Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pittsburgh Bans Fracking; Sydney AU Has "Secret Plan" to Permit Fracking for Coal Seam Methane

Pittsburgh PA has announced a ban on drilling for natural gas within its city limits. This is reported to be in response in part to corporations taking out leases to drill under area parks and cemeteries.

Although this is not the same specific shale formation as the Utica Shale slated for exploration near Montreal, one must acknowledge the geographic proximity and the experience with fracking that Pennsylvania and New York State have.

An extensive description by Monique Beaudin of the Quebec shale gas situation appeared in the Montreal Gazette Nov. 15 and was republished at least in part in "Marcellus Protest".

Sydney Australia's "Secret" Fracking Plans

Meanwhile, the city of Sydney, Australia, wants to wean itself off coal and has put in motion a "secret plan" to tap into coal seam methane gas deposits directly underlying the city. And drilling permits have already been issued, to the surprise of everyone, even a Green Party-led local municipal council. Wild.

Whether there is some difference in terminology down under isn't clear. The article in the Sydney Morning Herald where this news was reported includes the following paragraph mentioning fracking:

Coal-seam methane gas mining has been controversial in NSW and internationally for environmental damage caused by the so-called fracking technique used to extract the gas. In fracking, water injected with sand, salt and chemicals is used to fracture rock to force gas to the surface.

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