PA Marcellus News Digest
February 14, 2012
Happy Valentine's Day: Driller "sweetheat deal" HB 1950 is signed into law, Santorum loves fracking, driller files for Bucks permit the day Corbett signs HB 1950, congrats to Delaware Riverkeeper Network for important permit settlement precedent (attached), more coal plants to switch to nat gas, Frack Nation propaganda film out
Special: link to "Frack Nation" documentary trailer: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1009530098/fracknation
Special: Attached press release "Delaware Riverkeeper Network Announces Settlement That Secures Some Reforms In How Pennsylvania Reviews and Regulates Gas Drilling"
API-PA Commends State Leadership on Natural Gas Development
HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, a division of API, today commended the General Assembly, Governor Tom Corbett, Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley and others for their efforts of moving forward HB 1950, a comprehensive legislative package regulating shale development throughout Pennsylvania.
Governor Corbett Signs Historic Marcellus Shale Law
Harrisburg - Governor Tom Corbett today signed House Bill 1950, the Marcellus Shale bill, into law. The bill enhances protection of our natural resources through stronger environmental standards, authorizes counties to adopt an impact fee, and builds upon efforts to help move Pennsylvania toward energy independence.
Newspapers appeal gas-drilling case
The Observer-Reporter and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have appealed to state Superior Court a Washington County judge's decision preventing the newspapers from intervening in a case between a group of gas-drilling corporations and a Mt. Pleasant Township family.
Marcellus gas poses its own environmental risks, but it sure beats coal or nuclear
Those who worry about the environmental damage from drilling for natural gas found in the Marcellus and Utica layers of shale a mile beneath much of Pennsylvania are grasping a two-edged sword.
Shale driller asks for Ellwood waste water
Ellwood City Ledger
ELLWOOD CITY — More than 10 days before a natural gas driller applied for a permit to draw water from Slippery Rock Creek, the company requested a meeting with Ellwood City borough officials about using discharge from its wastewater treatment plant.
Natural gas drilling on horizon in Bucks County
Gas drilling is coming to Bucks County.
Turm Oil is seeking to open the county’s first natural gas well in Nockamixon.
Santorum’s well-compensated love of fracking
His claims about the practice's safety puts him far to the right of his state's GOP -- and the oil industry
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.
Chesapeake Eyes $12 Billion in Asset Sales Amid Cash Squeeze
Jim Polson and Joe Carroll
Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second- biggest U.S. natural-gas producer, is seeking as much as $12 billion from assets sales and joint ventures to cope with a cash crunch amid rising debt and tumbling gas prices.
Fish, Boat Commission grateful for grant
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will benefit when, as expected, Gov. Tom Corbett signs legislation creating an impact fee on Marcellus shale drilling operations.
Robinson to contest new law
McDONALD - The same day Gov. Tom Corbett added his signature to the state's new natural gas impact fee bill, one local municipality took steps to challenge the new statute.
Shale Gas Wells With Smaller Footprint to Get Greater Scrutiny
NPR State Impact
One of the first Marcellus Shale wells to be permitted in the Delaware River watershed was neither horizontal, or hydraulically fracked. But environmentalists who challenged the permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection say state regulators who approved the project took less than 35 minutes to review it and did not consider its impact on nearby rivers and streams. In a settlement
Smith criticizes Miller, McLinko
Democrat says it would be ‘foolish’ for county not to accept impact fee money; Miller plans to vote ‘no’ on proposal
TOWANDA– Following Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko’s comments to The Associated Press this week, the county’s two other commissioners weighed in on their thoughts on the state’s proposed impact fee on the Marcellus Shale drilling operations.
First Energy Closes Coal Plants, Blaming EPA: Truth Or Politics?
John Hanger's Facts of The Day
Who done it? The EPA? Low-priced natural gas? Competitive electricity markets?
The announcement last week by First Energy that it will close 3 West Virginia coal plants that date back to the Truman administration and that are without pollution controls by September 1, 2012 was the latest example of power plant politics
Coal's 2011 Electricity Market Share Plunges, As Gas Rises
John Hanger's Facts of The Day
America's electricity generation is now rapidly moving from coal to gas. Consider these facts.
Since 2000, when coal provided 52% of America's electricity, coal has been slowly losing electricity generation market share, falling to 48.2% in 2008. But the shale gas boom that ushered in much lower natural gas prices has turned a slow decline in coal's market share into a rapid fall.
How Huge of a Giveaway Did Frackers Get?
Michael Wood at PBPC reminds us that PA could be raising 3 times more revenue per well from fracking:
The Times also cited our estimates that “at the current price of natural gas, the fee would amount to an effective tax rate of 2.6 percent, far less than the 5.4 percent in Texas.”
Obama Proposes $14 Million for Fracking Research
NPR State Impact
President Obama’s proposed FY 2013 Environmental Protection Agency budget has a reduction of 1.2 percent, or $105 million dollars, from the previous year. It’s the third year in a row the agency has had to endure cuts.
“New Film in Defense of Fracking”
NPR State Impact
An Irish couple who have produced documentaries critical of the environmental movement are workng on a pro-fracking film entitled “Frack Nation.” The filmmakers say it is meant to rebut the popular anti-fracking film “Gasland.”
Shale driller Chesapeake Appalachia is fined by state DEP for major violations
Sean D. Hamill and Laura Olson
HARRISBURG -- The state Department of Environmental Protection Thursday said it has fined gas driller Chesapeake Appalachia a total of $565,000 for major violations at three Marcellus Shale sites that occurred since 2010, including a well blowout in Bradford County last April that took five days to secure.
PGE cited for three spill violations at Cummings Township well pad
Neighbor upset he was never notified
RAMSEY - The state is investigating several spills of brine water and diesel fuel at a Pennsylvania General Energy Co. well pad in the Pine Creek Valley, which may have contaminated at least one family's nearby water well.
PGE must be stopped
Letter to the editor
Recently, a caravan of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) vehicles were spotted going north on Route 44 up Pine Creek. Then came the news reports of a toxic spill by PGE.
Rick Santorum slams 'reign of environmental terror'
Alex Guillen and Juana Summers
Liberal politicians and green groups are exaggerating the dangers of hydraulic fracturing to scare people and raise money, Rick Santorum said Thursday in a wide-ranging rant against environmental activists.