Toolbox: Fracking Resources (SEJ/McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute on Shale Gas and Oil Development, June 2014)

SRI fellows listen to a workshop discussion. Photo courtesy Dale Willman.

The Society of Environmental Journalists hosted a McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute (SRI) on Shale Gas and Oil Development, June 22-24, 2014 in Pittsburgh, PA, to help journalists understand the legal, scientific, health and economic issues surrounding shale gas and oil development, and give them the context needed so that they can better inform their communities about these important topics. Funding for the SRI was provided by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which covered fellows' transportation, housing, food and tuition costs. Below are resources resulting from that event and more.

Session videos:


TWITTER HANDLES TO FOLLOW The Energy Information Administration, which provides information and statistics on energy issues

@BeyondNatGas: Twitter account for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Natural Gas campaign

@MWenergynews: Midwest Energy News, a non-profit news site

@fractracker: Tweets from Frac Tracker

@insideclimate: Twitter feed from InsideClimate, a non-profit news organization covering energy issues

@TheDailyClimate: Twitter feed from The Daily Climate, another non-profit news organization


Gas Pipe Safety Foundation

Sandra Steingraber’s page for her most recent book, where a group of volunteers update daily with information on fracking (anti)

Knitting Nannas Against Gas (anti)

1,000,000 Strong Against Fracking (anti)

Farmers Against Fracking (anti)

Frack OFF (anti)

Chihuahuavsfracking (anti)

Pennsylvania Fracking (pro)

Energy in Depth (pro)

Energy from Shale (pro)


Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (part of the state’s Dept. of Natural resources). Media Contact: Matt LePore;; (303) 894-2100, x5122

Todd Hartman (Colo. Dept. of Nat. Resources);; (303) 866-3311, x8665

Kansas Corporation Commission. Media Contact: Jesse Borjon;; (785) 271-3269

Maryland does not yet have fracking, but is working on a three year study of the issue – documents on that study are available on the state’s website. Maryland Department of the Environment media contact: Jay Apperson;; 410-537-3012 (o); 443-604-0091 (m). David Vanko chairs the state’s Safe Drilling Advisory Commission;; (410) 704-2121

The Missouri Geological Survey regulates oil and gas, but the state does not currently have fracking underway. Media Contact: Gena Terlizzi;

New Mexico Environment Department. Media Contact: Jim Winchester;; (505) 231-8800 (mobile)

North Dakota Dept. of Mineral Resources – because of location, Lynn Helms, the state’s director of Mineral Resources is the top regulator in the Bakken Shale play. Media Contact: Alison Ritter;; (701) 328-8036

North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources – The state legislature recently passed a law intended to jump-start oil and gas drilling in the state. Media Contact: Jamie Kritzer;; (919) 707-8602

Ohio’s Department of Natural resources – Ohio’s Oil and Gas Division chief, Rick Simmers, has opened a conversation with other states about how best to regulate earthquakes related to water and gas disposal. Media Contact: Bethany McCorkle;

Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Media Contact: Matt Skinner;; (405) 521-4180

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Scott Perry; Deputy Secretary, Office of Oil and Gas Management, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection;

Texas Railroad Commission. Media Contact: Ramona Nye;; (512) 463-4817


Denton DAG, working for a ban on fracking in the city of Denton, TX.

A list of groups writing reports on fracking while accepting money from energy companies.

"DeSmog Article Sparks International Investigation into BC and Canada's Carbon Emissions," DeSmog Canada, June 19, 2013, by Stephen Leahy.


American Petroleum Institute’s primer on Hydraulic fracturing.

Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), representing independent producers, marketers and service companies.

PIOGA page outlining the hydraulic fracturing process – includes a list of some of the basic additives used in the fracturing process.

Web Resources


Data and Statistics


Blogs Worth Reading

Workshop fellows tour the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh. Photo courtesy Dale Willman.













What Others Are Doing


Find an Expert




Keynote speaker Sandra Steingraber speaks to workshop Fellows about the human side of fracking. Both photos courtesy Dale Willman.

Panelists (l-r: Ben Grumbles, U.S. Water Alliance; Scott Perry, Pennsylvania DEP; Andrew Place, EQT) speak to participants about Shale development policy and transparency.


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