Tag Archives: energy

Jim Gennaro, councilman-geologist, questions “natural” gas drilling at length

Gennaro, a 53-year-old with a bachelors degree in geology and environmental science, has the retail political skills of a research scientist; he speaks quickly and tends, sometimes, to ramble a little. He also gives the impression of being genuinely enthusiastic about rock formations.

He is skeptical that any amount of study will make fracking workable in New York.

In a recent interview, he said, “As a geologist, if this were to be done safely—if that were even possible—there would have to be certain geological conditions that I think would have to apply for where this could be done.” Continue reading

Posted in Catskill, Contamination, Delaware River Basin, Energy, Environmental violations, EPA, Fracking, Gas Drilling, Hydraulic Fracturing, Legislation, Marcellus Shale, Moratorium NY State, Poisons, Politics, Special interests, Sullivan County, Toxicity | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Natural gas” hurts the environment more than it helps: demystifying the T. Boone Pickens plan…

The natural gas industry likes to cast itself as a green alternative in the fight against global warming, with folks like T. Boone Pickens and his allies at the forefront of the effort to increase gas use for electricity generation and as an automobile fuel.
Now Congress appears ready to provide taxpayer subsidies in a Senate energy bill for parts of the Pickens plan. But let’s be sure we’re getting good public policy, not just an expensive public relations push.
To date, little evidence has surfaced to support the notion that increasing our use of natural gas will actually help the environment. In fact, an increase in natural gas usage could hurt the environment more than it helps.

Let’s start with the concept that natural gas is “clean.” If you look at a coal-fired power plant versus a gas-powered plant, gas looks better at first blush because there is less carbon dioxide per kilowatt coming out of the gas plant’s smokestack.

But there’s a lot more to the climate impacts of natural gas than emissions at the power plant. Leaks of methane occur at every stage of natural gas production and transport – during drilling, at the wellsite, at compressor stations, and in the pipeline. These methane leaks add up, and methane is twenty-five times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Many leaks are the result of inefficient operations and a lack of trained professionals to employ the simple, cost-effective fixes available through the EPA’s Natural Gas STAR program.

Gas production can also cause major methane leaks from outcrops of gas-bearing rock. In the Raton Basin of southeastern Colorado, dozens of these methane seeps have been identified, many of them associated with the gas industry. In the Atlantic Rim of Wyoming, the onset of coalbed methane development has resulted in new seeps rivaling the mud pots of Yellowstone National Park in size, and emitting thousands of cubic feet of gas per minute into the atmosphere.

All these methane leaks, and their emissions of potent greenhouse gases, need to be accounted for when examining the greenhouse gas emissions of natural gas versus coal. When leaks are added in, natural gas is hardly better than coal from a climate change perspective. Continue reading

Posted in air pollutants, Benzene, Chemicals, Contamination, Fracking, Fracking Fluid, Gas Drilling, Gas Lobby, Hydraulic Fracturing, Legislation, Lobbying, Methane, Poisons, Politics, Special interests, T. Boone Pickens, The “Pickens Plan”, Toxicity, Volatile Organic Compounds, Wastewater tanks or pits | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oil and Gas Industry Writes Its Own Pipeline Standards…

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the federal agency that oversees the country’s 2.3 million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines, has adopted as part of its regulations all or parts of at least 29 standards written by the oil and natural gas industry.

The revelation, which comes to light as part of an investigation into pipeline safety by The Washington Independent, raises significant questions about the relationship between PHMSA and the industry that it regulates. It also feeds into comparisons between the agency and the now-defunct Minerals Management Service, which was in charge of permitting and licensing offshore drilling projects in the run-up to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill.
Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Gas Lobby, Legislation, Lobbying, loopholes, Special interests | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

As stakes rise in NY Gas drilling fight, groups band together to educate public: New billboard, campaign come as federal hearing on drilling postponed due to crowd concerns


Posted in Fracking, Gas Drilling, Gas Lobby, Hydraulic Fracturing, Lobbying, Marcellus Shale, Moratorium NY State, Special interests | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After BP Spill, Senate Bill Includes New Regulation of Fracking


Posted in Energy, Fracking, Gas Drilling, Gas Lobby, Gasland, Hydraulic Fracturing, Hydrolic Fracturing, Legislation, Marcellus Shale | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Risks to NYC’s Water Supply Prompt Short-Term Ban on Gas Drilling


Posted in Contamination, Delaware River Basin, Endocrine Disruptors, Energy, EPA, Fracking, Fracking Fluid, Gas Drilling, Gas explosion, Gas Lobby, Gasland, Hydraulic Fracturing, Hydrolic Fracturing, Legislation, Lobbying, Marcellus Shale, Moratorium NY State, Produced Water, Sullivan County, Toxicity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EPA’s Fracturing Study Raises Gas Industry Ire

An 18-month investigation by ProPublica, however, has shown more than 1,000 cases [6] in which various aspects of the fracturing lifecycle have affected water supplies, including spills of fracturing fluid waste, cracking of underground cement and well casings meant to enclose the fracturing process, and methane gas traveling large distances [7] underground through faults and fractures. Continue reading

Posted in Benzene, Contamination, Endocrine Disruptors, Energy, EPA, Fracking, Fracking Fluid, Gas Drilling, Gas Lobby, Hydraulic Fracturing, Hydrolic Fracturing, Legislation, Lobbying, Produced Water, Toxicity, Volatile Organic Compounds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment