An economic report released on March 30 by Penn State researchers (copy embedded below) shows that Pennsylvania counties where there is Marcellus Shale drilling do better economically—far better—than other counties.
Marcellus counties bring in more sales tax revenue, a sign that businesses and business owners and the people who have jobs at those businesses are prospering. The more drilling there is in a county, the better the county does economically. And that’s even before Act 13 Marcellus drilling impact fees are collected and distributed.
Yesterday, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) launched a new public relations offensive in Albany, NY aimed at catching the attention of lawmakers. President of the JLCNY, Dan Fitzsimmons, along with other leaders of the coalition and state senators Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) and Tom O’Mara (R-Big Flats), delivered a “Declaration of Landowner Rights” to lawmakers. The Declaration (a copy is embedded below) contains six points that the JLCNY says are constitutionally protected under federal and state law, and they are reasserting and claiming those rights.
An update on the Act 13 lawsuit filed by seven Pennsylvania municipalities and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network at the end of March (see this MDN story). Act 13 is a set of new drilling rules and regulations adopted by the PA legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Corbett in February of this year. Part of the new regs included a statute that says state rules on zoning for oil and gas drilling supersede or override local zoning laws. The seven towns and Riverkeeper sued to stop that portion of the new law and Commonwealth Court Judge Keith Quigley granted a temporary, 120 day injunction (see this MDN story).
The case will now be heard by the full nine-member Commonwealth Court between June 4-8. That’s big news. But there’s even bigger news:
According to an article published by Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FBI are investigating a series of ongoing cyber attacks against the computer networks of major natural gas pipelines in the U.S. The attackers use “spear-phishing” techniques, which use Facebook and other public sources of information to gather details about employees to send emails from alleged coworkers in order to trick them into revealing information or clicking on infected links.
Columbiana County, OH received four new drilling permits last week from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Three of the permits went to Chesapeake Energy. So far, Columbiana County has received permits to drill 32 horizontal wells in the Utica Shale.
Gastar Exploration released first quarter operating results and financials yesterday. Among the news for Gastar: although they had a net loss of $6.3 million for the first quarter, their production of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids was up 32 percent from the first quarter of last year. Why the huge increase in production?