MDN Weekly Update – Aug 14, 2011: Who Should Regulate Fracking?

Poll resultsIt seems the New York Times does not enjoy the same reputation it once did—at least with MDN readers. The results of last week’s poll, which asked:

With respect to shale gas drilling, is the New York Times a reliable source of information?

No (81%, 173 Votes)
Yes (16%, 35 Votes)
Not sure (3%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 214

Who Should Regulate Fracking?

In early May, the federal Department of Energy (DOE), under the direction of DOE Secretary Steven Chu, assembled a panel of seven experts to create a list of industry “best practices” for shale gas drillers (see MDN story here). Known as the Shale Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB), the group was charged with producing an initial report in 90 days that will identify immediate steps “to improve the safety and environmental performance of hydraulic fracturing.” That first report was released this past week (see MDN story here).

In MDN’s reporting, we stated that it is an inescapable conclusion the only way the recommendations in the report could be fully implemented would be if the federal government takes over regulation of hydraulic fracturing, which has been the mantra of anti-drillers for a number of years. MDN makes no bones: We are against the federal government taking on oversight of oil and gas drilling. Why? It’s best left to the individual states, which is their constitutional right and duty, to oversee drilling in their own states. They know their state the best, and are equipped to handle it. Just say “no” to the feds!

However, some MDN readers have taken issue with our conclusion that the recommendations of this report would mean a federal government takeover of oil and gas drilling regulatory oversight. We can argue the finer points, but the larger issue, and this week’s poll question, is this: Who should regulate hydraulic fracturing? Is it best done by the federal government? The individual state governments? Or perhaps a blend of both? Register your vote along the right side of any page on the site.

An editorial note: Starting August 22nd and going through September 5th, MDN will be on holiday and will not publish. We will return on September 6th.

Below are the most recent “top 5” lists and the calendar of Marcellus related events for the balance of August.

Happy reading!
Jim Willis, Editor

Five Most Viewed Stories This Past Week (Aug 7 – Aug 13)

  1. New Pipeline Permit Rules Delay Landowner Royalties in PA (8/9/11)
  2. DOE Report Recommends Fed Takeover of Shale Gas Regulation (8/11/11)
  3. Chesapeake Threatens NY with Lawsuit on State Land Leases (8/8/11)
  4. Norse Energy Bets Big on New York’s Utica & Marcellus Shale (8/8/11)
  5. Major Discovery – Chesapeake Energy Strikes Oil (and Gas) in Ohio’s Utica Shale (7/29/11)

Five Most Viewed Stories Last 30 Days (Jul 14 – Aug 13)

  1. Major Discovery – Chesapeake Energy Strikes Oil (and Gas) in Ohio’s Utica Shale (7/29/11)
  2. Chesapeake, 14 Other Energy Companies Have Drilling Permits for Utica Shale in Ohio (4/18/11)
  3. Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon Talks to Jim Cramer About the Utica Shale in Eastern Ohio (8/2/11) 
  4. Chesapeake Energy Slated to Start Drilling in the Utica Shale in Columbiana County, OH this Fall (8/1/11)
  5. How Much Should Landowners be Paid for Marcellus Pipelines on Their Property? (7/28/11)

MDN Calendar (Aug 14 – Aug 31)