Will There be New Marcellus Drilling Regulations Passed by the PA Legislature This Year?

Groups that oppose drilling in Pennsylvania, under the guise of “let’s be reasonable here,” have been proposing wish lists of new regulations for several years now. Some of their proposals make sense and should be carefully considered. But in considering their proposals, you must realize those organizations have ulterior motives—to completely ban gas drilling. It’s interesting to note their pronouncements lately have gone up an octave on the shrillness scale.

These groups could not get new legislation and regulations passed under Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, with both houses of the PA legislature controlled by Democrats. So now that a Republican (Tom Corbett) is governor, someone they consider “in the pocket” of the drilling industry, and with both houses of the legislature controlled by Republicans, these groups say now is the time to reform the PA Oil and Gas Act. Something does not add up with this picture.

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The Economics of Converting Vehicles to Natural Gas

At a small meeting last week at Washington & Jefferson College (in Washington, PA, near Pittsburgh), representatives from Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Range Resources and Pittsburgh Regional Clean Cities presented to several area fleet operators. They were making the case for the economics of switching their cars and trucks to compressed natural gas, or CNG. Widespread use of natural gas to power vehicles will likely start with “fleets” of vehicles—taxis, trucks, buses—and the early adopters will likely be schools, government and larger companies.

We get the following figures on conversion costs from Dan Cotherman, business development manager for driller Range Resources:

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