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  1. Oil and Gas: Bill exempts some fracking chemicals from records requests

      RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Certain chemicals pumped underground during hydraulic fracturing would be exempt from public records requests under a bill advancing in the Virginia Legislature. A measure from Del. Roxann Robinson would allow the denial of requests under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act for information about chemicals that has been deemed a trade secret. A House subcommittee advanced the measure Thursday. Robinson, a Republican from Chesterfield County, introduced a similar measure last year. She said Thursday it's necessary to protect the oil and gas industry and its closely held proprietary information. But opponents said the bill could hinder first responders in an emergency and keep landowners in the dark about pollutants that might be affecting their groundwater. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking , involves pumping water, sand and chemicals underground to split open rock formations and allow oil and gas to flow. The practice has opened up deposits that were previously unreachable but also raised concerns about pollution, contamination and earthquakes. Under recently implemented state fracking regulations, well operators would be required to submit to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy a disclosure form that includes information about the chemicals and additives used in the process. The department would determine what qualifies as a trade secret and post all other information online. David Clarke, a lobbyist for the Virginia Oil and Gas Association who spoke on behalf of Robinson's measure, said the proposed FOIA exemption shouldn't cause safety concerns. If someone were exposed to a chemical or a well failed, details would be made available to emergency officials, even if it involved a trade secret, he said. But others said waiting until an emergency to release that information would be too late to prepare an adequate response. Megan Rhyne of the nonprofit Virginia Coalition for Open Government opposed the bill, saying public health oversight requires access to public information. She pointed to the case of Flint, Michigan, where independent researchers helped expose the public health crisis over lead-tainted water, which led to criminal charges against a number of public officials. The committee's vote on the measure was 4-3. It now advances to the full House General Laws committee.

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    Sat, 14 Jan 2017

  2. Unconventional Oil & Gas: Legislative committee puts hold on fracking regulations

    A panel of state lawmakers is delaying regulations for hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in western Maryland.

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 4 Jan 2017

  3. Oil and Gas: EPA fracking report offers few answers on drinking water

    Is hydraulic fracturing — better known as fracking — safe, as the oil and gas industry claims? Or does the controversial drilling technique that has spurred a domestic energy boom contaminate drinking water, as environmental groups and other critics charge?

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 15 Dec 2016

  4. Oil and Gas: California officials sues feds over offshore fracking

    State Attorney General Kamala Harris and the California Coastal Commission on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government's recent finding that fracking off the state's coast has no significant environmental impact.

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 21 Dec 2016

  1. Unconventional Oil and Gas: Monterey County voters ban fracking

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    Thu, 10 Nov 2016

  2. Study shows fracking resulted in lower mortgage defaults

    Despite the negativity many associate with fracking , the controversial technique for extracting oil and natural gas from the earth, had a positive impact on mortgage defaults in areas where fracking occurred, according to research by a Clemson University finance professor.

    Online Articles

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    Wed, 28 Sep 2016

  3. BC Hydro responds to concerns about fracking and dam safety

    Recent concerns about fracking near BC Hydro's hydroelectric power assets have led to a statement from the Canadian utility regarding their safety and stability.

    Online Articles

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    Fri, 26 Aug 2016

  4. Oil and Gas News: Montana board rejects more fracking disclosures

    Montana regulators on Thursday turned back an effort by environmentalists, health advocates and some landowners who sought to force energy companies to divulge more information about fracking chemicals used to produce oil and gas.

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    Fri, 23 Sep 2016

  5. Oil and Gas: British government OKs fracking at 1 site despite opposition

    The British government has approved fracking at a site in northern England despite opposition from the local county council.

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    Thu, 6 Oct 2016

  6. Oil and Gas News: Judge puts hold on plan to open California lands to fracking

    A federal judge on Tuesday tentatively rejected a plan by the federal Bureau of Land Management to open more than 1,500 square miles of lands in central California to oil drilling and fracking .

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    Wed, 7 Sep 2016

  7. UK government steps in the allow fracking in England

    Fracking for shale gas is to go ahead in northwest England despite opposition from residents and the local council.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 6 Oct 2016

  8. Unconventional Oil and Gas News: Nebraska won't appeal decision on fracking water disposal

    The state of Nebraska won't appeal a judge's decision to bar a Colorado company from using a Nebraska Panhandle well to dispose of salty groundwater and chemical-laden fracking wastewater that result from oil and gas operations.

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    Online Articles

    Tue, 26 Jul 2016

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