PA Marcellus News Digest
May 29, 2012
New Delaware Valley Based Association Forms to Connect Local Business with the Business Opportunities of Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Development
PHILADELPHIA, May 22, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A new association has been formed to help educate, inform and connect local businesses with the state-wide opportunities now making themselves available through Marcellus Shale development. The Delaware Valley Marcellus Association (DVMA) has been formed by four leading organizations with deep roots in our area and who are actively participating in Marcellus Shale activity.
Weston Solution's Evaluation of Split Sample Results Taken During EPA's Bradford County, Pennsylvania, Hydraulic Fracturing Study Finds No Impact From Marcellus Shale Gas Activities To Water Sources
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently conducting a national study to determine if hydraulic fracturing has any impact on drinking water sources. As part of a larger study, the EPA is conducting five focused retrospective studies in separate areas across the country including Bradford County, Pennsylvania.
Santarsiero introduces bill to boost protections from gas drilling activities
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Steve Santarsiero introduced a bill today that would establish stronger environmental safeguards in natural-gas drilling activities than what is currently required in Act 13 of 2012, the Marcellus Shale law recently signed by Gov. Tom Corbett.
“The Corbett Marcellus Shale law failed to protect our critical environmental resources from the impacts of natural-gas drilling activities,” said Santarsiero, D-Bucks. “It sets bonding requirements so low that it guarantees taxpayers will be left holding the bag for abandoned well cleanup and reclamation if the drilling companies fail to live up to their responsibilities.
Bradford introduces bill to protect patient rights in shale fracking disclosure
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Matt Bradford introduced a bill today that would ensure the rights of patients and doctors to full medical disclosure in natural gas fracking – a hot-button issue that has caused serious concerns regarding Act 13 of 2012, Gov. Tom Corbett’s recently enacted Marcellus Shale drilling law.
“As written, the Corbett Marcellus Shale law could prevent doctors from sharing vital information with their patients – including the impact of potentially toxic fracking chemicals on the public health,” said Bradford, D-Montgomery. “Protecting the health of the people of Pennsylvania should have been a top priority of Act 13, but it’s clear the people of Pennsylvania took a back seat to the drillers.”
55 Big Investors Challenge Shale Gas Industry & Will Compare Environmental Performance of Companies
John Hanger's Facts of The Day
Intense regulatory and media focus on shale gas production is being joined by investor pressure to improve environmental performance of the industry and individual companies. Not everyday do 55 investors, with one trillion dollars under management, band together to push operational goals for an industry and say they will be comparing companies by their environmental risk levels. Yet, that is what happened last week.
Goldman To Invest $40 Billion in Renewables: Another "Fact" Showing Shale Gas Won't Kill Renewables
John Hanger's Facts of The Day
A common justification provided by some environmentalists for supporting a ban of hydraulic fracturing is that cheap gas would supposedly kill renewable energy.
One empirical problem with the view that gas dooms renewable energy is that renewable energy and gas have been both booming since 2008, for both different and similar reasons. Another factual problem with this argument is that already global investment in renewable energy power plants exceeds investment in fossil fuel plants, according to Bloomberg Finance and others.
Bill would use taxes to push drillers to hire Pennsylvanians
A local lawmaker has introduced a bill to create more Marcellus Shale gas jobs for state workers.
The legislation by state Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, makes use of a tax credit program.
Ramping up to use natural gas as a motor fuel
In the 1990s, natural gas was promoted as the motor fuel of the future. Utilities opened refueling stations and government agencies traded in their dirty diesel trucks for vehicles fueled with clean compressed natural gas (CNG).
Chesapeake Energy: Everything You Need To Know About The “World’s Biggest Fracker”
Some Question Study that Finds Pa. Shale Drillers Polluting Less
NPR State Impact
Chesapeake Sells More Land To Bridge Funding Gap
Natural Gas Production Quadruples in Pennsylvania, Thanks to Marcellus Shale
This week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released a report on the extraordinary natural gas production occurring in Pennsylvania. The reason? Thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, natural gas producers have been able to tap into the immense natural gas resources of the Marcellus shale, providing clean-burning energy for the nation, while stimulating job growth, and protecting the environment. As the EIA report explains, between 2009 and 2011 the Commonwealth quadrupled its natural gas production.
Critics question shale gas researcher, schools
Kevin Begos, AP
PITTSBURGH — A well-known expert on the natural gas boom is again facing criticism over his ties to industry and a lack of transparency in how he presents work to the public, fueling debates over research that’s been published by major universities.
Shale drilling contaminated water, families say in lawsuit
Three Washington County families claim in a lawsuit that they face serious health problems, including a heightened risk of cancer, because Range Resources Inc. and two water testing laboratories conspired to alter test results and exposed them to hazardous chemicals.
Drilling ban likely thorn for Downtown office space projects
Andrew Conte and Bob Bauder
Whether Pittsburgh experiences a new renaissance of skyscrapers and premium office space could depend on whether the city can convince Marcellus shale drillers that they're really welcome here.
As top-quality Downtown office space grows increasingly scarce, developers are looking to build projects such as the "350 Fifth" tower that Oxford Development Co. proposed this week. Speculation about tenants there and at other sites has centered on several big-name energy companies that could be reluctant to invest in the city, which passed a ban on drilling in 2010.
Marcellus shale compressor site permit OK'd
The county's first Marcellus Shale compressor station should be operational by September but will be subject to a battery of inspections and emissions tests after the Allegheny County Health Department approved the station permit Friday.
Families sue Range Resources, claiming ills from gas wells
Three Washington County families claim they were exposed to carcinogens and suffered health problems including nosebleeds, debilitating headaches and stomach ulcers because of Range Resources Corp.'s drilling operations, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday.
Pa. Commonwealth Court says compressor stations are essential to production
Zack Needles, The Legal Intelligencer
The Commonwealth Court has ruled that the operation of a compressor station falls within the definition of "gas production" as used in a township's zoning ordinance, and thus cannot be banned by a township in areas where gas production is otherwise permitted.
Pennsylvania natural gas interests spent $1.3 million on lobbying
State records show how much was spent during debate on a new impact fee for the natural gas industry.
John L. Micek
Five of Pennsylvania's largest natural gas drilling interests spent a staggering $1.3 million to lobby state government from January through March as lawmakers and the Corbett administration worked to approve a new impact fee on the industry.
House Democrats Introduce Package Of Marcellus Shale Bills
(full text below)
House Democrats this week introduced their Marcellus Compact -- a six-bill legislative package aimed at what they said was fixing the Marcellus Shale law adopted in February, Act 13.
"This Marcellus Compact is our attempt to right the wrongs of Governor Corbett's sham of a Marcellus Shale law," said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny). "House Democrats are committed to a strong Marcellus Shale law that puts Pennsylvania taxpayers, workers and families first, and these bills will accomplish that."
The Marcellus Compact includes the following six bills (not yet online):
-- House Bill 2412 (Dermody-D-Allegheny) would restore the rights of municipalities to determine how natural-gas drilling and related activities can be zoned in their communities.
-- House Bill 2413 (Hanna-D-Clinton) would provide real tax fairness to Pennsylvanians through a fair and reasonable statewide fee for drilling companies, rather than the Corbett law, which imposes among the lowest fees in the nation.
-- House Bill 2414 (Santarsiero-D-Bucks) would establish stronger environmental safeguards in natural gas drilling activities than what is currently required in Act 13.
-- House Bill 2415 (Bradford-D-Montgomery) would ensure the rights of patients and doctors to full medical disclosure and transparency in natural gas fracking – a hot-button issue that has caused serious concerns regarding Act 13.
-- House Bill 2416 (Mundy-D-Luzerne) would add new protections from drilling activities for public water sources and would create an online tracking system to report the storage, transportation and disposal of drilling wastewater.
-- House Bill 2399 (Mirabito-D-Lycoming) would create a new Marcellus Shale Job Creation Tax Credit program as an incentive for companies in the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry to hire Pennsylvania workers.
"These are common-sense bills that make Pennsylvania residents and workers the top priority when it comes to the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry," Rep. Hanna said. "We intend to be the people's voice and advocate in Harrisburg, because it's clear they're not being heard by this governor or his allies."