Oil and Gas Industry
2:37 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

New York Governor Praised, Scorned Over Fracking Ban

Credit Northeast Natural Energy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is getting heaped with praise by environmentalists and scorn by business for a state ban on deep hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, even as he insists the decision wasn't his.

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Oil and Gas Industry
8:50 am
Thu December 18, 2014

After Living Next to Drilling Activity, 100 W.Va. Residents Sue Companies

Before/After screen capture of the Mark West Plant, a major mid-stream gas processing plant that's in the middle of construction in Doddridge County.
Credit WV Host Farms

Nuisance and negligence lawsuits have been filed this year throughout West Virginia related to horizontal drilling activities. Noise, air, and water pollution, traffic and debris are among complaints. It’s a new industrial world for many West Virginians living in the growing rural gas fields.  

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Oil and Gas Industry
1:45 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

New York Bans Fracking

Horizontal drilling pad at the Morgantown Industrial Park, where more horizontal drilling is slated for 2015.
Credit Northeast Natural Energy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will move to prohibit fracking in the state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

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Natural Gas
10:14 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Industry Backed Bill Could Force Mineral Owners to Sell

President of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association Kevin Ellis presented the bill to lawmakers during a November interim meeting.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As lawmakers return to town this week for their final interim session of 2014, they'll learn more about a practice in the natural gas industry companies want them to approve through legislation: forced pooling.

Kevin Ellis, president of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, explained to lawmakers during a November meeting, when companies prepare to drill a well they create a giant rectangle of land parcels and then negotiate with each mineral owner within that rectangle for their gas rights.

By pooling these owners together, companies can drill a well and then pay out mineral owners proportionally by land acreage for the gas produced.

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4:24 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Petition Asks W.Va. Govenor Not to Allow Drilling Under Ohio River

Ohio River

Govenor Earl Ray Tomblin received a petition with 3,820 signatures requesting he disallow horizontal drilling under the Ohio River.

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Energy & Environment
10:55 am
Fri November 21, 2014

W.Va. to Open Bids on Wildlife Land Fracking

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Credit Ruhrfisch [GFDL ( / Wikimedia Commons


West Virginia officials are unveiling offers to frack under wildlife conservation land in Tyler County.

On Friday in Charleston, the state Department of Commerce will publicly open bids for oil and natural gas rights under Conaway Run Wildlife Management Area.

The bid deadline on the 518 acres was Thursday. A 20-percent royalty on what's extracted is required.

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Environment and Safety
2:20 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

DEP Official: Radiation Levels in Fracking Waste Safe

Mike Dorsey, director of emergency management and homeland security, presented the preliminary report findings Monday.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State lawmakers were updated Monday morning on a study the Department of Environmental Protection began earlier this year. That study focuses on the level of radioactive material in drill cuttings from horizontal fracking sites.

The West Virginia DEP has tested 15 sites for levels of radioactivity in drilling waste. The test sites included Wetzel County’s landfill, an Ohio water treatment plant, and multiple drilling sites in counties in North Central West Virginia.

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Energy & Environment
11:16 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Drillers Using More Sand, Water for W.Va. Wells

Credit wikimedia

Energy companies are using more water and sand to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale in Marshall and Ohio counties.

A new report by research firm Wood Mackenzie says companies working in what's called the "wet gas window" of the two counties are using up to 10 million gallons of water for each project. They're also using 13 million pounds of sand.

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Energy & Environment
4:13 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Jane Lew Meeting Leaves Some Wondering, and Some Concerned, About Future Drilling

CONSOL's proposed and planned wells for Lewis County
Credit Roxy Todd

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West Virginia Morning
8:00 am
Tue August 19, 2014

What's Next for Boone County Coal Miners?

On West Virginia Morning, reporter Catherine Moore attended the coal festival in Boone County to ask residents there what’s next for them after layoffs in the coal industry.  And Liz McCormick reports from Jefferson County where libraries are rallying for community support.

For State Impact Pennsylvania's report about natural gas drilling in state forests click here. 

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Inside Appalachia
4:34 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Debating the Death Penalty in Ky., Trying to Track Fracking Materials, "Uncle Dude" and more

Capital punishment is debated in Kentucky.

Coal camp communities are working to cope with dated water systems created by coal companies.

A farmer’s market is provides summer meals to children. 

Questioning Capital Punishment in Kentucky:  Mirroring a national trend, the debate over capital punishment continues to makes headlines in Kentucky. Earlier this month, the state legislature held the first public hearing testimony on the death penalty since it was reinstated in 1976. As Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador found that arguments for and against a bipartisan legislative effort to abolish capital punishment boil down to, in part, a moral quandary over vengeance versus forgiveness.

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Oil and Gas Industry
11:45 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Illegal Fracking Practices Identified in W.Va., Pa.

Credit Baker Hughes

An environmental watchdog non-profit just released a report identifying companies who are using diesel fuel in their horizontal drilling fluids. Apparently, that’s illegal without a special permit.

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Energy & Environment
1:35 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Group Asks EPA to Strip State Authority on Injection Wells

  The National Resources Defense Council is asking federal environmental officials to strip the state's authority over underground injection wells for fracking waste.

Council attorney Matthew McFeeley made the request in a letter Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator.

The letter says injections occurring at two West Virginia wells are illegal and unauthorized, and both have expired permits.

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Natural Gas
6:37 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Marcellus Shale Production Hits New High

Credit wikimedia

Federal energy experts say Marcellus Shale natural gas production has hit an all-time high.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that production from West Virginia and Pennsylvania totaled about 15 billion cubic feet per day in July. That's more than seven times the 2010 production.

The Marcellus Shale generally lies about a mile or more underground, and is the most productive natural gas field in the U.S. At current rates the total yearly production is the energy equivalent of about 800 million barrels of oil.

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Saving Gas
4:48 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Fracking Documentarians Tour West Virginia, U.S. Without Using Gasoline

Journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman stand in front of the Model S they will be driving across the country
Credit Press Release

A cross-country tour dedicated to spreading awareness about fracking is making its way to West Virginia with an interesting bonus.   

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West Virginia Morning
10:11 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Lawmakers Review Bills from Previous Session, Impact of EPA's New Regulations, Documenting Fracking

  Lawmakers decide to take more time to review bills, as they get called in for a special session. The Environmental Protection Agency's new regulations on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants will be released next week, leaving concerns for many in the industry. Also, a couple from Elkins who specialize in oral histories are taking a look at all sides of fracking. 

Hydraulic Fracturing
8:29 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Companies Beginning to Explore W.Va. Utica Shale

Credit wikimedia

Oil and natural gas companies with Marcellus Shale operations in the Northern Panhandle are turning their attention more and more to the underlying Utica Shale.

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Energy & Environment
2:02 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

EPA Seeks Comment on Fracking Chemicals Disclosure

Credit wikimedia

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on ways to disclose information about the chemicals used in the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking.

The EPA says in a Friday release that it is also seeking input on incentives and programs that could help develop safer fracking chemicals.

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Underground Injection Well
4:12 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

DEP Orders Fayette County Waste Pit Shutdown, Renews Well Permit

Brown liquid covers the outside of the waste pit on Danny Webb Construction's site. Residents have been concerned the pit is leaking for years.
Credit Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has renewed a permit for an underground injection well in Fayette County that accepts fracking water and other waste.

A public hearing in 2013 brought concerned residents and former workers of Danny Webb Construction, the owner of the site. Residents have been concerned about the site for years.

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West Virginia Morning
11:14 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Fracking Waste and Other Byproducts, Dunkard Creek Recovers, & Differences in Storage Tank Laws

West Virginia University experts recently reported to the legislature on fracking waste and byproducts after lawmakers called for the study in 2011, Dunkard Creek recovers from a massive fish kill in 2009, and The Allegheny Front breaks down the difference in storage tank laws between West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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