MDN reported earlier this week that certain key New York State senators (and others) were signaling that if/when hydraulic fracturing is allowed to go forward in the state, it may only happen in communities that support it (see this MDN story). We now have further confirmation that indeed that will likely be the case from none other than Joe Martens, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
The Town of Bethel, in Sullivan County, NY, was home to the Woodstock “music festival” in 1969. Bethel is also the latest New York township to ban hydraulic fracturing. Both events have at least one thing in common: They’re both supported by hippies and hippie-wannabes.
Last night, the Bethel town board voted 5-0 to ban fracking before a “crowd” of 70 in attendance:
There’s been no shortage of pejorative media coverage painting the small town of Dimock, PA (in Susquehanna County) as the new Love Canal—a chemical wasteland. The image portrayed in a constant drumbeat by mainstream media, and Hollywood celebrities, is that Marcellus Shale gas drilling has fouled the water in and around Dimock. MDN will not recount the history of Dimock, just do a search on MDN for a myriad of background stories.
What you need to know is that the water is clean (proven clean by multiple tests, the latest of which is from the federal EPA themselves). And what you further need to know is that anti-drillers, in their zeal to find one place, anyplace, they can point to where water was affected by drilling, has unfairly destroyed the reputation of this innocent town.
Wednesday night, Scott Township, PA commissioners unanimously voted to pass a resolution showing symbolic (but no real) support for the PA townships that have sued the State of Pennsylvania over provisions in the new Act 13 Marcellus drilling law. The lawsuit takes exception to state rules replacing local zoning laws that control oil and gas drilling.
Scott is just the latest municipality, in addition to Pittsburgh, Tullytown, Wilkinson, Luzerne, Buffalo, Hanover and other municipalities who have also expressed support, but refuse to actually join the lawsuit (see this MDN story).
Japan needs natural gas and they need it badly. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, Japan has shut down 49 of their 50 nuclear reactors. That spells an impending shortage of electricity in the country. One of the ways to make it up is by using natural gas. Natural gas currently costs over $17 per million BTUs (mmBtu) in Asia. The U.S. commodity price of natural gas is currently under $2 mmBtu. So Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp and Tokyo Gas Co Ltd are in talks with Dominion Resources to import up to 2.3 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for 20 years starting in 2017.
Chesapeake Energy announced yesterday that the program they’ve had in place with CEO Aubrey McClendon that grants him 2.5 percent ownership and participation in every well drilled by the company (called the Founder Well Participation Program) will end in 2015 at the latest, and possibly sooner. The company also seemed to backpedal a bit from an earlier statement that the board was “fully aware” of McClendon’s private financing deals, deals that he used to cover his 2.5 percent portion of drilling expenses.
From the Chesapeake press release:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: