Natural Gas

Climate & Energy

Good news: Americans are using a lot less coal

Here is a bit of energy-use news to feel good about: Americans are using a lot less coal. In the first quarter of this year, the portion of the country’s electricity that came from coal was almost 20 percent less than in the same period last year. And overall, the Energy Information Administration predicts, coal consumption in the electric sector will decrease by 14 percent this year. Of course, there’s a reason for this, as Stephen Lacey explains at Climate Progress, and the reason is natural gas. Natural gas is cheap, cheap, cheap, so now we’re burning that instead of …

Climate & Energy

BLM announces draft of ‘common sense’ rules for fracking

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) just released a draft [PDF] of its new rules for hydraulic fracturing on public lands. These rules were last revised in 1988, and they’re being updated to deal with the current fracking boom (the BLM says 90 percent of new wells going in on public land are using fracking). The rule update is also meant to show some smidgen of federal leadership on questions like “Should natural gas companies reveal what’s in fracking fluid?” and “How are we going to at least try and prevent this stuff from contaminating the water?” The BLM’s answers …

Climate & Energy

It’s almost impossible for Pa. landowners to find out about fracking violations

Fracking companies might be violating drilling rules all over the place, but in Pennsylvania, landowners who leased their property to gas companies likely have no idea. CNN Money reports: That’s because the state agency charged with regulating the wells — the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) — does not have to notify landowners if a violation is discovered. Even if landowners inquire about safety violations, DEP records are often too technical for the average person and incomplete.