USGS monitoring program is slashed in new 2018 budget

Pamela King [Energywire] reports:

The steepest reduction to the agency's fracking research capabilities comes in the form of a 20 percent cut to the agency's Environmental Health Mission Area.

This is the same division that last year found a "definitive link" between water quality impacts and deep well injection of oil and gas wastewater (Energywire, May 11, 2016).

Apparently the current administration deals with scientific evidence of dangers to human health by defunding the programs that revealed the truth.

Sad.

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Chaco Canyon and sacred Navaho lands threatened by fracking

Julie Dermansky reports on the drilling of fracking wells in lands directly adjacent to and overlapping the national treasures of Chaco Canyon and the Bisti Badlands in New Mexico.

Few of the Diné (Navaho) people see any profit from these industrial developments, according to Jane White, a Diné environmental activist. Instead, "We pay the price in bad health – respiratory diseases, heart and kidney diseases, and diabetes."

If the lands of Chaco are meaningful to you, please help to stop their exploitation for short-term energy needs by the likes of Halliburton.

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New York Outlaws Fracking

A clear victory for the anti-fracking movement was handed down in New York, as the governor moved to ban fracking in the entire state.

The Cuomo administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State, ending years of uncertainty by concluding that the controversial method of extracting gas from deep underground could contaminate the state’s air and water and pose inestimable public-health risks.

"I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York," said Howard Zucker, the acting commissioner of health.

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UK Chief Scientist Blasts Fracking in Annual Report

Fracking carries potential risks on a par with those from thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, warns a report produced by the government’s chief scientific adviser.

The flagship annual report by the UK’s chief scientist, Mark Walport, argues that history holds many examples of innovations that were adopted hastily and later had serious negative environmental and health impacts.

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Fracking Linked to Earthquakes in Texas

The city of Irving, Texas has experienced five earthquakes in four days, leading some critics to blame increased seismic activity on nearby fracking operations. Residents and city leaders point to area oil and gas disposal wells, where fracking wastewater is injected deep underground, as likely culprits.

"We are guinea pigs in the middle of this fracking experiment. Texas homes are built to withstand wind, not earthquakes," Sharon Wilson, an organizer for the advocacy group Earthworks, told Reuters.

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Fracking Allowed in Largest Forest Preserve on East Coast

The U.S. Forest Service has opened the doors for oil and gas companies to drill by fracking the largest national forest on the East Coast, the George Washington National Forest, according to an updated federal management plan released Tuesday.

Backtracking on an earlier plan to restrict fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which has been linked to dangerous levels of air and groundwater pollution, the Obama administration reportedly caved to industry pressure to permit such drilling of the Marcellus Shale within park perimeters.

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Updated dataset of fracking wells in Pennsylvania

Jake Slyder, GIS manager for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, has announced an updated dataset of their unconventional wells for the state of Pennsylvania.

These include wells related to fracking.

Their main website is: http://maps.carnegiemnh.org/index.php/projects/unconventional-wells/

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Conclusive Evidence of Fracking Contamination of Wells In Texas

Independent scientists who have reviewed a water analysis conducted by state authorities of a Texas resident's drinking well say the chemical signatures found in the water may provide "the nation's first conclusive link" between fracking operations and aquifer contamination.

Results from the water analysis—specifically one called an isotopic analysis—say the chemical composition shows they are an exact match to the gas being fracked at two nearby drilling sites.

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Non-disclosure: Burgundy Well in North Dakota a Gigantic Mess

Oil Well Ron Burgundy Is Leaking, But They Don't Have To Tell Us How Much
by Abby Zimet

The leak at Tioga, North Dakota's Ron Burgundy 3-23-14H fracking well is under a confidentiality agreement that protects its owners from having to release vital information to the public like what the hell is going on there.

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