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Ohio Utica Shale

Pressure grows on U.S. EPA in drilling debate, Pro Publica says

By Bob Downing Published: July 3, 2013

From Pro Publica:

Last month, the EPA abruptly withdrew its multi-billion-dollar investigation into water contamination in Pavillion, Wy. -- shocking environmentalists and energy industry supporters alike -- in a move that critics say shows the agency is "systematically disengaging" from any research that could be perceived as questioning the safety of fracking or oil drilling.

The agency has maintained publicly that it remains committed to an ongoing national study of hydraulic fracturing, ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten reports; however, in private conversations, high-ranking EPA officials acknowledge that "fierce pressures from the drilling industry and its powerful allies on Capitol Hill -- as well as financial constraints and a delicate policy balance sought by the White House -- is squelching their ability to scrutinize not only the effects of oil and gas drilling, but other environmental protections as well."

Just in the past 15 months, the EPA has closed an investigation into groundwater pollution in Dimock, Pa., abandoned its claim that a driller in Parker County, TX was responsible for methane gas bubbling up in residents' faucets (even though a geologist hired by the agency confirmed this finding), and failed to enforce a statutory ban on using diesel fuel in fracking, Lustgarten writes. This pretty much leaves the EPA's highly anticipated national study as its only remaining research into the effects of fracking -- which conveniently ignores Pavillion, Dimock, and Parker County -- and it's not expected before sometime in 2016, the last full year of President Obama's term.

More in his article - You can also follow all of Lustgarten's reporting on fracking on our series page.



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.