Six Pennsylvania families who sued Chevron Corp. and units of The Williams Companies Inc. and WPX Energy Inc. over hydraulic fracturing-related claims have turned to a Missouri lawyer who has used nuisance allegations to win cases against commercial animal feed operations.
Yoko Ono, who opposes hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, looks to Pennsylvania and sees her worst fears realized. New York landowners, eager for the cash energy development can bring, see a promised land.
New York is unlikely to enjoy the energy boom that swept neighboring Pennsylvania because a collapse of natural gas prices has dulled the enthusiasm of companies waiting for regulators to permit drilling.
New York’s study of potential links between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes may be tainted by the selection of a university geologist and gas-industry consultant to lead the review, drilling critics said.
Public support has cooled for stricter environmental regulation of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, a drilling method that has lowered U.S. energy prices while raising concerns over its impact on drinking water.
Federal regulators asked companies including Halliburton Co. to disclose chemicals used to dislodge underground natural gas after residents in two states where the practice is widespread were warned not to drink well water.