Residents who live in New York townships that can’t seem to wait to ban drilling should be aware of something. These bans are bans of all gas drilling, not just horizontal hydraulic fracturing. That’s what residents in Enfield (Tompkins County), NY found out on Wednesday at a meeting with the town attorney. The Enfield town board plans to vote to enact a one-year moratorium in late April or early May, and the moratorium is on vertical as well as horizontal gas well drilling.
Move over Josh Fox and Gasland. There’s a new documentary on the way that will set the record straight and deliver the real truth about fracking. The new documentary is appropriately named FrackNation. Filmmaker and journalist Phelim McAleer is working on it now. In today’s New York Post, McAleer writes about how he was inspired by Josh Fox’s legal bullying into creating it:
For all of President Obama’s talk about the promise of shale gas and his support of it, once again he and his administration’s actions do not match the talk. On Wednesday, Obama’s Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, told a congressional hearing that his department is going to issue new federal regulations to control hydraulic fracturing.
This is a clear violation of state’s rights to regulate oil and gas development within their own borders. But unconstitutionally ceasing power is nothing new for the Obama administration. The end result of these new regulations will be to slow down new shale drilling domestically.
Researchers from the Polish Geological Institute have just released a study of the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. Poland has its own shale deposit, the Silurian shale, which is thought to contain the right mix of high organic content to make it productive for shale gas drilling. The Poles keep hearing from the United States how controversial fracking is, so they decided to conduct their own study. What did they find?
The study found that soil, air and water are all just fine if drilling is done according to regulations. That is, hydraulic fracturing is safe. A copy of the report summary is embedded below. This is the accompanying press release issued by the Institute:
Three companies are joining forces to spend $1 billion to build a new Marcellus natural gas pipeline that runs from northern Pennsylvania to Maryland. Most major pipelines head in the other direction, trying to tap into northeastern markets like New York and Boston. But Inergy, UGI and WGL, the three partners, have a different take. They want to send gas in the other direction—to the Mid-Atlantic region—and along the way service markets including Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Dubbed the Commonwealth Pipeline, this new 200 mile, 30-inch pipeline will start in Lycoming County, PA where Inergy is currently building a gathering pipeline to connect Marcellus wells in Bradford and Sullivan counties, and from there go south through central and eastern PA, eventually connecting to WGL’s gas distribution system near Rockville, MD. The new pipeline will connect with other major pipelines along its route allowing gas to move bi-directionally.
From the Inergy press release:
About 75 people picketed in front of Rex Energy’s offices in downtown Butler, PA yesterday afternoon. They were protesting the decision by the PA Department of Environmental Protection that allows Rex Energy to stop water deliveries to 11 families in Connoquenessing Township community (30 miles north of Pittsburgh).
The families claim that nearby Marcellus Shale drilling by Rex contaminated their water wells. Rex has been providing water to the families for the past year while the DEP conducted an investigation. The results of the investigation show that Rex’s drilling has not caused any water issues for those families.
Although new drilling activity is lessening in the Marcellus, it’s red hot in the Utica Shale. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) just issued another permit to Chesapeake to drill a horizontal well in Columbiana County, Chesapeake’s 18th permit in Columbiana. In Mahoning County, ODNR granted a permit for a new well in Goshen Township, making it seven wells for that township so far. Chesapeake holds 49 permits in Carroll County with 10 wells waiting to be fracked.
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: