If you’ve been around the shale gas drilling debate for long, you know that most of the opposition to drilling focuses on a little-understood, decades-old technology called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” for short. If you’re a science fiction fan, you may also recognize the word fracking from the Battlestar Galactica television series. The word is used as a curse word substitute for another “f” word to avoid being censored.
Fracking’s closeness in spelling, and sound, to the other “f” word has not gone unnoticed by those who oppose drilling. They’ve used the word fracking in all sorts of double entendres with signs like like “Don’t Frack Me” and hundreds of other variations. Just attend a protest meeting and you’ll see what we mean.
You can add Ohio to both Pennsylvania and West Virginia on the official list of eastern states actively courting the investment of Shell and others who seek to build an multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant.
Gov. Tom Corbett is a man in motion. He’s only been in office for nine months, but he’s already fixed a huge budget deficit, a nice gift left to him by the departing Ed Rendell, and he appointed a special commission that has already met and provided him with 96 recommendations for changes that should be made to the Marcellus drilling industry in the state. It seems today may be the day when Gov. Corbett announces which of those recommendations he plans to adopt.
The joint venture situation continues to heat up as energy companies look to develop the Utica Shale in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. This time, it’s Carrizo Oil and Avista Capital Partners. Avista is an investment firm with deep pockets, deep enough to float Carrizo up to $200 million.