MDN Weekly Update – Jun 5, 2011

poll resultsThank you to those who voted in last week’s online poll. Here are the results:

Do you think burning fossil fuels like natural gas causes dangerously high levels of global warming?

No (67%, 133 Votes)
Yes (26%, 52 Votes)
I don’t know (7%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 200

This Week’s Poll

I have made no secret that I think New York’s Commissioner of the DEC, the man in charge of the agency that oversees all oil and gas drilling in NY—Joe Martens—is mostly on the side of anti-drilling. I’m told to “tone it down Jim, don’t rock the boat, we have to work with this guy” with regard to Martens—yet I have to call them like I see them. For years as president of the Open Space Institute his job, his life’s mission, has been to take as much land out of circulation from any kind of development (including drilling) as possible. And his on-the-record statements as recently as last year (prior to his job at the DEC) have Mr. Martens stating he wants to go very, very slow with regard to allowing drilling in New York (see MDN’s original profile of him here). His more recent statements showing his go-slow approach led me to predict that Marcellus drilling in New York will not begin until 2012 at the earliest (see MDN’s prediction here).

Mr. Martens is clearly dragging his feet with regard to release of the new draft Marcellus drilling regulations. But his boss, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, gave him a little motivation this past week—telling the DEC to have the new draft regulations ready by July 1st (see the MDN story here). A “kick in the pants” if you will. Ouch. Can’t have made Mr. Martens very happy. As strongly as he opposes drilling (in my opinion), he also wants to keep his job and make the boss happy. If indeed the new draft regulations are ready in early July, does that move the timetable up and might drilling permits be issued sooner rather than later? A good question. I would like to know what you think. So this week’s poll question:

When do you think Marcellus Shale drilling in New York State will begin?

Will it be this year? Next year? Never? Please note: This is not when you hope it will begin, but when you think it actually will begin. Go to any page on the website and click to vote on the right-hand side of the page in this week’s poll. I’ll report the results next week.

Below you’ll find the “top 5” lists and this week’s calendar listings.

Happy reading,
Jim Willis, Editor

Five Most Viewed Stories This Past Week (May 29 – Jun 4)

  1. NY Gov. Cuomo Orders DEC Commissioner Joe Martens to Get New Drilling Guidelines Done by July 1 (5/30/11)
  2. Money Problems for Landowners with Marcellus Shale Lease & Royalty Payments (5/30/11)
  3. Large Turnout for DRBC Hearing in Deposit, NY – Last Minute Surprise from DEC Head Joe Martens (6/2/11)
  4. Is PA Sitting on the Largest Natural Gas Reserves in the World? (5/31/11)
  5. Cabot Oil & Gas Boosts Marcellus Gas Output 35% in a Single Day with Compressor Plant Upgrades (5/31/11)

Five Most Viewed Stories Two Weeks Ago (May 22 – May 28)

  1. Chesapeake Files Application to Drill First Well in Columbiana County (Ohio) Targeting the Utica Shale(5/23/11)
  2. Howarth, Ingraffea Shale Gas Study on Global Warming Discredited by U.S. Department of Energy(5/23/11)
  3. Forced Pooling for Landowners in the Marcellus Shale Region (5/24/11)
  4. Carroll County, OH Landowners Offered $3200 Per Acre for Shale Gas Leases (5/25/11)
  5. Chesapeake, 14 Other Energy Companies Have Drilling Permits for Utica Shale in Ohio (4/18/11)

Five Most Viewed Stories Last 30 Days (May 5 – Jun 4)

  1. List of 78 Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid in Pennsylvania (6/30/10)
  2. Chesapeake, 14 Other Energy Companies Have Drilling Permits for Utica Shale in Ohio (4/18/11)
  3. Chesapeake Files Application to Drill First Well in Columbiana County (Ohio) Targeting the Utica Shale (5/23/11)
  4. Chevron Continues Aggressive Expansion into Marcellus Shale in PA – Buys Leases for Additional 228K Acres from Chief Oil & Gas (5/5/11)
  5. Former PA DEP Officials, Industry Group Point Out Problems with Duke University Study Linking Methane in Water with Fracking (5/11/11)

MDN Calendar (Jun 5 – Jun 18)

New York



  • Anonymous

    This is just one story of many where PA proves that NY is right not to rush into the shale reckless folly.  I urge you and your readers to read and watch the video.

    Hunting club contends with spring water contaminations from gas drilling

    ‘We just want to be made whole’

    Sunday, June 05, 2011

    By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Andrew Rush/Post-Gazette
    Members of the Sykesville Hunting Club
    in Clearfield County posted this sign near the natural spring on their
    hunting camp property in Moshannon State Forest. The spring was
    contaminated by leaks from Marcellus Shale drilling operations.

    Spring water, cold as winter and clear as a windowpane, gushes out of
    mossy ground in a clearing sprinkled with blooms of forget-me-not next
    to Stone Camp, the home of the Sykesville Hunting Club in the Moshannon
    State Forest.

    The bubbling flow has attracted generations of folks from Clearfield
    County and beyond, but staked into the ground now is a homemade sign
    bearing the warning: “Contaminated Water.”

    The sign seems out of place. Larry Righi certainly thinks so, even
    though he had a hand in putting it up months after a torn liner under
    one or more EOG Resources Marcellus Shale drill cuttings pits allowed
    leakage that contaminated groundwater feeding the spring almost two
    years ago.

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