The Tale of the Shale: U.S. Remained the World’s Top Producer of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hydrocarbons in 2015

“U.S. petroleum and natural gas production first surpassed Russia in 2012, and the United States has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2011 and the world’s top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013.” –Energy Information Administration


Hydrocarbon Producers 2015

Congressional Energy Roundup (Week of May 23, 2016)

Fracking Insider Readers: Below, please find this week’s Congressional activity on oil and gas issues:


“Investigating the Culture of Corruption at the Department of the Interior.” Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. May 24, 2016. 2:00 PM EST.

“Impact of EPA’s Clean Power Plan on States.” Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Environment. May 26, 2016. 9:30 AM EST.


“Erosion of Exemptions and Expansion of Federal Control – Implementation of the Definition of Waters of the United States.” Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife. May 24, 2016. 2:30 PM EST.

With assistance from Andrew McNamee

New Natural Gas-Fired Power Plants Located Near Shale Plays

“Growth in natural gas-fired generation capacity is expected to continue over the next several years, as 18.7 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity comes online between 2016 and 2018. Many of the new natural gas-fired capacity additions in development are near major shale gas plays. The Mid-Atlantic states and Texas have the most natural gas-fired capacity additions under construction with planned online dates within the next three years (2016-18).” Energy Information Administration

Congressional Energy Roundup (Week of May 16, 2016)

Fracking Insider Readers: Below, please find this week’s Congressional activity on oil and gas issues:


“The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s 2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.” Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. May 19, 2016. 2:30 PM EST.

With assistance from Andrew McNamee

Congressional Energy Roundup (Week of May 9, 2016)

Fracking Insider Readers: Below, please find this week’s Congressional activity on oil and gas issues:


“Department of Energy Oversight: Office of Fossil Energy.” Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. May 11, 2016. 10:00 AM EST.

“Local and State Perspectives on BLM’s Draft Planning 2.0 Rule.” Committee on Natural Resources. May 12, 2016. 2:00 PM EST.

With assistance from Andrew McNamee

Increased Natural Gas Supply from Hydraulic Fracturing Largely Responsible for Changes in Power Sector

“After increasing in 2013 and 2014, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell in 2015. In 2015, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were 12% below the 2005 levels, mostly because of changes in the electric power sector . . . . Overall, the fuel-use changes in the power sector have accounted for 68% of the total energy-related CO2 reductions from 2005 to 2015.” –Energy Information Administration

Energy Information Administration: Natural Gas from Hydraulically Fractured Wells Accounts for Two-Thirds of Total U.S. Production

“Based on the most recent data from states, EIA estimates that natural gas production from hydraulically fractured wells now makes up about two-thirds of total U.S. marketed gas production. This share of production is even greater than the share of crude oil produced using that method, where hydraulic fracturing accounts for about half of current U.S. crude oil production.”  –Energy Information Administration

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 46

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 46 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Colorado, New York, and Pennsylvania. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate to ask. Continue Reading

Activists Using Misinformation to Kill Fracking in Wayne National Forest

A large billboard has been placed by anti-fracking extremists across from the Wayne National Forest (“the Wayne”) headquarters on U.S. Rt. 33 near Nelsonville, Ohio. The billboard declares, “Frack our national forest? No WAY(ne)!” in stark text next to a picture of an owl and a link to known misinformation site Fracking Exposed, a group connected to the Athens County Fracking Action Network (ACFAN), is renting the billboard. It seeks to discourage federal officials from opening parts of the Wayne to fracking and other deep-shale oil and gas activities. Continue Reading

OSHA Announces New Silica PEL of 50 µg/m3, Gives Fracking Five Years to Comply

Today the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) published the new Permissible Exposure Limit (“PEL”) for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica (“silica”).  The new standard sets a PEL of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) and an action level (“AL”) of 25 µg/m3.  These are the same levels proposed in 2013.  The final rule provides impacted industries more time to come into compliance than the proposed rule (two years for most industries and five years for hydraulic fracturing operations).  While some industries may be aided by additional time to develop and deploy engineering and work practice controls, additional time will not aid those industries without feasible control options and will not mitigate concerns about the inability to sample exposures as a low level which trigger obligations under the standard.  Most importantly, the new lower PEL does little to further protect workers. Continue Reading