Sometimes MDN thinks the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is more of a public relations press release-generating agency rather than an agency to protect the environment. They issue a multitude of press releases—every day. But when they find that another 20 wells in Dimock, PA are fine and have not been (never were) chemically contaminated by hydraulic fracturing, not a single public press release on it. Oh it gets reported, but the EPA slips a short message to the government’s “other” PR agency, the Associated Press. And the good ole AP will warp and spin it in just the right way to please the government overlords.
The oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania is not sitting on the sidelines idly while a group of municipalities attempts to temporarily halt, and eventually overturn the new Act 13 drilling legislation passed earlier this year. Seven municipalities along with an enviro-leftist group and a doctor are suing the state to stop Act 13 (see this MDN story for background, and this guest post from one of the litigants).
The Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association and the Marcellus Shale Coalition have filed a petition seeking to join the lawsuit—on the other side, trying to stop the lawsuit by the municipalities.
Last week, MDN reported the comments made by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as he toured a drilling “man camp” in the Bakken Shale of North Dakota (see this MDN story). Salazar made the comment that his Interior department is working on new rules for hydraulic fracturing, which seems premature given that the Environmental Protection Agency, another federal agency, is working on a multi-year study of fracking. We now know that the rules Salazar was referring to are for fracking on federal lands that come under the jurisdiction of Bureau of Land Management, an Interior sub-agency. We also now have industry reaction to his statement.
The State University of New York (SUNY) system with 64 campuses across the state has its first bona fide shale institute, but it’s not located in the hotbed of where shale drilling will happen, when it happens. Drilling will likely be prevalent in what is known as the Southern Tier of New York, counties like Broome, Tioga, Chemung, Steuben, and perhaps northward into Tompkins, Cortland and Chenango, and east to Otsego, and Delaware. That’s likely where you’ll see the first permits and the first wells drilled.
But the first SUNY shale institute will be located at the University of Buffalo. From the UB press release:
An interesting article in yesterday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explores how drilling firms and wildlife groups are working together to protect endangered species and reviving long-gone habitats for other species. It begins this way:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: