In the unforgettable words of Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise! Actually, this one was not so hard to predict. The New York State Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Joe Martens, is signaling that the new draft regulations for Marcellus Shale drilling won’t be ready by Gov. Cuomo’s deadline of this Friday, July 1.
Predictably, now that the New York Times has delivered a journalistic drive-by hit piece claiming that energy companies are using false data and accounting trickery to overstate shale gas reserves, NYT sycophant leftist politicians in New York State are making political hay from it. For opportunistic politicians, it’s all about the seriousness of the allegation, never mind that the allegation is totally false.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection assessed a $180,000 fine against Chief Oil & Gas after Chief failed to report the spillage of “a small number of gallons” of oil at a drill site, and because they came close to overflowing a fracking wastewater pit, back in June 2010.
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, an anti-drilling organization, has published a Marcellus Shale Lease Guide that identifies potential environmental issues that landowners may want to consider when leasing. Of course, inserting all sorts of restrictions and requirements in a contract may mean the drilling company won’t sign it, so a balance must be achieved. Still, there are some good points in the guide that a landowner can use in discussions with their attorney to ensure the landowner is protected from drilling activities.
Download the Marcellus Shale Lease Guide here:
UPDATE (6/30/11): A representative from the PEC emailed MDN to state that the organization is “not anti-drilling”. Fair enough. MDN will pass that claim along to readers. However, MDN also points out that the PEC, along with PennFuture and other so-called environmental organizations that loudly proclaim they want responsible drilling seem (to MDN) to be using that language to disguise that they would really rather have no drilling rather than safe drilling. In the meantime, ahead of that end-goal, they push for new laws and regulations that will greatly limit drilling in PA. Are some of their proposals good? You bet. Some are common sense and I would support those proposals. But don’t for a minute think there’s not an ulterior motive behind them—the incremental strategy of “a little more here, a little more there”. And so, I maintain, they are in the anti-drilling camp.
Officials for the Village of New Waterford, Ohio (Columbiana County) are considering a proposal to supply water from a village well to an unnamed company for drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
The town of Barrington, NY (Yates County), in New York’s Finger Lakes region, has voted to approve a temporary moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the township for a one year period to give it time to develop new zoning laws to deal with possible Marcellus Shale drilling, should the New York State moratorium be lifted.