PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When it comes to the nexus of a clean and jobs in industries once known for pollution, Pittsburgh is ground zero.
At the White House this week, KDKA political Jon Delano met Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Delano: “What’s more important, the environment or ?”
Pruitt: “Both, and that’s a great question, Jon, because as a throughout our entire existence since the 70’s when the EPA was created and the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act were adopted and all the updates to that piece of legislation, we’ve had a commitment to growing our economy and also protecting our environment.”
Pruitt, President Trump’s choice for EPA administrator, now heads an agency he sued many times as Oklahoma Attorney General.
“The days of an agency in Washington DC picking winners and losers, the days of a regulatory assault on an industry such as coal, are over,” says Pruitt.
Pruitt says he’ will restore balance to the EPA to help keep coal jobs, shale jobs, and steel jobs in western Pennsylvania.
A major anti-fracking argument by environmentalists may not have the facts to back it up, a new study conducted by Duke University found.
Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, according to the peer-reviewed study published this month in a European journal.
This year, oil production in America is expected to reach an all-time high, close to 9.5 million barrels a day. Similarly, natural gas output is projected to reach a record 75 billion cubic feet per day by the end of 2017.
What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, when we thought we were running out of oil and gas, imports were nearly two-thirds of consumption. Today, imports are down to 45 percent of oil use with less than a third coming from OPEC countries. What’s more, the U.S. is now exporting more than one million barrels of oil per day and is on track to become a net exporter of natural gas this year. Indeed, America has now achieved de facto “energy independence,” a goal espoused by every president since Richard Nixon.
This reversal of fortune can be attributed to American entrepreneurial ingenuity, in particular the application of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to tease hydrocarbons out of shale and other hard rock minerals. In the process, thousands of new jobs have been created while state and local government tax coffers in producing regions have grown in tandem.
How ironic, then, that Vermont, New York and Maryland have imposed statewide bans on hydraulic fracturing. (By contrast, the Florida Legislature just killed an anti-fracking bill.) Though Vermont has no hydrocarbon resources, substantial reserves have been identified in shale formations along the southern tier of New York and in western Maryland, both economically distressed regions that have been losing people and jobs for decades. The fracking bans serve only to limit opportunities for job growth and economic diversification while depriving local governments and public schools of much needed revenues.
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With the U.S. drilling rig count quickly catching up with available pressure pumping capacity, Basic Energy Services Inc. has unstacked nearly all of its horsepower and is looking for people to fill the ranks, the CEO said Friday.
The U.S. onshore well site services specialist was hit especially hard during the downturn and voluntarily filed for bankruptcy protection as the call for its hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and fluid services dried up. It services oil and natural gas wells in more than 100 service points in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas, the Rocky Mountains and in Appalachia.
The Fort Worth, TX-based oilfield services operator emerged from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late December and while cautious, business is getting better, CEO Roe Patterson said Friday during a conference call. Following the bankruptcy, Basic adopted "fresh start" accounting, which resulted in the operator becoming a new entity for accounting and financial reporting purposes.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday took a new step in enacting President Trump's executive order to roll back Obama-era energy regulations by granting industry petitions to reconsider methane emission rules for fracking.
"EPA is continuing to follow through with President Trump's Energy Independence Executive Order," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "American businesses should have the opportunity to review new requirements, assess economic impacts and report back, before those new requirements are finalized."
KOSSE, Texas -- In a deepening pit in this small town southeast of Waco, workers aim a high-pressure water cannon that reduces small hills of claylike sand into a watery slurry that is filtered, processed, dried into fine particles and loaded onto trucks bound for hydraulic-fracturing operations across Texas.
It will take up to 1,000 trucks to haul enough of this sand to frack a single large well.
As drilling has recovered in recent months, particularly in West Texas' Permian Basin, the sand mining industry has exploded.
Over the past year oil companies have discovered volumes on Alaska’s North Slope totaling as much as five billion barrels or more of recoverable oil. This is a 14% increase in U.S. proven reserves, based on recent estimates, which is no small thing.
One discovery, “Horseshoe,” made this year by the Spanish company Repsol REP, -0.78% REPYY, -1.23% in partnership with Denver-based Armstrong Oil and Gas, is the largest new U.S. find in more than 30 years. It is estimated at 1.2 billion barrels, and comes just after a find by ConocoPhillips COP, -1.66% in January, called “Willow,” evaluated at 300 million barrels.
Both of these are dwarfed by “Tulimaniq,” a spectacular discovery drilled by Dallas-based Caelus Energy in the shallow state waters of Smith Bay, about 120 miles northwest of Prudhoe Bay, in October 2016. Caelus has confirmed a total accumulation of as much as 10 billion barrels of light, mobile oil, with 3-4 billion barrels possibly recoverable at current prices of about $50 per barrel.
Despite what its critics claim, fracking is safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s five-year study of oil and gas production is crucial to the debate over fracking. Based on data from more than 600 sources, EPA found no evidence of significant groundwater contamination related to fracking.
In addition, some of fracking’s strongest advocates came from the Obama administration. Former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who has personally dealt with fracking wells, has openly criticized local and state fracking bans. Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has praised fracking as an environmental positive.
And a study published by the National Academy of Sciences has also confirmed that fracking is safe. A team of scientists found that no groundwater or aquifer pollution resulted from fracking.
A new University of Texas (UT) poll found a sizable jump in the number of Americans who support hydraulic fracturing.
The poll found 43 percent of Americans support fracking, higher than the 42 percent who oppose it. The percentage of Americans who support fracking jumped three points since October, and opposition fell by the same margin in that time.
The poll is a semiannual survey UT conducts in October and March, asking 2,013 American consumers a wide array of questions on energy issues. UT funds the poll through a “variety of sources, including executive education programs and corporate and individual donors” and “donors have no influence on the way the poll is conducted.”
“The more people become familiar with fracking, the more they recognize that it is critical for our economy, our energy security, and the advances we are making in reducing air pollution,” Steve Everley, a spokesman for Texans for Natural Gas and was not involved with the poll, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.