Major Fracking Emergency in Pennsylvania


One day after Idaho's top elected officials gave their blessing to the use of "fracking" in the state, a gas drilling emergency erupted in Pennsylvania, where the controversial method of boosting production was being used.

Bridge Resources has drilled 11 gas wells in Payette County, three of which have been successful while four have been "dry." Bridge wants to use a process that it calls "mini-fracking" on the remaining four wells near New Plymouth. Bridge officials freely admit that the physics of their process are similar to larger-scaled fracking at other sites across the United States. Idaho's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission adopted temporary rules Tuesday to allow the process, in which fluids are pumped into wells to stimulate gas production.

A natural gas drilling site near Canton, Penn., went out of control late Tuesday night, spilling thousands of gallons of "frack" fluid over containment walls, through fields, personal property and farms, where cattle continue to graze. Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection is on the scene, taking ground water and stream samples to determine the extent of the spill.