As mentioned yesterday by MDN, the self-appointed Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission—a group made up of liberal and left-leaning environmental and labor groups including the Sierra Club of PA, Penn Environment, Keystone Progress, Clean Water Action and the League of Women Voters—has released a list of recommendations for regulating shale gas drilling in the state. A copy of the 89-page report is embedded below.
MDN has chronicled the attempt by Morgantown, WV to ban drilling up to one mile outside of the city line—a saga that spanned many months. In the end, a judge struck down the ban and two wells were drilled and fracked. The main concern was that fracking might somehow contaminate the city’s water supply, which comes from the nearby Monongahela River (something that did not happen). But another concern was that the fracking process might cause air pollution that would affect a nearby elementary school. It seems that fear was also unfounded:
A second joint venture that CONSOL has announced in recent months has just been completed. Yesterday, CONSOL received an initial $60 million of a total $594 million from Hess to develop 200,000 Utica Shale acres in Ohio. Previously, CONSOL entered another joint venture with Noble Energy for $3.4 billion to develop 663,350 acres in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia (see this MDN story). Why all the joint ventures? Money! CONSOL needs cash to develop its Marcellus and Utica Shale acreage, and in order to get the cash, they have cut (so far) two deals, granting their partners a 50 percent interest in each case.
Shale gas drilling in Monongalia County, WV is heating up with two new well permits requested and more on the way:
Last week a PA joint legislative committee issued a report recommended that the state consider leasing land around state universities and state prisons for shale gas drilling:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: