An explanation of what hydraulic fracturing and shale gas is.
We only consider 2 nations here, with their differing thoughts on an industry that provides cheap and easy energy. The worldwide comparative approach might be appropriate to consider just how often fracking leads to consequences that the perpetrators are very reluctant to investigate. It is up to local people in every nation to decide on their own solutions, but also to look at other opinions where experiences in other countries have taught us what to expect.
We have ideas and giant international conferences coming up, on how to combat global warming and specifically what we can do with greenhouse gases. It could be, though, that some of the jokers in the pack are simply sequestering while Rome burns. After all, their employment depends on maintaining the coal, oil, gas and even fracking industries. Maybe replacing these industries with renewable energy technologies would use different engineers and spoil the party for many profitable companies?
When we see countries developing a large renewable energy capacity, the whole earth can celebrate that there will be no more carbon emissions from some sources at least. Now for the riddance of fracking, coal and all gas and oil based industries, before the UNs latest warnings become tragically true even before we know it.
One of the few frackers in Western Europe, will the UK, go ahead with its risky programme of hydraulic fracturing? Many other nations have banned it completely because of its geological and high-carbon reputation.
While we sit and wait for politicians to save their bacon or cook their goose with fracking, German renewables and giant power transfers could help reduce prices in more efficient ways.
The future may be in fracking, as we reported from the UK last week. It does seem more likely that the improvement recently in integrated solar absorption technology and simpler photovoltaic systems should join with wind energy and the sheer power of hydro-electricity in converting us FROM gas.
While renewable energy struggles to make its mark on politicians, the easy way is to use the good old technology of getting fossils out of the ground and setting them alight. Has anybody remembered the globe is warming quickly now?
Columbia University has created a maelstrom with publication of probable links between waste water injection and quakes. Long suspected, this evidence is pretty damning, and useful ammunition for the anti-fracking lobby.
The scale and nature of the oil industry's waste-dumping underground has been revealed in a report by ProPublica, which was released yesterday. It describes how lax regulation, industry mismanagement and corruption and growing risks from fracking waste - are brewing a perfect cocktail of troubles for future generations: right under our feet.
David Cameron. It's make-your-mind-up-time. The RSPB, WWF and FOE are jointly fighting the British government's failure to check fracking's (hydraulic fracturing's) environmental impact and health and safety issues.
An overview of the fracking industry in South Africa and the environmental concerns associated with the process; the article also includes South Africa's potential frackers, written by Michelle Simon.
The boom in shale gas production has left US gas prices near record lows. But those low prices are threatening the switch to no-carbon renewables, like wind and solar, as utilities switch to gas in preference. Many are worrying that the shale gas boom is a dangerous distraction, as reserves forecasts are slashed.
Michelle Simon writes an opinion piece on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Karoo, South Africa; she discusses the social impacts of fracking as well as the biophysical impacts associated with the shale gas extraction process.
Expert fisherman defy expectations, fracking endangers water supplies and new habitats formed by the disappearing glaciers. You will read later in this article about the salmon doing well in Glacier Bay in Alaska, but a study by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has noted that fish in overfished areas may not have such a positive future.
Top stories affecting the environment this week. A roundup of environmental and green news headlines up to October 7th 2011 written by Laura Brown for The Earth Times. Topics include fracking in New York along with austerity affecting the green agenda and conservation in the UK.
With the announcement from Caudrilla Resources of headline-grabbing numbers for the shale gas reserves under Lancashire's fields, the rush to kick-off a fracking boom in the UK has started. But its not a choice between jobs and the environment - but between a short-sighted boom and a sustainable switch to a clean green economy.
Drought-stricken Texas is looking to manage water use at hydrofracking operations, but current law is flawed: operators using wells for hydrofracking are exempt from water use reporting requirements. Water utilities and regulators have put restrictions on residential, commercial, and agricultural water use, and now they are turning to fracking.
The US Department of Energy released its interim report on drilling for shale gas today, sketching out plans for gently easing a regulatory framework around fracking - whilst still leaving the door open to the shale gas boom. The boom itself continues to draw critics, though, not least those who believe the resource's potential may be overblown.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is set to release a report with recommendations for regulating hydrofracking. A public comment period will follow the release, and DEC will write regulations based on the final recommendations. The fight will be intense. Opponents would do well to focus on strict regulations rather than an outright ban, which is not likely feasible.
Shale gas extraction has been given a half-hearted thumbs up by New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, in draft legislation published today. Sensitive areas will be off-limits for fracking, and tougher regulations will apply - but up to 85% of the resource in the US state could potentially be opened up for exploitation.
A second earthquake in two months, near Blackpool, and close to the site of the UK's first onshore shale gas well, has bought the tremor risks of fracking to the fore. With the operator, Cuadrilla Resource, suspending work, will these earthquakes derail the recently approval given to fracking by the UK's parliament?
The UK's Energy and Climate Change Committee gave 'shale gas' the green light in the UK yesterday - with the Chair, Time Yeo, dismissing pollution worries as 'hot air'. Given that regulators in both the US and France are putting 'fracking' in the environmental dock, the decision by the Parliamentary Committee seems decidedly rash.
Much of the debate swirling around hydrofracking centers on water quality impacts, obscuring its potential impacts on water quantity. What is undeniable is that the practice called high volume hydraulic fracturing requires large volumes of water, potentially impacting local water supplies and aquatic habitat.
The drinking water of homes close to wells that use hydraulic fracturing - to help get gas from buried shales - has up to 17 times the level of methane of those further away, says new research published in today's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists from Duke University have pinned the methane in tap water to the gas wells themselves, adding to an already long list of environmental concerns with shale gas 'fracking'.
A new study on the total climate-impact of fossil fuels shows that natural gas is more dangerous to the planet than coal - but that top of the roost for climate-change causing fuels may well be shale gas. This massive new energy resource, being aggressively exploited across the US, has been slated for the waste-water pollution contamination from 'fracking'. Now its image as a 'clean' transitional fuel is in doubt too.
Shale gas is the last fossil fuel to be exploited. It is relatively clean and relatively cheap, but it's downside is the harm that it can do to the environment. Fracking or hydraulic fracturing may not be a term familiar to everyone, but it is the name given to the process of extracting natural gas from shale.
Hydraulic fracturing or fracking for shale gas is the new wild frontier of the fossil-fuel industry, one they're keen to promote as a low-carbon alternative to high-polluting coal and oil. Environmentalists are worried, though, about contaminated drinking water, and earth tremors - but perhaps those are the least of the dangers.
Will Shale Gas be the new low carbon energy source to replace dirty coal? Shale Gas is the new energy buzzword. It is ''unconventional gas'' produced from within rocks by utilising technological processes commonly called ''fracking'' which means chemically extracting the gas. In America it has suddenly become a big story: since 2000, shale gas production has leapt from being only 1% of US gas production up to 20% in 2009.