Friday, February 17, 2012



Sierra Club's Natural Gas Reform Campaign

National Natural Gas Clips 2.11.12 — 2.17.12

Sierra Club Natural Gas Clips
Sierra Club Compass: We Need to Put the Brakes on Gas Drilling
Last month in his State of the Union address, President Obama reminded us and the natural gas industry that he intends to open up even more public lands to drilling. LINK.

E&E TV: Former FERC Commissioner Spitzer weighs in on LNG export debate
We're starting to see more action from the environmental community on this issue. The Sierra Club filed objections with DOE against three LNG export terminal applications. Is this something you expect the courts might take up or that we might see Congress acting on this year? LINK.

Press Action: Anti-LNG Export Train Sounding Louder
Among environmentalists, the Sierra Club has come out strongly against LNG exports. The group has moved away from its pro-natural gas stance and is now aggressively campaigning against LNG exports. The environmental group has come under fire recently in response to the $26 million in donations it accepted from Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon and other people associated with the natural gas producer. LINK.

Doylestown Patch: Bucks Legislators Should be Ashamed
David Meiser, Bucks County Sierra Club Conservation Committee—We are so disappointed in Bucks legislators, Senators Chuck McIlhinney, Bob Mensch and Tommy Tomlinson as well as Representatives Gene DiGirolamo, Paul Clymer, Frank Farry, Bernie O'Neill, Scott Petri, Marguerite Quinn and Kathy Watson for voting in favor of H.B. 1950. LINK.

Platts Energy: Activists tell commission to stop new permits for Pennsylvania fracking
Thomas Au of the Pennsylvania Sierra Club said the SRBC needs to stop approving water withdrawals until it looks at what the cumulative impact of shale drilling and water use could be. "I am troubled by the ad hoc approach you've been taking, approving withdrawals project by project," Au said. "We oppose further withdrawals without an environmental impact study." LINK.

National Natural Gas Clips
New York Times Magazine: Crude Awakenings
We own about 20 acres where we plan to build a vacation/retirement home. Fracking companies have started drilling nearby for oil and gas. As ardent environmentalists, we are opposed to this activity, but that hasn't stopped the company, and it won't protect us from any resulting environmental damage. Now the company has offered to pay us to remove the gas/oil under our property without actually drilling on our property. The money would be a nice addition to our building fund. But feeling as we do about fracking, is it ethical for us to say yes? LINK.

Bloomberg: Gazprom Sees U.S. Exporting LNG in Decade, Downplays Competition
Anna Shiryaevskaya and Halia Pavliva—OAO Gazprom, the biggest natural-gas producer, said it expects U.S. exports of the fuel in a decade, downplaying the prospect of increased competition. LINK.

TIME: Shale Gas: It's Not the Fracking That Might Be the Problem. It's Everything Else
Bryan Walsh— If you were trying to invent with a term that sounds as scary as possible, you couldn't do better than "fracking." That's industry terminology for hydraulic fracturing, the process used to get at unconventional natural gas and oil contained in tight rock layers that need to be cracked open—or fractured—so drillers can get at the good stuff inside. LINK.

San Antonio Express: Study finds that fracking itself does not pollute groundwater
Vicki Vaughn— Hydraulic fracturing in shale formations "has no direct connection" to groundwater contamination, a study released Thursday concluded. LINK.

Youngstown Vindicator: Individuals, communities lack control over wells
The bottom-line message from a panel on fracking: Learn all you can about this controversial way to draw natural gas from a deep-rock formation called the Marcellus Shale. LINK.

The Hill: White House begins gas 'fracking' rule review
Ben Geman— White House Office of Management and Budget has begun vetting upcoming Interior Department rules that will toughen regulation of the controversial natural-gas drilling method called hydraulic fracturing. LINK.

Huffington Post: Will Natural Gas Become the 'Achilles' Heel' of Our Country?
Stefanie Penn Spear— After hearing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar at the City Club of Cleveland on Feb. 14 speak about President Obama's vision for the new energy frontier, which is largely a full-steam ahead agenda for fossil fuel extraction, and then reading that more than 800,000 people signed a petition to their U.S. Senators to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and nearly2,000 people in Frankfort, Ky., called for an end to mountaintop removal coal mining that same day, it was clear that Obama's energy plan does not align with the sustainable energy future many Americans want. LINK.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tells Cleveland City Club that U.S. owned public land might be used for safe energy production
U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told the City Club Tuesday that public land controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is the key to the production of safe energy for the country. LINK.

The Hill: While touting 'fracking,' Salazar confronted by professed victim
Andrew Restuccia— Obama administration was served with a stark reminder Tuesday that its embrace of natural-gas drilling is being met with heartfelt resistance by some. During an event in Ohio, a man who said he was a "victim of federal gas drilling" confronted Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. LINK.

Ohio News Network: Ohio Residents Share Feelings On Fracking
Several Ohio families gathered in Columbus Tuesday with Valentines in hand to discuss how much they dislike fracking, reported ONN's Stephanie Mennecke. LINK.

Washington Post: Md. lawmakers wrangle over natural gas tax
Sharp disagreement has surfaced in the Maryland legislature over how much to tax natural gas production in the event Maryland allows energy companies to drill for shale gas deep below the state's westernmost counties. LINK.

AOL Energy: Pennsylvania Natural Gas Bill Dispute Lingers Amid Partisan Anger
Pennsylvania's newly passed bill imposing fees on natural gas drillers charges the industry far too little, doesn't do enough to protect the environment, and was drafted in secret by Republican lawmakers who sought to curtail public debate on the measure, Democrats in the state claim. LINK.

NPR: Obama Proposes $14 Million for Fracking Research
Susan Phillips— Pres¬i¬dent Obama's pro¬posed FY 2013 Envi¬ron¬men¬tal Pro¬tec¬tion Agency bud¬get has a reduc¬tion of 1.2 per¬cent, or $105 mil¬lion dol¬lars, from the pre¬vi¬ous year. It's the third year in a row the agency has had to endure cuts. The pro¬posed reduc¬tion comes at a time when the EPA has come under fire from Repub¬li¬can law¬mak¬ers, and some pres¬i¬den¬tial can¬di¬dates, who say the agency has engaged in over-regulatory zeal. LINK.

Salon: Santorum's well-compensated love of fracking
If any state was going to produce a Republican who might understand the dangers of unbridled oil and gas drilling — and specifically, of the drilling process known as "fracking" — you would think it would be Pennsylvania. LINK.

USA Today: To frack or not to frack: North Dakota's dilemma
The oil rush in North Dakota has it all. Billions of dollars. Thousands of jobs. Grapes of Wrath-like journeys from all across America as people leave desperate situations, hoping for a fresh start. Big business shoe-horning itself into small-town America. LINK.

Annapolis Capitol: Hydraulic fracturing may come to state
Earl Kelly—Extracting natural gas by hydraulic fracturing is an expensive and dirty business that can produce a bounty of relative clean energy and make some Marylanders wealthy, experts said this week at an American Petroleum Institute seminar in Annapolis. LINK.

Politico: New film in defense of fracking
Patrick Gavin—Fracking may not seem like the sexiest topic (the term refers to a method used to extract oil and natural gas), but one husband-and-wife filmmaker team is hoping to give it some big-screen appeal through a new documentary. LINK.

Cincinnati Business Courier: DeWine calls for stiffer oil and gas regulation
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has called the state's regulation of the oil and gas industry "not adequate today" and is pushing for increased pollution fines revealing the chemicals used in fracking, the Associated Press reported. LINK.

ProPublica: Federal Rules to Disclose Fracking Chemicals Could Come with Exceptions
Lena Groeger—Last week several media outlets obtained the federal Bureau of Land Management's draft of proposed rules requiring fracking companies to disclose the chemicals they pump into the ground. Such disclosure requirements have been championed by environmentalists for years and were endorsed by President Obama in the State of the Union, but critics say the rules may not go far enough. LINK.


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