News Archives

News archives covering FracTracker Alliance staff, maps, & research. Please email Shannon Smith to request an interview with a staff member:


July 27, 2020 – National Coalition Against Censorship

NCAC has joined Open the Government and two dozen organizations in urging Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to rescind an order to hospitals requiring them to send daily COVID-19 data reports to HHS, a change that creates urgent concerns about transparency, accountability, and the politicization of data. Read More.

‘Tired of being the canary in the mine’: pressure grows to push oil and gas wells away from homes

July 22, 2020 – The Guardian

Experts say that more than a decade of research – including two new studies out of California, and one on a Texas community – has made it clear that current setback distances, in states where they exist, are inadequate to protect public health. Read More.

As California Oil Giant Files for Bankruptcy, Environmental Justice Groups Urge Governor to Plan for Just Transition

July 18, 2020 – Elk Grove News

The California Resources Corporation (CRC), the largest oil and natural gas exploration and production company in the state, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, potentially leaving California taxpayers on the hook for a massive cleanup. Read More.

CalGEM Regulators Divest Oil Stocks In Wake Of Consumer Watchdog Conflicts Probe

July 16, 2020 – Consumer Watchdog

Oil and gas regulators at the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) no longer hold oil stocks or other interests in the sector that they regulate in a radical departure from past practices, Consumer Watchdog said today. A new conflict of interest policy at the division’s parent agency, the Department of Conservation (DOC), now prohibits such investments without explicit written approval by DOC’s director. Read More.

California’s Department of Conservation rolls out new ethics policy after years of complaints

July 15, 2020 – Desert Sun

The California Department of Conservation, which has for years weathered accusations of a cozy relationship with the oil industry, has quietly introduced a new ethics policy that has drawn praise from advocates of good governance. Read More.

Babies born near natural gas flaring are 50 percent more likely to be premature: Study

July 15, 2020 – Environmental Health News

Living near fracking operations that frequently engage in flaring—the process of burning off excess natural gas—makes expectant parents 50 percent more likely to have a preterm birth, according to a new study. Read More.

California Regulators Approve 12 New Permits for Chevron to Frack in Kern County

July 14, 2020 – Counterpunch

As Tribes, conservationists and environmental justice advocates were celebrating a federal ruling temporarily halting operations by the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline, anti-fracking activists in California were disturbed that California regulators are continuing to approve new permits for fracking in the San Joaquin Valley. Read More.

Support amplifies for proposed state methane rule

June 24, 2020 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

All of the 32 speakers at Tuesday evening’s virtual public hearing voiced degrees of support for the state Department of Environmental Protection’s proposal to limit emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds at shale gas operations. Read More.

New report finds increased threat from radioactive oil & gas waste in North Dakota

June 18, 2020 – Earthworks

A new report released today by the national environmental nonprofit Earthworks reveals that North Dakota’s massive surge in fracking wastewater production, also known as “produced water,” has potentially increased North Dakotans exposure to carcinogens, heavy metals, and radioactivity. Read More.

Shell’s Falcon Pipeline Dogged by Issues with Drilling and Permit Uncertainty During Pandemic

June 15, 2020 – DeSmog Blog

Over the past few months, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders, Shell Pipeline Company has pressed onward with the construction of a 97-mile pipeline running through Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Shell plans to use the Falcon pipeline to supply its $6 billion plastics plant currently being built in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, with ethane, a raw material pulled from shale wells in the state and from neighboring Ohio. Read More.

Bike Messengers

June 12, 2020 – Grist

On Saturday, as protests demanding racial justice and an end to police violence took over New York City, a separate but related demonstration wound its way through Brooklyn echoing those cries and adding a few more. This other protest took place on bikes, as a few dozen New Yorkers rode the route of a partially constructed natural gas pipeline. Read More.

Proof of Harm To CA’s Unborn From Proximity To Oil Wells Proves Need For Barrier Between Wells And People, Says Consumer Watchdog

June 4, 2020 – Consumer Watchdog

The first definitive study showing perinatal harm from oil production in California to pregnant mothers proves that the state must institute a barrier of 2,500 feet between residents and oil wells and stop issuing new oil permits for wells within that zone, Consumer Watchdog said today. Read More.

May 2020 OilWire bulletin: The USD 77 billion per year edition

May 29, 2020 – Oil Change International

“As the world grapples with the unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis continues to devastate lives and livelihoods.” If there was not enough for the world to deal with, industry is making moves. Oil Change International produces the monthly OilWire bulletin in collaboration with the Global Gas & Oil Network, this month featuring FracTracker’s story on intensive water use by the fossil fuel industry in Pennsylvania. Read More.

Spotlight on Green News & Views: Backyard avian maternity ward; memories of Mt. St. Helens

May 23, 2020 – Daily Kos

Included in this roundup is FracTracker’s contribution to a letter to CA Gov. Newsom. “This morning a coalition of 100 labor and environmental groups sent a letter asking California Governor Gavin Newsom and California State Legislators to ‘protect people and not polluters’ during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.”
Read More.

Labor and Environmental Groups Ask Governor to ‘Protect People and Not Polluters

May 19, 2020 – Indy Bay

On May 18, a coalition of 100 labor and environmental groups sent a letter asking California Governor Gavin Newsom and California State Legislators to “protect people and not polluters” during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. Read More.

ExxonMobil Seeks to Restart Three Platforms Idled After Refugio Oil Spill

May 15, 2020 – Indy Bay

“On the anniversary of this deadly oil spill, in the middle of a public health crisis, Santa Barbara should embrace a clean energy future,” said Kristen Monsell, oceans legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We need to end offshore drilling, not bring it back to life with another dirty oil pipeline.”
Read More.

New California oil permits rose 7.8% in 2020’s first quarter as oil prices plunged

May 9, 2020 – Indy Bay

From January 1 to March 31, 2020, the same time that the Newsom Administration approved 1,623 new permits, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobby in California, spent $1,089,702 lobbying state officials during the period. Read More.

CA Oil Well Permits Under Gov. Newsom Outpace First Quarter Last Year In Loss For Public Health, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance Report

May 7, 2020 – Consumer Watchdog

As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, new oil well permits under Gov. Gavin Newsom rose 7.8% in the first quarter of 2020 through April 4, compared to the first quarter of 2019, Consumer Watchdog and FrackTrackerAlliance reported today. Read More.

The struggle against California’s expansion of fracking continues as oil prices plunge

April 26, 2020 – Daily Kos

Dozens of oil tankers with 20 million barrels of crude oil are at this time floating off the California Coast from Long Beach to San Francisco with nowhere to go. The oil aboard these tankers could satisfy 20 percent of world’s production, according to
Read More.

Don’t Bail Out Oil and Gas — Use the Money for Environmental Cleanup Instead

April 26, 2020 – TRUTHOUT

Despite the evidence that the fossil fuel industry in the U.S. is not profitable and basically a giant money pit, President Trump tweeted last Tuesday that he has directed his cabinet to come up with a bailout plan for the floundering industry. The announcement came on the heels of a historic plunge in crude oil that sent prices deep into the red. Read More.

Project remains priority for PTTDLM partnership

April 26, 2020 – The Times Leader

DILLES BOTTOM — The developers of a proposed petrochemical complex in Belmont County say they remain committed to the project in response to reports that the COVID-19 outbreak may interfere with construction of the plant. Read More.

Lower Youghiogheny River named the 10th most endangered river in the U.S.

April 22, 2020 – Pittsburgh City Paper

The Pittsburgh region has come a long way from its industrial past when pollution was the norm, but it still has a long way to go. The region still has some of the worst air quality in the nation, and extractive industries like natural gas are contributing to methane links and environmental degradation. Read More.

As Oil Prices Plunge, Fracking and Oil Drilling Expands in California!

April 20, 2020 – Daily Kos

Despite the collapse in U.S. oil prices, the Gavin Newsom Administration continues to expand oil and gas drilling, including fracking, in California.
Read More.

‘Gigantic impact’: Chesapeake Energy’s complex legacy

April 14, 2020 – NonDoc

In 2007, Forbes named Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy the “best managed” oil and gas company in the country. It was a designation based not only on the firm’s financial success but also on the “management ability, innovation and leadership” of its executives, including co-founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon. Read More.

Coalition slams Newsom administration for approving 24 new fracking permits

April 11, 2020 – Indy Bay

The issuing of new fracking permits took place less than two months after Consumer Watchdog and the FracTracker Alliance reported that the total number of oil and gas well permits issued in 2019 under the Newsom Administration rivals the number issued during the last year in office of former Governor Jerry Brown. Read More.

Coalition criticizes CA for approving 24 new fracking permits after a nearly six-month moratorium

April 8, 2020 – Daily Kos

Environmental justice advocates, conservationists and public health advocates were very disappointed by the approval of environmentally destructive fracking operations as coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths increase daily, although less than in other states due to Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order and other emergency measures. Read More.

California regulators approve new fracking permits during COVID-19 epidemic

April 4, 2020 – Daily Kos

In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic and after a nine-month moratorium on new fracking operations,  the State Department of Conservation on Friday approved 24 new fracking permits in Kern County, the center of the oil industry in California. Read More.

Market Headwinds Buffet Appalachia’s Future as a Center for Petrochemicals

March 21, 2020 – Inside Climate News

Less than two years ago, the Trump administration and the chemical industry were promoting development of a plastics manufacturing center in Appalachia they thought would benefit Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. Read More.

RuPaul gets called out for alleged fracking on his Wyoming ranch

March 18, 2020 – Fast Company

On a recent episode of NPR’s talk show Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviewed TV host and drag queen RuPaul Charles.

It was a standard chit-chat covering RuPaul’s rise from humble beginnings to becoming the world’s foremost drag queen and host of the Emmy-winning hit TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, in the last five minutes of the interview, Gross brought up RuPaul and his partner Georges LeBar’s 60,000-acre ranch in Wyoming. Read More.

Look beyond fracking for better solutions

February 28, 2020 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Shannon Smith weighs in on the danger of perpetuating the  “jobs verse environment” narrative in the 2020 presidential election. Read More.

Newsom’s ‘State of the State’ ignores threats from oil drilling

February 23, 2020 – Desert Sun

Kyle Ferrar discusses why Governor Gavin Newsom’s failure to mention oil drilling in his second State of the State address is part of a broader problem. Read More.

February 23, 2020 – The New York Times

BIG IVY, N.C. — I live in Appalachia, and on Sunday mornings I hike the Appalachian Trail across the mountains I call home. It is my church. I drink from its springs and rest in the shade of its ancient forests. Read More

Ohio anti-protest bill could criminalize support for pipeline demonstrations

February 12, 2020 – Energy News Network

Activists say a bill advancing in the Ohio legislature could criminalize activities such as offering rides, water or medical aid to anti-pipeline protesters.

Even chanting “stop the pipeline” could be construed as encouraging damage to critical infrastructure under the bill’s vague language, critics say. Read More

After School Lockouts and Flunked Inspections, Colorado Eyes Suncor Crackdown

January 21, 2020 – Westword

When Lucy Molina and her family moved from one side of Commerce City to the other five years ago, there was one thing that she and her kids immediately loved about their new home: the small park nearby, practically in their back yard, with a playground and plenty of green space to run around in. Read More

America’s Radioactive Secret

January 21, 2020 – Rolling Stone

Oil-and-gas wells produce nearly a trillion gallons of toxic waste a year. An investigation shows how it could be making workers sick and contaminating communities across America. Read More

Big Energy Front Group Launches Push for Troubled Atlantic Coast Pipeline

December 9, 2019 – Truthout

A lobbying group formed by oil and gas industry insiders to push for increased fossil fuel production has turned its focus from promoting offshore drilling in the Atlantic to championing Dominion Energy’s and Duke Energy’s controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). Read More

Fracking, oil wells to get more scrutiny under new rules from Gavin Newsom

November 19, 2019 – The Fresno Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday announced a crackdown on fracking projects and a moratorium on new oil wells that use high-pressure steam. Read More

California governor signs bill to limit gas, oil development

October 15, 2019 – MarketWatch

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed a law intended to counter Trump administration plans to increase oil and gas production on protected public land. Read more

Will a push for plastics turn Appalachia into next ‘Cancer Alley’?

October 11th, 2019 – The Guardian

Construction cranes climb into the sky and sprawl across the massive petrochemical facility that will turn a byproduct of fracked gas into plastic on the banks of the Ohio River, just outside Pittsburgh. Read more

Extinction Rebellion Activists in Sacramento

September 27th, 2019 – CounterPunch

Over 20 activists from the Extinction Rebellion today targeted the offices of the Western State Petroleum Association (WSPA) offices at 1415 L St. at 12 Noon. They sang songs, shouted out chants and briefly blocked the street in front of the WSPA offices just down the street from the State Capitol. There were no arrests. Read more

Ohio firefighters kept in the dark on drilling and fracking chemicals

September 30, 2019 – Energy News Network

Companies injected trade secret chemicals into more than 1,400 wells in the state from 2013 to 2018, a report says.

Ohio firefighters and emergency responders are being kept in the dark about potentially hazardous chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Read more

California has gone months with no new fracking permits. But dozens of illegal oil spills are flowing

September 13, 2019 – Desert Sun

California has issued no permits for fracking since late June, according to records reviewed by The Desert Sun and watchdog groups.

But permits for sometimes risky “enhanced recovery” wells and related storage are up nearly 60% in 2019 so far under Gov. Gavin Newsom, compared to Gov. Jerry Brown’s last year in office. Regular oil and gas drilling permits are up 20%. Read more

Environmental groups continue push to investigate link to fracking and childhood cancer

September 12, 2019 – Pittsburgh Action News 4

CANONSBURG, Pa. — Three environmental groups point to published research that link the fracking industry with chronic illnesses and they continue to suspect a deeper concern related to childhood cancer rates.

FracTracker, Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health and Center for Coalfield Justice held their most recent community information meeting to create awareness. Read more

‘Outrageous conflicts of interest’: Watchdog groups urge California Gov. Gavin Newsom to fire oil regulators

July 11, 2019 – USA Today

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Two consumer groups are calling on California’s governor to freeze all new oil drilling permits and to clean house at the agency that issues them after the organizations uncovered records showing that top state regulators and engineers held investments in Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP, Valero and other petrochemical giants. Read more

Gov. Gavin Newsom fires top official over fracking permits — but won’t ban the oil wells

July 12, 2019 – LA Times

Newsom’s actions follow a report by two environmental and consumer advocacy groups, FracTracker Alliance and Consumer Watchdog, which found that along with the increase in fracking permits, a number of California’s top oil regulators and officials held investments in major oil companies, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron. The findings were first reported by the Desert Sun newspaper.

“We support the governor’s decision to eliminate the regulators who have these conflicts of interest, so the regulators are able to act in the best interests of the public health of Californians,” Kyle Ferrar of FracTracker Alliance told The Times. Read more

Watchdogs Call For Resignations & Permit Freeze As California Oil Regulators Approve Surge In Well Permits While Personally Invested In Oil Companies

July 11, 2019 – Consumer Watchdog

Los Angeles, CA — A review of state conflict of interest forms shows that eight regulators managing the state’s oil and gas well approval and inspection process have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the oil companies they regulate.  One of the regulators is among the top three in command at the State’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR). Read more

California’s Biggest Secret? How Big Oil Dominates Public Discourse to Manipulate and Deceive

June 7, 2019 – Counterpunch

On Earth Day 2019, fifteen activists from the Extinction Rebellion carrying brightly colored signs and banners gathered at 12th and L Streets in front of the State Capitol in Sacramento and then marched at 10:30 a.m. to the looming offices of the powerful Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), located at 14th & L Streets. Read More

Appalachian gas storage hub seeks federal clean energy loan guarantee

May 31, 2019 – Energy News Network

Several environmental groups are considering legal options if the Trump administration approves $1.9 billion taxpayer-backed guarantee. Read More

Bill to protect National Monuments from oil and gas drilling passes through California Assembly

May 25, 2019 – Daily Kos

Torrance, CA – Legislation by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) designed to protect National Monuments from the proposal by the Trump administration to open new oil and gas drilling leases on federal public lands in California passed the Assembly Floor on May 22. Read More

Sweeping New Report on Global Environmental Impact of Plastics Reveals Severe Damage to Climate

May 15, 2019 – Common Dreams

WASHINGTON – In 2019 alone, the production and incineration of plastic will add more than 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere—equal to the pollution from 189 new 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants, according to a new report, Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet. Read More

Pipeline Incident Statistics Reveal Significant Dangers

January 8, 2019 – NRDC

Oil and gas pipelines in the US are lacking adequate regulation, inspection, and enforcement. As one example, our colleagues at the FracTracker analysis recently published an alarming analysis of fossil fuel pipeline incidents from January, 2010 to November, 2018—almost 9 years. Read More

State DEP Action Clears Way for Construction of Shell Falcon Ethane Pipeline in 3 Counties

December 27, 2018 – Trib Live

The ethane pipeline that will feed Royal Dutch Shell’s “cracker” plant in Beaver County has cleared the latest hurdle with the state. The state Department of Environmental Protection said it has approved permits for the Shell Falcon Ethane Pipeline , 45.5 miles of which will be located in Southwestern Pennsylvania . Read More

The Farm Bureau: Big Oil’s Unnoticed Ally Fighting Climate Science and Policy

December 21, 2018 – Inside Climate News

When Republican Rep. Steve Scalise stepped to the dais in the U.S. House of Representatives in July and implored his colleagues to denounce a carbon tax, he didn’t reach for dire predictions made by the fossil fuel titans that pushed for the resolution.

Instead, he talked about America’s farmers. Read More

Ingram: Natural Gas Pipeline Puts Pittsylvania at Risk

December 19, 2018 – Rockingham Now

Pipeline companies have been working on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) since 2015; both are proposed to transport fracked gas from West Virginia, through Virginia to the coast. Read More

Brown and Trump Administrations Announce Water Agreement that will Destroy Fisheries and Bay-Delta

December 17, 2018 – Elk Grove News

As Jerry Brown gets ready to leave the Governor’s Office in January, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced Thursday that they and the Bureau of Reclamation reached an agreement  on updating how the State Water Project (SWP) and Central Valley Water Project (CVP) are operated “to meet environmental regulations,” reported first here on the Daily Kos. Read More

Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California

November 16, 2018 – CounterPunch

In a victory for the ocean, a federal judge on Friday, November 9, ordered the Trump administration to cease issuing permits for offshore fracking and acidizing in federal waters — waters over 3 miles from shore — off the coast of Southern California. Read More

Will Gov. Brown Plug the Dangerous Hole in California’s Climate Action?

May 22, 2018 – EcoWatch

California Gov. Jerry Brown is gearing up to host leaders from state, tribal, and local governments, business and citizens from around the world at a Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this September. His goal is to “inspire deeper commitments” in support of the Paris agreement goals. He has emphasized that, on climate, “so far the response is not adequate to the challenge” and “no nation or state is doing what they should be doing.” Read more

Fossil Dollars Help Fuel GOP Candidate for Ohio Governor

May 8, 2018 – Bloomberg Environment & Energy Report

Fossil fuel companies and utilities are quietly throwing their weight behind Republican Mike DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general, in the race to replace term-limited Gov. John Kasich (R). Read more

Sparking Petrochemical Valley?

April 11, 2018 – The Appalachian Voice

Plans for cracker plants and a gas liquids storage hub could lead to a toxic plastics industry in Appalachia. Read more

Residents ask whether the proposed Shell ethane pipeline is an acceptable risk

April 4, 2018 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The question of what is an “acceptable risk” loomed large over the first of three public hearings on a proposed Falcon ethane pipeline meant to deliver the natural gas liquid to the petrochemical giant rising in Potter Township. Read more

Data to the people: Activists use explosion of information to bring oil and gas projects home to citizens

February 16, 2018 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Feature article on the data and mapping work of FracTracker’s Kirk Jalbert by PG reporter, Anya Litvak. Read more

Activist groups want more time to review Shell Falcon pipeline permits

January 31, 2018 – StateImpact PA

Environmental groups are asking a state agency to extend a 30-day comment period on environmental permits for a pipeline that would bring natural gas liquids to Shell’s Beaver County Ethane Cracker. Read more

For Native People, Fighting Trump’s Repeal of Fracking Regulations Is Personal

January 26, 2018 – Earther

Navajo Nation member Mario Atencio has seen the ways oil and gas can divide people. His cousins work for the industry out in New Mexico, and his grandmother lives in the unincorporated town of Counselor, not far from Chaco Canyon in the northwest corner of the state. Now, Atencio sits on the board of Diné CARE, a Navajo-led environmental organization, which is suing the Trump administration for its repeal of an Obama-era fracking rule, which would have implemented better protections for people like Atencio’s grandmother. Read more

For those living along Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline, a human chain of frustration

January 7, 2018 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Patrick Robinson is one of 105,419 people who live along the 350-mile, 17-county corridor of the Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline. Landowners have been complaining about cloudy water, permit violations, illegal drilling and dumping since construction began almost a year ago. Read more

Pennsylvania shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline

January 3, 2018 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania regulators halted construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline after a pattern of “egregious and willful violations” that has trailed the year-old project. Read more

The Dangers of Fracking Waste: Is There Any Safe Way to Dispose of It?

December 8, 2017 – Counter Punch

Commercial Landfills in Colorado have been advised that disposal of Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (E&P) waste is not exempt from Colorado Solid Waste Regulations (1), for example, 6 CCR 1007-2.  Disposal of fracking waste is a nation-wide problem. Read more

Protesters resisting Mariner East 2 pipeline in Pennsylvania feeling intimidated

November 30, 2017 – Newsline

A resistance camp in Pennsylvania called Camp White Pine is seeing signs of intimidation in its battle against the Mariner East 2 pipeline and fracking as a whole, as it looks to thwart two oil giants’ plans to finish the pipeline. Read more

Industrial Polluting Facilities Are Poisoning Black Communities

November 14, 2017 – The Skanner / NAACP

A landmark report co-authored by Clean Air Task Force (CATF) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sheds light on how airborne pollutants caused by oil and natural gas development affect communities of color and low-income communities. Read more

Pipelines Fuel Concern for Waterways in Coal Country

October 16, 2017 – West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Boordering western Pennsylvania, the landscape of eastern Ohio is changing, literally. Stretches of hillsides are being cleared of trees, to make way for well pads and pipelines. The oil and gas industry is starting to take a front seat in what’s traditionally been rural coal country. As in Pennsylvania, some people are excited about the new industry. But others are concerned that there’s not enough regulation in place to protect waterways, and other aspects of the environment, from potential harm. Read more

Can California Ban Fracking?

October 4, 2017 – The International Business Times

If you were to parachute into Kern County about 40 miles west of Bakersfield, you might doubt California’s status as a national leader on climate. Pumpjacks spread out in every direction across a hellscape scraped bare of anything green. Scattered at irregular intervals, spires of latticed steel reach up more than a hundred feet, secured with guywires: evidence of hydraulic fracturing, a practice sufficiently infamous that its household nickname, fracking, invokes images of tap water so toxic you can light it on fire. Read more

Pittsburgh Is Going Green, But Who Is Getting Left Behind?

September 1, 2017 – Gizmodo

America’s storied “Steel City” is on the forefront of an energy revolution, transitioning from its long reliance on fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficient homes. Read more

Mapping Sunoco’s drilling mud spills

August 1, 2017 – State Impact PA

Sunoco’s pipeline construction has resulted in 90 spills at 42 distinct locations across the state, according to new information provided as part of ongoing litigation. The amount of drilling mud spilled into aquifers, streams and wetlands across the state is estimated at about 220,000 gallons. Read more

Dozens testify against Trump administration’s proposed delay of key methane rule

July 10, 2017 – ThinkProgress

Dozens of people showed up at the Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters on Monday to speak out against the agency’s proposed two-year delay in the implementation of its methane rule for new and modified oil and gas drilling wells. Read more

Alberta a black hole for up-to-date fracking information

June 26, 2017 – CBC News Canada

There have been more than 1,000 hydraulic fracturing operations in Alberta since January. But finding out what’s happening in any region of the province right now is next to impossible. Read more

Ohio pipeline spill raises broader questions about oversight

May 12, 2017 – Midwest Energy News

Releases of more than two million gallons of drilling mud triggered federal and state agency actions against the developer of Ohio’s Rover Pipeline this month, and advocates suggest those incidents may be part of a bigger problem in the rush to develop Ohio’s shale oil and gas. “I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Ted Auch at FracTracker Alliance, with many other problems, he and others suspect, going undetected. “How many little spills are there?” Read more

Data trove offers new details on complaints to DEP during shale boom

January 31, 2017 – StateImpact PA

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection received 9,442 public complaints about environmental problems in areas where unconventional natural gas development occurred from 2004 to the end of November 2016, an investigation reported, unveiling a trove of documents from the state’s natural gas boom. Read more

Line Items

November 16, 2016 – American Metal Market

Despite new safety rules requiring retrofitting or replacement of tank cars used to transport oil by rail, a host of market conditions will at least delay any boost the steel industry could have foreseen from an increase in orders for the new rail cars. Read more

Fracking’s total environmental impact is staggering, report finds

October 15, 2016 – True Viral News

A new report from an environmental group claims kids and elderly people are more at risk from living close to fracking areas. Environment Texas released a report on Thursday detailing how many schools, hospitals, day care centers and nursing homes are within a mile of fracking wells. Read more

Latino Communities, Particularly in US Southwest, At Greater Risk of Cancer and Respiratory Diseases from Air Pollutants from Oil and Gas Industry, Report Finds

September 28, 2016 –

Clean Air Task Force, League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Hispanic Medical Association, and Earthworks today released a report and interactive map that demonstrate, for the first time, the specific risks to Latino communities of diseases from airborne pollutants from oil and gas development. Read more

Gaz de schiste: les déchets chez les pauvres…

August 1, 2016 – CentPapiers

Article in French about shale gas waste and environmental justice. Read more

The True Cost of Fracking

May 25, 2016 – EcoWatch

Arsenic. Cadmium. Chromium. Radon. Lead. These are just a few of the toxins used in hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, a controversial drilling process to retrieve oil and natural gas from shale deposits under the surface of the Earth. Read more

Fracking: environmental groups sue EPA in call for strict rules on waste

May 4, 2016 – The Guardian

Fracking has led to hundreds of billions of gallons of waste full of toxic chemicals – yet the process is hardly subject to any standards, coalition says. Read more

Forum discusses the effects of frac sand mining in Wisconsin

April 21, 2016 –

Several organizations hosted a forum Thursday at The Plaza Hotel in Eau Claire to discuss the effects of frac sand mining in western Wisconsin. Read more & watch video

Range Resources exec’s well-site remarks drawing sharp criticism

April 18, 2016 – PowerSource

Does Range avoid rich neighborhoods? Read more

Groups call for more transparency

April 5, 2016 – Midwest Energy News

Since 2011, shale gas drilling has been a way of life for some eastern Ohio communities, with residents acutely aware of both the benefits and drawbacks. But as production declines, are those perceptions changing? Organizers of a 2014 survey hope to find out. Read more

Rise of Fracking Wastewater Injections in Ohio Sparks Fears of Earthquakes, Water Contamination

March 7, 2016 – EcoWatch

Ohio has become a major wastewater dump for the fracking industry, sparking fears of groundwater contamination and concerns that injection of wastewater into wells could trigger the same earthquakes currently rattling frack-happy Oklahoma. Read more

Lack of action from state and federal government means that community organisations are picking up the slack of monitoring the effects of fracking in the Northeast

February 26, 2016 – London School of Economics

The rise of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been controversial, with many campaigners expressing concern about the implications for the local environment, including streams and rivers. In new research, Abby Kinchy writes that monitoring of the effects of fracking on local watersheds in the Marcellus Shale region of New York and Pennsylvania by state, local, and multistate government is often patchy, and that many local volunteer and non-profit organisations are taking up the slack of such monitoring. Read more

Hold Your Breath — Nearly 200 Infrared Videos Expose Methane Pollution All Across the United States (VIDEO)

February 25, 2016 – Alternet

It’s not just Aliso Canyon — fugitive, toxic methane gas escaping into the air is a much more widespread problem than anyone could have imagined. Read more

Il petrolio, Il crollo dei prezzi spiegato in una pagina

January 2016 – RaiNews (Italy)

In Italian – Oil, the drop in prices explained in a page. Read more

Lack of data on fracking spills leaves researchers in the dark on water contamination

January 22, 2016 – StateImpact PA

A recently published peer-review of the EPA’s fracking study criticized the agency for reaching conclusions in their draft report without adequately explaining the lack of data and research available, including information related to wastewater, chemical and fuel spills resulting from oil and gas production. Read more

Reguladores do estado examinam se o fracking está ligado ao vazamento de gás nos poços de Alison Canyon

January 20, 2016 – Não Fracking Brasil

Reguladores do estado estão investigando se a prática controversa de perfuração do fraturamento hidráulico, ou fracking, contribuíram para o enorme vazamento de gás natural perto de Porter Ranch. (State regulators are investigating whether the controversial drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, contributed to the massive leak of natural gas near Porter Ranch.) Read more

Regulators probing whether fracking was connected to Aliso Canyon gas well leak

January 13, 2016 – Los Angeles Daily News

State regulators are investigating whether the controversial drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, contributed to the massive natural gas leak near Porter Ranch. Read more

Fracking research collaborative cuts across state lines

December 17, 2015 – Midwest Energy News

In mid-October, a trio of shale drilling states — Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — signed an agreement to grow the natural gas industry on a regional level, focusing on job training, infrastructure and other areas. Read more

“We Need Not Be Polite” Hears First National Conference On Oil Train Threats

November 25, 2015 – DeSmogBlog

…These known risks and lack of regulations have created new activists across the continent and the Oil Train Response 2015 conference was the first time they have all come together in one place to discuss the issue and organize together. The event was sponsored and organized by The Heinz Foundation, FracTracker and ForestEthics. Read more

Analysis shows Utica shale output falls short of projections

October 26, 2015 – Midwest Energy News

A recent analysis of oil and gas production data for Ohio’s Utica shale play casts doubt on earlier optimistic projections from both industry and state government sources. Read more

Gaps in Fracking Knowledge Could Hinder Sustainable Future

September 25, 2015 – Research & Development

Though applied since the 1940s, hydraulic fracturing boomed in the 1990s, according to The Geological Society of America. New technology allowed the practice to be applied to horizontal wells for extracting shale gas. Unprecedented growth followed. According to a 2014 report by FracTracker Alliance, over 1.1 million active oil and gas wells exist in the U.S. Read more

Book Details Railroad Tracks for First Responders

September 22, 2015 – The Tribune-Democrat

Training officer Joel Landis with the Somerset County, Pa., Hazmat Team helped land federal funding to organize a project for responders to prepare for railroad emergencies. Read more

Ein Mitstreiter aus den USA?

August 26, 2015 – Rotenburger Neue Presse

Interview with colleague, Max Gruenig of Ecologic Institute US, regarding the collaborative Our Energy Solutions project. Read more

Company continues to mine sand in critical dune area along Lake Michigan

August 11, 2015 – Michigan Radio

Since the 1930s, Sargent Sand Company has held a permit to mine sand from its property that’s surrounded by Ludington State Park. For years, the 400 acre mine was dormant as the company negotiated to sell its land to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. That sale fell through. Last year, the mine cranked back up again, and the neighbors aren’t too happy about it. Read more

Shale Trail

July 16, 2015 – Down To Earth

The US is seeing a shale gas revolution. Domestic gas prices are historically low and the US is on the verge of exporting it. Chandra Bhushan decodes the pros and cons of the gas boom. Read more

Umweltaktivist Andreas Rathjens erkundet Bohrstellen mit US-Organisationen

July 10, 2015 –

Andreas Rathjens is a local supporter of the Citizens’ Initiative Clean Drinking Water and fights fracking in Germany. Together with representatives of US organizations, FracTracker Alliance and Ecologic Institute, which deal with the practices of the gas and oil production, he led a tour of the Südkreis Rotenburg. Read more

Fracking and water: Quantity, not just quality, a concern

June 15, 2016 – Midwest Energy News

Even in a water-rich state like Ohio, growing water use for fracking could strain water reserves, according to new research from the FracTracker Alliance, a non-profit organization that compiles data, maps and analyses about the impacts of the oil and gas industry. Read more

Increased Fracking Water Use in Ohio: Compromising Watershed Integrity?

July 13, 2015 – Public News Service

Water consumption for hydraulic fracturing usage increased from 177,000 gallons in 2000 to  more than 5 million in 2014. Ted Auch explains where this water is coming from and the potential usage increase in the next two years. Read more

Radioactivity Risk from Oil & Gas Activity in Marcellus Region

July 1, 2015 – FrackCheckWV

This is an overview of our post concerning TENORM levels associated with hydraulic fracturing activity.

Fracking to forge ahead in UK but not without rules, say Tories.

June 30, 2015 – International Business Times

UK’s Conservative party and its supporters, Tories, have decided to go ahead with the continuation of hydraulic fracturing, mainly due to the commercial pressures. But they say not without supervision or rules. This shows the disparity in opinion when it comes to hydraulic fracturing, since New York was one of the first states to ban fracking overall. Read More

Event highlights need for renewable energy

April 14, 2015 – Science News

Syndicated by Rocket News and Technician Online

FracTracker Alliance, along with Ecologic Institute and members from Environment North Carolina reached out to students through an event called Our Energy Solutions. It contrasted the harmful effects of hydraulic fracking to renewable energy sources throughout North Carolina and focused on the public health concerns that also come with hydraulic fracking. To learn more about the potential of renewable energy in North Carolina. Read more

Digging Under the Surface

April 13, 2015- Before It’s News

Citizens of West Virginia are coming to the realization that giving up their land or their mineral rights was not such a good idea. These fracking companies have set out contracts that state “for as long as the well is in production, this lease maintains force” in WV, also considered the “sweet spot” of the recent oil and gas boom. Homeowners talk about what it is like to live with fracking near their property, the negotiation violations and how the oil and gas companies work through contract loopholes to lessen their responsibility of damages. Read more

Rigged Decks

April 20, 2015 – Audubon

Karen Edelstein from FracTracker provides offshore rig information and John Arvin, an Ornithologist for Gulf Coast Bird Observatory analyses the impacts of offshore rigs on bird migration patterns and populations. Read More

What the Frack Is Happening Under Long Beach?

April 22, 2015 – OC Weekly

Perhaps you’ve driven past them at night: several towering panels lit up like a psychedelic art installation, with a 45-foot waterfall gushing down the side and onto the boulder-strewn, pedestal-shaped, very-much-manmade island… Read More

Most states don’t track oil industry violations, and those that do assess piddly penalties

April 2, 2015 – Daily Kos

FracTracker and NDRC unleash information about reported violations, and the results are shocking. Read More

Is Philly doing enough to reduce the risk of a deadly oil-train derailment?

April 2, 2015 – Philadelphia City Paper

Philadelphia’s residents are showing growing concerns about their proximity to volatile oil trains passing through their city and homes. Read More

Greens rank frackers with most violations

April 2, 2015 – The Hill

Chesapeake Energy Corp. appears to have accumulated far too many violations, with most being in the state of Pennsylvania.  Read More

Is Your Local Fracking Company Breaking the Rules? You’ll Probably Never Know

‎April 2, 2015 – Mother Jones, Syndicated by Environment Guru; Climate Desk

The lack of transparency in the fracking industry’s violations shocks citizens, as well as the little data that is available.  Read More

NRDC: Oil, gas violations largely unreported

April 2, 2015 –

Syndicated by, United Press International, Daily Kos

NRDC and FracTracker explore reasons as to why there is such little regulation regarding oil and gas violations. Read More

Top 10 Oil & Gas Companies for Spills & Legal Violations, identified

April 2, 2015 – Kansas City Infozine

Syndicated by; The State Journal; e-News Park Forest;; NRDC

What companies are doing the most damage through violations? Read More

Fracking operators ran up 2.5 violations a day, study shows

April 2, 2015 – Chicago Tribune

West Virginia, Colorado and Pennsylvania are the only states with data available about regulation violations. How many violations are occurring in the rest of the country by day? Read More

Report identifies Top 10 oil, gas companies for spills, violations

April 2, 2015 – Akron Beacon Journal

The top 10 violators are categorized by State and Federal land. Read More

It’s Almost Impossible To Find Data On Oil And Gas Spills In Most States

April 1, 2015 – Huffington Post

Two of the top 3 violators in the country offer comments about their violation records, while the top violator declines to comment. Read More

Fracking Linked to Adrenal Problems

March 24, 2015 – lawyersandsettlements. com

Molly and her husband use Fractracker to identify the 50 wells located within a seven mile radius from her home. She explains the health effects it is having on her, her husband and her neighbors. Read More

Obama’s New Fracking Rules Won’t Apply to Majority of U.S. 

March 20, 2015 – Newsweek

New hydraulic fracturing regulations will only apply to federal and tribal lands, leaving intact private and state lands. Meanwhile, oil and gas producers find these regulations unnecessary and have taken action against them immediately following the announcement. Read More

Pennsylvania Pushes Tougher Fracking Regs

March 13, 2015 – Allegheny Front

Governor Tom Wolfe and his acting Department of Environmental Protection secretary John Quigley announce stricter regulations on fracking, specifically those controlling wastewater storage, fracking near schools, noise management, and public involvement. Read More

Study finds thousands live in PA blast zone

March 10, 2015 – CBS News

Fractracker and Penn environment released a report that illustrates just how many Pennsylvanians are within a half mile from railroads where crude oil is transported. Read More

New Map Shows Fracking on PA State Lands

Mar 9, 2015 – NPR

A map by FracTracker shows the gas wells on Pennsylvania’s public lands. Read More

Harrisburg city council to push for safety measures to protect residents from bomb trains

March 9, 2015 -The Patriot – News

Harrisburg city councilman Brad Koplinski set forth a legislation urging state and federal agencies to increase regulation on trains traveling with crude oil, trains known as “bomb trains”. Read More

Special issue of journal looks at fracking’s effects on people, animals

March 3, 2015 – Yahoo news

A peer-reviewed journal researches the public health impacts of fracking, observing health issues arising near drilling sites, and what this could mean to the 243,000 Pennsylvanians working in the oil and gas industry today. Read More

Millions of Pennsylvanians live in oil train explosion evacuation zone

March 2, 2015 – Patriot News

More than 4 million Pennsylvanians are at risk in their homes due to prevalent  train derailments and explosions. Gov. Tom Wolfe speaks on the subject. Read More

Oil trains called legitimate and urgent threat to 4 million Pennsylvanians

March 2, 2015 – ABC 27 News

Brook Lenker discusses the potential and urgent dangers of oil trains coming through our communities and the shadows we live in when it comes to obtaining data from oil and train companies. Read More

Studies explore concerns about natural-gas production and health

March 2, 2015- The Dallas Morning News

Several studies reveal health effects after short and long-term exposure to chemicals released from conventional drilling as well as fracking. Read More

Gas Industry’s Solution to Toxic Wastewater: Spray It on Roads

March 2, 2015 – Newsweek

Oil and gas companies claim that the brine from conventional drilling is non-toxic and will not harm wildlife or the environment; however, researchers and scientists disagree. Read More

Train derailment could affect 183,000 in Pittsburgh, study says

March 2, 2015- PowerSource (The Pittsburgh Gazette)

Matt Kelso illustrates the potential dangers of oil-carrying trains running through our neighborhoods. Read More

Oil train derailment report to include Johnstown

February 26, 2015- The Tribune Democrat

A train carrying crude oil exploded in West Virginia. What could a similar catastrophe mean to you? Read More

Buffalo’s Bomb Trains

February 2015 – ArtVoice

With one third of Buffalo’s population living in a disaster evacuation zone, the local media’s silence is deafening. With map by FracTracker. Read More

Five Questions about the FracTracker Alliance & Challenges of Strategic Communication in Unconventional Oil & Gas

January 2015 – C4CS Newsletter

Interview with FracTracker’s Manager of Education, Communications, and Partnerships – Sam Malone. Read more

Fracking forum draws large crowd

January 28, 2015 – Richmond Register

On Tuesday January 27, 2015, Frack Free Foothills held a community forum to discuss unconventional drilling in Berea, KY, with FracTracker’s Bill Hughes presenting. Read more

New– and worrisome–contaminants emerge from oil and gas wells

Jan 15, 2015- The Georgia Straight

A new study identifies two new contaminants polluting the water in Pennsylvania and West Virginia– ammonium and iodide. Read More. 

Environmental concerns raised as oil companies take fresh look at fracking in Kentucky

January 10, 2015 – Lexington Herald-Leader

There’s been little heat so far in Kentucky over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique of drilling for oil and natural gas that has caused division elsewhere in the country, but now the controversy has gushed up here. Read more

Fracking Spurred Ohio Earthquakes: Some Not Surprised

January 6, 2015 – Public News Service

Some environmentalists and energy-industry observers say they are not surprised by a new study that connects earthquakes to hydraulic fracturing in Ohio. Read more

To fill in the blanks on Marcellus data, volunteers turn to crowdsourcing

January 6, 2015 – PowerSource (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Oil and gas companies may have the money to pay research analysts for quality data, but public interests have the numbers on their side. Read more

FracTracker – A Resource for Good

January 2015 – Zielone Wiadomosci

An introduction to FracTracker Alliance and our work. Read more

Effects of fracking on the health of children

December 26, 2014 – Al Jazeera America News

Jennifer London reports on why parents are upset over drilling near schools, with an interview of Kyle Ferrar, CA Program Coordinator, FracTracker Alliance. Video (will update link when video available)

CMU, Fractraker teaming up to monitor crude oil trains through region

December 13, 2014 – PowerSource (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Trains carrying millions of gallons of crude oil from Midwestern shale oil fields pass through the region daily and at speeds approaching the limit established to reduce derailment risks, according to a pilot study by Fractracker Alliance and Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab. Read more

PR Firm to Advise New York Oil & Gas Group to “Win Ugly”

November 12, 2014 – Earth Island Journal

Leaked transcript shows energy companies will be told to make the fight against fracking opponents personal Read more

Pennsylvania’s frack ponds now number more than 500

November 11, 2014 – StateImpactPA

In 2005, Pennsylvania had 11 frack water pits. Just eight years later, aerial maps show that number has jumped to 529. It’s unclear how many of these sites store fresh water used for fracking, and how many store the toxic wastewater that results from oil and gas drilling operations. Read more

Ohio Governor Hoping To Amend “Outrageous” Drilling Tax

November 2, 2014 –

With U.S. midterm elections just days away, one Republican state governor is coasting to re-election despite promising to aggressively push for higher taxes on the oil and gas industry. Read more

Shale Drilling Destroys Regional Water Resources

September 2014 – Fresh Water Accountability Project

Grand Rapids, OH – Ohioans are beginning to realize that unconventional shale drilling uses a great deal of water, permanently ruining it for other uses. But what they may not know is fracked gas and oil wells in Ohio are turning out to be less productive over time, with more water needed so the effects of water usage are rising. Read more

SkyTruth maps impoundments using aerial photos

September 20, 2014 – Observer-Reporter

Attempting to identify every Marcellus Shale impoundment in Washington and Greene counties is an arduous – perhaps impossible – task for the average citizen to undertake. Read more

Audit of fracking fluids highlights data deficiencies

August 15, 2014 – Chemistry World

A US survey of almost 250 chemicals used in fracking has identified potentially harmful compounds and exposed a lack of information about them that is hampering efforts to understand fracking’s environmental impact. Read more

Open Canvas amadpainter and Mark Eddy guest Bill Hughes

August 4, 2014 – WVNS

Charleston, WV – As rules to deal with low-level radioactive waste from Marcellus wells are going into effect, concerns are rising about the long-term impacts of it. Comments from Bill Hughes, chair of the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority. Map of Marcellus drilling sites available. Read more

Norwegian shale-accident: 70,000 fish died and tons chemicals leaked

July 8, 2014 – EnergiWatch

Up to 100 tons of chemicals may be leaked into the wild after a fire at one of Statoil’s fracking facilities in the United States. The debate on fracking flare up again. Read more

Another Study Finds Appalachian Water Use, Underground Injection Volumes Increasing

July 11, 2014 – NGI’s Shale Daily

A recently released study by the FrackTracker Alliance shows that water use and wastewater generated from horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has dramatically increased in the Appalachian Basin since 2010, leading to a corresponding increase in the use of Class II underground injection wells, especially in Ohio. Read more

Court Ruling Shift Fracking Fight to Local Level

July 6, 2014 – Ithaca Journal

ALBANY — A key ruling by the state’s highest court has shifted the hydraulic fracturing debate to the local level, but the future of fracking in New York still relies on an opaque decision-making process by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. Read more

5 Shocking Places Where Fracking Is Taking Off

July 1, 2014 – AlterNet

By now, many people have heard about the booming Bakken Shale in North Dakota where there is a mad rush for oil, enabled by the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a practice that pumps millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand underground to break rock and release hydrocarbons. Read more

Directors Of ‘Triple Divide’ Documentary LIVE

July 1, 2014 – HuffPost Live

Public Herald co-founders and journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman join HuffPost Live to discuss “Triple Divide,” an in-depth investigative fracking documentary co-narrarated by Mark Ruffalo.Read more

New York Towns Can Prohibit Fracking, State Appeals Court Rules

June 30, 2014 – The Guardian

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing celebrated a major victory over the oil and gas industry on Monday after the highest court in New York state agreed that cities and towns can prohibit drilling within their boundaries. Read more

Anti-Fracking Win in N.Y. Court May Deal Blow to Industry

June 30, 2014 – Bloomberg

New York’s cities and towns can block hydraulic fracturing within their borders, the state’s highest court ruled, dealing a blow to an industry awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision on whether to lift a six-year-old statewide moratorium. Read more

Fracking boom threatens US water supplies

June 18, 2014 – Climate News Network

OREGON, 18 June − Since the onset of the fracking boom almost a decade ago, every state in the US has been examining its geological resources in the hope of finding oil or gas it can access through this extraction method. Almost half the states are now producing at least some shale gas, with a few – Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, North Dakota – sitting on massive deposits. Read more

More Crashes and Arrests? Report Examines Social Costs of Fracking in Ohio

June 16, 2014 – Public News Service

The rapid growth of the oil and gas industry is changing the faces of many of Ohio’s small towns. A new analysis finds a correlation between certain public safety standards and permits to frack for natural gas in counties over the Utica shale formation. Read more

Fracking water use may lead to droughts

June 14, 2014 – Mansfield News Journal

With some groups touting the economic benefit hydraulic fracturing could have locally, scientists fear the effect of current trends for the future of the Muskingum River Watershed. Read more

N.Y.’s Local Fracking Bans Spur Debate Before Top Court

June 4, 2014 – Bloomberg

New York’s cities and towns shouldn’t be able to block hydraulic fracturing within their borders because such prohibitions are trumped by state law, opponents of the bans told the state’s highest court. Read more

In Fracking Hotbed, a Muted Approach to Regulation

May 13, 2014 – ProPublica

Ohio annually processes thousands of tons of radioactive waste from hydraulic-fracturing, sending it through treatment facilities, injecting it into its old and unused gas wells and dumping it in landfills. Historically, the handling and disposal of that waste was barely regulated, with few requirements for how its potential contamination would be gauged, or how and where it could be transported and stored. Read more

Hydraulic Fracturing: Alliance calls on FracFocus to release disclosure reports to public

May 2, 2014 – EnergyWire

Officials running, the online repository for chemicals used by the oil and gas industry, need to make public the detailed reports on hydraulic fracturing chemicals they provide to states, the FracTracker Alliance said in an open letter issued this week. Read more

How A Former Corporate Lawyer Stood Up To Fracking Companies, And Won

April 28, 2014 – Co.Exist

With her innovative legal strategy, Helen Slottje showed upstate New York communities how to head off the dangerous natural gas drilling boom sweeping the region. Now, as she’s honored with this year’s Goldman Prize, her ideas are spreading across the nation. Read more

Group kicks off listening project in Carroll, Columbiana counties

April 14, 2014 – Akron Beacon Journal

Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE), FracTracker Alliance, The Ohio Environmental Council, the Laborers International Union Locals 809 and 1015 announce the launch of the Columbiana and Carroll Counties Listening Project. Throughout the spring and summer, the organizations will survey and compile the stories of 1000 Columbiana and Carroll County residents for theListening Project, highlighting the affects of the shale fracking boom on local residents and their families. Read more

FracTracker maps out all 1.1M oil and gas wells in the U.S

March 31, 2014 – E&E News

Finding the nearest active oil or gas well could be just a few clicks away with the latest map from the FracTracker Alliance. Read more

Deal renews conversation on drilling protocols

March 28, 2014 – Pittsburgh Business Times

Environmental regulations are a renewed talking point in a recent deal between Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC), Allegheny County and Huntley & Huntley Inc., experts say. The deal, inked March 17, allows for off-site gas extraction under Deer Lakes Park, according to Allegheny County. Read more

Fracking the USA: New Map Shows 1 Million Oil, Gas Wells

March 27, 2014 – AP

…But the data also illustrate how conflicting definitions of an oil and gas well can result in dramatic discrepancies in a state’s well count… Read more

Fracking Heats Up in California: Moratoria and Earthquakes

March 24, 2014 – JD Supra

The last several weeks have seen some interesting developments suggesting an increase in temperature in Oil Pumperthe debate over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in California. Read more

The impact of natural gas extraction and fracking on state and local roadways

March 21,2014 – Journalist’s Resource

As of March 2014 there were approximately 1.1 million oil and gas wells in the United States, a direct consequence of technological advances that have increased domestic energy production to levels unseen since the 1970s. Much of the growth has been in natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which involves injecting immense quantities of water and chemicals into the ground to fracture the rock and release deposits that would otherwise be inaccessible. Read more

Was the Los Angeles Earthquake Caused by Fracking Techniques?

March 17, 2014 – Mother Jones

Was the 4.4-magnitude earthquake that rattled Los Angeles this morning caused by fracking methods? It’s hard to say, but what’s clear from the above map, made by Kyle Ferrar of the FracTracker Alliance, is that the quake’s epicenter was just eight miles from a disposal well where oil and gas wastewater is being injected underground at high pressure. Read more

Keystone XL: Not the Only Pipeline on Ohio’s Radar

March 14, 2014 – Public News Service

While the nation has been focused on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, Ohioans may not realize how many other pipeline projects could be running across the state. Read more

Water for drilling may create long-term water supply problems

December 13, 2013 – The Akron Beacon Journal, Bob Downing

A report just issued from FracTracker, a data gathering and dissemination organization, supports concerns that water profiteering from sales of millions of gallons by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) in SE Ohio can create long-term water supply problems. Read more

Americans Uninformed About Fracking Says New Study

November 21, 2013 – Climate Central

Most Americans have heard little or nothing of the oil and gas production process called hydraulic fracturing, and many don’t know if they support or oppose it, according to a new paper by researchers from Oregon State, George Mason and Yale universities. Read more

Colorado Cities’ Rejection of Fracking Poses Political Test for Natural Gas Industry

November 7, 2013 – New York Times

With three Colorado cities approving bans or moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, the natural gas industry is being forced to re-examine its political strategy after a period of explosive growth and broad backing. Read more

Michigan Shale Viewer

September 8, 2013 –

Our Michigan Shale Gas Viewer was featured on’s website. Read more

Showdown in the Ohio Valley

September 5, 2013 – DC Bureau

What could make a former Marine, retired cop, and self-described “ultra-conservative” oppose fracking in his home state of Ohio? … With photos by FracTracker’s Ted Auch. Read more

Fracking Cases to Top Court

August 29, 2013 – The Wall Street Journal

New York’s top court on Thursday said it would hear challenges by energy companies and landowners to two upstate towns’ bans on fracking, the controversial hydraulic fracturing process of extracting natural gas from underground shale. Read more

Fractracker verrät, wo gebohrt wird (FracTracker reveals wells drilled)

August 27, 2013 – Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen

Fracking is booming in the United States. But how polluting is the controversial method of gas and oil production, is difficult to estimate. (Article originally in German) Read more

Ohio fracking photo tour

August 23, 2013 – Green City Blue Lake

The shale gas drilling boom is not just a theoretical possibility for the 28,587 people of Carroll County, OH. They are already living with dramatic changes to the county’s woods and fields and rolling hills. This photo tour provides a glimpse of what it looks like when fracking comes to rural Ohio. Read more

Battles Escalate Over Community Efforts to Ban Fracking

August 22, 2013 – National Geographic

As President Obama visits upstate New York and northeastern Pennsylvania to discuss his education agenda, the issue of fracking looms large in the background. While his trip highlights many unresolved issues related to America’s new wealth of natural gas and oil, a growing number of communities are taking matters into their own hands. Read more

Is Nothing Sacred? Frack and Chaco Culture National Historic Park

August 7, 2013 –

With a map by FracTracker Alliance… New Mexico, home to sacred archaeological history sites is in focus of all fracking stakeholders because of the Mancos Shale. Read more

Is Nothing Sacred

July 19, 2013 – ideastream

With a map by FracTracker’s Ted Auch. Read more

Local Government Beats Ban Fracking

June 2013 – Green Builder Magazine

Grassroots activism in New York is putting the breaks on runaway “fracking” for natural gas. Read more

New Project Maps Suspected Impacts To Well Water

May 10, 2013 – WOUB News

A new mapping project by a group of environmental organizations aims to document impacts to well water quality people believe is caused by unconventional gas and oil operations like hydraulic fracturing. Read more

New York’s Zoning Ban Movement Fracks Big Gas

May 9, 2013 – Truthout

… the entire industry has had its eyes on New York State, which has become the epicenter of an international struggle against unconventional gas. Read more

Shale Development Supporters in New York Fear Damage is Done

May 7, 2013 – NGI’s Shale Daily

In the wake of a New York appellate court ruling that two local bans on oil and gas activities should be upheld, supporters of shale development in the Empire State worry that the damage may be done, regardless of how the bans fare through a possible appeal. Read more (subscription required)

A Meeting of the Minds Over Fracking in Ohio

April 5, 2013 – Public News Service

It’s a first-of-its-kind meeting of the minds when it comes to fracking in the Buckeye State. Today (April 5th) and Saturday, scientists, doctors, attorneys, researchers and other experts are gathering in eastern Ohio to present and discuss the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Read more

FracTracker monitors shale development in Ohio

April 4, 2013 – The Plain Dealer

Shale gas development has swept into Ohio in a big way, but for many the energy push is remote — unfamiliar and out of sight in rural parts of the state. Even so, the shale play has set off heightened debate about the possible windfall and drawbacks of horizontal fracturing to release natural gas and oil from deep shale deposits.

FracTracker Alliance, a non-profit that recently expanded into Ohio, hopes to take some of the emotion out of the discussion by supplying accurate, detailed information about the shale boom. Much of that information is in the form of online, interactive maps at… Read more

FracMapper site lets users pinpoint local gas/oil drilling

April 3, 2013 – Allied News

Searching the Internet for the most accurate and updated information on local gas and oil drilling is confusing for many people, but a nonprofit has stepped up to make that data available in an easy-to-read format… Read more

Renowned Experts Address Health and Economic Impacts at Ohio Fracking Conference April 5 – 6

April 3, 2013 – EcoWatch

On April 5 and 6, a group of scientists, doctors, attorneys, researchers, environmental advocates and policy experts will assemble in Warren, Ohio, to present and discuss the impacts of fracking. This conference is one of the first in the state to study and discuss facts, concerns and evolving science related to unconventional gas drilling in Ohio. It will be held at the Wean Foundation, 147 West Market St. in Warren, Ohio… Read more

Digging into Shale Gas and Its Effects on Public Health

March 26, 2013 – Pennsylvania Public Health Training Center

You hear about it daily in the news; natural gas is an immense, domestic energy source for the United States. Economic analysts and the industry promote this fossil fuel as a solution to our need for foreign energy and a cheaper, cleaner-burning fuel for household use.  But with these benefits also come significant risks… Read more

Find Oil and Gas Wells Near You With FracTracker Map

March 1, 2013 – ideastream

Researchers with FracTracker Alliance have been collecting data about Ohio’s growing shale industry. They’ve created a map that identifies oil and gas wells drilled into the Utica and Marcellus formations. The map also plots the deep injection wells that store drilling waste water. ideastream’s Michelle Kanu talked with the map’s creator, Ted Auch, about how to navigate her way around. Read more

Drilling for Answers: The Marcellus Shale

February 25, 2013 – Whirl Magazine

Learn from leaders deep in the Marcellus Shale conversation as they answer the questions you’ve been asking. Read more

FracTracker Alliance working to provide drilling information to Ohio residents

February 11, 2013 – Beacon Journal

WARREN: The lack of information about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Marcellus shale of Pennsylvania led to the formation of FracTracker in mid-2010. Read more

Gas Free Seneca Interview

February 2013 – WRFI Radio

Yvonne Taylor and Joseph Campbell discuss the proposed Inergy gas storage facility near Watkins Glen, New York. Listen

Clean Water Action calls on California regulators for a moratorium on fracking (Photos)

December 21, 2012 –

Clean Water Action called on California regulators for a moratorium on fracking on the heels of a lawsuit recently filed charging the California Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) was lax in developing draft regulations regarding the process to extract oil and or natural gas known as fracking. Read more

Conservationists fight to save one of PA’s gem streams

December 2012 – Chesapeake Bay Journal

Groups point out that state has authority to protect Rock Run, but fear that it won’t… Article by Karl Blankenship from his experience during our first media tour through Loyalsock State Forest. Read more

“If you’re going to use river water as your source of drinking water, you shouldn’t discharge bromide” – Salts of the Earth

November 21, 2012 – Pittsburgh City Paper

It’s something of a mystery: Levels of chemical compounds called bromides have been rising and falling in the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers and no one knows exactly why. Read more

FracTracker Alliance Profile

October 2012 – WJPA News

Quick audio blurb about what it is we do here at FracTracker. Read more

Website collects, lets people track shale-drilling data in their area

September 2012 – Chesapeake Bay Journal

A feature issue by Rona Kobell about our organization and our roots as a University of Pittsburgh project. Read more

‘Fracking’ watchdog group to expand into Ohio

August 20, 2012 – Beacon Journal

Announcement of our receipt of a two-year $130,000 grant from the Cleveland-based George Gund Foundation in order to expand our FracTracker work into Ohio. Read more

Shale gas drilling declines in Pennsylvania

July 1, 2012 –

Philadelphia Energy Examiner, Robert Magyar, discusses the trends in shale gas drilling data with a look at PA DEP reports and Matt Kelso’s wells drilled trend analysis on FracTracker from this June. Read more

A Plan to Regulate Gas Drilling

June 13, 2012 – New York Times

A map made by FracTracker NYS Consultant, Karen Edelstein, found its way to the New York Times. The article discusses Gov. Cuomo’s plan to regulate gas drilling, which would require the approval of municipalities for the gas-drilling process to begin in their areas. Read more

Objective Marcellus shale gas data at

May 24, 2012 –

Philadelphia Energy Examiner, Robert Magyar, gives a glowing review of and our data analyses. Many thanks! We hope to be able to continue to provide objective and exploratory data analyses as drilling continues. Read more

Gas Drillers Wrangle Over NY Limitations, Bans

May 12, 2012 – Associated Press

Features statistics provided by FracTracker’s NYS Consultant, Karen Edelstein. Read more

Wildlife research grants are worth time and effort

February 2, 2012 –

Letter to the editor by FracTracker’s Director, Brook Lenker. Read more

New databases improve access to state gas drilling records

January 28, 2012 – Republican Herald

A redesigned website for the state’s Office of Oil and Gas Management features new data tools that simplify the public’s access to permit records, drilling dates, inspections and enforcement actions for the state’s multiplying natural gas wells… Read more

Crude Awakening

January 26, 2012 – Colorado Springs Weekly

Matt Kelso’s data analyses on the shale gas drilling industry’s violations per well drilled by company were mentioned. (Page 18) High-Res Article | Text-Only

Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Announces Director for its New FracTracker Fund

December 12, 2011 – Press Release

The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has named a former state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources official to manage its newest fund,, effective this week. Brook Lenker, who served as manager of education and outreach in the department for nearly eight years, will manage staffing and operations; expand the website capabilities; coordinate and develop content; publicize and expand use of the website by journalists and other users; broaden community and academic outreach; and undertake additional strategic initiatives. Read more

Underground Story Bubbles Up in Pittsburgh Newsroom

April 11, 2011 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There are two words you hear a lot around the newsroom at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette these days:  Marcellus Shale. This article discusses the public-private partnerships that make up the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Pipeline project, including Read more

Program aims to educate public on shale drilling

January 18, 2011 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A new program to help the public monitor Marcellus Shale well development and report problems at drill sites has been launched by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Healthy Environments and Communities and a Fayette County environmental group. The Marcellus Citizens Stewardship Project will offer free training to individuals on how to assess the sights, sounds and smells produced by shale drilling operations in their communities and report their observations via online forms to an interactive Marcellus drilling data site, “FracTracker,” established by the university center. Read more

Tracking the Fracking

November 12, 2010 – Sustainability Now

Samantha Malone of CHEC discussed how came to be & how it is being used to track & share shale gas drilling data. Listen

Shale Watch: Follow the jobs, events & latest online reports

August 24, 2010 – Pop City Pittsburgh

Running to keep up with the latest developments on the Marcellus Shale play from news to jobs to events? Here’s a one-stop report on the news in a nutshell from the past month… The best source for all things shale is University of Pittsburgh’s Fractracker where information on well permits, drilling activity, infractions and news are updated regularly.

New Warehouse for Shale Mining Data

July 16, 2010 – Project on Government Oversight

A great new resource for keeping tabs on the oil industry has just opened up—the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC) has developed the FracTracker, a website where people can upload data on the Marcellus Shale gas reserves under the Appalachian basin. Read more

For Gas-Drilling Data, There’s a New Place to Dig

July 13, 2010 – ProPublica

Starving for data about natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale? A new website hopes to feed your need. A couple of environmental & public health groups have teamed up to create FracTracker, a web tool that brings together different data sets & presents the information on a map. Read more

Website all about shale info

July 8, 2010 – Times Leader

Two health & environmental organizations have teamed up to host a new website with a web-based tool for tracking & visualizing data related to gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale region., hosted by the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds & managed by the Center for Healthy Environments & Communities, or CHEC, of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, officially launched on June 29. Read more

Website To Track All Things Marcellus

July 6, 2010 – WDUQ

The Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has launched a new web page that it hopes will help everyone learn more about the impacts on Marcellus Shale drilling in PA. The site,, will include a blog where CHEC director Dan Volz says “snapshots” of what is happening in the Shale play will be posted for people that do not want to dig into the data on their own. For those who are more adventurous, the site also holds a web-based data tool developed by Pittsburgh-based Rhiza labs that will allow users to layer data sets and then produce a visualization of the information. Read more

Website tracks shale drillers

July 1, 2010 – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A group of researchers, software developers and environmentalists has introduced an online tool designed to track what’s happening in Pennsylvania’s rapidly expanding natural gas industry.

Follow the drilling with Fractracker, datatools for the shale play–check it out!

June 30, 2010 – Pop City

A unique online tool is tracking the gas fracing activity & encouraging the collaboration of researchers & environmentalists across three states. is a central clearinghouse for all things Marcellus Shale. Want to know exactly where the wells are? There’s an up-to-date interactive map. Interested in gas extraction incidents & infractions? Click on the regularly updated list. The site hopes to put all the available information in one place from New York to Pennsylvania & West Virginia.

Pitt Center Launches Online Tracking Tool to Assess Impact of Marcellus Shale Drilling

June 29, 2010 – Press Release

The Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has convened a group of experts to address the impact of Marcellus Shale drilling with the launch of, a new web-based tool for tracking & visualizing data related to gas extraction. Read more

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