As Fracking Expands, So Does Opposition – Even in Texas

Public opposition to hydraulic fracturing – better known as “fracking” -- is nothing new. The 2010 documentary “Gasland” energized the nascent anti-fracking movement, with its depiction of tap water that caught on fire and once-healthy people who became chronically ill after fracking operations began nearby.

Jul 17, 2014 at 12:15PM

This article was written by Oilprice.com -- the leading provider of energy news in the world. Also check out this recent article:

Public opposition to hydraulic fracturing – better known as "fracking" -- is nothing new. The 2010 documentary "Gasland" energized the nascent anti-fracking movement, with its depiction of tap water that caught on fire and once-healthy people who became chronically ill after fracking operations began nearby.

Back then, most of the opposition tended to be concentrated in Pennsylvania, where the most intensive shale gas drilling was taking place.

But as drilling operations for shale gas have spread across the country, so have movements to stop them.

Fracking began in the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from West Virginia, through Ohio and Pennsylvania to New York, as well as in the Barnett and Haynesville Shales in Texas and Louisiana.  But it has since spread to Ohio, North Dakota, Montana, and Colorado, in addition to other states.

To the oil and gas industry, the expansion is proof that America is living in an era of abundance and verging on the once-unthinkable "energy independence."

According to data from the Energy Information Administration, natural gas production from the Northeast is expected to hit 115.2 billion cubic feet per day for the month of July, or 28 percent higher than a year ago. That's enough to push the nation's natural gas production to an all-time high.

And while some places have been more welcoming to the industry than others, most communities experience mixed effects when fracking moves in. In rural communities, some farmers have been able to pay down debt and even hold onto their multigenerational farms by allowing drillers on their land.

But in others, companies have strong armed landowners into giving up mineral rights against their will. Then there is the truck traffic, noise, and air and water pollution that opponents say cause environmental and health problems.

That's why it's no surprise that groups opposed to fracking have sprung up in disparate parts of the country, as more shale is fracked.

Those groups won a major victory with a recent New York court decision that dealt the industry a major blow; it ruled that local communities have the authority to enact their own bans on fracking. New York State happens to be under a temporary moratorium on fracking, but even if that's lifted someday, the precedent has paved the way for many more civic bans in the state.

And not just in New York. The ruling has given hope to other towns and cities across the country considering enacting their own bans.

Perhaps the most surprising place that's being considered is in the politically conservative, drilling-friendly state of Texas.

The city of Denton, which is located on top of the natural gas-rich Barnett Shale, is considering a fracking ban. Supporters of a ban decry the environmental effects of drilling, and the fact that some well pads have been set up as close as 100 yards from people's homes.

Opponents of the ban argue that by outlawing fracking, voters will be killing the town's golden goose.

The city council held an emotional public hearing July 15 on the proposed ban, and despite many tear-filled speeches by citizens addressing the council, the ban ultimately failed. Instead, the council decided to put the ban to a public vote this November.

Not all anti-fracking movements are gaining traction. Colorado has been at the forefront of the battle over fracking, and was expected to garner nationwide attention over a ballot initiative that would determine whether or not Colorado towns and cities could enact local fracking bans. However, the push for a referendum appears to have fallen short of the required signatures to force the issue to the ballot.

The rising tide of opposition across the country has led the American Petroleum Institute to issue new guidelines to oil and gas companies on how to better cooperate with local communities.

That won't assuage opponents, most of whom don't want to let the companies into their communities in the first place.

Do you know this energy tax "loophole"?
You already know record oil and natural gas production is changing the lives of millions of Americans. But what you probably haven't heard is that the IRS is encouraging investors to support our growing energy renaissance, offering you a tax loophole to invest in some of America's greatest energy companies. Take advantage of this profitable opportunity by grabbing your brand-new special report, "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!," and you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.

 

Written by Nick Cunningham at Oilprice.com.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers