jueves, 14 de septiembre de 2017

Agency votes to begin effort to ban fracking, horizontal drilling in US basin

Houston (Platts)
13 Sep 2017

A joint federal-state commission on Wednesday voted to move ahead with a rulemaking that would prohibit horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing across a large swath of eastern Pennsylvania, as well as the states of New York, Delaware and New Jersey.

In a meeting of the board of the Delaware Basin River Commission, commissioners voted to publish for public comment a set of revised draft regulations for drilling operations within the river basin, which includes portions of the Marcellus Shale.

The vote was 3-1-1, with representatives of Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania voting yes, the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal government's representative voting no, and the New Jersey representative abstaining, Kate Schmidt, a spokeswoman for the DRBC, said.

Since the vote was a procedural resolution, no public hearing on it was required prior to commission consideration, Schmidt said.

About 25 people spoke during the meeting's open public comment session, which began at the conclusion of the business meeting and lasted one hour.

Most of the comments from those who spoke supported a ban on gas development in the Delaware River Basin, she said.

The revised draft regulations, which have been in the offing for about seven years, would prohibit the use of horizontal drilling and fracking in the basin, but would provide for the "safe and protective storage, treatment and disposal" of wastewater from horizontal drilling and fracking operations outside of the basin.

The proposed rules would also regulate the inter-basin transfer of fresh water and wastewater.

In the next step of the rulemaking process, the commission will issue revised draft regulations on or before November 30. The rulemaking process will require one or more public hearings and a written comment period and the commissioners are expected to adopt the final rules sometime in 2018, Schmidt said.

The DRBC vote is likely to re-ignite a long-simmering debate over whether the commission has the authority to ban fracking within the basin.

The river basin region has been under a fracking moratorium since 2010, when the commission launched a study on the impacts of the commonly employed drilling completion technique.

In the meantime, horizontal drilling and fracking have been used to great effect to unlock gas in areas just outside the Delaware River Basin, particularly in some counties in Pennsylvania. New York, where a statewide fracking ban already is in effect, is less likely to be affected by a fracking ban in the Delaware River Basin.

Advocates for the gas industry were quick to decry the commission's decision, while environmental groups argued the DRBC's proposed regulations do not go far enough to protect the waters of the basin.

Gas industry consultant Tom Shepstone said it is difficult to estimate how much gas will be locked up by the DRBC fracking ban. In an interview Wednesday, he said at least three producers -- Chesapeake Energy, Newfield and Hess -- have drilled exploratory wells in the region that would be impacted by the proposed ban, but because that data is still considered proprietary, "you wouldn't know what the actual production could be."

Shepstone estimated that a 1,100 square mile region of the upper Delaware River Basin in Pennsylvania and New York could be prospective for gas production, with about a third of that area on the Pennsylvania side of the state line.

In an interview, Nicole Jacobs, a spokeswoman for industry advocacy organization Energy in Depth, said the commission's vote does not change the fact that the DRBC should not have the authority to regulate drilling and fracking in the first place.

She said a lawsuit pending in the federal 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to result in a ruling on the extent of the commission's authority over gas development.

In addition, Jacobs said there is no evidence of the alleged harm from fracking that would warrant a ban on the practice. "Pennsylvania is no stranger to oil and gas development," she said…

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I Curso de pastoreo en Cantabria

miércoles, 13 de septiembre de 2017

Informe ONU 2017: Aguas residuales, el recurso no explotado

United Nations report warns over fracking

Protestors have become a regu;ar site outside the fracking site on Preston New Road, Little Plumpton

Lancashire Post
By Digital Reporter
Tuesday 12 September 2017

Anti-fracking campaigners have welcomed a United Nations report that warns that the Government is “flouting” its duty to protect its citizens from illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution.

The report centres on traffic pollution, but makes special mention of fracking.

It says: “Regulations on fracking are complex and split between several regulators, and do not appear to be sufficiently stringent .

” It also says that it relies too much on “self-monitoring by the oil and gas industry.”

Fracking in Lancashire has proved controversial, and has attracted large protests.

A spokesman from the Preston New Road Action Group said: “It is significant to note that the UN’s special rapporteur highlighted Lancashire in his report.

“He also identified that the UK’s fracking regulations are ‘complex, split between several regulators and do not appear to be sufficiently stringent.’

“He indicated this would increase the risk of water pollution.

“Preston New Road Action Group have repeatedly drawn attention to the UK’s disconnected fracking regulators and potential loopholes for the industry to abuse.

“Cuadrilla have already demonstrated that they will flout the rules for their own benefit by bringing the rig onto site outside the permitted hours.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We have been clear that shale development in the UK must be safe and environmentally sound.

 “The UK has a strong regulatory system which provides a comprehensive regime for exploratory activities.

“It uses existing regulators with long-standing experience of regulating against different sectors in their area of specialisation.”

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El papa Francisco, sobre el cambio climático: "El hombre es un estúpido, un testarudo que no ve"

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

12 de septiembre de 2017

El pontífice criticó la inconsciencia humana ante el calentamiento global con el telón de fondo de las catástrofe provocadas por varios huracanes en el Atlántico.

El máximo representante de la Iglesia católica y la ciencia parecen estar de acuerdo en algo: los efectos del cambio climático son evidentes y peligrosos y es imprescindible actuar correctamente para revertir la situación. "Quien niega el cambio climático tiene que ir a loscientíficos y preguntarles a ellos. Son claros y precisos", declaró el papa Francisco con seriedad, en una rueda de prensa ofrecida en el avión en el que regresaba a Roma tras su visita a Colombia.

El pontífice citó el Antiguo Testamento para aludir a la actual situación y criticar la pasividad generalizada ante el avance del calentamiento global: "El hombre es un estúpido, es un testarudo que no ve. Es el único animal que tropieza dos veces con la misma piedra". La máxima autoridad de la Iglesia católica se refirió a unas recientes imágenes del deshielo del Polo Norte y a un estudio universitario que "decía que tenemos solo tres años para ir para atrás y no sé si son tres años pero, si no volvemos para atrás, será el final".

Desde la óptica del papa Francisco, todos los humanos tienen un grado de responsabilidad: "Cada persona tiene su responsabilidad, los políticos tienen las suyas". El líder religioso insistió en que los efectos del cambio climático son claros y en que "los científicos señalan claramente cuál es el camino a seguir".

Las declaraciones del papa llegan poco después de se hayan producido cuatro huracanes en el océano Atlántico, provocando la muerte de decenas de personas y gravísimos daños materiales. "Tenemos que tomarlo con seriedad. No podemos bromear sobre esto", concluyó el pontífice.

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