Details of Gov. John Kasich’s plan to raise taxes on the nascent shale drilling industry in Ohio (see this MDN story) are starting to leak out. Gov. Kasich plans to unveil his plans officially next week, but here’s what we know so far:
Wiser heads have prevailed in the upstate New York Finger Lakes community of Auburn—the Auburn city council has voted to once again allow the municipal sewage treatment plant to accept gas drilling wastewater.
As you may recall, MDN told you about protesters who descended on the tiny city of Auburn last year to protest not Marcellus wastewater being treated at the sewage plant, but local conventional gas drilling wastewater—something that had been going on for 15 years with no adverse effects (see this MDN story). In the rush to condemn fracking and prevent horizontal drilling in the state, ignorant protesters have fallen into the trap of protesting all gas drilling in the state—drilling that has gone on for decades.
The Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2) and the IRRC Institute yesterday released a new report titled “Discovering Shale Gas: An Investor Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing” (a copy of the 74-page report is embedded below). The report provides an in-depth look at the environmental and social impacts of shale gas development, identifies key questions for investors and includes 10 drilling company profiles. An expert panel representing industry, environmental groups and investor activists provided input to the report.
On the issue of hydraulic fracturing and shale gas drilling, the New York Republican party keeps shooting itself in the head. The latest example is a ridiculous bill just introduced into the state legislature by Long Island Republican Senator Jack Martins, 7th Senate District:
Gastar Exploration released fourth quarter 2011 results yesterday. The fourth quarter was very good for Gastar in the Marcellus, with a 1700 percent increase in average daily gas production from fourth quarter 2010, and a 179 percent increase from just the previous (third) quarter 2011. As is typical of other companies, Gastar is dedicating $88.9 million of a planned $103 million Marcellus budget (86 percent) for drilling in the liquids-rich area of the Marcellus.
Here’s the Marcellus play update from the Gastar press release:
Exxon Mobil and General Electric announced yesterday that each company is investing $1 million to help fund training in shale development best practices at three universities, including PennState.
Ohio State Rep. Jay Goyal introduced legislation yesterday to tighten regulation of injection wells used for disposing Marcellus and Utica Shale wastewater. Key provisions of the bill include:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: