News items of interest:
The University of Pennsylvania's Center of Excllence in Environmental Toxicology has organized a group of researchers from UPa, Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of North Carolina to study whether the drilling in the Marcellus Shale play is hazardous to human health.
Here is a recent presentation by one of UPa's professors, Trevor M. Penning, on public health issues of hydraulic fracturing:
A report by the New York Health Department, leaked to the New York Times, says that hydraulic fracturing can be conducted safely.
Here is a report by StateImpact Texas on recent earthquakes in the Barnett Shale, possibly caused by injection wells:
The City of Fort Worth has now banned new disposal wells within its city limits.
New "sand plant" in San Antonio - U.S. Silica Holdings and BNSF announced construction of a plant near San Antonio that can store and deliver 15,000 tons of sand to the Eagle Ford. The sand will come from U.S. Silica's mine in Ottawa, Illinois.
Colorado recently adopted rules requiring operators to test groundwater before and after drilling. The rules require operators to test up to four water wells within one-half mile of a well prior to drilling, one year after drilling, and again six years after drilling.
The State of Alaska also recently issued proposed new rules regulating hydraulic fracturing:
The Federal Advisory Committee established by the U.S. Department of Commerce in December 2010, has issued a new draft report warning of the consequences of global warming. The report says that strong scientific evidence has been produced sthat human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, are primarily responsible for climate change, and that climate change, if not dealt with, will increase health problems, wildfires, exreme weather conditions, and human welfare in general.
Congress renewed the wind energy industry's tax credit for another year. Notably, the extension applies to any project commenced during 2013, instead of projects completed by year-end. Wind energy was the largest source of new capacity for electric generation in the U.S. last year. at 3:11 pm on Christmas day, wind power supplied nearly 26% of electricity demand in the area served by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
A good article about drilling in an urban environment, in the unincorporated community of Gardendale, Texas, near Midland:
A good article about air monitoring equipment installed in the Barnett Shale by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality:
Reuters calls Chesapeake's future "murky":