Fracking

Environment
4:20 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Croatan Earth First! Protests Fracking In Western NC

One of two wooden tripods built by protesters in front of an entrance to a chemical plant in Morganton, NC. A person was perched at the top of the contraption for several hours, preventing vehicles from entering or leaving the plant.
Credit Croatan Earth First

Members of an environmental group protested Monday morning at the site of a chemical plant in Morgantown about 80 miles northwest of Charlotte. Members of the group Croatan Earth First! demonstrated at the Momentive plant. The company makes chemicals, one of which is used in hydraulic fracturing, the controversial process of extracting natural gas from underground rock.

Protestors set up two large tripods in front of the main entrances in an effort to shut down the plant for the day.

Read more
Environment
6:00 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Duke Study Finds Additional Gases In Groundwater Near Pennsylvania Fracking Sites

A facking site in the Marcellus Shale.
Credit wcn 247 / Flickr

New samples of drinking water near hydraulic fracturing sites in Pennsylvania show more evidence of natural gas contamination. 

A report released today from Duke University says researchers found ethane and propane in addition to methane in water near fracking sites in the Marcellus shale basin.  The same team of scientists first found elevated levels of methane in Pennsylvania drinking water in 2011.

Read more
Environment
1:31 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Duke Study Shows No Contamination Near Fracking Wells In Arkansas

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

New tests near hydraulic fracturing sites in Arkansas show no evidence of methane leaking into groundwater supplies. A study released Wednesday from Duke University found no negative effects on drinking water near fracking operations. 

Read more
The State of Things
1:10 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

What Is The Future Of Fracking In North Carolina?

A drill rig on a fracking site.
Credit EPA

A panel of guests discusses fracking in North Carolina with host Frank Stasio.

The natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has been a source of debate and contention in the state for quite some time now. It involves drilling horizontally through thousands of feet of shale and blasting the shale with water, sand and chemicals to release natural gas. Several states allow the process, some are in the process of figuring out how to regulate it, and some, like New York, have placed a moratorium on the process due to environmental concerns.

Read more
Fracking North Carolina
5:00 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Fracking North Carolina: Could Neighbors Be Forced To Frack?

A Marcellus Shale drill rig in Pennsylvania used in the fracking process.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

Some landowners are worried they could be forced to allow fracking of their land even if they don’t want it. Richard Ziglar reports for the final part of our ‘Fracking North Carolina’ series.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a relatively new technology. It involves drilling horizontally through thousands of feet of shale and blasting the shale with water, sand and chemicals to release natural gas. The state’s Mining and Energy Commission is coming up with new regulations for the gas industry, and revisiting some old ones. Among the most contentious regulations are those for what’s called forced or compulsory pooling.

Read more
Fracking North Carolina
5:00 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Fracking North Carolina: What Do We Do With The Waste?

Ed Harris on his farm in Lee County.
Credit Richard Ziglar

The price of natural gas has fallen to all time lows and is replacing dirtier fuels like coal.  So why are environmentalists so concerned about drilling for natural gas here in North Carolina?  The process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, used to release the gas from the surrounding shale rock brings with it its own environmental problems including massive amounts of wastewater. This is the second story in our “Fracking North Carolina” series.

Read more
Fracking North Carolina
7:33 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Fracking North Carolina: Why Now?

Butler #3 natural gas well in Lee County.
Credit Ray Covington

In the first story in our Fracking North Carolina series, Richard Ziglar looks at why some people in North Carolina want to drill for gas now, and what it may mean for the state.

North Carolina has never been a player in natural gas production, but that could change thanks to a new extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Fracking involves cracking shale rock to release natural gas so that it can be pumped out of the ground. This story is the first in a special “Fracking North Carolina” series. 

There’s a North Carolina sound that only a few dozen people have ever heard: gas escaping from a well in Lee County.

Standing in front of a well called Butler #3, you can see that it’s a shut-in well, which means it’s been capped with something called a “Christmas tree.” The Christmas tree is only about five feet tall; it’s painted green and it has three shut-off valves coming out of it. It’s set up this way so people can come back and attach pipes to it, but it has been shut off since the 1990s.

Read more
The State Of Things
12:24 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Conference Explores North Carolina’s Energy Future

Strata Solar's Solar Farm in Fuquay Varina.
Credit http://www.stratasolar.com / Strata Solar

Host Frank Stasio talks about North Carolina's energy present and future with Marilyn Brown, Lyle Estill, and John Morrison.

North Carolina companies are in the midst of a sustainable energy boom. Solar farms have bloomed, wind farms could be on their way, and local entrepreneurs are experimenting with biofuels and solar power. But cheap natural gas and new legislation could slow sustainable energy growth.

Experts are discussing these advancements at the North Carolina Department of Commerce's 10th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh today. Keynote speaker Marilyn Brown is a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She said today on The State of Things that many people are looking to fracking for natural gas to solve our energy needs.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:12 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Sand From Fracking Could Pose Lung Disease Risk To Workers

A worker stands on top of a storage bin on July 27, 2011, at a drilling operation in Claysville, Pa. The dust is from powder mixed with water for hydraulic fracturing.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Mon April 1, 2013 1:50 pm

When workplace safety expert Eric Esswein got a chance to see fracking in action not too long ago, what he noticed was all the dust.

It was coming off big machines used to haul around huge loads of sand. The sand is a critical part of the hydraulic fracturing method of oil and gas extraction. After workers drill down into rock, they create fractures in that rock by pumping in a mixture of water, chemicals and sand. The sand keeps the cracks propped open so that oil and gas are released.

Read more
Environment
6:42 am
Thu March 28, 2013

NC To Test Air Above Potential Fracking Sites

A survey from the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources shows natural gas deposits in central NC.
Credit NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources / ncdenr.org

State regulators plan to measure air quality above deposits of natural gas. North Carolina lawmakers are moving to ease regulations on hydraulic fracturing. 

Read more

Pages