A proposed Wyoming Senate bill (Senate File 157) that would require baseline groundwater testing by oil and natural gas operators before drilling begins has stirred up controversy, with industry officials questioning whether the law is needed.
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Chesapeake Energy Corp. has agreed to allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct extensive tests at one of its drilling sites as part of the federal agency’s ongoing investigation into the safety of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Range Resources Corp. also may allow EPA to work at one of its drilling sites.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a major environmental group, Wednesday launched a project that would offer communities and towns a helping hand in blocking hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The effort would extend to five states, but the focus would be on Pennsylvania and Ohio, where fracking is most pervasive.
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael Krancer said a recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) was “incorrect and inapplicable to Pennsylvania in many respects,” and urged the environmental group to reconsider its labeling of natural gas as a “dirty fossil fuel.”
Focusing on the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on Wednesday made a pitch for more rules to cover the handling of wastewater produced in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) with the release of a new NRDC report.
Development of oil and natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale contributed $25 billion in total economic output to the South Texas region last year, according to a study released Wednesday by the Center for Community and Business Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development.
As Pennsylvania worked toward overhauling environmental rules for shale development in February, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) said “while this legislation is not perfect, the people of Pennsylvania are better served by passage of this bill now than to wait another year or longer for something stronger.”
The Town Council of Chapel Hill, NC, has approved a resolution voicing its opposition “absent guaranteed public health and environmental protections” to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) because of potential threats to local water supplies. Creedmoor, NC, and the Town of Cary, NC, have also taken steps to regulate fracking locally (see Shale Daily, Jan. 9). In separate statements, North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue and the state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources have said they believe fracking can be done safely if it is properly regulated (see Shale Daily, March 26; March 19). The North Carolina Geological Survey believes that technically recoverable gas exists in the state’s Sanford sub-basin (including Lee, Chatham and Moore counties in central North Carolina) and possibly the Dan River sub-basin (including Stokes and Rockingham counties in northern North Carolina).
Although the announcement does not mean the company is committed to its plans for a “world-scale” facility just yet, it ends months of speculation about where Shell would locate the facility and the competition among the three states in the running (see Shale Daily, Dec. 5, 2011; Sept. 7, 2011; June 7, 2011).
ExxonMobil Corp., which made strategic decisions in recent years to capture massive unconventional shale gas and tight oil resources in North America, is now seeing the continent undergoing a “historic energy transformation,” CEO Rex Tillerson said Friday.