Friday, May 4, 2012

National Natural Gas Clips 4/28/12 - 5/4/12

Sierra Club's Natural Gas Reform Campaign


National Natural Gas Clips 4.27.12 — 5.4.12

Sierra Club Natural Gas Clips
National Journal: War Over Natural Gas About to Escalate, Sierra Club launches 'Beyond Gas' campaign.
The rocky relationship between one of the world's most influential environmental groups and the natural-gas industry is headed toward full-scale combat.  The Sierra Club is intensifying its natural-gas reform campaign and renaming it "Beyond Gas," a spin-off of its decade-old "Beyond Coal" campaign seeking the phase out of coal-fired power plants.  LINK.

National Journal: Sierra Club Targeting Natural Gas With Campaign
The Sierra Club had once embraced natural gas as a temporary, cleaner bridge fuel to renewable energy. Other environmental organizations also did, including theNatural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund.  But the Sierra Club, more than the other two influential organizations, has become increasingly outspoken against natural gas in the past year or two, especially since Brune took over as executive director from Carl Pope, who stepped down in 2010 after 18 years in the post.  LINK.

Energy and Capitol: Sierra Club Says 'No' to LNG Exports
Brianna Panzica—Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D) has a plan for the trillions of cubic feet of liquefied natural gas in the U.S.  LINK.

Forbes: New Federal Fracking Rules Look Reasonable; Enviros Not Satisfied
Thankfully, the Sierra Club is not satisfied, which is a clear indication that the proposals don't go too far. In a statement, the group's Executive Director Michael Brune said it was "disappointing that fracking on sensitive public lands has been considered at all" and urged the department to "set the bar high and clean up an industry infamous for exploiting loopholes to operate with no regard for the health of our lands or the health of our families."  LINK.

MSNBC: U.S. Announces Compromise on Fracking Disclosure
Miguel Llanos— "While it is deeply disappointing that fracking on sensitive public lands has been considered at all," Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement, "we fully expect the administration to implement the toughest safeguards possible to rein in irresponsible practices and protect our public spaces. We look forward to working closely with the administration to ensure that happens."  LINK.

The Pilot (NC): Final Fracking Report Draws Criticism
 "It's important to distinguish between regulatory programs that must be developed, and critical unanswered questions that require further study. It is our position that these studies should be done before the state decides to legalize fracking," said Will Morgan, director of government relations for the N.C. Sierra Club. "The final DENR study provides even more evidence of how much work there is to be done before N.C. has enough information to make a decision about fracking." LINK.

KCTV-KS: Frack or Fiction: The Quake Controversy
"If there was an earthquake near that plant that shook it and released any of that radioactive material, the prevailing winds from Kansas would blow that radioactive contaminated air directly towards the Kansas City urban area," said Joe Spease, environmentalist and energy co-chair for Sierra Club Kansas.  LINK.

WRVO-NY: Anti-fracking claims the upper PR hand
Roger Downs, with the Sierra Club, says he also thinks Cuomo, who is believed to have national aspirations, is facing pressure from the gas and oil industries, to support what Downs says is the "drill baby, drill mantra."  But Downs says the governor can still change his course and stand up for renewable energies instead.  LINK.

Political Fiber (KS): What the Frack? Growing Kansas Industry Faces Controversy
"From 2005 to 2010 we had more gas wells drilled than in any time in our history," said Joe Spease, chairman of the Kansas Sierra Club Fracking Committee. "It's just a no risk thing for the gas industry right now."  LINK.

Press Connects (NY): In fracking fight, protests may be having an impact
Not everyone agrees. Roger Downs, conservation director of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, said his group is in favor of Avella's bill to ban hydrofracking because it has "lacked confidence that the DEC can get this job done."  "We've had four years to outline a way to tackle this regulatory program, and the principle elements of that regulatory program have been rejected," Downs said. "The regulatory program has to be based upon an awareness of cumulative impacts and ways to address them, and that's just something they refuse to do."  LINK.

Associated Press (WY): Critical fracking data held back
Environmentalists including the Natural Resource Defense Council and Sierra Club have looked to the Obama administration EPA to get tougher on fracking, the practice of cracking open oil and gas deposits by pumping pressurized water, fine sand and chemicals down well holes. They maintain that fracking is a threat to clean groundwater.  LINK.

National Natural Gas Clips
AFP: US proposes more fracking disclosure
US regulators proposed Friday that companies using fracking to explore for natural gas must disclose the chemicals they use, but only after they drill -- sparking more ire from environmental activists.   LINK.

CBS Money Watch: Report: NY regulations for drilling waste too lax
A new report from an environmental group says New York's oversight of waste disposal from existing natural gas-drilling operations is too lax, making it virtually impossible to track how much waste is produced and how drillers dispose of it.  LINK.

The Hill: Interior floats new draft rules to regulate oil-and-gas 'fracking'
The Interior Department floated plans Friday to regulate the controversial oil-and-gas extraction method dubbed "fracking" on federal lands, drawing quick attacks from industry groups that said the requirements aren't needed.  LINK.

Bloomberg: Frack First, Disclose Chemicals Later Under U.S. Rule
Oil and natural gas companies won't be forced to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing until work is completed, under a proposed U.S. rule issued today that drew opposition from environmental groups.  LINK.

TIME: Fracked: Why Chesapeake Energy's Aubrey McClendon is in Hot Water
Aubrey McClendon, the billionaire CEO of natural gas giant Chesapeake Energy, opened his company's first-quarter conference call on Wednesday by describing the last two weeks as "very challenging." That may be an understatement — the last 48 hours alone have been dizzying. LINK.

Associated Press (VT):  Vt. lawmakers agree to ban hydrofracking
Vermont is poised to become the first state to ban a natural gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." LINK.

New York Times: Wastewater Jitters in New York
As I report in Friday's Times, disposing of the waste produced by natural gas drilling will become a larger and more contentious issue if New York State gives the go-ahead to horizontal hydraulic fracturing, which uses millions of gallons of fluids per well to release gas from the Marcellus Shale.  LINK.

Financial Post: Our future is gas
Vaclav Smil—Before the end of 2005, the U.S. price of natural gas rose above $15 per thousand cubic feet (mcf), nearly 12 times the record low reached in 1995. Production was down by about 8% compared to 2001, news reports speculated about supply shortages, and gas companies were gearing for expanded imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from overseas. Six years later, by the second week of April 2012, the market price of U.S. natural gas fell to less than $2 per mcf (to levels not seen since January 2002), nationwide gas extraction in 2011 was nearly 12% above the 2009 level, and record production was expected in 2012, when all storage sites would be filled to capacity. No wonder that gas companies are now planning to export LNG, and that new drilling projects have been shelved in the anticipation of gas glut.  LINK.

Bloomberg: Fracking Is Flopping Overseas
With all the buzz over fracking—and the 86 percent drop in U.S. natural gas prices the boom has helped cause—you'd think the rest of the world would crash the party. Yet shale development in China, home to the world's biggest unconventional gas resources, has been slower than predicted.   LINK.

MSNBC: Republican lies on fracking proven wrong
For years Republicans have tried to downplay the dangers of the fracking. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe claims that there has "never been one case, documented case, of groundwater contamination."  LINK.

The Hill: Fracking innovations enhancing energy independence
Bonner Cohen—Energy independence," long an empty promise gladly served up by crafty politicians eager to curry favor with unwitting voters, might be a lot closer than even the most starry-eyed dreamer could have imagined only a short time ago.  LINK.

NPR PA: Fractivists to Rally in D.C. Against Drilling
Activists opposed to nat¬ural gas drilling and frack¬ing are plan¬ning a large rally in Wash¬ing¬ton, D.C. at the end of July. A coali¬tion of envi¬ron¬men¬tal groups announced their plans today, which they say will draw pro¬tes¬tors from 13 dif¬fer¬ent states where frack¬ing occurs, or will occur in the near future.   LINK.

Huffington Post: A Poem for the Marcellus
Sandra Steingraber— In honor of both National Poetry Month and Earth Day -- and with thanks to the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, who continues to inspire me -- I offer below a love song to the bedrock: the methane-suffused shale that geologists call the Marcellus, which now lies in the crosshairs of the oil and gas industry.  LINK.

ONN: Sen. Rob Portman Pushes For Fracking In Ohio
Senator Rob Portman talked about energy at The Ohio State University on Tuesday.  Ohio has the potential of a gold mine under the Marcellus and Utica shale when it comes to fracking, ONN's Jim Heat reported.  LINK.

Bloomberg: Geisinger Using Patient Database to Assess Fracking Harm
Alex Wayne— Geisinger Health System, a nonprofit chain of hospitals in eastern Pennsylvania, plans to use its database of patient records to determine whether natural gas drilling in the state's Marcellus shale is harming residents. LINK.

CNN: Reporting of fracking and drilling violations weak
For Pennsylvanians with natural gas wells on their land, chances are they won't know if a safety violation occurs on their property.  LINK.

Wall Street Journal: Aubrey McClendon: The Politically Incorrect CEO
James Freeman—CEOs can be a cautious breed. Why make yourself a target? Then there's Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Energy, a driving force behind America's natural gas revolution, a bumptious voice in energy and environmental politics, scourge of the coal industry turned scourge of his former green allies, and lately the target of corporate-governance scrutiny for loans he took from a firm that was also negotiating to buy assets from Chesapeake.  LINK.



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