Saturday, March 30, 2013

PA Marcellus Digest 3.29.13

PA Marcellus News Digest - March 29, 2013
Governor Corbett to Tout Act 13 Benefits at Lycoming County AirportWallaby
HBG– Governor Tom Corbett, joined by state and local officials, today toured the Lycoming County Airport and discussed how Act 13 impact fee revenues are assisting with a $13.6 million renovation project at the airport and with two new housing projects in Williamsport.
Wastewater disposal linked to earthquakesPost Gazette
Mark Drajem and Jim Efstathiou
WASHINGTON -- A 2011 Oklahoma earthquake has been tied by researchers to the disposal of wastewater from oil production, the latest study suggesting the energy boom from advances such as fracking is increasing temblors.
Corbett makes Secretary of Environmental Protection a part-time job, for nowThe Patriot News
Donald Gilliland
HBG -- When the resignation of Pennsylvania's Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancerwas announced last week, critics were quick to question the qualifications of his interim replacement, Chris Abruzzo.
Corbett promotes Act 13 impact feesSun Gazette
Matt Hutchinson
WILLIAMSPORT -- Gov. Tom Corbett made a brief stop Tuesday at the Williamsport Regional Airport to hear from local officials how Act 13 natural gas drilling impact fees are being used in Lycoming County.
Shale gas boom pushing pipeline growth, report showsTribLive
Timothy Puko
More than half of the country's newest gas transmission pipelines are in the Northeast, where more are coming online to ship Marcellus shale gas to market, federal data released this week show.
Another fracking tool...Ed Rendell3.28.13
Will Bunch
Ed Rendell, our former Democratic governor, is a tool of the fracking industry. He wrote an op-ed in that other Daily News, the New York one, today, telling New Yorkers that they should allow fracking in their state so the industry can do all 
the wonderful things they've done here in Pennsylvania.
Rendell takes heat over pro-fracking op-edInquirer Harrisburg Bureau
Angela Couloumbis
HARRISBURG - Two days ago, the usually loquacious Democrat had an op-ed piece published in the New York Daily News urging New York state to get over its fears and permit hydraulic fracturing - commonly known as fracking - to seek natural gas within its borders.
Rendell: 'Learn to Love Fracking'ProPublica
Justin Elliott
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell took to the New York Daily News 
op-ed page Wednesday with a message to local officials: stop worrying and learn to love fracking.
Some Groups Miffed to Be Left Out of DCNR Meeting on Loyalsock Forest DrillingStateImpact
Marie Cusick
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is holding an invitation-only meeting next week about
one of the most controversial issues it’s dealing with involving natural gas drilling on state lands.
Gov. Corbett touts new facility, jobs at Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and TechnologyCentre Daily Times
Matt Morgan
PLEASANT GAP — Gov. Tom Corbett said he wants to develop jobs for the future, and Centre County is ahead of the curve.
Union Twp. offers alternate natural gas pipeline route
The Mercury
Denise Larive
UNION TWP. — In order to protect environmentally-sensitive areas and township residents’ property rights, the supervisors recently offered an alternate route to Commonwealth Pipeline for a proposed natural gas line it wants to build through Chester and Berks counties.

Pennsylvania still a top energy
Rachel Morgan
BEAVER — Coal, natural gas, nuclear power — we’ve got it all. Pennsylvania ranks fourth in terms of coal production, eighth in natural gas production and second in electricity generation from a nuclear plant, data shows.
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
Susan Oleski
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC Chairman Dr. Robert Summers today announced that Executive Director Paul Swartz is retiring this November.
U.S. Army Corps Okay’s Controversial Pipeline ProjectStateImpact
Susan Phillips
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted permission for a controversial pipeline project to cross wetlands, rivers and streams in the Delaware River watershed. The Corps issued the permits last Friday.

DCNR chief defends drilling royalties funding shiftTimes Tribune
Robert Swift
HARRISBURG - The state's top conservation official said Wednesday he has no problem with relying more on royalties from oil and gas drilling to support operations of the state's parks and forests.

Krancer's exit opportunityTimes Tribune
Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer's decision to return to representing the gas industry in the private, rather than public sector, offers an opportunity for Gov. Tom Corbett to return the agency to its true purpose.

More Calls for Senator Yaw to Avoid Conflicts of InterestWNEP
Jim Hamill
HARRISBURG — Some Capitol watchdog groups are calling for certain lawmakers to recuse themselves when it comes to drafting bills that regulate natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

Cause of Wyoming County Well Spill Still UnknownStateImpact
Marie Cusick
More than two weeks after a natural gas well began spewing fracking wastewater in Wyoming County, some residents who were evacuated from their homes are still using bottled water.

Fracking Debate Hits Close to Home for Smith FellowSociety for Conservation Biology
Concerned about the impacts of fracking on biological diversity, five Smtih Fellows wrote to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency to suggest research priorities on the potential environmental risks and scientific uncertainties associated with the natural gas extraction technique known as fracking.

The next justice: Corbett should name a non-partisan to the court (not Krancer)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Now that Joan Orie Melvin has done the right thing and submitted her resignation from the state Supreme Court, Gov. Tom Corbett must not waste an opportunity to improve the state's highest court by selecting the right replacement.

Natural gas is an energy favorite behind renewables – pollE&E
Pamela King

Nearly two-thirds of Americans want U.S. officials to put more emphasis on producing natural gas from domestic shale plays, according to a new Gallup poll.
Though solar power and wind were the top choices -- with 76 percent and 71 percent support, respectively -- 65 percent of participants in the March 7-10 survey favored ramping up production of natural gas.
"Americans overall and across political and socioeconomic groups generally are most likely to call for more emphasis on solar and wind power, but these potential future sources of energy have a long way to go in terms of technology and affordability before they can significantly affect overall U.S. domestic energy production," the Gallup poll says. "On the other hand, Americans are sharply divided politically over achieving greater domestic energy production using more traditional energy sources such as oil, coal and nuclear power."
The three latter fuels saw low support from survey participants, with 46 percent saying they favored more emphasis on oil production, 37 percent on nuclear power and 31 percent on coal.
"This leaves natural gas," the poll says.
Seventy-eight percent of Republicans said they favored natural gas, the highest rating the party gave to any of the six fuels listed in the survey. Sixty-two percent of independents and 59 percent of Democrats said they supported more focus on natural gas development.
Natural gas is now readily accessible, due to innovations in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing -- technologies that are being put to use in gas-rich plays like the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.
But those technologies, which send chemical-laced fluid deep into the earth to draw out oil and gas, may also be the reason why natural gas has failed to edge out solar and wind in terms of popularity. Critics of the gas industry have cited water and air pollution as two concerns they have with the process known as fracking.
"[Q]uestions remain about the safety of 'fracking technology' -- meaning public support may not be enough to increase the U.S. emphasis on this energy source," the Gallup researchers wrote.
The survey results are based on telephone interviews with 1,022 adults. Gallup reported a 4-point margin of error.

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