Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stories on natural-gas 'fracking' shift from land use, technology to environmental impact

Most of the early coverage regarding drilling of the Marcellus Shale in Central and Northern Appalachia concerned landowner concerns about mineral rights, leasing agreements and other relations with the drilling companies, or the technology of the new practice. Now the focus is shifting to broader environmental impacts, Jeremy Moule of the Rochester City Newspaper in New York reports.

Diane Hope, a communications professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has been tracking drilling stories from the region and says she began to notice the shift after a few months. "The news stories began to reflect the public's growing environmental and public health concerns," Moule writes. "They also started to get into detail about the proposed drilling method [fracking], which uses a slurry forced at high pressure down a deep horizontal well to break open the rock and free up the gas." (Read more)

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