Confirmed: Fracking practices to blame for Ohio earthquakes

From NBC News: Wastewater from the controversial practice of fracking appears to be linked to all the earthquakes in a town in Ohio that had no known past quakes, research now reveals. Before January 2011, Youngstown, Ohio, which is located on the Marcellus Shale, had never experienced an earthquake, at least not since researchers began observations in 1776. However, in December 2010, the Northstar 1 injection well came online to pump wastewater from fracking projects in Pennsylvania into storage deep underground. In the year that followed, seismometers in and around Youngstown recorded 109 earthquakes, the strongest registering a magnitude-3.9 earthquake on Dec. 31, 2011. The well was shut down after the quake.
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Officials OK rule to force fracking on NC landowners

By John Murawski — RALEIGH — North Carolina landowners would be forced to sell the natural gas under their homes and farms – whether they want to or not – under a fracking recommendation approved Wednesday that’s expected to be enacted by the state legislature this fall. The proposal by a state study group endorses a rarely used 1945 law that’s never been tried here on the kind of scale that would be required for shale gas exploration, or fracking. Thousands of property owners could potentially be affected in the state’s gas-rich midsection in Lee, Moore and Chatham counties. The recommendation, dealing with one of the most emotional fracking issues, bypasses the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, which holds regular public hearings on protecting the public and safeguarding the environment, and goes to the legislature. “We are talking about a for-profit industry taking away personal freedoms with the blessing of the government,” Therese Vick, a community activist with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, told the Compulsory Pooling Study Group. “Personal freedoms are seldom on the radar when the gas companies come to town.” The panel does include four members of the Mining and Energy Commission, some of whom were deeply conflicted.

Fracking Opponents Dominate Discussion at Local Meeting

SANFORD — When Lynn Fass sold her horse farm in New Jersey several years ago, she wanted to get as far away from the drilling she partially blames for her property's depreciation as possible. Now, living in Chatham County, she's facing fracking once again. Fass spoke at a Tuesday night meeting in which more than 50 people came to speak or listen. It was the first major public meeting about fracking in the area that hasn't been run by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission. No members of the commission — several of whom live or work nearby — attended the forum.

What rhymes with frack? Jim Womack

From The Independent - The North Carolina panel charged with preparing natural gas drilling regulations is already facing controversy. Last week, members of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission tapped Jim Womack, a Lee County commissioner and outspoken advocate of hydraulic fracturing, as chairman of the new board. Womack has supported fracking in the Lee County city of Sanford, thought to be the most likely place to find natural gas—although in unknown quantities—in North Carolina. He leads a board already drawing complaints that it is loaded with drilling industry leaders but contains only a handful of environmentalists.
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