According to a recent article from the Texas Tribune, in South Texas, where the land is sometimes too dry to grow crops, the local aquifer is being strained in the search for oil. The reason is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling process that requires massive amounts of water. "We just can't sustain it," Hugh Fitzsimons, a Dimmit County bison rancher who serves on the board of his local groundwater district, said last month as he drove his pickup down a dusty road. From 2009 to 2012, water production from one well on his ranch fell by two-thirds, a problem Mr. Fitzsimons linked to nearby wells pumping water for fracking operations. A study commissioned by his groundwater district found that in a five-county area that includes Dimmit, fracking reduces the amount of water in the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer by the equivalent of one-third of the aquifer's recharge. Recharge means the amount of water an aquifer regains from precipitation and other factors.
According to the Associated Press, a group of New York landowners says they are laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against the State of New York if regulators miss a Feb. 27 deadline to complete rules for shale gas development. Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, told members on the coalition's website that the decision whether to release the regulations or let them expire is being made for purely political reasons. The class-action lawsuit would claim an illegal government "taking" under the Fifth Amendment, which says private property can't be taken for public use without just compensation. The State of New York has had a moratorium on gas drilling using horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, since an environmental impact study began in 2008.
A recent Associated Press article has shed light on the truth about a major loop hole in federal regulation of natural gas pipelines. The federal government knows nothing about thousands of miles of pipelines that tap natural gas flows released through the drilling method known as fracking.