Fracking In California Under Spotlight As Some Local Municipalities Issue Bans

A new report from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has found that there is little to no risk of radiation exposure from hydraulic fracturing activity. “In the most comprehensive study of the subject ever conducted, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection found that there is no concern of radiation exposure from fracking wells for oil or gas (PA DEP News Release).

Released last week, the Technologically-Enhanced Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Material, or TENORM, study, analyzed the levels of radioactivity associated with oil and gas development in Pennsylvania, particularly fracking. PA DEP Deputy Secretary Vince Brisini said the study concluded there is little potential for harm to workers or the public from radiation exposure from fracking for either oil or gas.” [Forbes]

Oil Prices increased for the first time in four days as OPEC warned of a price surge without new investment for production. “Prices climbed as much as 2.4 percent. The dollar declined from the highest level on record after U.S. durable-goods orders unexpectedly decreased in December. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister met with Russian and Norway officials to discuss market stability, according to the Saudi Press Agency. OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said Monday that oil may jump to $200 a barrel without adequate long-term investment.” [Bloomberg Energy]

The Obama Administration has announced plans to to allow oil drilling off the southeastern Atlantic coast but is restricting access for oil companies seeking exploration off the Western seaboard due to environmental concerns. “The proposals could potentially lead to the appearance of offshore drilling rigs from the southern Chesapeake to Georgia, along the coasts of states with traditionally strong political support for oil development. But the plan would block access to some oil-rich areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off Alaska’s North Slope to protect what White House officials described as a pristine and particularly fragile Arctic ecosystem.

The leasing proposals, to be finalized later this year after a public comment period, are part of congressionally-mandated five-year plan that sets the boundaries for oil development in federal waters through the year 2022. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management could decide to narrow—but not expand—the proposed leasing area before it is finalized.” [Washington Post]