The IRS Moves to Limit Dark Money – But Enforcement Still a Question By Kim Barker for ProPublica The IRS and Treasury Department announced proposed guidelines clarifying the definition of political activities for social welfare nonprofits Tuesday afternoon, a move […]
A liquid concoction, often laced with toxic chemicals, is a central villain in the controversy over extracting natural gas by fracturing rock beneath the earth’s surface. Opponents fear this fracking fluid may foul water supplies, endangering human health and the environment. Adapting, the industry is responding to public concern. Giant energy services company Halliburton, in a safety demonstration at an August 3 industry conference in Colorado, had an employee demonstrate just how palatable fracking fluid can be. He drank it.
In 2006 — according to a ProPublica report — a residential drinking water well in Garfield County, Colo., spewed gas and polluted water into the air after a nearby gas well was hydraulically fractured. Tests detected a chemical called 2-butoxyethanol (2-BE), commonly used in hydraulic fracturing, in the drinking water well. The EPA never studied the case, and Colorado officials did not pursue an in-depth investigation before the gas company reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the homeowner that included nondisclosure agreements.
Lisa P. Jackson, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced Tuesday that new regulations are coming for hydraulic fracturing companies who use diesel fuel as part of the injection solution to fracture rock and recover natural gas. The EPA has regulated the injection of fluids underground, but current law exempts fracturing fluids from EPA regulations.
A February 2009 investigation by the Center revealed the threats of coal ash on the environment and human health near ponds, landfills, and pits. In November, the Center spotlighted the toll coal ash has taken on citizens in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia who live in the shadows of one of the nation’s largest coal ash ponds — Little Blue Run, owned by First Energy. Coal ash, the residue in the production of electricity, typically is dumped in unlined or partially lined sites near the more than 500 coal-fired power plants nationwide.
The Ohio EPA's reliability to regulate based on industry funded science has resulted in a state-funded public relation department safeguarding companies on the public dollar. Now, even peer-reviewed science hailed from state universities is being discarded for company research, simply because companies had more dollars to dispose (citing Danielle Ivory's work for The Huffington Post Investigative Fund »