The Stream, February 27: The U.S. Shale Oil Boom

The shale oil boom in the United States is putting a big squeeze on small towns in North Dakota and Montana that are suddenly seeing a rapid influx of people, traffic, infrastructure, crime and rising demand for housing, according to Reuters.

On Friday, a second New York state judge upheld an upstate community’s ban on gas drilling, Reuters reported. The ruling was similar to a decision released earlier last week that dismissed a bid by gas company Anschutz Exploration Corp to overturn a drilling ban in a suburb of Ithaca, New York.

Billionaires are competing to open a $40 billion coal region in Australia’s state of Queensland, Bloomberg News reported. The projects would allow Australia to more than double its coal exports as China and India demand more supplies.

China’s energy consumption rose 7 percent in 2011, the fastest rate in four years, even as the country improved its energy efficiency, Bloomberg News reported, citing new data by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Read Circle of Blue’s Choke Point: China series to understand what this means for the country’s water, energy and food.

Agriculture in the Philippines is facing severe water shortages as the country’s demand for freshwater is far exceeding its supply, Malaya Business Insight reported.

Climate change isn’t just about floods, droughts and heatwaves, but it also brings earthquakes and volcanoes, according to an extract published on the Guardian from a book by Bill McGuire, professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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