‘Fracking’ update

USGS map of the Monterey Shale formation doctored by an energy website "OilShaleGas.com." Click on the map to see if you live in "an area of mutual interest."

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks to do with “fracking” or the mining technique more properly called hydraulic fracturing. The Los Angeles Times reports that the oil and gas industry has written the Academy of Motion Pictures attacking the Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland” as riddled with inaccuracies. T. Boone Pickens appeared on the Daily Show claiming, “I have fracked 3,000 wells in my life” and that “they always say that it contaminates the aquifer. I’ve never seen that happen.” Meanwhile, though the gas industry agreed to discontinue the use of diesel in fracking fluids in 2004, a congressional investigation reported late last month that more than 32 million gallons of it was used anyway. AP reports that fracking is a

The week that was: Fracking special

To read about how advances in hydraulic fracturing technology led geologists and energy companies to believe that a previously uneconomic source of natural gas might be tapped in the Marcellus Shale and Appalachian Basin, click on the map to be taken to an overview from Geology.com

Josh Fox’s documentary “GasLand,” broadcast last Monday on HBO, planted the suggestion that as former Vice President Dick Cheney was waging his “war on terror” in the wake of 9/11, his energy task force set America on a path capable of poisoning the drinking water supply of New York City, along with that of Pennsylvania, Delaware, parts of Ohio and West Virginia.

In May 2001, the report of the National Energy Policy Development Group gathered by former Halliburton CEO and then Vice President Dick Cheney concluded, "Most new gas wells drilled in the United States will require hydraulic fracturing." Click on the