Making Energy

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Clean Or Contaminated? Residents Fear Tainted Water Post Fracking

The soles of Jesse Eakin’s shoes disintegrate after a few months of walking on his lawn. He’s been told the culprit may be toluene, a volatile organic compound released into the air during natural gas production. The chemical settles onto his grass.

There’s growing evidence that activities related to hydraulic fracturing can contaminate water supplies. A controversial draft report last year from the Environmental Protection Agency said the contamination was not widespread or systemic --- yet for a number of households whose water has been tainted, and for many more who fear it is tainted, the struggle for clean water can sap energy and take years. Maryam Jameel from the Center for Public Integrity has the first of two stories on families in Pennsylvania desperate for answers. Continue Reading →

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Government Opposes Alpha’s Plan To Sell Wyoming Mines

Alpha Natural Resources

As Alpha Natural Resources looks to emerge from bankruptcy, the government is opposing the company’s plan to transfer its federal coal leases to a new company. The Department of Justice argues Alpha’s current reorganization plan doesn’t adequately address the company’s cleanup obligations. Continue Reading →

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Hot Waste: Getting Rid Of Drilling’s Radioactive Leftovers

Byproducts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, create radioactive waste like the truckload shown here in West Virginia.

The energy that lights up, turns on, cools and heats our lives leaves... a trail of waste. And the waste from the gas drilling known as “fracking” is often radioactive. Reporter Glynis Board and the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity found that inconsistent regulation of this “hot” waste creates ripe conditions for dangerous disposal. Continue Reading →

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New Study Of Air Toxics At Colorado Oil And Gas Sites

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Researchers at Colorado State University have released the results of a nearly $2 million dollar study measuring oil and gas emissions on the state’s Western Slope. Data from this study could contribute to our understanding of the health impacts of the oil and gas industry.
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Mysterious Gas Leak In A Town Surrounded By Wells

A pumpjack near Rozet, WY. April 12th, 2015.

The search is continuing for the source of a gas leak that shut down the school in Midwest, Wyoming at the end of May. An Inside Energy analysis of the state oil and gas database shows there are more than 700 active and abandoned wells in a one mile radius around the Midwest school. Continue Reading →

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Do We Need Coal To Keep The Lights On?

The Wyodak power plant, on the outskirts of Gillette, Wyoming.

Conventional wisdom has it that without baseload power—coal and nuclear plants running in the background at all times—the grid will become unreliable. After all, how could wind and solar keep the lights on when they are so inherently variable? But now, a growing number of people are challenging that idea. In this interview, Jesse Morris, with the Rocky Mountain Institute, argues baseload power isn't necessary. Continue Reading →

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