It now looks as though the fracking ban in Binghamton, NY will stay in place for the next two years. Binghamton City Council voted to pass the legislation Wednesday night (see MDN’s coverage here). Yesterday, Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan signed the legislation into law. Interviews with several of the incoming new Council members, including Republicans, show there is no appetite to attempt a repeal of the new law.
Anti-drilling protestors, who often behave badly at public meetings by booing and shouting down those who attempt to speak in support of drilling, did just that at a recent meeting of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission held in Wilkes-Barre. Their temper tantrums caused the hearing to be rushed and ended early, and now they want a do-over.
In one last metaphorical flip of the middle finger to the Marcellus drilling industry, outgoing Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields is trying to get his “toxic trespass” legislation adopted by City Council before Dec. 31.
The South Butler School District (Butler County, PA) has just finalized a lease agreement with XTO Energy to lease 167 acres of school-owned land for $628,000, or $3,760 per acre, plus an 18 percent royalty on any gas produced. The deal was approved by the school board back in September (see this MDN story).
The final terms of the deal just adopted have been changed since September. Previously, the district was promised $3,750 per acre that would be paid “should natural gas be extracted.” Under terms of the final agreement, the district has already received a $628,000 payment, $3,760 per acre, up front.
Laser Northeast Gathering, a 33-mile natural gas pipeline that cost $55 million to build and stretches from the very active Marcellus Shale drilling area of Susquehanna County (in northeastern PA) to Broome County (in New York’s Southern Tier), connecting to the interstate Millennium Pipeline, announced yesterday the company is selling itself to Williams Partners for $750 million. The deal covers Laser’s contracts to expand the pipeline and commitments from customers already signed on. When the project is fully completed it will have 75 miles of pipeline. Laser is a subsidiary of Delphi Midstream Partners.
Chesapeake Energy, American Electric Power and Spectra Energy are joining forces to build 70 miles of new pipeline in Ohio that will connect Utica and Marcellus gas wells in eastern Ohio to Spectra’s Texas Eastern pipeline system, which runs from Texas to New York. The new joint project is called the Ohio Pipeline Energy Network (OPEN). The estimated cost for the project is $500 million according to Spectra Energy.
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: