Today’s Wall Street Journal provides a devastating rebuttal of the very flawed EPA study that tries to pin chemical contamination of water supplies in Pavillion, Wyoming on fracking. Among the WSJ’s observations:
The EPA says it launched the study in response to complaints "regarding objectionable taste and odor problems in well water." What it doesn’t say is that the U.S. Geological Survey has detected organic chemicals in the well water in Pavillion (population 175) for at least 50 years—long before fracking was employed.*
The Clean Air Council, an anti-drilling environmental group, has set its sights on preventing new compressor stations from being built in the Marcellus Shale as one way to slow down or stop new drilling. Compressor stations remove moisture and pressurize natural gas to move it through pipelines. The two biggest concerns most people have with compressor stations are air emissions and noise—both legitimate concerns.
Compressor stations are regulated and monitored by the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also getting involved by using the federal Clean Air Act, which brings some compressor plants under their purview.
In a wide-ranging article talking about the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania, and how it is maturing, we get this bit about landowners’ prospects in signing new lease deals from a National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) rep:
Even though there is no fracking of natural gas wells in New Jersey, residents of that state are enjoying much lower heating bills this winter because of fracking. In fact, according to the AARP, using natural gas for heating costs about one-fifth of what it costs using oil. Why? The Marcellus Shale.
A recent example from western Pennsylvania illustrates how drilling companies and residents in PA are working together to resolve thorny issues and move forward with gas drilling in a way that everyone can live with:
A $500 million natural gas processing plant is currently being built by Dominion Transmission along the Ohio River in Marshall County, WV. When it’s done, it will have a 400 million cubic feet per day capacity. Chesapeake Energy has committed to processing 100 million cubic feet per day at the facility. The new plant means jobs and an economic boost for West Virginia’s northern panhandle.