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Natural Gas and Fracking

Natural Gas and FrackingHydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a drilling process that injects millions of gallons of water, sand and undisclosed chemicals at high pressure into horizontal wells to crack open shale rock and release natural gas. Largely unregulated, the fast-spreading gas-extraction method is enjoying an unprecedented boom, but it could also be contaminating underground water supplies.
Oil spill cleanup on the Yellowstone River, July 2011.
Current guidelines say emergency response must be 'prompt and effective.' New report says that's not good enough.
2/5/13: This story has been updated to include information from PHMSA received after publication....
Feb 5, 2013 | Read More
New York Times dismantles its environment desk
Times says demise of the nine-person team, created in 2009, won't affect climate coverage.
The New York Times will close its environment desk in the next few weeks and assign its seven...
Jan 11, 2013 | Read More
Ranchers and USDA employee at a Texas ranch affected by the 2011 drought.
'It's short-sighted. It's something that future generations may question.'
A primary concern about the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline is that a leak would contaminate the...
Dec 11, 2012 | Read More
Activists protest against fracking outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office in New Yor
With gas wells in some states being drilled near schools and homes, scientists see a need for better chemical disclosure laws and follow-up research.
For years, the controversy over natural gas drilling has focused on the water and air quality...
Dec 3, 2012 | Read More
Sign advertising a 'Stop the War On Coal' rally in Franklin, Pa.
What’s driving the decline of the U.S. coal industry? Turns out there’s no simple answer—even though some politicians want one.
Power plant operators are shuttering aging coal facilities at record rates—a trend presidential...
Oct 16, 2012 | Read More
Low water levels on the Mississippi River, Aug. 2012.
Climate change has made managing the nation's waterways more important than ever, but policies remain fragmented.
The worst drought since at least the 1950s has barely registered on political radar screens this...
Sep 17, 2012 | Read More
Oil exploration in North Dakota
Releases of drilling and fracking waste, which is often laced with carcinogenic chemicals, have wiped out aquatic life in streams and wetlands.
Oil drilling has sparked a frenzied prosperity in Jeff Keller's formerly quiet corner of western...
Jun 8, 2012 | Read More
Green construction worker
Natural gas proponents say a plan to zero out fossil-fuel use from a half a million federal buildings could harm its reputation as a cleaner fuel.
The natural gas industry and some allies are working behind the scenes in Washington to block a...
May 21, 2012 | Read More
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
New BLM rule stands up well next to state regulations, says one scientist. "But unfortunately, that's because most state regulations are very poor."
Nearly two years after Wyoming became the first state to regulate high-volume hydraulic fracturing...
May 15, 2012 | Read More
Anti-fracking protestors in Ohio
In 2011, drillers pumped more than 500 million gallons of toxic fluid into Ohio's injection wells. More than half of the wastewater came from other states.
A series of earthquakes that rumbled from an oil and gas wastewater well in Ohio last year has...
May 1, 2012 | Read More