News / Science & Technology

    Environmental Prize Winner Opposes Fracking

    Environmental Prize Winner Opposes Frackingi
    X
    Deborah Block
    May 08, 2014 11:42 PM
    This year’s North American Goldman Environmental Prize winner used legal means to ban hydraulic fracturing in parts of central New York state. Fracking, as it is known, is a controversial method to extract natural gas and other fossil fuels. Anti-fracking activists say the technique hurts the environment, while the petroleum industry maintains fracking is safe. VOA’s Deborah Block looks at both sides of the debate.
    Deborah Block
    This year’s North American Goldman Environmental Prize winner used legal means to ban hydraulic fracturing in parts of central New York state.

    Fracking, as it is known, is a controversial method to extract natural gas and other fossil fuels. Anti-fracking activists say the technique hurts the environment, while the petroleum industry maintains fracking is safe. 

    Goldman award winner Helen Slottje is a lawyer in a mostly rural area of New York with small towns. She’s against fracking, which involves deep drilling through shale rock and pumping down a pressurized mix of water and chemicals to release natural gas.   

    Slottje volunteered to build a case against an industrial complex being constructed by a fracking company. While the company won the case, Slottje learned that local laws could stop fracking and she used that as a weapon to help ban fracking in several towns. Today, more towns in New York state have passed local laws prohibiting fracking.

    Slottje’s crusade began after attending a local meeting, where she saw photos of destruction caused by fracking in nearby Pennsylvania.

    “The chemical pits, with the drill cuttings and the flowback water, cleared tree areas, swaths of forests that were just clear-cut for pipelines, for well pads,” she said.

    But Steve Everley, a spokesman for the education arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, says, although there are risks, they are manageable.

    “Everything is safely managed through the multiple layers of steel casing and cement that goes into creating a well. You’ve got anywhere between five and seven layers that protect what’s inside the pipe from what’s outside of it.  I chiefly mean groundwater supplies,” he said.

    But Slottje thinks fracking is harmful and says about one-third of the wells fail.

    “These are our water supplies we’re talking about drilling through in large number.  And in addition, there are methane emissions, and emitting all of this methane, such a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, is very disruptive,” she said.

    But Everley points out that studies have shown that fracking actually helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions. He says fracking should also continue because it provides jobs and energy security. Slottje, however, says fracking should be stopped permanently.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Maeda Atsukoh from: AKB, TKO
    May 04, 2014 7:17 PM
    If you say stop tracking, you should stop using energy that produced by these technologies and go back to the old life using woods for energy !

    by: andrewborovskikh@gmail.co
    May 04, 2014 12:23 PM
    Carry on, Stottje! I hear the US national economy builds up energy supply from renewable sources one per cent annually under Barack Obama. Carry on! This is the right way for the whole humanity. As for jobs: Those who think fracking provides good jobs, – it’s over the left: it provides junk jobs only. Those who still are deluded, mind the Russia and other mining economies’ example please: the prevailing extractive industries establish the extremely low wages-background in the whole mining economy. Oil and gas profits flow even past those workers who work at the rigs. Simple labor is always low-paid! And under this low-wages background, even the programmers and engineers with car-making companies are underpaid in the country, even though the Russian government does have the good will to buoy up the common-people wages. Sure, extractive industries in the US are far from creating the wages background in the whole economy, and yet they pose danger even here.
    Still one thing: people are still better then they are commonly thought. A car powered by the rooftop solar panel is going to be pretty expensive as yet. And yet it poses a yam-yam even for a common employee: BECAUSE IT DOES NOT SPOIL THIS PLANET. Believe me, it’s not a joke. It’s still one catalyst for this national economy, or it’s going to be the one soon.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora