Fracking (fracing, hydraulic fracturing), or hydrofracking, is a method of mining for natural gas which greatly increases the efficiency of extracting shale gas from the ground. Geological experts claim that shale beds in New York, particularly the Marcellus Shale, contain more natural gas than previously estimated.

Environmental writer-researcher Mina Hamilton has written a series of articles exploring aspects of so-called ‘natural’ gas through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). they explore: related pipeline and compressor station construction and operation; possible gas exports via liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals; and most recently a critique of fracked gas-fueled combined-cycle power plants. We are happy to have helped edit and make these papers available for easy download. They are presented here, starting with the most recent, from July 2015:

Fracked Gas on Steroids: gas-fired power plants no bridge to the future
(July 29, 2015; 4 p., 146kb)

“General Electric, Siemens, the Spanish multinational Iberdrola and a bunch of privately-held energy companies – all are making millions in the rush to build fracked gas power plants.  Supposedly they provide clean, green energy, and are often touted as the answer to climate destroying, coal-fired plants.  … unfortunately, these fracked gas electric generating plants popping up all over the map have their own set of serious problems.”

Behind the local face of Berkshire Gas: a multinational giant is trafficking in fracked gas (June 2015, 4p., 121kb)

On June 2, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a merger key to western Massachusetts: the take-over of Berkshire Gas by the Spanish conglomerate Iberdrola…

Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals: Another Sick Link in the Fossil Fuel Economy?  (June 2015, 5p., 142kb)

It’s all in the name of making the US an energy exporter – using the extreme and environmentally destructive energy source, fracked gas.  Eco-writer and longtime activist Mina Hamilton reveals the “brilliant tactic” that makes a mockery of the permitting process for natural gas exports…

More than a Pipeline… the reality of compressor stations
(February 2015, 4p., 124kb)

First the shale, then the fracking, but then the gas must be moved… resulting in citizen resistance to both this investment in a fossil fuel future, destruction of land and natural resources — and more. Here energy expert Mina Hamilton takes on an important — and dangerous — part of gas pipeline projects less known than the laying of pipe, etc.

More Than A Pipeline, it’s a Toxic Industrial Infrastructure
(Jan. 2015, 4p., 110kb)

“A little known aspect of gas pipelines is that they require large compressor stations to help concentrate and move the pressurized gas along. As compressor stations release large amounts of methane, plus other toxins, they contribute significantly to global warming.  They are noisy, humming 24/7, and are subject to dangerous explosions and fires.  At public meetings and during the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission application process, gas pipeline companies have not revealed the number, location and size of planned compressor stations.”

About Mina Hamilton

Mina Hamilton writes on environmental issues.  Her articles have been published in Mother Jones, the Progressive, the Nation, and In These Times.  She has been a Research Associate at Radioactive Waste Management Associates, was co-founder and co-director of the Sierra Club Radioactive Waste Campaign, and served on Greenpeace USA’s Board of Directors.

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