PA Judge Grants Injunction for Zoning Portion of Act 13 Law

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Senior Judge Keith Quigley issued a 120-day injunction yesterday to stop a small but important portion of the newly passed Act 13 Marcellus drilling law. Seven PA townships had filed a lawsuit to overturn Act 13 (see this MDN story). As part of their lawsuit, they filed a petition seeking an injunction from stopping the law from going into effect this Saturday, April 14. Judge Quigley’s injunction only deals with the provisions in the law that deal with changes to zoning regulations—the part that would replace local zoning laws with a “one size fits all” state law. Everything else in Act 13, including collection of an impact fee, will go into effect on Saturday.

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Packed House for First-Ever NY NatGas Career Expo

Jobs in the shale gas industry was the focus of the first ever Natural Gas Career and Education Expo held at Broome Community College in Binghamton, NY yesterday. MDN editor Jim Willis attended.

Upon arriving, there was a line of 50 or more people waiting to get in to a packed exhibition area with more than 40 vendors, most of whom were looking for people to fill open positions. Exhibitors ranged from large oil and gas companies like Williams, Cabot Oil & Gas and Chesapeake Energy, to environmental consulting firms, equipment dealers and educational programs. Much of the time between 3 and 7 pm the exhibit area was packed, elbow to elbow, with job seekers. Early estimates MDN heard were that more than 400 2,300 people attended the four hour event (see this article by the Press & Sun-Bulletin).

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Pittsfield, NY Votes to NOT Ban Fracking

While attending the first ever Natural Gas Career and Education Expo held at Broome Community College yesterday, MDN learned of some good news—news that does not get reported by local or statewide media. Board members for the Town of Pittsfield, NY voted earlier this week to table a measure that would ban fracking. Pittsfield is a small township in Otsego County, not far from Middlefield where a lawsuit is underway to overturn a fracking ban there.

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Anti-Drillers Now Trashing LPG Fracking

When the announcement that a group of landowners in Tioga County, NY are about to sign sign leases with eCORP to allow drilling on 135,000 acres using waterless LPG fracking, MDN cautioned against euphoria that pro-drillers finally have a method of extracting natural gas that even anti-drillers can’t complain about. We predicted something eminently predictable: They will find things to object to in LPG fracking because, there is not other way to put this, they hate fossil fuels (see this MDN story).

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Range Resources 1Q12 Production Results, PA Impact Fees

Range Resources reports today their natural gas production for the first quarter of 2012 increased 20 percent over the same period last year. Range CEO Jeff Ventura says the company is well on the way to achieving their 2012 goal of a 30-35 percent increase in production. Range also said the new impact fee in Pennsylvania will cost them $13.6 million for the first three months of 2012, as well as an additional one-time expense of $24 million, a retroactive fee to cover previous drilling (required under the new Act 13 law).

From the Range press release:

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