PA Marcellus News Digest February 16, 2012
Groups target SRBC hearing, 3 counties rush to pass impact fee resolutions (while Bradford balks), another municipality contemplates challenging HB 1950, McIllhinney lies about HB 1950, Wayne County lessees and Sen. Blake pressure DRBC, medical expert decries Dr. secrecy provisions in HB 1950.
Groups Press Susquehanna River Basin Commission for Moratorium on Water Withdrawals for Fracking
SRBC has "Legal obligation to follow the science and moral obligation to protect the earth," (Rabbi Mordechai Liebling in SRBC Testimony)
Harrisburg: Today the Susquehanna River Basin Commission meets at 2:30 pm in Room 8 E-B in the East Wing at the Capitol to hear testimony from public health advocates, environmental groups and citizens concerned about clean water, clean air, climate damage and other acute and cumulative impacts from high-volume hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling, the new combination of technologies collectively referred to as "fracking." The groups call for an immediate moratorium on permits for fracking water withdrawals.
PUC Finalizes Implementation of Pipeline Registry, Inspections, Assessments under Pipeline Safety Act
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today finalized an Order as the first step in implementing the Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act (Act 127).
The Commission voted 5-0 to finalize the Order which begins the process of creating a statewide registry for non-public utility gas and hazardous liquids pipeline equipment and facilities within the Commonwealth; provides resources to conduct safety inspections to enforce Federal pipeline safety laws on certain classifications of pipeline; and assesses entities for the costs.
Local officials recoil at gas law's contents
We need to elect better poker players to represent us in Harrisburg.
Pennsylvanians have been sitting on an unbelievable hand: the largest natural gas field outside of Iran, located a half-continent closer to the vast East Coast markets than the traditional drilling states.
Peters Twp. to review new state drilling law
Terri T. Johnson
McMURRAY - Peters Township Council Monday authorized its solicitor to review the new state legislation on gas drilling to determine if it can be challenged.
Council's action came the same night Robinson Township supervisors took steps to challenge the new statute.
County to seek Marcellus fees
Barbara S. Miller
In accordance with legislation Gov. Tom Corbett signed Monday, Washington County commissioners are preparing to advertise a proposed ordinance to allow the county and its municipalities to receive impact fees from the Marcellus Shale gas industry.
Butler County steps on the gas
BUTLER -- Two days after Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law a bill regulating the Marcellus shale natural gas industry, Butler County Commissioners voted Wednesday to create an ordinance that would allow the county to collect millions from an impact fee included in the legislation.
County opts into Marcellus Shale Gas fee
BROOKVILLE - Tuesday, the Jefferson County Commissioners gave unanimous, if lukewarm approval to an "unconventional gas well fee ordinance" for imposing a gas well fee on each unconventional gas well "spud" in Jefferson County.
"We had a conference call with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) and came out of it with more questions than answers," said Jefferson County Commissioner Jeff Pisarcik.
A victory for the gas industry
Such is the opposition of some environmental groups to the gas drilling process known as fracking that nothing short of legislation banning the practice would satisfy them. But imposing an outright ban was never part of the legislative discussion in Harrisburg on whether to impose a tax on the drilling industry and how much such a tax should be.
Bill addresses gas drilling air threats
Marcellus Shale natural-gas drilling is a significant source of air pollution, and as drilling expands, so will the risk to human health and the environment.
The drilling, processing, and transportation of Marcellus Shale gas require many pieces of equipment and activities that release harmful pollutants into the air.
Address violating drillers
Oil and gas drilling is permitted on some land owned by the federal government.
Rules are in place to ensure - allegedly - the work is done safely and in an environmentally acceptable manner. It appears some of the regulations are enforced, to a point.
Shale fee to bring in $56G a year
SUNBURY -- Pennsylvania's 66 county conservation districts will benefit from a new state fee imposed on Marcellus Shale developers.
Washington OKs rules for power plants on gob pile
Robinson Power Co. LLC's plan to build natural gas- and coal waste-fired power plants on a giant gob pile has moved ahead in the form of a deal with officials in Robinson Township, Washington County, over conditions for the project.
Gas drillers' new Wild West
Barry G. Rabe
Pennsylvania's long-awaited Marcellus Shale legislation, signed by Gov. Corbett this week, reflects an approach to managing the state's resources that is reminiscent of the Wild West-style energy extraction of the late 19th century.
Commissioners eye legal action on state drilling bill
South Fayette commissioners are exploring legal action against the state over provisions of the bill that stripped them of their ability to restrict where natural gas drilling could occur.
Talisman cutting back drilling plans even more in Marcellus region
Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM) is cutting back its plans to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus region of New York and Pennsylvania even further and reducing its spending plans in the area by half compared with 2011.
What’s Next For Pennsylvania’s Impact Fee?
NPR State Impact
The measure imposes a $50,000 fee on every well drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale formation. But as StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Scott Detrow reports, the fee is conditional, and won’t go into effect unless counties approve it.
As Wayne County landowners push for drilling, Delaware raises new concerns
A group of Wayne County landowners eager for natural gas drilling to begin in the Delaware River watershed renewed its call for action in recent weeks, pushing its case in meetings and letters with state lawmakers, the Corbett administration and the interstate commission that proposes to regulate drilling in the basin.
Honda Civic CNG Dethroned As Greenest Car
John Hanger's Facts of The Day
For 8 years, the Honda Civic CNG has topped ACEEE's rankings of the greenest vehicles. See http://aceee.org/press/2012/02/electric-car-tops-greenest-vehicle-l. But this year it fell to a tie for second with the Nissan Leaf in ACEEE's 14th annual rankings. After a long reign, the Honda Civic CNG is no longer the greenest car, but it remains incredibly clean, when compared to all alternatives. It also costs about $2 less per gallon to operate than the gasoline Honda Civic, since CNG is typically selling for between $1.25 and $2.00 per gallon.
NOAA Data Underline Need To Cut Methane Leakage
John Hanger's Facts of The Day
A team of NOAA scientists measuring air quality in a portion of Colorado estimates that 4% of the produced gas at a gas field is leaking into the atmosphere. See http://www.nature.com/news/air-sampling-reveals-high-emissions-from-gas-field-1.9982. That leakage rate is high and would be about 43% greater than current EPA national estimates.
Leading Public Health Official Says Impact Fee Law Violates Medical Ethics
NPR State Impact
Public health professionals say the impact fee law signed by Governor Corbett this week could hurt the delivery of health services to injured workers or residents living near gas drilling sites.
What's Next For Pennsylvania's Drilling Impact Fee?
WITF Radio Smart Talk
Last night, Governor Tom Corbett signed a bill overhauling Pennsylvania’s natural gas drilling regulations into law. The legislation, which takes effect in 60 days, places an “impact fee” on every well drilling for gas in the state’s Marcellus Shale formation, and will likely generate around $200 million this fall.
Gas Bill Protects Environment, Preserves Local Control
Sen. Chuck McIlhinney
After years of debate and negotiation, the General Assembly recently passed legislation to strengthen oversight over the natural gas drilling industry and set an impact fee on drilling activity in the Marcellus Shale region. The new law is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars each year to protect the environment and fund critical infrastructure needs for communities across the commonwealth.
Stopping Liquid Natural Gas Port in Maryland a Blow Against Fracking in the Marcellus Shale, Too
Residents in southern Maryland have long felt like the energy sacrifice zone for the rest of the state. They have to cope with the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant; and for the past few decades they’ve had to contend with attempts (many of which have been successful) to expand a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Cove Point.