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Ear to the Ground

N.Y. Attorney General Takes Aim at ‘Fracking’

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Posted on Jun 1, 2011
Flickr / Marcellus Protest

People opposed to “fracking” protest outside a gas industry conference in Pittsburgh last month. Pennsylvania sits atop the Marcellus shale field, a vast natural gas reserve lying deep under much of Appalachia.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against three federal agencies, alleging that they have failed to properly study the impact of proposed regulations on “fracking,” a potentially dangerous process in which pressurized water and chemicals are used to dislodge oil and natural gas below the earth’s surface. The process is thought to cause groundwater contamination and potentially trigger earthquakes, and Schneiderman said the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Interior Department are responsible for preparing environmental impact statements on projects in and around the Delaware River Basin. Schneiderman is emerging as a watchdog against dishonest business practices, having also just launched a probe into Wall Street banks’ role in the mortgage crisis and financial meltdown. It’s a pleasure to watch him work.  —KDG

The Hill:

The lawsuit filed Tuesday is the latest shot in a battle over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which is an increasingly common natural-gas development method that critics fear will lead to widespread water contamination.

“Before any decisions on drilling are made, it is our responsibility to follow the facts and understand the public health and safety effects posed by potential natural gas development,” said Schneiderman in a statement announcing the lawsuit filed in a New York federal court.

The lawsuit — which alleges violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—is against the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Interior Department and two of its sub-agencies.

“The Federal Agencies have determined that authorization of natural gas well development in the Basin would potentially result in significant cumulative adverse environmental impacts and that a study of those impacts should be performed. But Defendants refuse to comply with NEPA and refuse to prepare an EIS assessing the cumulative environmental impacts,” the complaint states.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

One has to be a moron not to know that this mining procedure contaminates groundwater.

Good for the AG and happy hunting.  I hope many corpratists heads mount your office wall.

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By purplewolf, June 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Anyone else see the TV commercials for fracking? The first ones out mentioned the word “fracking” in them and claimed it was totally safe. Within a week the word “fracking” was removed from all the commercials and they still claim that this method is safe. Anyone who knows about this process, knows it is not safe. Up to 6,000 different toxic, cancer causing and dangerous to all living things, people, animals and plants and also pollutes the water people rely on for their drinking water. Many people have become very ill and some have had to sell their homes in places where fracking has taken place.

Big industry, especially the Koch brothers don’t care if they ruin the environment, they can buy themselves a safe haven. We are expendable to them.

Care2.com has carried many reports on this latest process to destroy the planet if you want further information and other peoples comments on it as well.

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By The True Cost, June 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did you see this new video of Gasland director admitting he didn’t show the full story - http://youtu.be/e9CfUm0QeOk

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By berniem, June 1, 2011 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

Perhaps as punishment for the damage caused to the bowels of the earth via so called fracking the Koch Bros. could be subjected to a variation of Vlad’s favorite technique and be themselves a recipient of said process administered thru the appropriate orifice. Oh, and don’t forget to include the happily retired Dandy Don Blankenship and others from BP, Chevron, and Exxon too numerous to mention individually!

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