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With 38% of Global Shale Gas Located in Regions of Water Stress, More Oversight of Fracking is Urgently Needed

As more data emerge, shale gas increasingly appears to be in the cross-hairs of the water-energy nexus, and far too little is being done to defuse impending conflicts. While hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”), the process used to unleash natural gas from shale deposits, has raised serious concerns about groundwater contamination, less attention has been given…

Supreme Court Says EPA Can Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In the latest decision on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate carbon pollution, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, but voted 5-4 to limit permitting requirements. The ruling does not directly affect the EPA’s latest proposed rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, and…

Methane and the Transformation of an Indigenous Community in Colorado

This posting is an excerpt from a longer report to which I contributed for the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and published in May, 2014. The full report is available here. Amidst all the negativity one often reads about the predicament of indigenous communities worldwide, particularly with reference to extractive industries investments on…

Insatiable Thirst? The Fracking/Water Collision in South Texas

Fifty miles south of San Antonio on Route 181, signs of the hydraulic fracturing boom taking place in the Eagle Ford Basin are everywhere. New hotels are popping up. Trucks endlessly barrel down roads. Restaurants can’t find enough workers. And then there are the potted country roads lined with artificial ponds, water stations and miles…

Fracking in Water-Stressed Zones Increases Risks to Communities – and Energy Producers

Even as concerns arise about the threats hydraulic fracturing poses to water quality and human health, a new study released yesterday finds that the water demands of the “fracking” process are adding considerably to localized water depletion, especially in parts of Texas, Colorado, and California. Nearly half of the fracking wells in operation since 2011…

Climate Disruption, National Security, and the State of our Union

If CIA surveillance picked up intelligence about a terrorist action that would alter weather patterns so as to slash global food production, unleash droughts and floods, ignite fires, inundate coastlines and turn millions of people into refugees it would not only headline the president’s State of the Union address, it would force the US government…

Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Linked to Fracking Found in Colorado River

This week, more evidence came in that hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) poses potentially serious risks to drinking water quality and human health. A team of researchers from the University of Missouri found evidence of hormone-disrupting activity in water located near fracking sites – including samples taken from the Colorado River near a dense drilling region…

Impacts Far Reaching as U.S. Marks Sandy Anniversary

A year ago this week, Superstorm Sandy made a lasting mark on the northeast United States. Many areas continue to recover from the storm, the deadliest and most destructive of the 2012 hurricane season. The effects of Sandy’s destruction linger in many areas where it made landfall, but the storm has had wider-ranging impacts, including influencing how we predict and prepare for future…

Fracking’s Threats to Drinking Water Call for a Precautionary Approach

At least one aspect of fracking’s risks to drinking water became a little clearer this week. A study led by Rob Jackson of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that drinking water wells located within 1 kilometer of a shale gas well…

Water Issues Ripple Through Obama Climate Change Speech

President Obama’s climate change speech on Tuesday from Georgetown University was full of references to climate change impacts on water availability, flooding, and drought.  He dealt head on with key issues of changing water cycle intensity, and in particular, with the increasing frequency of hydrologic extremes.  From the outset, the President invoked the Blue Marble…

The Fracker’s Quest: More Water

By Peyton Fleming, Ceres DENVER – Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) has recast the U.S.’s energy future, but it’s also shining a light on fragile water supplies, which could crimp the industry’s growth. The pinch is especially strong on shale energy producers and state regulators who are scrambling to find ways to keep the water flowing…

Water Protection Gets Shortchanged in Proposed Fracking Rules

By Monika Freyman, water program manager at Ceres Proposed standards that the U.S. Department of Interior announced last week for hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) on federal and Indian lands are hugely important, especially in the arid West where water is gold. Unfortunately, water protection gets short shrift in the rules that, once finalized, will apply to…

South African Anti-Fracking Activist Calls for Global Alliance

“We’ve got to stop doing this,” said Jonathan Deal, with a sense of urgency tinged with discomfort. Deal could well have been talking about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the oil and gas drilling practice he has tirelessly fought to stop in his native South Africa. But at this moment, he was talking about the energy-guzzling…

As Oil and Gas Drilling Competes for Water, One New Mexico County Says No

In drought-plagued New Mexico, water is gold. And this week, Mora County in the northern part of the state took a firm stand to protect its precious liquid:  it banned all oil and gas extraction from county lands.  It is believed to be the first county in the nation to take such action. Big oil…

March 31, 2013: Rowing Across the Atlantic, Reviving Extinct Species and More

This week, Boyd’s guests tell tales of lions stealing camera equipment, former whalers who used 19th-century techniques into the 1980s, how to reveal the magnificence of a chicken, and much more.