Corporate Raider Carl Icahn Sets His Sights on Chesapeake

corporate raiderLate last Friday, corporate raider Carl Icahn filed what’s known as a 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose he has taken a rather large stake in Chesapeake Energy. Friday morning MDN posted a story outlining who owns how much of Chesapeake’s stock (at least for outside shareholders)—see this MDN story. At the time it was rumored that Icahn’s stake was around 4 percent.

We now know his stake is much higher than that.

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Brooke County WV Schools Get $661K in Lease Payments

Brooke County Schools in West Virginia are eager to have Chesapeake Energy drill under school-owned property. But Ohio County Schools, also in WV, don’t want Chesapeake drilling near their schools. What’s the difference? One is getting a boatload of money in lease (and eventually royalty) payments. The other isn’t.

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UB Backs Away from Own Shale Institute’s New Study

A few weeks ago the new natural gas institute at SUNY University at Buffalo (UB) released a 52-page study that found environmental problems caused by Marcellus Shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania were isolated, mostly minor and on the decline (see this MDN story for a copy of the study). The high priests of the enviro-left could not let a study favorable to the drilling industry stand, so a fast and furious mud-slinging contest began to see if they could besmirch, ridicule, criticize and otherwise try to blunt the effect of such a study. Their concerted (and coordinated?) campaign is having an effect.

The University at Buffalo is now distancing itself from the study, even though the study was rigorous and academically sound. Such are the vagaries (and lack of intestinal fortitude) in academe.

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PA Dems Blame Marcellus Drilling for Smallmouth Bass Problem

Since 2005, smallmouth bass along a 100-mile stretch of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania have been hit with “outbreaks” of bacterial infections. Because of it, the PA Fish and Boat Commission wants the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to designate that part of the river as “impaired” which would free up money to conduct additional tests.

The DEP says there’s not enough evidence to put the river on the impaired list, yet. But what’s really happening is that a scientific issue is quickly becoming a political football. An all-too-familiar pattern is repeating itself with the smallmouth bass issue. Democrats, like Congressman Camille “Bud” George, want to blame it on Marcellus Shale drilling in the region, without any evidence.

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PA Dems Introduce 6 New Bills to “Fix” Act 13 Drilling Law

Pennsylvania Democrats have introduced a series of six grandstanding bills into the state legislature called the “Marcellus Compact” that stand no chance of passage. But that’s not why they introduced them. The purpose is to have an issue they can demagogue as they try to win back control of one or both state houses in the next election.

According to the Dems and the sycophantic media that supports them:

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New Gas-Fired Electric Power Plant in Ohio

Another story about how electric generating plants are switching from coal to natural gas. This one comes from Ohio, where Appalachian Power brought a newly completed gas-fired plant in February near Dresden. Why switch from coal to gas? It’s all in the economics. The cost of coal has skyrocketed from $43.75 per ton in 2007 to $63.78 in 2011, an increase of 46 percent. At the same time, natural gas has gone from over $14 per million Btus to around $2.70 today. Need we say more?

But at what price is it more economical to use coal rather than natural gas? Thanks to Appalachian Power, we now know.

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PA Court Overturns Lower Court on Zoning Compressor Plants

A new ruling in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court will have far-reaching implications for municipalities that try to apply zoning regulations to a select part of the drilling process, like compressor stations. Compressor stations are necessary to move gas along pipelines—from the well to a point where the gas can be processed and eventually sold. A three judge panel has just overturned a lower court’s decision on whether or not townships can regulate compressors separately from other drilling activities.

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