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May 17, 2011

Whole lotta fracking goin' on

The controversy over hydraulic fracturing to tap natural gas can be highly technical and contentious. Some students at New York University put this catchy music video together to highlight the concerns that have been raised about "fracking," as it's commonly known.

 Of course, it's just one side, and there's debate over how "new" fracking is, much less how big a threat. Check out the comments posted with the video. I happen to agree with the observation it sounds like something from the HBO series "Flight of the Conchords." More seriously, feel free to go here to get the admittedly less musical point of view from Chief Oil & Gas, one of the companies drilling in Pennsylvania and seeking approval to drill here in Maryland.

Posted by Tim Wheeler at 2:00 PM | | Comments (1)


EPA Administrator: "Fracking" Caused No Water Contamination

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson testified to Congress that EPA has not ONE confirmed case of fracking causing contamination of water pollution. See

The EPA Administrator is using "fracking" to refer to the injection of fluids underground to break open shale and release gas. She is saying that no fluids have every come back to ground water and polluted it. She is not suggesting that spills or leaks at the surface have not caused problems or gas has not migrated from poor gas drilling.

Lisa Jackson's statement is completely consistent with my experience at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The EPA favors strong regulation of the five stages of natural gas drilling to reduce impacts further. Lisa Jackson also recognizes that coal mining and oil production plus the combustion of coal and oil cause much more damage to health and the environment than natural gas.

As a result, Lisa Jackson herself said natural gas production is a good thing because it is already beginning to displace large amounts of coal and oil, thereby cutting total pollution to the environment.

Reason and facts have received support from Lisa Jackson and the EPA.

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About the bloggers
Tim WheelerTim Wheeler reports on the environment and Chesapeake Bay. A native of West Virginia, he has focused mainly on Maryland's environment since moving here in 1983. Along the way, he's crewed aboard a skipjack in the bay, canoed under city streets up the Jones Fall from the Inner Harbor, and gone deep underground in a western Maryland coal mine. He loves seafood, rambles in the country and good stories. He hopes to share some here.

Contributor Christy Zuccarini has been blogging about the local DIY craft scene for a year for She brings her pespective on all things handmade to B'More Green, where she will highlight projects you can do yourself as well as crafters who are integrating sustainable methods and materials.

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