An article in the New York Post lays bare the motivation of Cornell professor Robert Howarth and his conclusions about natural gas. Howarth, you may recall, along with two other Cornell professors—Renee Santoro and Tony Ingraffea—published a study in the journal Climatic Change last year making the assertion that natural gas is actually worse for the environment than coal (see this MDN story). It’s laugh-out-loud funny, except many people (excepting most scientists) take him seriously. The study has been roundly refuted by both the U.S. Department of Energy and Carnegie Mellon University.
Last week a new study was published in the same journal by a second set of Cornell professors that refutes Howarth et al.’s conclusions as “seriously flawed” (see this MDN story).
Environmentalists opposed to natural gas drilling were out in force in Albany, NY yesterday, demanding a ban on hydraulic fracturing. (MDN wonders if they know that vertical fracking has been going on in New York State for the last 40 years with no environmental apocalypse?!)
The rally, organized by Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Earthworks, Shaleshock and other anti-drilling organizations, was designed to bring pressure on elected representatives in Albany.
Yesterday, the U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA) issued the 2012 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO2012) Early Release Reference case, which provides updated projections for U.S. energy markets through 2035 (a copy is embedded below). This Early Release Overview assumes no changes in current laws and regulations and is the prelude to the full AEO due out this spring. The AEO provides a comprehensive snapshot of the entire energy picture for the U.S. in particular, but in the wider context of world energy supplies. It is relied on by the government, politicians and the energy industry.
Among the observations and predictions in the Early Release for natural gas:
Robert Alt, a Fellow in Legal and International Affairs at The John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University (Ohio) has written an op-ed article in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on the topic of “legally dubious” moratoriums like the one recently passed by the City of Binghamton. Given that according to forthcoming new drilling regulations from the state Department of Environmental Conservation there would be no drilling in Binghamton anyway, Alt asks the question, just what “message” did City Council send?
Yesterday, MDN told you about Chesapeake Energy’s major announcement that they will reduce capital spending on dry natural gas, or methane-only production, by 70 percent this year (see this MDN story). Chesapeake is also shutting down 9 percent of their domestic production, some 0.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, which represents 1.5 percent of the entire natural gas output in the U.S. The result is predictable—less supply and steady demand equals higher prices. And that’s just what happened:
Stone Energy Corporation yesterday announced its planned capital budget spending plan for 2012. Stone’s projected capital budget is $625 million for the year, of which it plans to spend 30 percent (or $187.5 million) on drilling in the Marcellus Shale.