PA Marcellus News Digest
November 29, 2012
GE's Gas Engines Powering First LNG-Fueled Drilling Rigs in Giant Unconventional Gas Field
Wallaby Business Wire Nov 27 PITTSBURGH -To reduce the environmental impacts and improve the economic performance of their U.S. unconventional gas production activities, energy developer Seneca Resources Corp. and drilling partner Ensign Drilling have installed two of GE's (NYSE: GE) Jenbacher gas engines to power the first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled drilling rigs of their kind in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. Link: http://wallaby.telicon.com/PA/library/2012/2012112781.HTM
52 Organizations Demand Delaware River Basin Commission Review of Pipeline Projects
Wallaby Nov 26 West Trenton, NJ: Fifty-two organizations have signed the Petition to the Delaware River Basin Commission asserting the agency has an obligation to exercise its jurisdiction over the proliferation of pipelines being constructed and proposed within the boundaries of the Delaware River watershed. According to the Petition, pipelines are a significant source of waterway degradation and, according to DRBC's Rules of Practice and Procedure as well as the Delaware River Basin Compact itself, should be subject to DRBC jurisdiction, docketing, and oversight. Link: http://wallaby.telicon.com/PA/library/2012/2012112792.HTM
State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams discusses real impact, benefits of Marcellus Shale Wallaby Nov 27 HARRISBURG – State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams focuses his upcoming Capitol Update on the numerous issues surrounding Marcellus Shale and consumer energy education. Joining him in the dissection of the issues and to offer additional expertise on the 30-minute cable television show is Wayne Gardner, a member of the state Public Utilities Commission. Link: http://wallaby.telicon.com/PA/library/2012/2012112775.HTM
SIERRA CLUB RELEASES NEW REPORT ON NATURAL GAS EXPORTS Report disputes DOE arguments against a full study on LNG and fracking
Washington, D.C. – Today Sierra Club released a new report highlighting the significant risks of exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), and calling on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to take a careful look at the dangerous effects of increased fracking on Americans' water, air, land and health.
The report, titled "Look Before the LNG Leap," cautions against the rubber stamp approval of proposed liquefied natural gas export facilities, and refutes the Department of Energy's claim that it cannot predict where new fracking will occur as a result of approved LNG exports. The DOE has been using this argument as its main reason against performing a thorough environmental impact statement to study the full effects of exporting natural gas. The report shows that DOE's own energy models can and do make those predictions.
"The Department of Energy should look at the full picture of what exporting LNG will mean for Americans' health, communities and check books," said Deb Nardone, Sierra Club's Beyond Natural Gas campaign director. "If we blindly move forward with LNG exports, the American people will be left footing the bill while natural gas companies rake in more cash with zero accountability for their toxic pollution."
Shipping natural gas to foreign countries would increase dirty, dangerous fracking in Americans' backyards, drive up energy prices for American families and put Americans' health and our climate at risk – while doing nothing to address our nation's energy challenges. DOE must do the right thing and begin an open, public environmental impact assessment before we blindly transform the energy landscape and communities across the country.
"This new report underscores the urgent need to move beyond all fossil fuels," saidNardone. "An economy based on energy efficiency and clean energy sources like wind and solar is the only safe and responsible way to achieve true energy security while putting Americans to work."
Read the report here: http://www.sierraclub.org/naturalgas/downloads/LOOK-BEFORE-YOU-LEAP.pdf
DEP Announces Opening of Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program Applications Due Feb. 1, 2013
DEP Newsroom Nov 29 HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection announced today it will begin accepting applications Dec. 1 for its Natural Gas Vehicle Grant program, which will provide up to $20 million over the next three years to help pay for the incremental purchase and conversion costs of heavy-duty natural gas fleet vehicles. Link: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/newsroom/14287?id=1
As Shell studies plant project, Beaver County officials wait with hope
Pitt Trib Timothy Puko Nov 29 No news is good news for everyone hoping oil giant Shell builds a petrochemical plant in Beaver County. Link: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/3038488-74/shell-officials-plant-stat
More of nation's gas coming from Marcellus Shale
Post-Gazette Erich Schwartzel Nov 28 The Marcellus Shale region now accounts for 26 percent of the country's shale gas production, according to the latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/more-of-nations-gas-coming
Conservationists fight to save one of PA's gem streams
Groups point out that state has authority to protect Rock Run, but fear that it won't. Bay Journal December 2012 Karl Blankenship Brook Lenker aimed the van along a dirt road that wound though a narrow valley filled with hardwood trees that had gone largely undisturbed for decades. Waterfalls poured down the mountainside in places, and hemlocks provided a touch of green along streams as leaves of other trees adopted their autumn orange and yellow hues. Link: http://www.bayjournal.com/article/conservationists_fight_to_save_one_of_pas_ gem_streams
Democrat John Hanger offers himself as the anti-Tom Corbett in announcing his candidacy for governor in 2014
Patriot-News Jan Murphy Nov 28 In announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2014 governor's race, Harrisburg lawyer John Hanger distinguished himself in many ways from Gov. Tom Corbett who he hopes to make a one-term governor. Link: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/11/democrat_john_hanger_offe rs_hi.html#incart_river
Official says Pennsylvania working on energy policy
Observer-Reporter Michael Bradwell Nov 28 Pennsylvania is on the verge of creating an energy policy that one state official believes could become a template for the federal government to use. Link: http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20121128/NEWS01/121129215/-1/news#.
Fracking Our Food Supply
Elizabeth Royte Nov 28 In a Brooklyn winery on a sultry July evening, an elegant crowd sips rosé and nibbles trout plucked from the gin-clear streams of upstate New York. The diners are here, with their checkbooks, to support a group called Chefs for the Marcellus, which works to protect the foodshed upon which hundreds of regional farm-to-fork restaurants depend. The foodshed is coincident with the Marcellus Shale, a geologic formation that arcs northeast from West Virginia through Pennsylvania and into New York State. As everyone invited here knows, the region is both agriculturally and energy rich, with vast quantities of natural gas sequestered deep below its fertile fields and forests. Link: http://www.thenation.com/article/171504/fracking-our-food-supply#
DCED's Alan Walker on why coal's not dead, solar's not hot, and all that gas
Pittsburgh Business Times Anya Litvak Nov 28 Alan Walker, Secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development, thinks the state's on the verge of its first state energy policy. "And it's going to be a good one," he promised. "It's going to be so good" that the feds may want to copy our homework. Link: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/energy/2012/11/dceds-alan-walker-
What They're Saying: Natural Gas Creating "Significant" Environmental Benefits, Sparking "a Manufacturing Renaissance"
Wallaby Nov 27 Pittsburgh, Pa. – The clear, undeniable environmental and economic benefits tied to the safe development of clean-burning American natural gas continue to cascade across our region – as well as throughout local, national and international news outlets. Here's what they're saying about the responsible development of job-creating shale gas, which is Powering an American Renaissance: Link:
DEP, Tennessee Gas continue talks about fines Gas company has corrected about 90 percent of the violations
Pocono Record Beth Brelje Nov 27 The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection continues discussions with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. to determine fines owed for hundreds of environmental violations. Link: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121127/NEWS/2112703
Community College Faculty Angry Over New Marcellus Training Center
NPR State Impact Susan Phillips Nov 28 Link: http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2012/11/28/community-college-faculty
Bradford City Water Authority Allowed To Withdraw More Water
Bradford Era Nov 27 The Bradford City Water Authority announced during their meeting Tuesday that the state Department of Environmental Protection is allowing them to withdraw more water each day. Link: http://www.bradfordera.com/news/local/article_34dafe7c-3912-11e2-84ce-001a4b
In brief: Crews extinguish natural gas fire in Lower Yoder Township
Tribune-Democrat Nov 27 The small flare-up occurred Sunday after a pressure regulator failed at the gas well and escaping gas was ignited by a burner used to warm gas produced by the formation below, T&F Exploration spokesman Dave Mashek said. Link: http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x942836388/In-brief-Crews-extinguish-natur
First Dem to announce intent for guv seat has a long road ahead
Inquirer John Baer Nov 28 OK, BIRTHERS, listen up: You now have a Democrat seeking high office who admits to being born in Kenya. Link: http://articles.philly.com/2012-11-28/news/35412773_1_john-hanger-public-edu
D.C.-based governors' associations provide back door for corporate donors
Center for Public Integrity John Dunbar Oct 18 It was no secret in the 2010 race for governor of Pennsylvania that Republican Tom Corbett, the state's attorney general, was the favorite of the burgeoning natural gas industry. Link: http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/10/18/11503/dc-based-governors-associati
Today I Announce My Candidacy For Governor of Pennsylvania
John Hanger's Facts of The Day Blog Nov 28 I announce today my candidacy for Governor of Pennsylvania and will be doing press conferences in Philadelphia and Harrisburg. Tomorrow, I will be in Pittsburgh for a press conference there. Link: http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2012/11/today-i-announce-my-candidacy-for.html
Pa.'s former enviro chief to run for governor
E&E News Ellen M. Gilmer Nov 28 (full text below) The state official who led Pennsylvania through the start of the Marcellus Shale boom is launching a bid for governor.
John Hanger, a Democrat who headed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from 2008 to 2011, said he will announce today his plans to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett in the 2014 election.
Hanger is known as a champion of both natural gas and renewable energy, having served previously as DEP secretary, head of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and founding president of the environmental group PennFuture.
"[A] major challenge remains maximizing the benefits and minimizing the costs of gas production for Pennsylvania and the country," Hanger wrote on his blog last week. "More can and must be done to do both. And doing so will increase public acceptance of gas drilling across the Commonwealth and the nation."
Several natural gas industry sources said they view Hanger as a fair regulator who during his time at DEP encouraged shale development for its economic benefits but worked to establish a foundation of regulation to lessen drilling's impacts.
"Given his background, the easy road for him on the shale issue would have been to just ignore the science and indulge the activists and hucksters up there who wanted to see all development stopped, period," said Chris Tucker of Energy In Depth, an arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
"But he didn't do that, and probably lost a few friends as a result," Tucker added. "I think what he gained, though, is the respect of others who saw someone who takes science seriously and wasn't afraid to speak up when he thought it was being distorted or abused."
Hanger currently works as an attorney in Harrisburg and as an energy consultant. He regularly comments on national and state energy issues in news interviews and on his blog: http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/
He said he plans to talk more about his vision for natural gas in Pennsylvania after his bid is officially announced during news conferences in Philadelphia and Harrisburg today.