Texas – The regulation of oil and gas extraction falls primarily to the states, whose rules vary dramatically. States are also responsible for enforcing the federal Clean Air Act, an arrangement that is problematic in Texas, which has sued EPA 18 times in the last decade. For the past eight months, the Center for Public Integrity, Inside Climate News and The Weather Channel have examined what TX, the nation’s biggest oil producer, has done to protect people in the Eagle Ford from the industry’s pollutants. What’s happening in the Eagle Ford is important not only for TX, but also for PA, CO, ND and other states where horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have made it profitable to extract oil and gas from deeply buried shale.
Albany, NY – Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. has become the first major insurance company to say it won’t cover damage related to a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground.
Health and environmental groups claim fracking can contaminate drinking water. The gas industry says it’s safe if done properly. Nationwide said risks involved in fracking operations “are too great to ignore”.
National – The fracking industry’s purported willingness to disclose the chemicals it uses at active drilling sites across the U.S. in an industry-maintained online database is coming under question. According to a Bloomberg report this week, that database is riddled with omissions and inaccuracies.