fracking

Breaking: No Action Taken on a Proposal to Repeal Denton, Texas Fracking Ban

Julie Dermansky

Denton's city council decided not to vote on a repeal of the city's fracking ban, after almost six hours of discussion on the topic at a public meeting last night. 

The vote to repeal the ban was called for shortly after Texas Governor Greg Abbott singed HB40 into law, making Denton’s fracking ban illegal. 

Breaking: Citizens Arrested While Defending Denton, Texas Fracking Ban

Three members of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group were arrested when they refused to move away from the entrance to a fracking site where work began today.

Before arresting them, however, Sergeant Jenkins, a 30-year veteran of the Denton police department, thanked Adam Briggle, a professor at the University of North Texas, and Denton residents Niki Chochrek and Tara Linn Hunter for the work they had done. 

Wave of Fracking Applications Submitted Since Conservative Election Win

Since the Conservatives won a majority in the general election just over three weeks ago, there has been an increase in the number of planning applications submitted relating to hydraulic fracturing.

This observation comes after a marked rise in the share price of many fracking companies since fracking-friendly Amber Rudd was selected as secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

And while fracking did not get a direct mention in the Queen’s speech on Wednesday, it was noted that “measures will be introduced to increase energy security and to control immigration.”

Revealed: Energy Transfer Partners’ 'Pipeline-for-Prostitute' Landman

By Steve Horn and David Goodner

A DeSmog investigation has uncovered the identity of a land agent and the contract company he works with that allegedly offered to buy an Iowa farmer the services of two teenage sex workers in exchange for access to his land to build the controversial proposed Dakota Access pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners.

The land agent who allegedly made the offer is Stephen Titus, a Senior Right-of-Way Agent who works for the Texas company Contract Land Staff, which was contracted by Energy Transfer Partners.

Cuadrilla Owner AJ Lucas’s Share Price Doubles in Wake of Amber Rudd Promotion to Energy Secretary

Australian engineering and mining firm AJ Lucas’s share price nearly doubled in the first week following the Conservative party’s surprise election win on May 7. The dramatic jump in value coincided with the promotion of fracking-friendly Amber Rudd to energy and climate secretary.

On the day of the UK election, AJ Lucas was trading at AUD$0.30 (£0.15) on the London Stock Exchange. One week later, on Friday May 15, company shares were worth AUD$0.57 (£0.29).

With a majority government, the Conservative party has enthusiastically embraced the prospect of shale gas providing a domestic source of energy. Earlier this week Rudd confirmed the government would “kick-start” fracking by loosening rules regarding fracking under national parks.

Fracking Industry Celebrates Amber Rudd Promotion to Energy Secretary

Fracking wells will be popping like champagne corks across Britain during the next five years following the promotion of shale gas supporter Amber Rudd to secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

While green groups have welcomed her position on renewables, oil and gas industry lobbyists have told DeSmog UK they are delighted with the appointment. The shale gas industry has been eagerly awaiting the post-election fracking go-ahead.

Rudd is the UK’s first female energy secretary. She enters the position with a to-do list chock-full of high-priority items including the Paris climate negotiations in December, carbon capture and storage, and nuclear power. But, with Cuadrilla’s impending Lancashire planning application decision due next month, fracking will be one of the first issues Rudd must tackle.

Widely-Used Tool Can Lowball Methane Pollution Rates, Scientists Report, With Huge Implications for Climate Policy

An EPA-approved methane sampler widely used to measure gas leaks from oil and gas operations nationwide can dramatically under-report how much methane is leaking into the atmosphere, a team of researchers reported in a peer-reviewed paper published in March.

The researchers, one of whom first designed the underlying technology used by the sampler, warn that results from improperly calibrated machines could severely understate the amount of methane leaking from the country’s oil and gas wells, pipelines, and other infrastructure.

“It could be a big deal,” study co-author Amy Townsend-Small, a geology professor at the University of Cincinnati, told Inside Climate News, adding that it’s not yet clear how often the machine returned bad results, in part because figuring out whether there’s an error would have required using a different kind of device to independently test gas concentrations at the time levels were originally recorded.

Dimock, PA Lawsuit Trial-Bound as Study Links Fracking to Water Contamination in Neighboring County

A recent peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed what many fracking critics have argued for years: drilling operations associated with hydraulic fracturing (“fracking) for oil and gas can contaminate groundwater. 

For the study, researchers examined groundwater contamination incidents at three homes in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale basin in Bradford County. As The New York Times explained, the water samples showed “traces of a compound commonly found in Marcellus Shale drilling fluids.”

The study's release comes as a seminal lawsuit demanding recovery for such damages winds its way to a jury trial later this year in the U.S. District Court in Scranton, PA. That case pits two families from Dimock, PA, located in neighboring Susquehanna County, against Texas-based, industry giant, Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation.

What’s In The Recycled Oil Field Wastewater Sprayed On California Crops?

“You can't find what you don't look for,” UC Berkeley researcher Seth B.C. Shonkoff recently told the LA Times, referring to the chemicals that state regulators don’t know to test for in the recycled wastewater the California oil industry sells for use on crops here in the top agricultural producing state in the US.

Chevron produces more than 10 times as much water as it does oil at its Kern River oil field in California’s Central Valley, for instance — 760,000 barrels of water a day versus 70,000 barrels of oil. Half of that water is treated and sold to the Cawelo Water District in Bakersfield, which mixes it with fresh water and sells it exclusively to farmers.

Nobody knows if that water contains chemicals from fracking or other extreme oil extraction techniques, because the companies aren't required to test for them before selling the water. Nobody knows what those chemicals are, anyway, because companies aren't required to make that information public.

Who is Cuadrilla’s New Chairman, Roy Franklin?

Last week it was announced that Roy Franklin OBE, age 61, had been appointed as the new Chairman of Cuadrilla Resources. Franklin originally joined the board of Cuadrilla Resources back in 2012.

Unlike Lord Browne (his predecessor who has now joined Russian firm L1 Energy), it seems he is not well known in the UK government. He is also not big in celebrity circles or active on social media.

Franklin graduated with a degree in Geology in 1973 from the University of Southampton. He now funds some undergraduate and post-graduate research there. After graduating, he worked his way up through BP for 18 years.

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