One of the arguments in favor of shale gas drilling is that it will create more supply leading to lower prices for consumers (that’s Economics 101 for the Occupy economic illiterates). Those opposed to drilling scoff and say it won’t happen, that the big, bad energy companies will rig the system to keep prices, and profits, high. Here’s a dose of reality for those who scoff:
Allegany State Park is New York’s largest state park at 67,000 acres. The park is located approximately 60 miles south of Buffalo on the border of New York and Pennsylvania in Cattaraugus County. Before being designated a state park in 1921, more than 200 oil wells were drilled in the area, including the very first oil well completed in New York State in 1864. The state created the park by purchasing surface rights from landowners in the area, but many of the landowners retained the subsurface rights and oil drilling continued in the park for a number of years, until energy companies moved on to more lucrative locations.
Oil drilling has not happened in the park for many years, but now with gas drilling a real possibility, state authorities who want to “protect” the park are making moves to force those who legally own subsurface rights to either register their interest or lose it. That is, the state wants to forcibly take private property rights away from those who legally own it.
The next chapter for the Morgantown, WV ban on fracking seems to be an official rescinding of the ill-fated ban which included inside and up to one mile outside of the city lines. But Morgantown Mayor Jim Manilla is not ready to throw the towel all the way in just yet. He wants to make another run at a ban, this time only within city limits by using existing zoning laws.
A new Marcellus wastewater treatment facility is coming to McKean County, PA, and by using a local railroad spur, owners of the new facility hope to service a large area of Pennsylvania and eventually New York, reducing truck traffic. The facility will use methane from a local landfill for power instead of electricity. Low-grade heat (from the methane) is used to process the wastewater, making it an “environmentally friendly” alternative technology.
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: