MDN Weekly Update – Jan 8, 2012: Time to Sue in NY?

poll resultsThe most recent MDN poll has been active since Dec. 18th. We wanted to know more about the current audience who visits and reads MDN—thank you for voting! Here’s what we found out about the main purpose for your visits to MDN: 

Which term best describes you and your *primary* reason for visiting MDN?

Landowner (56%, 344 Votes)
Work for energy/related company (16%, 97 Votes)
Other (10%, 62 Votes)
Job seeker (8%, 46 Votes)
Work for non-energy company (6%, 37 Votes)
Environmentalist (3%, 18 Votes)
Work for government (1%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 613

This Week’s Poll: Sue NY?

Word leaked this past week, via the Gannett news service, that new legislation is about to be introduced into the New York Assembly that would further delay the beginning of hydraulic fracturing until June 2013, another year and a half from now (see this MDN story). In case the casual observer thought New York was just being extra careful and doing lots of homework before allowing shale gas drilling, this latest initiative exposes these ongoing delay efforts for what they are: an attempt to stop horizontal drilling, forever. Extremists who oppose drilling will not change their minds—they will only accept no drilling. They aren’t interested in safe drilling. Another delay like this one further helps them marshal and organize to prevent fracking from ever happening in New York.

Also this past week, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo was due to mention fracking in his State of the State speech. It was a short, bland, generic two paragraphs in his prepared remarks. But when he delivered the speech, he chose to leave it out (see this MDN story). A sign of the governor’s caving support for drilling?

MDN said the following at the end of the story on new legislation about to be introduced in the Assembly:

MDN’s view: As a New York resident, I am distressed at the ongoing delays. Fracking is safe when done right, and there’s no reason to further delay its introduction to New York. It’s obvious that Joe Martens, Commissioner of the DEC, is intentionally delaying its introduction so that opposition, like this new legislation, has time to organize and eventually kill drilling outright. Since new drilling rules will not be released any time soon, it’s time for landowners and non-landowners who support drilling to unite and litigate. If it’s going to take years anyway, better to start the process now using the law, which is on our side, to force the state to stop violating our property rights.

What do you think? Humor me here: Assume I am right and that the game plan is to delay drilling in NY long enough to kill it permanently. Should landowners who want to lease their land, and business owners who would see their business revenues increase, and job seekers who would get a job in the drilling industry, and government officials who would see boatloads of new tax revenue, and non-landowners (like MDN) who are tired of their neighbors’ property rights being violated, band together and sue the state to force the issue? Is it now time to litigate? Register your vote on the right-hand side of any page.

Below are the most recent “top 5” lists and the calendar of Marcellus related events for the next two weeks.

Happy reading,
Jim Willis, Editor

Five Most Viewed Stories This Past Week (Jan 1st – Jan 7th)

  1. Teamsters Marcellus Pipeline Workers Walk Out on Strike (1/4/12)
  2. Chesapeake’s Utica Shale Mystery JV Partner Revealed (1/3/12)
  3. Ohio Offers Shell Cracker Plant $1.4B in Tax Incentives (1/2/12)
  4. Youngstown Earthquake and Fracking: Is There a Connection? (1/2/12)
  5. China Makes $2.2B Investment in U.S. Shale, Including Utica (1/4/12)

Five Most Viewed Stories Last 30 Days (Dec 8th – Jan 7th)

  1. Teamsters Marcellus Pipeline Workers Walk Out on Strike (1/4/12)
  2. Surprise Announcement of Ethane Cracker Plant in WV (12/12/11)
  3. Major Discovery – Chesapeake Energy Strikes Oil (and Gas) in Ohio’s Utica Shale (7/29/11)
  4. Pavillion, WY – Smoking Gun that Proves Fracking is Unsafe? (12/9/11)
  5. WV Has New Marcellus Drilling Law in Record Time (12/15/11)

MDN Calendar (Jan 8th – Jan 21st)

Maryland

New York

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Virginia

Webcasts/Online

Elsewhere

  • Anonymous

    Jim,
     Think about this for a moment. I don’t think there would be a consensus to do anything until the state says no to hydro-fracking ; that decision may not be made until summer or later.Then, how long do you think a lawsuit against the State of New York would take assuming that, in the end, landowners won? Two,three years or more perhaps? Who is going to pay for it?
      Why not outflank the anti-crowd by putting our efforts and resources into  making a deal with oil companys to license the alternative LPG fracking techology  which is allowed under existing state law.With such an agreement , logistically, wells could be fracked in New York before the end of the year.

  • Anonymous

    I think the problem lies in the Halliburton Loophole.  If fracking is so safe then why did Cheney have to meet with the energy companies behind closed doors to sidestep clean and safe air and water acts among other agency guidelines and restrictions. A year and a half is no time.  The negative impact of this process could take ten to twenty years before data is corralated and the health impact on humans and ecology can be established.  Even though drilling has been around for some time fracking has been used for a little more than ten years.  Here where I live in Ohio the drilling companies run tv ads proclaiming the safety of fracking by saying that frac water contains sand and chemicals found in shampoo, dish liquid, laundry detergent and ice cream.  They must think that sounds safe but I wouldn’t add any of them to the water I drink and it is evident that they have left out the more dangerous ones such as hydrochloric acid.  In my home town I am not so interested in banning this gas recovery but I wish we could slow down this process and get more information. The people need time to do baseline testing and the community leaders need to establish advisory committees to study the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of this gas recovery process as well as plan for the associated growth of our community.   This shale has been here for 380 million years…it’s not going anywhere.

  • I recognize that it’s an uphill battle, and likely won’t garner enough support to move forward right now. But let me be clear, if you think replacing water fracking with LPG fracking will appease them, you’re wrong. This is not about science, which clearly shows it’s safe already. It’s about ideology: that fossil fuels are evil.

  • Nice try, but go try these hackneyed, worn-out excuses somewhere else. There is no reason to delay it, you have no proof that fracking pollutes as you say it does.

  • Anonymous

    If fracking doesn’t pollute tell me why they had to go behind closed doors to exempt the drilling companies from the Clean and Safe Drinking Water Acts.  Also why do people who settle over contamination have to sign gag orders.

  • Anonymous

    Jim,
    You don’t have to appease them; the law already allows fracking without water.To stop LPG fracking the State would have to change current GEIS which has been in use for almost two decades.

  • Anonymous

    EPA headquarters, Washington, D.C.In what is sure to be a pivotal finding in the future regulation of the hydraulic fracturing industry in this country, the Environmental Protection Agency published a 120 page report today concluding that the process known as ‘fracking’ does indeed cause contamination of water supply.The EPA study, based on analysis of water from test well sites in Pavillion, Wyoming, concluded that the contaminants — predominantly glycol ethers — were most likely due to seepage from the gas-drilling process. The analysis showed that the groundwater in this area contained at least 10 organic compounds known to be present in fracking fluid (note: there are believed to be scores, if not hundreds more, chemical compounds in this fluid of unknown identity).The EPA draft report, entitled ‘Investigation of Ground Contamination near
    Pavillion, Wyoming’, states:“The presence of synthetic compounds such as glycol ethers…and the assortment of other organic components is explained as the result of direct mixing of hydraulic fracturing fluids with ground water in the Pavillion gas field…”The report also notes that:“Alternative explanations were carefully considered.”The report would seem to bury many of the claims made by the Gas Industry concerning the safety of the fracturing process. One of the main arguments used to assert the safety of the process is that the hydraulic pressure would force fluid (only) downward, and not upward, and futher, that the deeper geologic layers pose a “water tight barrier” against the chemical moving up towards the surface (where drinking water aquifers are often located).Source: Planetsave (//s.tt/14Lhk)
    EPA headquarters, Washington, D.C.In what is sure to be a pivotal finding in the future regulation of the hydraulic fracturing industry in this country, the Environmental Protection Agency published a 120 page report today concluding that the process known as ‘fracking’ does indeed cause contamination of water supply.The EPA study, based on analysis of water from test well sites in Pavillion, Wyoming, concluded that the contaminants — predominantly glycol ethers — were most likely due to seepage from the gas-drilling process. The analysis showed that the groundwater in this area contained at least 10 organic compounds known to be present in fracking fluid (note: there are believed to be scores, if not hundreds more, chemical compounds in this fluid of unknown identity).The EPA draft report, entitled ‘Investigation of Ground Contamination near
    Pavillion, Wyoming’, states:“The presence of synthetic compounds such as glycol ethers…and the assortment of other organic components is explained as the result of direct mixing of hydraulic fracturing fluids with ground water in the Pavillion gas field…”The report also notes that:“Alternative explanations were carefully considered.”The report would seem to bury many of the claims made by the Gas Industry concerning the safety of the fracturing process. One of the main arguments used to assert the safety of the process is that the hydraulic pressure would force fluid (only) downward, and not upward, and futher, that the deeper geologic layers pose a “water tight barrier” against the chemical moving up towards the surface (where drinking water aquifers are often located).Source: Planetsave (//s.tt/14Lhk)
    EPA headquarters, Washington, D.C.In what is sure to be a pivotal finding in the future regulation of the hydraulic fracturing industry in this country, the Environmental Protection Agency published a 120 page report today concluding that the process known as ‘fracking’ does indeed cause contamination of water supply.The EPA study, based on analysis of water from test well sites in Pavillion, Wyoming, concluded that the contaminants — predominantly glycol ethers — were most likely due to seepage from the gas-drilling process. The analysis showed that the groundwater in this area contained at least 10 organic compounds known to be present in fracking fluid (note: there are believed to be scores, if not hundreds more, chemical compounds in this fluid of unknown identity).The EPA draft report, entitled ‘Investigation of Ground Contamination near
    Pavillion, Wyoming’, states:“The presence of synthetic compounds such as glycol ethers…and the assortment of other organic components is explained as the result of direct mixing of hydraulic fracturing fluids with ground water in the Pavillion gas field…”The report also notes that:“Alternative explanations were carefully considered.”The report would seem to bury many of the claims made by the Gas Industry concerning the safety of the fracturing process. One of the main arguments used to assert the safety of the process is that the hydraulic pressure would force fluid (only) downward, and not upward, and futher, that the deeper geologic layers pose a “water tight barrier” against the chemical moving up towards the surface (where drinking water aquifers are often located).Source: Planetsave (//s.tt/14Lhk)
    Newest EPA Report Confirms Fracking Fluids Contaminating Pavillion, Wyoming Water SupplySource: Planetsave (//s.tt/14Lhk)
    Check dec.10 New York Times Epa prove Wyoming wells comtaminated from gas well fracking.  If this site is for nothing more than spreading positive propaganda for the industry let me know I won’t post here

  • Kathleen Ryan

    FYI ~ Sam Bernhardt of Roslyn, the Long Island organizer for Food & Water Watch, apparently believes he represents all New Yorkers, and all Long Islanders, as evident in his Letter to the Editor to Newsday on 1/6/12. I wanted to provide a link, but his letter doesn’t appear on Newsday’s site. 
    It’s entitled, “Ban hydrofracking in New York State.” Mr. Bernhardt wrote:”New Yorkers know that natural gas collection by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will adversely affect our entire state, and refuse to be divided into upstate-downstate [“EPA report adds to concern on fracking,” News, Dec. 9]. Long Islanders made this clear last Thursday, when more than 50 of us gathered in Manhasset to send a message to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and our state senators: Ban fracking in New York. Long Island wastewater treatment facilities could become destinations for used fracking fluid. The mixture of water, sand and chemicals is toxic when it goes into the ground and radioactive when it comes out.”

  • Good job Jim!
     I know it’s tough to give these uninformed Y2K Hippie Fools factual information-its never the facts they want-its the doomday scenrio they want to fabricate so they can save the world from the comfort of their energy guzzling homes-and somewhere in that they find some sort of self worth…and so they sleep better.
    If only their mothers would have paid them more attention in the crib…

    Oh and as for Cheny closed door meetings ( I was there) the actual discussion was concerning the continued use of “Kryptonite” in the fracking fluid…if word had leaked on this it would be bad! What we actually did was change the fracking formula to a “Dilithium Crystal” based formula that allowed us to frack further and at warp speed!
    Keep up the great site!
    Curtis (Drilling Ahead)

  • You make a great point for the LPG frack and i am sure thats an alternative. The attempt here is to stall drilling long enough that producers wont be able to honor the “Held By Produstion” agreements in the leases and will lose them-costing billions to renew.

    LPG may be legal now-just like normal fracking was when the producers paid billions to lease all these mineral rights-but the anti crowd would soon state claims that this also was killing them (even without fact or study)

    Then politicians more worried about votes than facts would start another 1500’s style Salem Witch Hunt and proclaim all drilling must stop-FOR IT IS EVIL AND OF THE DEVIL

  • virtuallyme

    that is not true, and you should question every other ‘fact’ you’ve been spoon fed.  No exemption, hydraulic fracturing never was regulated under the federal SWDA in the 1st place(states regulate it) you can’t be exempted from something that never applied.
    and that is not the topic here

  • virtuallyme

    “What do you think? Humor me here: Assume I am right ” 
    do you want our opinion or do you want us to humor you? 
    or do you want us to humor you so you can then tell yourself that IS our opinion?Cuomo is not caving,  it is not yet time to litigate but that time may be fast approaching

  • Thanks for the smile Curtis. 🙂

  • Good point! One I make from time to time, but grow tired of making. And that is, fracking never was regulated by the EPA in the first place, so how can it be a loophole that it was not included?

  • Poll results thus far seem to indicate I’m not alone in my opinion on this topic.

  • Anonymous

    You are an uneducated idiot. And you really want two decades worth of tests done? It’s gonna be nice when I come to your hometown and make the money that was right under your nose. I also work for the company you mentioned and they are not lying to you about your precious water. They have been doing this kind of work in my state for some time now. What we have here in the northeast is a bunch of crybabies who have never seen the benefits of the oil/gas industry. Just so you know at the most they are probably only fracing out to about 150 feet from the center of the well and that is thousands of feet below your aquafier. Anotheer thing you should know about Halliburton since I hear it brought up so much is that they didn’t have anything to do with the blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. They do have in their possession copies of all the emails sent to BP regarding how to cement the well and BP chose to ignore the experts.

  • Pingback: MDN Weekly Update – Feb 19, 2012: MDN Predicts Where Cracker Plant Will be Built | RefineryNews.com()

  • Pingback: MDN Weekly Update – Mar 4, 2012: Shale Gas Jobs | RefineryNews.com()

  • Pingback: MDN Weekly Update – Apr 1, 2012: Waterless Fracking | RefineryNews.com()