Since 2013, nearly 233,000 tons of radioactive waste, much of it from the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota, has been disposed of at a site near Glendive, Montana. Now, after years of prodding, the state has finally proposed a rule for handling oilfield waste, but area ranchers and farmers think the plan leaves them deeply vulnerable.
A new sage grouse conservation plan released by the Interior Department has ranchers and energy developers in the West cheering, while environmentalists worry about the endangered bird’s future.
The industry-led Oklahoma Energy Resource Board has spent $50 million since the 1990s training the state's K-12 teachers to teach a science and math curriculum that critics claim is more industry promotion that real education.
Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law a ban on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, in oil and gas production in Maryland, said the Associated Press. "Supporters of the ban said it was the first in the nation approved by a legislature in a state that has natural gas underground."
Federal scientists say Oklahoma and southern Kansas face significant risk of earthquakes this year – "so high that the chance of damage ... is expected to be similar to that of earthquakes in California," said the Los Angeles Times. Since 2009, the number of earthquakes above magnitude 2.7 has soared, perhaps related to injection of wastewater deep underground, a method known as hydraulic fracturing, as part of oil and gas production.
The technique of hydraulic fracturing by the oil and gas industry "can impact drinking water resources in the United States under some circumstances," the EPA says in a new report. "Impacts cited in the report generally occurred near hydraulic fractured oil and gas production wells and ranged in severity from temporary changes in water quality to contamination that made private drinking water wells unusable."
In a switch, President-elect Donald Trump settled on Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Montana Republican just elected to his second term in the House, for secretary of the Interior, said NBC News, one of several news organizations to report the decision. Zinke, 55, "described as an avid hunter and fisherman, was an early and consistent supporter of Trump's campaign," said NBC.
President-elect Donald Trump carried almost all of the farm states, from the Carolinas across the Midwest into the Plains, rolling up a 2-to-1 margin against Democrat Hillary Clinton with promises of lower taxes and less regulation. Farm groups, with a politically conservative membership, said they hoped to educate him on the importance of exports for farm prosperity.
In the rugged hills of Vaca Muerta, Argentina, the locals says that the drinking water makes them vomit and cripples them with painful headaches. The Mapuche, an indigenous group who live in the area, blame pollution from fracking operations, which inject chemicals, along with sand and water, into the ground to release natural gas, reports BBC.
Chemicals in hydraulic fracking are capable of disrupting the endocrine systems of fish and potentially humans, says a new study that tested water around a fracking wastewater disposal site in Fayetteville, West Virginia.