New York state is making inroads against hydraulic fracturing, the process that has enabled the big natural gas boom in the US in recent years. This is something environmentalists have been pushing for, and gaining traction with. They worry about what the fracturing of rock underground is doing to groundwater and what the entire process does to air pollution.
This week, the New York state Senate voted by a wide margin – 48 to 9 – in favour of a temporary suspension through May 15, 2011, on new drilling permits for the fracturing of shale rock deep under the ground. The fracturing process involves pumping underground, at high pressure, millions of gallons of water laced with chemicals and fine sands. The water breaks apart the rock and the fine sands prop it open so the gas can escape and be pumped out of the formation.
From FT’s Lex column today:
As BP nears its goal of sealing the rogue oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, the stage for the Macondo calamity could soon shift from the seabed to the courtroom. BP owns 65 per cent of the well, but has been paying 100 per cent of the cost of the response so far – $4bn in clean-up costs and $277m in claims, and counting. That has left its partners in the Macondo venture – Anadarko, with 25 per cent, and Mitsui, with 10 per cent – out of the limelight, and off the financial hook. Even as estimates of the scale of the spill are tempered, the battle over who pays for it may be about to heat up.
To continue reading, please go to the full article on the Lex website.
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