Monday, December 10, 2012
PA Marcellus News Digest 12/10/12
PA Marcellus News Digest
December 10, 2012
Special: Nick News looking for stories about fracking from the perspective
of 11-15 year olds.
From Mothers Against Drilling In Our Neighborhoods (MADION) "I work as a
producer for Nickelodeon's kid TV news series, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee
(http://news.nick.com/). Nick News takes headline and human interest stories
and tells them from a kid's (11-14 years
old) point of view. We've been on the air for over 20 years, and pride
ourselves in the direct and honest way we talk to kids - we never talk down
to them, and we always listen to what they have to say.
We're in production now with an episode about hydraulic fracturing, and
looking for kids personally impacted by the practice both positively and
negatively to weigh in. The intent of the show is to explain the process of
fracking to our kid audience and hear from both sides of the issue why they
feel it's good or not good for the economy, environment, community,
For any topics that Nick News covers, I typically start by reaching out to
relevant organizations and schools that are likely to have kids who are
well-informed about the debate, then work with my contact to help identify
potential students for the show. Our ideal age range is
11 to 15 years old, and we're looking for well-spoken kids who would be
comfortable appearing on camera and defending their positions. Once kids
have been identified, I set up initial phone interviews with their parents'
permission. If a student is then selected for the program based on this
phone interview, I will work with the family to determine a schedule for
filming, which will entail our crew traveling to the family's home for a
sit-down interview and day-in-the-life type segment. I'm ready to start
conducting phone interviews immediately, and we plan to begin filming by the
end of December.
Please let me know if there's any other info I can provide and thank you so
much for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you."
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org if interested
Posted: December 5, 2012 04:33 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw and Sen. Dominic Pileggi To:All Senate members
Subject: Pennsylvania Natural Gas Expansion and Development Initiative
In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation that will facilitate
the expansion, distribution and use of low-cost, energy efficient,
Pennsylvania-produced natural gas. Being able to fully utilize this
commodity will reduce costs and be environmentally beneficial across the
Commonwealth. This legislation is designed to assist state and local
governments, similar institutions, and un-served and under-served businesses
and homeowners across our state in making this conversion.
The legislation will:
Encourage the conversion of government office buildings to low-cost, energy
efficient, Pennsylvania-produced natural gas;
Offer incentives to school districts, institutions of higher education,
correctional institutions, and hospitals to convert to low-cost, energy
efficient, Pennsylvania-produced natural gas;
Encourage the use of natural gas to assure that natural gas energy is
accessible to Pennsylvanians;
Establish funding alternatives for gathering and distribution extensions to
un-served and under-served areas;
Require the Public Utility Commission to develop rules to produce an orderly
system for reviewing current levels of natural gas service and to allow for
the orderly expansion of natural gas service to areas not currently served;
Allow municipalities to establish their own pipeline infrastructure;
Ease the regulatory hurdles required for becoming a public utility;
Include a system of pipeline tap infrastructure for rural access; and
Provide rate incentives to state utilities that are aggressively acquiring
and building new utility franchises in rural areas.
We have an abundant natural resource beneath us, which can be used to help
consumers lower their energy heating costs. There is also widespread
interest in seeing locally produced natural gas used locally to benefit
DEP Withdraws Proposed Water Quality Standards Opposed By Business (full
text below) On Wednesday the Department of Environmental Protection's Water
Resources Advisory Committee voted to advance the DEP's final Chapter
93 Water Quality Standards to the Environmental Quality Board for its
consideration, but without the proposed standards for molybdenum, sulfates,
chlorides, and 1-4 dioxane that raised the concern of the business
As the rulemaking was being considered, Pennsylvania Chamber members joined
with other statewide business trade associations to advocate for the removal
of the four proposed standards because they were not rooted in clear
scientific evidence and failed to take the economic impact of the regulated
community into account.
Some of the Pennsylvania industries that could have been economically
impacted by the standards included electric generation, oil and gas, coal,
steel, pharmaceuticals and metallurgy.
For more information, visit DEP's Water Resources Advisory Committee
Rep. White asks for answers in DEP water, air quality tests PA House website
Dec 6 HARRISBURG - In a letter sent Wednesday to the Pennsylvania Department
of Environmental Protection, state Rep. Jesse White,
D-Washington/Allegheny/Beaver, called the agency's most recent defense of
its water-testing procedures "contradictory" and "disturbing," in that DEP's
very design prevents citizens from seeing a complete run-down of potential
carcinogens, heavy metals and chemicals in their water.
Appeals Court Agrees with Newspapers in Sealed Fracking Case NPR State
Impact Susan Phillips Dec 7
Moon Sets Limits on Marcellus Shale Drilling Robinson-Moon Patch Jenna Staul
Dec 6 Marcellus shale drilling is banned in areas of Moon Township zoned for
residential, commercial or educational uses, according to a newly revised
ordinance approved by the Moon Board of Supervisors.
It's All About the Bonding Requirements
Back during the Marcellus Shale debate, PA Republicans passed bonding
requirements for gas companies that are totally insufficient. This is
basically a subsidy from taxpayers to natural gas companies that makes it
artificially cheap for small drillers to get in the game. Low barriers to
entry for small businesses is ordinarily a good thing, but in the natural
gas market we want to see large well-capitalized firms who can completely
cover the cost of any environmental accidents.
Taxpayers should not bear any of the downside risk.
Delaware River Basin Commission OKs two projects Inquirer Sandy Bauers Dec 7
Despite the opposition of environmental groups, a regional commission that
oversees water issues in the Delaware River basin added its nod Wednesday to
two major industrial projects in the region.
In Brady, group still fighting against proposed well The Progress Josh Woods
Dec 4 LUTHERSBURG - The fight against a proposed disposal injection well in
Brady Township continued at last night's board of supervisors meeting.
Resident Marianne Atkinson spoke on behalf of an overflow crowd who is
against locating the well in the Highland Street residential area.
Atkinson asked the Board of Supervisors to consider adopting a community
bill of rights ordinance to protect the health, safety and welfare of
New leadership team at Marcellus Shale Coalition Ohio.com Bob Downing Dec 6
The Pennsylvania-based Marcellus Shale Coalition, the main trade group for
shale-drilling operators here, has announced its leadership team for next
'Promised Land' putting fracking in focus Post-Gazette Erich Schwartzel Dec
7 The natural gas industry is getting ready -- very ready -- for its
With the Gus Van Sant film featuring fracking, "Promised Land,"
scheduled to hit select theaters at the end of this month, energy firms
worried about a misleading Hollywood treatment are adjusting the focus with
websites and campaigns against what they see as the movie's motives and
Gov. Corbett to the rescue? Not on pension reform Patriot-News Editorial Dec
5 The Corbett administration and state lawmakers should consider imposing a
real severance tax on Marcellus Shale drilling and use the proceeds to pay
off the pension debt.
Mon pollution testing to expand to Allegheny, Ohio rivers Pitt Trib Timothy
Puko Dec 4 A water testing program that helped limit mine pollution's impact
in the long-troubled Monongahela River basin is expanding to the Allegheny
and Ohio rivers, where some hope it can help guard drinking water sources.
Injection Permits Issued
Construction at site nearly done
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued final permits
authorizing Bear Lake Properties to operate two wastewater disposal wells in
Columbus Township, the only operational site in Northwest Pennsylvania.
Injection Permits Issued
The long road to a decision
Over the past two years residents within the area of the wells in Columbus
Township and Bear Lake have opposed the construction and permitting of the
wells within the area of their homes for a number of reasons, including fear
of water contamination, decreased property values, how local emergency
management would respond to an accident at the site and possible degradation
of the Tamarack Swamp, recognized as a National Natural Landmark by the
National Park Service.
River agency rejects call to consider pipelines' broad effects E&E News
Ellen M. Gilmer Dec 7 (full text below) Environmentalists are fuming this
week after an interstate agency declined to consider the broad impacts of
pipeline construction across the Delaware River Basin.
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) ignored a request Wednesday from
environmentalists and community groups to consider the cumulative effect of
several pipelines designed to carry natural gas from the Marcellus Shale to
other parts of the Northeast region and elsewhere.
The Delaware River runs down from the Catskills in New York into the
Delaware Bay south of Philadelphia. The commission has jurisdiction over
water issues in the 13,000-square-mile basin that flanks the river.
As many companies look to broaden pipeline capacity in the region,
environmentalists fear that air and water pollution from the lines will
"DRBC's decision not to review pipeline projects is pure cowardice,"
said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. "The agency is more
interested in protecting contributions to its budget from the states than
carrying forth the mission for which it was created, which is to protect the
water resources of the Delaware River Basin for us all, not the gas drillers
and pipeline companies."
The commission's denial of the request for broad review passed unanimously.
The group has held that it considers pipelines only on a case-by-case basis.
A spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition called the decision a wise
move in the face of a growing supply of natural gas and the need to
"DRBC's prudent decision will help ensure that pipeline development projects
can continue to move forward, allowing for even more affordable,
clean-burning American natural gas to be delivered to families and
businesses across the region," said spokesman Travis Windle. "These
critical, well-regulated pipeline investments are also helping to create
thousands of good jobs at a time when they're most needed."
Thirteen pipeline projects are under consideration now, some of which are
expansions to current lines. The commission approved applications in July
for Kinder Morgan Inc. subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.
to withdraw 6 million gallons of water over time from the Delaware River and
a tributary (EnergyWire, July 13).
The commission is also responsible for deciding when and how natural gas
development can start in the river basin. Oil and gas activity has been
stalled since 2010 while the group develops rules for drilling.
Gubernatorial challenger pledges severance tax, complaint office E&E News
Ellen M. Gilmer Nov 29 (full text below) Pennsylvania Democrat John Hanger
kicked off his campaign for the governor's office yesterday with acute
criticism of the current administration and a couple of new ideas for
Hanger, former chief of the Department of Environmental Protection, is
launching an early bid against incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett (R) for the
2014 race. In an interview yesterday, he slammed the governor for failing to
capitalize on the Marcellus Shale boom, in addition to having "neglected and
been hostile to other energy resources."
Hanger is a vocal proponent of natural gas development, but he is known for
pushing for more environmental safeguards, more taxes on industry and more
government support of renewable energy -- including the state's many wind
farms -- than many of his Republican counterparts.
The new contender said yesterday that as governor he would create an
ombudsman office to handle all complaints related to widespread natural gas
drilling in the state. As unconventional wells have proliferated in western
and northeastern Pennsylvania, many residents have voiced concerns about
drilling-related air pollution and water contamination from leaks and
spills, along with worn-down roads from heavy truck traffic.
Some complaints may be baseless, he said, but all residents should be heard.
"When a citizen has a concern about gas drilling, it needs to be fully and
properly investigated," he said. "The results may not please the citizen,
but it may also not please the gas driller."
Hanger is also pushing for a tax on drillers, the revenue from which would
be distributed to local communities, education and the environment.
Currently, drillers are required to pay an impact fee of $50,000 for each
horizontal well and $10,000 for each vertical well. This fall, the state
began distributing more than $200 million from that fund to municipalities.
But severance tax advocates, including the gas-industry-critical
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, say the state could have made double
that with a tax similar to West Virginia's effective rate of
Rounding out the three key components of Hanger's energy plan is an emphasis
on deploying natural gas fueling stations, to make better use of the state's
resource. He has also voiced support for increased federal regulation of
natural gas drilling.
Initial responses to Hanger's candidacy seem favorable, with industry
sources noting that he was a fair regulator and environmentalists applauding
his "really good ideas" on energy and the environment. But political
analysts caution that with two years until the election, many other
Democratic contenders are sure to enter the race, and all have the tough
task of unseating an incumbent governor.
at 5:25 PM