The flakey federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues its interference in Dimock, PA. Yesterday they announced (once again) they would start water deliveries to homes in the Dimock area—this time the commitment is to four homes. Recall that they made the same promise two weeks ago, then rescinded their promise within 24 hours (see this MDN story for their broken promise and a Dimock backgrounder). This time they’re going to do it, pinky swear promise. That is…unless they decide not to do it.
PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer has warned the EPA to not try and pull a “Pavillion” in Dimock, referring to the sloppy research the EPA has done in Pavillion, Wyoming and their cheeky attempt to try and tie fracking to groundwater contamination, even though the drilling in Pavillion is not shale drilling (see this MDN story).
Caiman Energy plans to bring its total investment in natural gas processing (“midstream”) facilities in Marshall County, WV to $1.3 billion by the end of 2014. At midstream processing plants like the ones operated by Caiman, raw natural gas is processed to separate out methane from other components like ethane, propane, butane and pentane, or “natural gas liquids.” The liquids are sent to another facility for fractionation, to separate them from one another. Ethane then goes to a cracker plant where it is “cracked” or transformed into ethylene, used for making plastics.
Caiman is expanding its current processing facilities and building a new fractionation facility in Marshall County and spending nearly as much on their projects ($1.3 billion) as the much anticipated cracker plant that will be built by Shell somewhere in the Marcellus Shale region ($1.5-$2.0 billion).
The fight to allow safe natural gas drilling to commence in New York State is being fought on multiple fronts. One of the most prominent groups standing up for landowner rights in New York is the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY). The group is in essence a “coalition of coalitions,” representing 38 landowner coalitions with an aggregate 800,000 acres of land in the Marcellus Shale.
The JLCNY issued the email below, outlining their opposition to yet another attack on drilling in the state—new legislation proposed by State Senator James Seward (Republican) that would tie up drilling in the state by allowing local municipalities to ban and regulate drilling within their borders.
In August 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE) requested from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) an analysis of what exporting natural gas will do to the domestic market and consumers. The DOE is responsible for reviewing and approving applications to export oil and natural gas, hence the request.
Yesterday the EIA delivered their analysis (a copy of the 43-page report is embedded below). Their conclusions? Increased natural gas exports lead to higher domestic natural gas prices, increased domestic natural gas production, reduced domestic natural gas consumption, and increased natural gas imports from Canada via pipeline.
There are many positive economic effects from shale gas drilling on nearby communities. Hotels and motels are some of the first to feel the effects, and restaurants. Grocery stores see an increase, as well as stores that sell clothes and shoes and other supplies. Short-line railroads also see a pickup in business from hauling materials, especially sand.
You can also add airports to the list of those organization that see a positive impact from shale gas drilling. The latest example: the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport has seen an uptick in passengers in the past year, due to Marcellus Shale gas drilling.