Last night, President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address to Congress. Energy and natural gas played a big role in the speech. In particular, Obama acknowledges the jobs-generating power of natural gas drilling, saying it can generate 600,000 jobs by the end of this decade. He also mandated a requirement that gas drillers on public lands disclose the chemicals they use. (Disclosing fracking chemicals is already the law in five states and mostly enforced in a sixth—see this MDN story).
Obama said the U.S. has enough natural gas to last us 100 years and that he’s going to “take every possible action” to develop it. He also reaffirmed his belief in global warming.
New York landowners in Broome County will receive millions in lease payments this month from Talisman Energy—$5000 per acre (they’ve already received $500 per acre). The landowners belong to the Friendsville Group, a landowner coalition that signed a deal with Talisman in 2009. Most of the Friendsville Group members are landowners just over the border in Pennsylvania, who already received their full $5,500 per acre payments two years ago. The New York members had to wait—either until permits were granted, or January 2012.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is floating the idea of using a portion of the 300 million gallons of acid mine drainage that flows each and every day from abandoned coal mines in that state as a source of water for Marcellus Shale gas fracking.
A lawsuit against the City of McKeesport, PA (near Pittsburgh) for treating fracking wastewater has been settled. McKeesport was hauled into federal court last year by two activist anti-drilling organizations—Clean Water Action and Three Rivers Waterkeeper—to force the McKeesport municipal sewage treatment plant to not accept fracking wastewater for treatment at the plant (read the background in this MDN story).