Frack 2, Scene 1

  • A Dimock, Pennsylvania, resident pours a glass of water that came from his well after the start of natural gas fracking.

    Reuters/Tim Shaffer
 

In 2006, in the midst of the Rocky Mountain energy boom, Grand Junction and Palisade, Colo., lost a long battle to keep natural gas drilling off the forested mesa that supplies the two communities' drinking water. 

Now, the drilling boom has moved out East, and the political landscape of the oil and gas fight appears to have undergone a tectonic shift.

New York City's 1,900-square-mile watershed supplies about 9 million people, and the state has so far resisted public pressure to ban gas development there. But in late October, Chesapeake Energy Corp., reportedly the only company with holdings in the city's watershed, announced that it won't drill them. CEO Aubrey McClendon told the New York Times that developing the 5,000-acre swatch, a fraction of Chesapeake's 1.5 million acres in the region, wasn't worth the backlash: "Why go through the brain damage of that, when we have so many other opportunities?"

Chesapeake is the largest leaseholder in the Marcellus Shale -- a vast natural gas deposit beneath West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York -- where companies have rushed to secure holdings in recent years. Drillers there, like their Western counterparts, rely on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" -- blasting water, sand and potentially toxic chemicals into the rock to crack it open and release gas up the well. Fracked gas wells and drilling fluids -- the composition of which has long been guarded by industry as proprietary -- have been implicated in multiple instances of water contamination. Yet oversight has been left to the states: In 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency decided, based on a questionable study, that it need not regulate fracking, and in 2005, Congress formally exempted it from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

But thanks in part to the Marcellus' proximity to major population centers (which, ironically, also makes its gas more valuable) concerns about pollution have moved into the national spotlight. Major media outlets have blitzed fracking with negative coverage. In late September, McClendon and John Pinkerton, the CEO of Range Resources Corp., another company with Marcellus holdings, called on the industry to be more transparent about the chemicals it uses. Chesapeake, which keeps a log of its fracking chemicals on its Web site, has even endorsed New York state's proposal to require drilling companies to register their products and disclose the compounds used.

Congress is also beginning to move. In late October, Obama signed a bill containing a measure that calls for the EPA to re-study the environmental effects of fracking, using "the best available science" and "a transparent, peer-reviewed process." And another bill -- Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette's FRAC act, introduced in June -- would eliminate fracking's exemption from the drinking water law and require companies to disclose the composition of drilling chemicals. Though that measure appears to have stalled, it's received a lot of attention from industry and the media. Co-sponsors in the House had snowballed to 37 as of press time -- nine of them from New York state. A twin measure in the Senate now has five.

But the bill has sparked opposition in the West, particularly in DeGette's home state of Colorado, which relies heavily on natural gas revenue and recently passed its own tough new environmental rules for the industry, including one that requires disclosure of drilling chemicals. Grand Junction and surrounding Mesa County have adopted resolutions against the FRAC Act, as have many of the state's other gas-patch communities and counties. Even Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter effectively came out against DeGette's measure this summer when he called for more study before more regulation. 

Ritter's stance isn't surprising: Like many Western leaders, he often favors a homegrown approach to managing natural resources. Plus, he may need to placate industry if he wants to be re-elected in 2010. Challengers seeking the Republican nomination -- including state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry of Grand Junction, who just dropped from the race -- have been quick to blame the state's economic woes in part on Ritter's gas rules; they came into effect just as the bottom dropped out of natural gas prices and dozens of drilling rigs around the state went idle. "Our state now has the worst reputation in the country as a place for the natural gas companies to do business," the Republican front-runner, former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis of Grand Junction, said in a recent press release. "Colorado's loss in jobs and revenue is a gain for other states, including Pennsylvania."

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • The National Parks Conservation Association, the nations leading national park advocacy organization, seeks a Regional Director to lead and manage staff for the Southwest Regional...
  • available in Gothic, CO for 2019 summer season - Manager, Lead Cooks, Prep-Cooks, Dishwasher - at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL). The Dining Hall...
  • Suitable for planting hay, hemp, fruit. Excellent water rights. 1800 square foot farmhouse, outbuildings, worker housing.
  • More information: jobs.wisc.edu. Search 96076
  • Friends of the Verde River is looking for someone to join our team who has a keen investigative mind and is an excellent communicator and...
  • - Thriving Indie bookstore in Durango, CO. 1800 sf of busy retail space in a 3100 sf historic building. Long term lease or option to...
  • with home on one acre in Pocatello, ID. For information and photos visit www.blackrockforgeproperty.com.
  • The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is seeking a technical partner to develop a land management plan for the 1.9 million-acre Bears Ears Landscape in southeastern...
  • Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • on 3 acres near Moxon. 3 bd/1.5 bath, apt. Views/access to hiking, fishing, wildlife.1-207-593-6312. $165,900.
  • Senior position responsible for the development of all marketing and fundraising strategies to grow the base of philanthropic support and awareness of GSEP.
  • This newly created position with The Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program will play a key role in the development and implementation of strategies to achieve...
  • The Wilderness Society works to protect Wildlands and inspire Americans to care for our public lands. We seek to hire a strategic, experienced leader who...
  • Organic grocery/cafe at Glacier Bay needs a vibrant leader. Love good food, community, and Alaska? Join us!
  • Collector's Item! The story of barley, the field crop. 50 years of non-fiction research. www.barleybook.com
  • near Ennis, MT. Artist designed, 1900 SF, 2BR/2BA home on 11.6 acres with creek, tree, views, privacy. 406-570-9233 or [email protected] www.arrowreal.com (Country Homes).
  • Colorado Farm to Table is looking for a full-time energetic, creative Executive Director to lead our team in Salida.
  • Join HCN and Black Sheep Adventures on an expedition through the national parks and monuments of Utah and Southwest Colorado, September 7 - 15, 2019....
  • 25 acre in native grasses. Cedar draw. Year-round spring. At foot of Moscow Mnt, ID, 7 miles from town.


В интеренете нашел интересный web-сайт , он рассказывает про аккумуляторы иста.