German government agrees to ban controversial fracking practice

Germany may move away from the controversial practice of drilling for shale gas The German government has chosen to take aggressive action on fracking. After years or derisive talks, the coalition government has decided to ban fracking for shale gas indefinitely. The ban aims to address concerns regarding the damage that this practice can cause to the environment. While some environmental groups have praised the decision, others believe that the ban does not go far enough. Some of these groups have vowed to fight the ban in order to promote…

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Half of U.S. oil production comes from fracking

About 50% of the oil produced in America in 2015 was provided by hydraulic fracturing, reported the EIA. According to a recent report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), hydraulic fracturing, an oil and gas mining process more commonly known as fracking, accounts for approximately half of the crude oil produced in the United States. The controversial oil and gas extraction technique has been around for over six decades and involves injecting a mixture of sand, chemicals and water deep underground to breakup dense shale rock formations to tap into…

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New research reveals fracking may affect male fertility

Exposure to chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing has been connected to reduced sperm count in adult male mice. Hydrualic fracturing, the controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique, more commonly referred to as fracking, has been linked to several negative effects including earthquakes, water contamination, health problems and, most recently, premature births. Now, new research conducted on mice has shown that chemicals used in the fracking process can damage the reproductive health of male mice, by potentially causing lowering sperm count, larger testicles, and higher levels of testosterone. The researchers…

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Study suggests link between fracking and risk of premature birth

Expectant mothers who live near hydraulic fracturing wells could have high risk pregnancies. Health officials and many Pennsylvanian residents have been concerned about the effects of fracking on water and air quality and its stress on residents, and now this concern may be increased as new research from Johns Hopkins University suggests that pregnant woman who live near hydrofracturing wells in Pennsylvania have a greater likelihood of experiencing high risk pregnancies or giving birth prematurely. Living among the most active quartile of hydrofracturing activity was associated with a 40% increase…

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Produce grown with recycled fracking wastewater may soon come with warning labels

California could pass a bill that would require farmers, producers and retailers to place warning labels on certain food products. Last week, a new bill introduced by a California lawmaker, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Glendale, would require farmers, producers and retailers to add a label to food products that had been irrigated with recycled fracking wastewater. More specifically, the warning label would be required for crops that had been hydrated using recycled water that had once been used in gas and oil field activities, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking), where water is…

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New research says fracking has changed earthquake patterns in B.C.

Since 2006, the Canadian province’s shale gas industry has caused over 1,000 earthquakes in northeastern B.C. The latest research and presentations from provincial and federal scientists has revealed that fracking for shale gas in British Columbia (B.C.) has not only caused a dramatic increase in earthquakes in the northeastern region of the Canadian province, but it has changed the region’s seismicity, as well. Scientists are growing more concerned over the potential damage frackquakes could cause. Initially, scientists thought that fracking would not trigger anything beyond a micro-sized quake. Microquakes are…

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New study finds majority of fracking waste is dumped in unlined pits

This waste could threaten California’s drinking water. A state-mandated study of fracking that was issued last week, has said that according to its findings, over half of the wastewater from fracked oil wells in the state of California is left to rot in open, unlined pits, and this method of disposal could lead to the contamination of groundwater Some hydraulic fracturing disposal pits are located directly on top of usable drinking water supplies. According to the study, there are over 900 hydrofracturing waste disposal pits peppered across the San Joaquin…

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Fracking Officially Banned in New York

After a seven year study, New York has formalized its ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The decision to officially ban fracking in the state was announced on Monday by Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens, who said that “Prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative.” The agency concluded after their multi-year study that current safety precautions for drilling are inadequate. In his announcement, Martens stated that “High-volume hydraulic fracturing pose significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that…

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Study finds chemicals associated with fracking in water wells

Some of the findings of a recently published U.S. groundwater study are “alarming.” A highly comprehensive groundwater study that was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), discovered elevated levels of multiple chemical compounds and metals linked to the fracking (hydraulic fracturing) process in private and public water wells along the Barnett Shale, which is “incredibly alarming” according to the lead scientist of the study. Over the past two years, groundwater tests were performed in 13 counties along the Barnett Shale. The peer-reviewed study, which was…

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Fracking does not contaminate water, according to EPA study

A long-anticipated study from the EPA says hydraulic fracturing is not a threat to drinking water. One of the biggest ongoing debates regarding hydraulic fracturing – the controversial oil and natural gas extraction process better known as fracking – is whether or not it contaminates aquifers with potentially harmful chemicals, which are used in the liquid mixture of water, sand and chemicals that is pumped into the ground to break up the rock below. While many believe that hydrofracturing does put the public’s drinking water supply at risk of contamination,…

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Fracking: An environmental hot button

Fracking, the buzz-word that has become part of the environmental vernacular of late, is short for hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is the process by which a mixture of certain chemicals are mixed with water and then pushed deep into the shale rock beneath the earth’s surface. The point of fracking is to create cracks, or fractures, in the shale out of which can be extracted oil or gasses. After the rock has been fractured, the chemical mixture is removed. So, what’s the big deal? Why is fracking so controversial? According…

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Fracking banned in Maryland

Governor Larry Hogan makes decision not to veto hydraulic fracturing ban. The bill that was passed in Maryland bans fracking for two and a half years, and during the moratorium, the state is required to write standards to regulate the natural gas extraction process once the ban is lifted. Maryland is the second state to ban hydrofracturing in recent months. Maryland’s state-wide ban follows New York’s ban, which occurred near the end of last year. Aside from New York, other states in America that have prohibited the controversial mining practice…

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Local fracking bans in Texas outlawed

New law limits abilities of local Texas governments to regulate drilling. Earlier this week, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 40 (HB 40), a law that gives the state the power to regulate the natural resources, and which essentially prohibits local governments from implementing fracking bans in Texas, which will drastically limit the control municipal and county governments have over where gas and oil wells can be drilled. The state wants to prevent local governments from following in the footsteps of Denton. Last year, Denton, a city in North Texas,…

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Study shows hydraulic fracturing could recover 140 billion barrels of oil worldwide

Russia, China, Mexico and Iran have the most to gain from fracking techniques. According to a recent study published by the American-based IHS research firm, oil extraction via the controversial hydraulic fracturing (fracking) technique could be exactly what abandoned oilfields located outside of North America require to recover the untapped oil that the research indicates would be nearly 140 billion barrels of oil, and Russian, China, Mexico, and Iran are the four countries that would most benefit from extraction methods such as fracking and horizontal drilling. The study indicates 135…

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New Report confirms fracking wastewater is behind quakes

USGS links injection wells that dispose wastewater to earthquakes. A new report recently released by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has confirmed that wastewater from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations is causing earthquakes, and the report also revealed that Oklahoma has experienced the most quakes in the central and eastern regions of America, which are believed to be the result of human activity. New earthquake hazard maps were released by the USGS along with the report. On the new maps, 17 hot spots were highlighted. These highlighted regions are the…

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Fracking waste water used to produce geothermal energy

The fracking industry may prove useful for geothermal. Some oil fracking companies who are interested in boosting their revenue and improving their green image, have found a way to make use of the massive amount of toxic waste water that is generated during the hydraulic fracturing process, by using it to produce geothermal energy. Electricity generated can be used on site or sold to the electricity grid. According to a report from Bloomberg, for every barrel of oil that is produced from a frack well, there are seven more barrels…

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