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cory777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:46 AM
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Shareholder groups press gas drillers on fracking
Source: Associated Press

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- Activist shareholder groups want energy companies to do a better job of reducing the risks of hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique that's unlocked vast stores of previously inaccessible natural gas while raising concerns about environmental contamination.

Investors announced Friday they have filed resolutions with nine oil and gas companies that use hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to extract gas from shale formations thousands of feet underground. Critics contend that fracking has the potential to pollute groundwater. The industry says it is safe.

The proposals ask drillers to explain how they plan to manage the potential environmental consequences of fracking, and to go "above and beyond" existing regulatory standards. The resolutions also demand a reduction in the volume and toxicity of chemicals used in fracking; improvements in well construction; and increased recycling of toxic wastewater.

Recent technological advances have allowed drillers to reach gas reserves in the gigantic Marcellus Shale -- a rock formation beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio -- and other shales in the U.S. for the first time.

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