gas drilling

When there’s an energy boom, it usually brings an influx of workers into the area. And that leads to more demand for housing. That’s great for landlords who are looking to rent out their properties. But as some communities in Wyoming are finding, oil and gas drilling can actually be a problem for people who are looking to sell. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports.

WILLOW BELDEN: Rhonda Holdbrook owns a real estate firm in Douglas, and she’s exceptionally busy these days. Oil production in Converse County is booming, and energy workers have flocked to town.

‘Gasland 2’, a sequel to the 2010 documentary ‘Gasland,’ premiers this weekend in New York City. The original film focused on land owners alleging that oil and gas development on their land contaminated their water sources. The movie is thought to have brought the terms ‘fracking’ into the mainstream. The films’ director, Josh Fox, says the sequel investigates how government and regulatory agencies have dealt with what affected land owners say is contamination by industry.

Many coal-bed methane companies have downsized their production in the Powder River Basin over the last couple of years because of low natural gas prices.
Workers in the industry were forced to move to other states to find jobs.
 But a growing oil play in Converse County is bringing some of those workers back.
 Chesapeake Energy Corp. is one of the companies actively drilling in Converse County.

The Douglas oil well that started spewing gas into the atmosphere last Tuesday has been plugged up with mud and is reportedly under control.

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will sample soil and do rig inspections later this week to determine the cause of the accident. State Oil and Gas Supervisor, Tom Doll, says the state isn’t necessarily impacted monetarily by the gas loss because it's on private land, but does want to find out what happened at the site.

One of the government's top scientists says much more research is needed to determine the possible impacts of shale gas drilling on human health and the environment.

Dr. Christopher Portier of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says studies should include all the ways people can be exposed, such as through air, water, soil, plants and animals.

Portier says there isn't currently enough information to say with certainty whether shale gas drilling poses a threat to public health.