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Fracking Across the United States | Earthjustice

Fracking Across the United States | Earthjustice | Fracking | Scoop.it
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Interactive Map of Fracking Across North America

 

This is a great visual representation of fracking across north america, the US in particular. It addresses "Areas of potential fracking," "Areas of active/proposed fracking," and "Fraccidents" so its great for all ages. 

 

This page from Earthjustice is getting great feedback and shared a lot. I think it is easily digestible without being too simplified. I learned that fracking is basically happening all over the us and where theres fracking theres a 'fraccident' (any kind of spill/leakage/reported problem). What's even scarier is the 'potential fracking' areas which show insight into where fracking companies plan to go.

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Madeleine MacGillivray Wallace's insight:

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Lack of and Proposed Regulation of Fracking

 

This article covers many topics of fracking but I want to focus on the portion that covers proposed and lack of regulation. I know there is a huge lack of regulation but anything beyond that I am lost. I don't know the specific implications of lack of regulation. I want to learn more about the economics of fracking. I learned some pretty shocking stuff:

 

"Current regulation by states is adequate in theory alone. Even though the area's general population believes that the contamination is caused by the oil rigs,69 it cannot be proven conclusively because the exact concentrations of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are considered trade secrets"

 

"Colorado drafted legislation that would require public disclosure of all ingredients, and in what amounts they were used, in the process of hydraulic fracturing.77 Halliburton, one of the big gas companies in the state, responded that "[i]f lawmakers forced the company to disclose its recipes, ... 'it will have little choice but to pull its proprietary products out of Colorado."


"With Colorado as an example of states caving under economic pressures, it appears that the states cannot effectively regulate or enforce current regulations because they need revenue to continue to govern and cannot risk companies pulling their business and moving their rigs to less-stringently regulated states."


"The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2011 (FRAC), was introduced in Congress on March 15, 201 1.93 The two separate bills, one in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives, have not passed as of the time of this writing. The significant changes proposed by both bills include amendments to the SDWA. If passed, FRAC would provide authority for the EPA to regulate hydraulic fracturing,94 repealing the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which excludes hydraulic fracturing from regulation in the underground injection program.95"


"Currently, regulation has been left to the individual state governments. The states, however, do not have the financial power or the ability to establish and enforce regulations that will protect the drinking water from contamination of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing. States fall to political pressure and fail to mandate appropriate regulations upon the hydraulic fracturing industry.

The federal government is in a better position to regulate hydraulic fracturing than state governments. Regulation at the federal level eliminates much of the lobbying pressure the individual states experience. As a result, the proposed federal regulation, FRAC, mandates the disclosure components of fracturing fluid. A disclosure by the industry would hold companies accountable for any contamination that occurs, and it would also help physicians treat individuals who have been exposed to the fracturing fluid. While the United States needs to use the method of hydraulic fracturing, it also needs access to safe drinking water. In order for both goals to be achieved, it is necessary for hydraulic fracturing to be regulated at the federal level."

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Natural Gas Being a 'Bridge' to Clean Energy  is Questionable

 

 

"President Obama's new nominee for the Energy Department has heaped praise on everything from solar panels and efficiency to nuclear power and shale-gas fracking."

 

"Here's how this "bridge" is supposed to work: In the near future, cheap natural gas will elbow aside coal in the U.S. electricity sector. Since burning natural gas for electricity emits about half the carbon-dioxide that burning coal does, this will curtail U.S. emissions a bit. (Indeed, that's already happening.) That, in turn, buys us some time to make the more arduous shift to even cleaner forms of energy, like solar or wind or even nuclear."

 

"As the title suggests, Levi tried to model the actual climate consequences of using natural gas as a bridge. And what he found was striking. Say we want to stabilize the amount of carbon in the atmosphere at about 450 parts per million -- giving us a shot at limiting global warming below 2 C. If that's the goal, then the world can only use natural gas for a short while. Gas consumption would have to peak by 2020 or 2030. A very short bridge."

 

"Natural gas only makes sense as a bridge if we're willing to chance a hefty dose of global warming -- with all the risks that come with it, from sea-level rise to droughts to withering food production. By contrast, if we want to avoid a 2 C rise in temperatures, much of that natural gas will likely need to stay in the ground.

That's why Levi concludes that natural gas is better thought of as a "hedging tool" than a bridge. In the event that the world's policymakers won't do anything about climate change, then natural gas is at least less damagingclimate-wise than coal. But that's about it."

 

I would like to explore the more scientific side of these arguments. Data, numbers, etc. to visually understand the arguments. 

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Fracking vs Faucets: Balancing Energy Needs and Water Sustainability at Urban Frontiers - Environmental Science & Technology (ACS Publications)

Fracking vs Faucets: Balancing Energy Needs and Water Sustainability at Urban Frontiers - Environmental Science & Technology (ACS Publications) | Fracking | Scoop.it
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Water in Cities and Fracking

 

This article was a bit of a tangent but covers water use and more importantly starts to cover the relationship and friction between fracking efforts and municipal areas like Dallas Fort Worth, Texas. 


This article successfully illustrates the depth of the water issue in Texas and its relation to fracking. It also includes statistical data from a study that these scientists conducted and poses some success story. I chose it because it covers a larger issue of water contamination.


Two thorns were that Dallas Fort Worth has the largest shale gas extraction site in the world, along with one of the highest population growth rates. These two things go together to amplify the problem. 

 

This makes me want to research municipal areas' relationships with fracking corporations more. So, people, communities and cultures but also the larger city as a whole. 

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California Fracking

California Fracking | Fracking | Scoop.it
Fracking threatens California's air, water, and wildlife. To protect our future, we must act now.
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Risks and Update on Fracking in California

 

Fracking has already started taking place in ten California counties, and interest is being sparked for drilling in the Monterey Shale, which would bring about 13.7 billion barrels of oil. Furthermore, fracking would put species like the condor and San Joaquin kit fox on the endangered species list. 

 

I am shocked at the amount of oil that could be uncovered in the Monterey Shale. It is very scary to understand how fracking is spreading in California.

 

After reading this article, I am compelled to research more about the risk that nature and animals face because of fracking, and how it is spreading across the country (even though the focus is on the Marcellus Shale). 

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Natural Gas Drilling: Impacts of Fracking on Health, Water | NRDC

Natural Gas Drilling: Impacts of Fracking on Health, Water | NRDC | Fracking | Scoop.it
NRDC: The rapid expansion of natural gas drilling across the nation endangers human health and the environment.
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An Overview of Why Fracking is Bad and How NRDC is Doing Good

 

This article gives a good overview of the context of fracking in terms of the corporations and those implications for Americans. The title is 'Impacts of Fracking on Health, Water,' but it doesn't really cover that. The article also covers fracking on a geographic level. 

 

In terms of the article itself, I did not like the lack of detail in the article. I also did not like how I realized that it was also a promotion of NRDC. In terms of actual content, the thorn was the fact that the Marcellus Shale covers 600 miles. 

 

I like that the article offers 'safeguards,' including not fracking the most sensitive lands, but the safeguards aren't very practical. I would like to further research more ways to help end fracking and understand the future of fracking. 

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Fracking and the Future of Gas: Rob Jackson at TEDxNCSSM

Robert "Rob" Jackson is a professor of biology and the Nicholas Chair of Global Environmental Change at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke Univer...
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Rob Jackson TED x NCSSM: Problems and Benefits of Horizontal Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing

 

Robert succeeds in flowing through a logical explanation of his ideas that is easy for the average person to follow. He supports his claims with science and references Duke, BU and Harvard (ethos). His position is favorable: white male scientist who is not radically against climate change or fracking (and doesn't call out any specific people or organizations), but who stands against other forms of fossil fuel extraction and describes logically with science that fracking is harmful (logos). 

 

Robert Jackson's ideas could be better supported with a bit more detail that would still not decrease the size of his audience. He also only spends about a minute on solutions and renewable energy. Spending more time on the position of those sitting in his audience (high school kids) would be helpful. 

 

A threat that Robert may face is criticism for the specificity of his scientific explanations. His and his colleagues' efforts to encourage the Pennsylvanian government to improve their regulations could end at some point and face other challenges. 

 

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Why Fracking Isn't As Economically Beneficial as Companies Thought

 

"Together, the authors conclude that rather than offering the nation a century of cheap energy and economic prosperity, fracking will provide only a decade of gas and oil abundance, at most, and is creating a fragile new financial bubble that is already starting to deflate."


"The shale gas and tight oil booms have been oversold. According to actual well production data filed in many states, shale gas and shale oil reserves have been overestimated by operators by as much as 400-500%."


"Production rates are already in decline in many shale plays. The high rates of per-well investment required to maintain production mean U.S. shale gas production may have already peaked"


""Given the true potential, limitations, and both financial and environmental costs of the energy panaceas being touted by industry and government proponents, it will simply not be possible to drill and frack our way to 'energy independence.'"" - David Hughes.


The last thing i really need to research is just where exactly fracking is happening in the us, and for how long.

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New Mexico county first in nation to ban fracking to safeguard water

New Mexico county first in nation to ban fracking to safeguard water | Fracking | Scoop.it
OCATE, N.M. - Sitting in the tidy living room of the home they built themselves, Sandra and Roger Alcon inventory what they see as the bounty of their lives: freedom, family, community, land,...
Madeleine MacGillivray Wallace's insight:

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Small Communities Fighting Against Fracking

 

I chose this piece because I want to look further into communities and different stories reflecting environmental classism and the happy stories that are arising from fracking.

 

I still want to learn more about the culture behind communities that are rammed by corporations and coerced into signing forms etc. when they do not have the information or knowledge that they need to make an informed decision. Why are poor communities targeted?

 

'"We've lived off the land for five generations," said Roger Alcon, 63, looking out on a northern New Mexico landscape of high mesas, ponderosa pines and black Angus cattle'

 

"Wells are the Alcons' only source of water. The same is true for everyone else in Mora County, which is why last month this poor, conservative ranching region of energy-rich New Mexico became the first county in the nation to pass an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as "fracking" that has compromised water quantity and quality in communities around the country.

"I don't want to destroy our water," Alcon said. "You can't drink oil.""

 

"In embracing the ban, landowners turned their back on potentially lucrative royalty payments from drilling on their property and joined in a groundswell of civic opposition to fracking that is rolling west from Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania in the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation."

 

The most important thing I learned is that this opposition to fracking inspired other communities to act against the corporations in attempt to save their resources. Especially the Marcellus shale which is the biggest one. 

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Aaron O.'s curator insight, October 23, 2014 12:51 PM

New Mexico says bye bye to fracking : ) 

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The Pros and Cons of Fracking Eloquently Put

 

"And since much of our imported oil and gas comes from unstable parts of the world, importing less makes the U.S. more secure." 

"In the absence of strong safeguards, oil and gas companies are running roughshod over our communities."

 

Thorns: "The natural-gas industry is committed to making sure hydraulic fracturing is conducted safely and responsibly to ensure that our environment is protected. For all these reasons, hydraulic fracturing will continue to play a key role in our energy future."

"States can implement their own, stricter standards for fracking but most haven't. For example, only 14 of the 29 states with fracking operations require companies to report which chemicals they use in fracking fluids."

 

Questions: Exactly who is for and who is against fracking? How polarized is the issue? Is there some kind of middle ground? 

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Fracking Causes Rumbles in California - YouTube

California is one of the largest oil and gas producing states in the U.S. As the Golden State cashes in on the boom, the oil and gas industry is increasingly...
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Big Concerns With Fracking in California

 

This video covers scary news about fracking in Los Angeles. Residents were not notified that it was occurring right outside their backyard, and they didn't know that it was even fracking until recently. Also, cracks have been appearing in and outside their homes, on the pavement and in pipes, etc. There is a huge earthquake risk because of this. 

 

The comments on the video are positively outraged. Some include: "GET OUT OF MY STATE!!!!," "its not the water that should be the main concern... the fracking can send California in the ocean," and one opposer wrote, "This is Baseless Anti-Fracking propaganda... Those Shitty little houses were cracking long before the conception of Fracking…"


I personally think that this is very scary and I did not know that fracking was even occurring in our state until very recently! When I think of fracking and exploitive measures by a corporation, I don't imagine them coming into an area as dense as LA. Especially because this fracking is moving the rocks beneath the surface that cause them to shift and break -- big earthquake risk. 

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Health Impacts of Fracking

Health Impacts of Fracking | Fracking | Scoop.it
Risks to human health are present at every step of the fracking gas extraction process. Despite these hazards fracking is exempt federal environmental laws
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Detailed Description of How and Why Fracking is Unhealthy

 

I chose this piece because I already knew that natural gas is bad to breathe in a lot of, but that's basically the only health impact I knew. I wanted to know how exactly fracking leads people to get sick. Knowing how fracking actually physically hurts humans and animals is important in understanding the battle against it and its implications for humans. This article was very good at going deep into how fracking hurts us. 

 

I learned that fracking reaches us physically through surface spills, blowouts and well casing failures, and that VAD (vibro-acoustic disease) occurs because of radioactive contamination and air emission from vents, pipeline leaks and more. A huge problem is endocrine disruption -- development in young people. Also, the chemicals and proven toxins released from fracking are: benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, methanol, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, glycol ethers, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and others. 

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Breaking: $3 Million Jury Verdict in Texas Fracking Nuisance Case - De Smog Blog (blog)

Breaking: $3 Million Jury Verdict in Texas Fracking Nuisance Case - De Smog Blog (blog) | Fracking | Scoop.it
Bay Area Indymedia Breaking: $3 Million Jury Verdict in Texas Fracking Nuisance Case De Smog Blog (blog) The jury returned its 5-1 verdict confirming that Aruba Petroleum “intentionally created a private nuisance” though its drilling, fracking and...
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1st Success For Fracking Victims

 

A Texas couple won against Aruba Petroleum Inc. and got 3 million dollars. They accused the corporation of intentionally impairing their wealth and health (serious health complications, no clean water). This article highlights success of the people/families over corporations/government, which we rarely see. 

 

This blog is called Desmog Blog (we happen to know the author) and it has gotten lots of positive review from readers, given the audience this well-known blog attracts. 

 

I think this is wonderful news, and I think that Brendan puts the information (including lawyer's quote, important details and interesting facts like the fact that this is the first ever fracking verdict, according to the lawyer). This article is very succinct and easy to digest. 

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