’s fracking water comes from rivers and streams. Reuse and recycling of flowback fluid makes up only eight percent of recent water use in West Virginia and 14 percent in the Susquehanna River Basin in Pennsylvania, and is highly unlikely to be a solution to the water needs of the industry going forward.
As the industry expands, the volume of waste generated is also increasing rapidly. Between 2010 and 2011, it went up by 70 percent in Pennsylvania to reach more than 610 million gallons.
Water use per unit energy—often referred to as a blue water footprint—is higher than evaluated by prior research, even though this study employed a stricter definition of water use. While previous studies considered all water withdrawn per unit energy, this one only considered water that is permanently removed from the water cycle.
States have taken steps to gather information on water withdrawals, fluid injection, and waste disposal, but reporting remains incomplete, operators sometimes provide erroneous data, and the data itself is not always readily available to the public.
“It is clear from this report that fracking uses and will continue to use considerable water resources, despite industry claims to the contrary,” says Bruce Baizel director of Earthworks’ energy program. “This means we need stronger public oversight of fracking, and also a more robust debate on how much water we are willing to part with for the sake of fracking.”
 
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