‘Hydro-Fracturing’ May Have More Serious Environmental Drawbacks

Now the natural gas market might be in for a shake-out.  After an investigative series published in the New York Times, at least one Congress member is asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether some companies have been inflating their estimates of how much gas they can get how cheaply by shattering layers of shale that exist over large areas of the U.S.  Representative Maurice Hinchey says investors may have been misled by these glowing reports, which also may have under-stated the environmental drawbacks of this technology, known as “hydro-fracturing.”

The New York Times series quoted internal memos between executives of these companies and between regulators that showed quite a different picture of the costs and yields of the technology.

So far, the requests for investigations are all coming from Democrats, with lawmakers from gas-producing states saying they believe the shale gas industry has a bright future.

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