Natural Gas

The Takeaway

The Health Concerns Behind NY's Fracking Ban

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cited public health risks when he announced a ban on fracking in the state yesterday. We take a closer look at the research on the health effects of fracking.



In Rare Move, Christie Blocks Pinelands Pay Raise

Thursday, April 10, 2014

NJ Spotlight

The governor vetoes the Pinelands Commission meeting minutes and environmentalists cry foul.


Money Talking

It's the Economy: The Roots of the Crisis in Ukraine

Friday, March 07, 2014

In Ukraine, what started as an economic crisis has turned political. What will it take to resolve the stalemate?

Comments [1]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Gasland Part II - on Fracking

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Josh Fox, director of “Gasland Part II,” talks about hydraulic fracturing, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil, now being used worldwide. The film shows how the stakes have been raised on all sides of the issue, and looks at the influence oil and gas industries have in Washington. “Gasland Part II” airs on HBO in July 11 at 4:15 pm (see schedule for other screenings).

Comments [5]

Transportation Nation

AUDIO: Money Talking Asks, Is Energy Independence A Reality?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Oil wells north of Bakersfield, CA (Photo CC by Flickr user Tomasso Galli)

From our friends at WNYC's Money Talking.

For years, politicians have called for the nation to end its dependence on foreign oil.  That time could be fast approaching.

This week, the Energy Information Administration forecast that the U.S. is expected to produce more oil than it imports for the first time since 1995.  Most of the increase will come from shale fields in North Dakota and Texas.

The news comes after earlier reports that the U.S. could produce more oil than Saudi Arabia by 2020.

This week on Money Talking, regular contributors Rana Foroohar ofTime magazine and Joe Nocera of the New York Times join WNYC's Business Editor Charlie Herman to assess just how the nation is becoming more energy independent and what it means for the economy.  Also, with the U.S. consuming less foreign oil and other countries like China picking up the slack, how will that change global alliances.

Read More


The Brian Lehrer Show

Fossil Fuels Forever

Friday, March 08, 2013

Vince Beiser, senior editor at Pacific Standard, discusses his article "The Deluge," which looks at the massive amounts of oil and gas being discovered around the world.

Comments [16]

The Takeaway

The Fall of Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubry McClendon and the Future of Natural Gas

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Aubrey McClendon, the beleaguered C.E.O. of Chesapeake Energy, stepped down this week from the company he founded 30 years ago. His departure marks the culmination of months of spiraling losses for the company. Russell Gold, energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has been following the story.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Energy in North Dakota and the 2012 Election

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We’ve seen huge economic changes across the country since 2008. The Associated Press’s Dale Wetzel talks about the natural gas and oil industries in North Dakota and throughout the Plains states that has grown over the last four years, and what that means for voters in November. Plus, we’ll look at the race for Kent Conrad’s seat. The Democratic senator announced his retirement in January 2011.

Comments [2]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Perils and Promise of Fracking

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica reporter; Mark Boling, executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary at Southwestern Energy; and Stu Gruskin, consultant and former executive deputy of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, discuss fracking—how it works, its pros and cons, its promise and perils.

Comments [43]

The Takeaway

TED Talks: T. Boone Pickens on the Future of Energy

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

T. Boone Pickens is an unlikely environmentalist. The native Oklahoman made his fortune in the oil business, and then, in 2008, shifted his focus to America's energy future. The result is the Pickens Plan, an energy policy to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil through alternative energy and natural gas. Pickens will detail his plan at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, this week, where John Hockenberry is also speaking. 

Comments [7]

Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Florida Bullet Train Would Have Been Profitable, Cheap Natural Gas Boosts US Energy Independence, Historic Wright Bros. Shop May Be Demolishe

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Top stories on TN: the Senate will move its highway bill Thursday. An audit of the Port Authority called it a "challenged and dysfunctional organization" and found cost overruns at the World Trade Center. Houston is a leading purchaser of green energy. Gas prices are creeping higher -- especially in D.C. And: listen to what happens when a subway platform becomes a musical instrument.


(courtesy of NASA)

The high-speed rail project that Florida's governor killed last February would have made an annual surplus of $31 million to $45 million within a decade of operation, according to a state report. (TBO)

The boom in shale oil and natural gas is moving the U.S. closer to energy independence -- but cheap natural gas means less incentive to invest in cleaner energy. (Marketplace)

New York City will unveil a pedestrian safety plan for Delancey Street, nearly a month after a 12-year-old was killed while crossing the busy intersection at the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge. (DNA Info)

Toronto's city council is preparing to kill the mayor's transit plan. (Toronto Sun)

Four consortiums of engineering and construction companies have been found qualified to bid on the $5 billion project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. (Times Herald-Record)

An Ohio building constructed around the first Wright brothers' bicycle shop has been declared a public nuisance and may eventually be demolished. (AP via ABC)

Meanwhile: Newt Gingrich, campaigning in Ohio, says the Wright brothers rose from bicycle mechanics to world renowned inventors – without the assistance of government funding. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

U.S. DOT head Ray LaHood is blogging enthusiastically about Denver's light rail expansion. (FastLane)

Some DC Metro bus signs are telling passengers to "alight" instead of "exit." (Washington Post)

Just what is Detroit? A city, an industry, or an idea? (Forbes)

Read More



Albany Regulator: Driller in PA Muddied NY Waters

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Regulators are seeking to fine a gas driller in Pennsylvania for water quality violations in New York.



Deadline Nears For Comments on Fracking Plans

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wednesday is the last day members of the public can submit comments on the New York's plans to regulate the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as fracking.

Comments [4]

The Takeaway

EPA Says Fracking May Cause Pollution

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that fracking may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution. The controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells has been a source of debate across the country. The E.P.A. found that compounds likely associated with fracking chemicals had been detected in the groundwater beneath Pavillion, a small community in central Wyoming where residents say their well water reeks of chemicals. Health officials last year advised them not to drink their water after the E.P.A. found low levels hydrocarbons in their wells.



City Says Fracking May Compromise Water Supply

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hundreds of anti-hydraulic fracturing activists rallied outside the Tribeca Performing Arts Center to protest the drilling technique they see as a serious public health hazard. Inside the hearings, a Bloomberg administration official said the city regards proposed state controls on so-called fracking does not guarantee the safety of drinking water.

Comments [7]


At City Frack Hearing, New Questions About Quake Danger

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Bloomberg administration is poised Wednesday to express concern about Albany's plans to allow natural gas drilling near upstate reservoirs during a public hearing in Manhattan on the controversial technique known as fracking.

Comments [8]


Long Lines Expected as Fracking Hearings Come to Manhattan

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thousands are expected to attend public hearings this week in Manhattan and the Catskills, on the controversial subject of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking. 

Comments [21]


Disagreement Over How Much Gas, Employment Fracking Would Bring to NY

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tonight, New York State regulators will hold the first of four public hearings on the Cuomo administration’s proposal to permit and regulate the natural gas drilling technique called “fracking.” While much of the discussion has focused on the environmental hazards, there is also debate over the economic benefits of fracking, and even the amount of gas contained in the Marcellus Shale.

Comments [12]


EPA to Establish Rules For Fracking Wastewater

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday that it will, for the first time, set national standards for disposal of the toxin-laden wastewater that results from hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking.


Transportation Nation

Houston to Get Free Downtown Shuttle After Six-Year Gap

Thursday, October 13, 2011

(Photo courtesy of Houston Downtown Management District)

Many cities offer free shuttles to help people move around their downtown areas.  Fort Worth, Texas has "Molly the Trolley" which takes visitors between hotels and various attractions.  Denver has its free "MallRide" bus which transports riders near its 16th Street Mall.  Smaller cities like Des Moines, Iowa and Savannah, Georgia also have free shuttles.  But in Houston,  a trip through downtown will cost you.  There's a $6.00 flat fare for cabs, and a ride of any distance on the bus or rail costs $1.25.  The only option for getting around cheap is to walk or bike.
But starting next year,  locals and visitors will be able to get around for free on the new Greenlink Route.   Seven buses powered by compressed natural gas will ferry riders along a 2.5 mile route, stopping at destinations like City Hall and the Theatre District.  City officials hope the route will help revitalize downtown retail business,  because  office workers can get to  stores that may be too far away for a lunch-hour walk.  Like a lot of older downtown areas, many people don't see it as a shopping destination and parking is one of the big reasons.

Officials also say it will make the nation's fourth-largest city a more attractive destination for conventions and tourism.   Thousands of people attend events each year at the city's huge George R. Brown Convention Center, and officials say the free shuttle will be a selling point as they try to lure more conventions and trade shows.  Right now, many organizations run their own free shuttles during conventions.

Houston has been without a free shuttle downtown since the Metropolitan Transit Authority stopped operating its trolley buses several years ago. Ridership fell on the trolleys after Metro imposed a 50-cent fare in 2004. The shuttle ceased operating the next year.

The new Greenlink buses will be operated through a public-private partnership. Involved in the effort are the Houston Downtown Management District, the Houston First Corporation, which manages city-owned venues, and the energy company BG Group, which just opened a downtown office. Startup costs for the Greenlink line amount to $3.7 million, with the bulk of the money coming from two Federal Transit Administration grants.  The buses will cost about a million dollars a year to operate.

Mayor Annise Parker says along with helping people get around downtown quicker, the natural gas buses are also part of the city's commitment to clean energy. "Being more sustainable, being more environmentally conscious, is also often, in fact most often, good for the bottom line."

The 28-seat buses will be manufactured in the US by Gillig LLC, and officials are touting  amenities such as  "high-quality air conditioning." That will no doubt be a relief to riders when the buses start running next May. Parker says the Greenlink line should create about 30 new jobs.

Read More