An analysis of natural gas production in the Ohio Valley finds that the biggest gas producing counties in the region suffered economically over the past decade compared to the rest of the country, although natural gas production was high.
Climate change is a top issue in the Democratic presidential primaries and some candidates have taken relatively aggressive policy stands, including vows to ban hydraulic fracturing. But some Democrats worry that could push moderate voters in key swing states to reelect President Trump next November.
Janet Clayton is standing thigh-deep in a back channel of the Elk River. Clad in a wetsuit and knee pads, the silver-haired biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reaches into a bright orange mesh bag submerged in water.
The abundance of natural gas from fracking could soon fuel a new petrochemical industry in the Ohio Valley. A massive facility proposed for Belmont County, Ohio, brings both the promise of economic gains and environmental risks. Residents spoke up at a recent public hearing about what kind of future they want for the Ohio Valley.
The latest boom in natural gas is transforming the Ohio Valley’s energy landscape. But over the years the industry has also abandoned thousands of oil and gas wells, often polluting nearby air, land, and water.
The slogan for Estill County is “where the bluegrass kisses the mountains.” But since 2015 the county, population 15,000, is widely known as the place where radioactive material generated by the oil and gas industry in a process known as fracking was dumped near some schools.
It could be months or years before a final resolution is reached regarding the dumping of radioactive waste in a central Kentucky landfill. A county leader is interested in preventing any future similar incidents.