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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A rash of quakes in Oklahoma is blamed on fracking wastewater wells

Forty earthquakes shook the state in one week in late July. Within a one week period in Oklahoma, an astonishing number of earthquakes rocked the state, and the governor of Oklahoma, Republican Governor Mary Fallin, links the 40 quakes that recently occurred in late July to the procedures used for fracking and non-fracking wastewater disposal wells. Five of the 40 quakes had a magnitude of 4.0 or higher. According to state seismologist Austin Holland, only seven months of the year have passed and Oklahoma has nearly tied the number of…

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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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Fracking is given the go-ahead in North Carolina

New drilling rules go into effect in the Tar Heel State. On Tuesday, North Carolina’s longstanding freeze on hydraulic fracturing came to an end with the passing of the House Bill 157, which ushered in new drilling rules and opened up the application process for companies interested in fracking for natural gas. The final vote was 39 – 10, with six Democrats joining 33 Republicans in approving the bill. Critics say that the new rules are weak and insufficient. After legalizing the controversial mining practice back in 2012, North Carolina…

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Small earthquakes linked to fracking could become bigger down the road

New research says that minor frackquakes are dramatically raising the risk of larger and dangerous quakes. According to federal research that was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science by William Ellsworth, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, small earth tremors linked to fracking that have been occurring daily in Oklahoma and southern Kansas, are significantly increasing the future probability of quakes that will be far bigger and dangerous. A big earthquake in these regions isn’t imminent but the likelihood is increasing. While the potential for future large…

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Statewide fracking ban wanted in California

Protesters in Oakland call on California governor to outlaw hydraulic fracturing in the state. Approximately 8,000 Californians protested in Oakland this past Saturday, urging Governor Jerry Brown to follow in the footsteps of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who recently enforced a statewide ban on fracking in New York, and prohibit the controversial natural gas and oil drilling process throughout California. Hydrofracturing has already been banned in two of the state’s counties. Local and individual fracking bans were passed last years during elections in both San Benito and Santa Cruz. The bans…

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Study finds fracking is used in half of oil and natural-gas production in California

About 20% of the Golden State’s oil production involves hydraulic fracturing. According to a report from the California Council on Science and Technology, for the past ten years, about half of the typical 300 oil and natural-gas wells that were installed in the state each month, were fracking wells, and that roughly 20% of California’s production of oil and natural-gas is the result of hydraulic fracturing. Almost all of the fracked wells in the state are located in Kern County and Fresno County. The study found that most of the…

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U.S. government sued for offshore fracking in the Gulf

Environmentalists take legal action against the American government regarding the risks of offshore hydraulic fracturing. The U.S. government has been sued by The Center for Biological Diversity, an American non-profit membership organization that is well-known for the protection of endangered species and wild places, which alleges that the government did not release public documents that disclosed the extent and risks of offshore fracking operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit seeks immediate response from the federal government and disclosure of requested documents. The lawsuit argues that the Bureau of…

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Fracking linked to Ohio earthquakes

Scientists discover that hydraulic fracturing caused earthquakes in the state last March. A new scientific study, released earlier this week by the Seismological Society of America, has confirmed that fracking for natural gas in the Ohio portion of the Marcellus Shale was responsible for a series of earthquakes in the region that occurred in early March 2014, including one that was strong enough to be felt by the community. The study identified 77 “frackquakes”. The Miami University scientists who conducted the study identified 77 earthquakes in the Poland Township of…

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Fracking ban in New York causes celebration and devastation

New York’s decision to ban the controversial mining practice makes it the second state in the country to do so. Last week, after a report concluded that hydraulic fracturing posed health risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration decided to outlaw fracking in New York State (a decision that took a long time make, as there has been a moratorium on the oil and gas extraction method in the state since 2008), making New York and Vermont the only two states in America to have completely prohibited the mining practice. There is…

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Report finds fracking air pollution hazardous to health

A new report says air pollution from hydraulic fracturing can cause an extensive range of health problems. A report that was released earlier this week from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said that Americans who live near fracking sites (either oil or gas drilling wells), are exposed to air pollution related to the mining practice, which includes exposure to toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene.frack The NRDC claims the pollution is linked to a minimum of five serious types of health problems. Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a senior scientist of the…

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Fracking ban in Texas city approved by voters

Hydraulic fracturing has been outlawed in Denton. Denton, a north town in Texas, has become the first city in America’s top crude producing state to ban fracking, a decision that was reached Tuesday when voters of the town approved to prohibit the controversial mining practice. Denton is located within the Barnett shale formation. This makes the city’s ban quite significant because the Barnett shale formation is where fracking was first developed. Reuters reported that Earthworks energy program director, Bruce Baizel, said that “Denton, Texas is where hydraulic fracturing was invented.”…

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Fracking isn’t liked by New Yorkers according to new survey

Nearly 80% of poll participants were against hydraulic fracturing. A statewide survey that was commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that almost 8 out of 10 New Yorkers who took part in the poll were in favor of the state’s fracking moratorium, making it quite evident that concerns regarding the safety of the drilling practice are widespread. The survey also discovered that the majority of respondents strongly support more renewable energy development. The survey was commission from Franklin, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates – FM3 for the…

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Fracking is not the cause of contaminated groundwater according to new study

Leaky gas wells are the culprit behind water pollution in Pennsylvania and Texas. Although it is often feared and speculated that fracking could lead to groundwater contamination and affect the drinking water of nearby residents, and while cases of tainted groundwater have occurred in regions of Texas and Pennsylvania and were blamed on the controversial practice, a new study says that the contamination was caused by faulty natural gas wells and not the drilling process. Scientists found evidence during their research that suggested hydraulic fracturing was not the source of…

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Fracking wells are being blamed for health problems in the US

People who live near hydraulic fracturing operations are two times as likely to report health issues, says new study. According to the findings of a random survey that was led by Yale University and involved 492 people in 180 households in southwestern Pennsylvania with ground-fed water wells, 39% (almost two of every five) of those who live less than 1 kilometer (km) from a natural gas fracking well reported upper respiratory problems compared to 18% who lived more than 2 km away from wells. Skin problems were also reported by…

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Fracking could be harmful to California groundwater

A new report has found that drilling for oil could threaten the state’s ground water sources. According to a federally commissioned report from the California Council on Science and Technology, fracking for oil in California occurs below ground at depths that are shallower than was previously believed and the depth at which the mining process takes place could pollute groundwater supplies that are precious to the state, which has been experiencing drought and water shortages. Chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process could seep into drinking water. The report discovered…

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