Register here.  Forgot your password?  Remember me
HomeAbout The SiteRegistration InformationVoices: Featured Commentators and Bloggers  Special Sections


Featured Content








Click Here to Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Stories Below come from our Media Partner 3BL Media - Click their logo or any of the stories for more information

Truth About Fracking

“Fracking” is the hydraulic fracturing process that involves injecting liquids into shale deposits deep underground; the intent is hydraulically fracture rock formations and release oil and gas found there. The process is accompanied by “horizontal drilling,” a relatively new process that enables drillers to get to shale deposits in a direction other than straight down from the drilling rig.

As a growing number of energy companies pursue this process to get to formerly-unavailable energy deposits deep in the earth, local communities are becoming more familiar with fracking and are responding to the practice. The growing public debate – at both local and national levels -- is in part about getting at domestic fossil fuel sources and lessen dependence on important oil and natural gas. And about creating new jobs and economic benefits in the regions where shale drilling takes place.

In some instances after the private property owner signs leases with oil and gas companies the after effects – the presence of drilling rigs, pumps and the like appearing on leased private property, at times too close to dwellings – has caused issues with landowners. To be sure, some landowners are happy to accommodate drillers and enjoy a cash stream of royalties. Farmers and ranchers look forward to these new revenue flows to cushion economic blows due to weather, downturns in commodity prices, or in 2012, and the possibility of reduced federal subsidies.

But other individuals and community leaders are looking not so positively at the presence of oil and gas drilling on their land and in their community.  And this is especially true in areas where public and private water supplies may be threatened by sloppy processes, as has occurred.

Also, public land leases are being sought, which raises the level of debate in certain regions…”who” actually owns public lands such as parks, preserves and sanctuaries that may have shale deposits beneath the ground?  What is the right of the public to be involved in decisions regarding leases?

Lately with media stories looking more closely at fracking, the public awareness of the liquids being pumped into the ground under pressure are also raising alarm – liquids used may or may not include hazardous waste chemicals, diesel oil and other unwanted substances in the local ecosystem.  Greater transparency on the part of the industry would address these concern. Chemicals used in fracking can and may have entered public water supplies. (Mostly, we are told, possible because of improper cementing just below the ground where there are water tables present.)

Questions are being raised about the potential impact of fracking on human and animal health, on agricultural products (including surface crops as well as grape vines and other deep-rooted plant life).

Naturally, oil and gas industry leaders have responded, usually with arguments the growing need for domestic oil and gas resources, and the jobs that fracking will create or preserve (you’ve no doubt seen the advertising on national and local TV by industry associations).  There is much less public communication from industry about the safety of fracking processes and the steps companies are taking to protect the ecosystem.

Energy industry experts point out that done properly, fracking should not affect water tables as the shale levels are deep beneath the ground; also, most chemicals used are not toxic waste.  There are pro and con arguments about these positions.  The fact is there are thousands of fracking wells drilled in the USA and in other countries.

The public debate on fracking in the USA now involves state regulatory officials, members of congress and other elected officials, public health professionals, environmentalists, academics, civil society organization leaders, industry oil and gas executives…and more. 

The regulatory framework to oversee fracking is not necessarily clear. Recently The New York Times reported on the growing focus in Congress on fracking in a recent series.   Part of the publication’s concerns are about permitting fracking near New York City’s upstate water supplies – in December 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo is considering a “yes” or “no” in allowing fracking in New York State’s section of the Marcellus Shale deposits.  Public rallies in upstate New York State areas attracted hundreds of local citizens in November, reflecting the local concerns about the practice.

Proponents of fracking were encouraged by the nomination by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences nomination for the 2011 Academy Awards (the “Oscars”) for the anti-fracking documentary, “Gasland,” which is about fracking and human and community impact in the Marcellus Shale area (stretching through Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and into New York State).

This Hot Topic focus has been expanding as energy companies step up efforts to find new sources on US lands – mindful of exogenous events such as the cut-off of Middle East or other foreign oil that would put pressure on all sides as the nation’s leaders in the public and private sectors seek alternative energy sources.

The editors are collecting comments on Fracking (and other Hot Topics) from a wide range of sources in a best attempt to help our readers access as many views (perspectives) as possible.  We welcome commentary on fracking, especially from local civic leadership, and from industry managers.  Send comments to:


December 1, 2011



Featured Fracking Commentators

Michael P. Benard Columns
Speaker, Writer, Coach on Communications Issues
Blogger on Property Rights & Energy Industry
Former Director, Communications and Public Affairs, and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company

Latest on Truth About Fracking

October 31, 2013 Shale Gas Revolution Not Coming To China Anytime Soon

Source: Forbes

Shale gas has upended U.S. energy markets, cutting oil imports to their lowest level in two decades. Can China pull off the same feat? It has already passed the U.S. as the biggest buyer of oil cargoes and by far the largest...

October 30, 2013 California Fracking Study May Take 18 Months, Brown Says

Source: Bloomberg

Governor Jerry Brown said it may take as long as 18 months for California, the third-largest oil-producing state, to complete an environmental review of the oil and gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

October 28, 2013 To frack or not to frack' Councils must make the final decision - If national governments decide to commit to fracking then it must be nothing more than a step towards re-investing and committing to renewable energy and must not undermine local authority efforts to move to a...

October 24, 2013 Fracking puts U.S. first in shale gas production

Source: USA Today

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has put the U.S. in the world's driver seat for shale gas production, which is less polluting than coal power but still raises environmental concerns.

October 23, 2013 The shale-gas boom won’t do much for climate change. But it will make us richer.

Source: Washington Post

The shale-gas boom in the United States won't, by itself, keep driving down U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions in the years ahead. That's because, in addition to killing off coal-fired plants, cheap gas will also crowd out cleaner...

October 21, 2013 Fracking has not caused water-well problems in Ohio

Akron Beacon Journal - A Pennsylvania state agency has ordered that previously sealed drilling plans for Loyalsock State Forest be opened for public review. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has released for...

October 21, 2013 Calif. finds more instances of offshore fracking

Source: USA Today

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The oil production technique known as fracking is more widespread and frequently used in the offshore platforms and man-made islands near some of California's most populous and famous coastal communities...

October 18, 2013 Fracking: The Other EPA Shutdown

Source: Huff Post

Positive news stories during the shutdown of government services were scarce, so it was nice to read this one about furloughed scientists from the Water Protection Division of the EPA in Atlanta deciding to volunteer some of...

October 16, 2013 OPEC no longer calls the shots and helped create shale boom

Akron Beacon Journal - The birth of OPEC 40 years ago actually led to a major increase in global oil production, right up to the still young shale energy boom, writes energy expert Daniel Yergin in The Wall Street Journal....

October 16, 2013 SA state: Fracking fluids must be disclosed by explorers

Independent Online - While shale extraction helped the US overtake Russia as the worldâs biggest gas producer in 2009, countries including France have banned the practice. âIn order for fracking to go ahead it must be...

Displaying results 341 to 350 out of 1223

Latest Tweets on Fracking

Page 1 of 10
  • RT @GFFMendip: From #Minehead to #Trowbridge - 27 new licences for #fracking revealed #somerset #Wiltshire via @Wes…
  • RT @BerksGasTruth: #Fracking news: Valley residents share why they support Sanders - The Daily Progress: The Daily ProgressValley... https:…
  • RT @eozwei: Pumpen bis die Pleite kommt, #climatechange #fracking #oil #USA
  • RT @NicholasBatty: Confirmed: #California Aquifers Contaminated With Billions Of Gallons of #Fracking Wastewater.
    Steve Tich Macmanomy
  • RT @38_degrees: Email your council now, telling them to stand strong for local democracy! #fracking…
    Garry Veevers
Page 1 of 10

Published by


Published by Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
Design & Contents Copyright © 2005 - 2015
By G&A Institute unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
Accountability-Central is a service mark of G&A Institute, Inc.
New York, New York, USA

Email | Web