Tag archives for water

Fracking in Water-Stressed Zones Increases Risks to Communities – and Energy Producers

Even as concerns arise about the threats hydraulic fracturing poses to water quality and human health, a new study released yesterday finds that the water demands of the “fracking” process are adding considerably to localized water depletion, especially in parts of Texas, Colorado, and California. (Vote and comment: “How Has Fracking Changed Our Future?“) Nearly…

Which is more important: Meeting energy demand, lowering carbon emissions, or conserving water? How about all three? The Three Big Challenges Facing the Electric Power Industry The U.S. electric power industry has huge challenges to meet in the coming decades. First and foremost it has to meet growing demand for electricity. By 2050 it is…

Iraq vaulted to second place this year among the largest oil producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and is poised to ramp up its already robust output even further. But the country’s severe water scarcity could be the Achilles’ heel of its oil production. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) new…

Water samples in Pennsylvania suggest there may be natural pathways for contamination. Drinking water contamination from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — a k a fracking — for natural gas in Pennsylvania, does it occur? No, say the gas companies (and many geologists). A new paper adds a “but.” Many Say It Can’t Happen There…

On a recent visit to Pennsylvania, I saw signs of a natural gas boom on the wane. Googling “Pennsylvania ‘natural gas rush’” this morning got me 356,000 hits. Some may call it a gas boom instead of a rush, but, regardless, it seems to be a happening thing. The development of the technology that combines…

Part two — the view from the grassroots. Last week I led a group of Nicholas School colleagues on an “eco fact-finding” trip to learn about fracking in Pennsylvania. We spent the first half of the trip (covered last week) touring facilities and getting a bird’s eye view of what’s going on with the landscape.…

Earlier this year, a U.S. intelligence report predicted that as water shortages become more acute, “water in shared basins will increasingly be used as leverage” over the next 10 years and beyond.  This prediction is already being borne out in places such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (map), where long-standing distrust between the two nations has…

Perhaps there’s no better place to see the link between water and energy than in Rotterdam, gateway for much of the oil that enters Europe. The same waters that stoke the city’s economy, daily carrying tankers of crude to the port city’s five large refineries, will threaten the future of the low-lying delta if global…

Not fracking with millions of gallons of water this time round — waterless fracking. Americans love a good game with lots of momentum and game-changing shifts. Who would have thunk — shale gas extraction is turning out to be one of the most exciting games in town. The Original Natural Gas Game Changer Over the…

In November, the Obama administration decided to delay a decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to bring tar sands from Canada to the United States. But in December, Republicans attached a provision to a tax bill, which President Obama signed, that urges the administration to decide on the pipeline within 60 days,…

Last week, Danica May Camacho of the Philippines became the world’s symbolic seven billionth person. The occasion drew mixed feelings in the policy world — what does a booming global population mean for climate risks? To cite one issue, leaders are worried about the declining supply of water in regions vital to economic growth. This…

The world population reached seven billion people around October 31, according to United Nations estimates. The actual date is a bit fuzzy, but the milestone has nonetheless had great symbolic power, triggering a stream of articles on population issues. Nicholas Kristof, in the New York Times, argued family planning is the solution to many of…

A leaked World Bank document, due to be presented at the G20 meeting in November, proposes that rich countries eliminate their fossil fuel subsidies and instead contribute the money to climate aid for poor countries to help with green energy and adaptation measures. The paper also said donor countries are unlikely to come up with…

When it comes to water from hydrofracking, the question of safety is murky at best. The Chemical Cocktail of Fracking Fluid For many folks the big baddie of hydraulic fracturing, also called hydrofracking or fracking, is fracking fluid — the mixture of water, sand, and chemicals that’s injected deep below the surface to fracture the…

Across America, people are standing up for clean water. On Saturday, thousands gathered in nearly 60 cities as part of the Green The Block “National Day of Action,” which focused on the nation’s water crisis. From California to New York, people came together to demand clean water for their children and communities. Right now, Americans…

Former three-term Albuquerque mayor Marty Chavez has some sage advice for other mayors: “Providing water may not get you elected, but not providing water will get you fired.” It seems New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg could use his advice. In a recent interview with Planet Forward, Chavez told us that New York City is losing…

Folks have lots of questions to ask about the environmental impact of natural gas fracking, but the more important questions to ask may have to do with the economics. Ultimately, the two lines of questioning are intertwined. (Related: “The Great Shale Gas Rush”) I reached out on Twitter for questions yesterday before I moderated a…

Putting the “geo” in engineering could screw up the “geo” in politics. ‘Plan A’ Still on the Table Scientists have warned for decades that our dependence on fossil fuels is the root cause of global warming and to slow the warming we’ll need to wean ourselves off of them and ramp up low-carbon technologies. Flash…

If you follow the news on the development and production of natural gas and oil from shale rock buried deep underground, you have probably seen or read stories about the potential risks to fresh water supplies posed by hydraulically fracturing (“fracing”) and producing shale gas.  You may have heard that the New York State Legislature…

From Colonel Drake’s discovery of oil in 1859 to the vast cut-over of remaining primary forest, to a little-known offshoot of the Atomic Energy Commission’s Project Plowshares called Project Ketch, which (before it was stopped) would have nuked a cavity in north-central PA for storage of natural gas, Pennsylvania’s rural areas have served as an…