NETL Study of Faults & Fracking, Are We Being Set Up?

The Set UpUsing Greene County, Pennsylvania as a living laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is testing whether or not faults, or large cracks that sometimes exist through multiple rock layers, can create a pathway for hydraulic fracturing fluids to migrate to aquifers.

That is, they’re testing whether or not fracking can pollute groundwater supplies under certain conditions.

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NY Women’s Pro-Drilling Group Rallies in Albany Today

In what is sure to rankle the anti-drilling movement, a new group of women have formed a pro-drilling group called “The Women’s Energy Leadership Coalition.” The new Coalition is holding a rally in Albany today to bring legislators the message that natural gas drilling can be done responsibly and safely, and New York desperately needs it—now.

The Coalition’s leader is Uni Blake, an environmental toxicologist and mother of five. Other leaders in the new coalition group are women of distinction with degrees in engineering and environmental sciences. One of the highlights of today’s meeting? A showing of Truthland, a movie made refuting Josh Fox’s fiction Gasland.

From the press release:

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Anti-Drillers Show Their True Colors in DEC/EPA Email Fracas

Apparently the anti-drillers found comments they did not like in the back and forth email correspondence between the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). MDN reported yesterday on a story by Gannett about emails between the two agencies they acquired under the Freedom of Information Law (see this MDN story). MDN noted there are some interesting tidbits in the emails, but nothing earth-shattering. No new revelations.

But apparently the anti-drillers disagree. They found things they definitely did not like, and they’re making noise about it. Here’s a statement issued by the anti-drilling group Frack Action:

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Albany County, NY Bans Fracking for 2 Years

Ever so gradually the “body count” continues to rise in New York. No, not that body count. The body count of municipalities that enact bans against fracking.

Albany County (with a high concentration of liberal Democrats, so it comes as no surprise) is the latest municipality to ban fracking—but at least this ban is confined to county-owned land:

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OH Gov. Kasich Signs New Drilling Law – Now, Back to Taxes

John KasichYesterday Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed new oil and gas legislation into law that will impact shale gas drilling in his state. For a summary of what’s in the new law, see this previous MDN story. Kasich said during the signing ceremony: "We were not going to develop shale gas at the expense of the environment…we have contained in this bill the most aggressive, clearest, fairest and strongest fracking regulations that you can find anywhere in the country." He later claimed that Ohio’s new law is, “the toughest law on fracking fluid in America.”

What happens next? Kasich has promised to return to pushing his plan to tax the shale drilling industry and pass along the proceeds as a small income tax cut to Ohioans:

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“Dallas” Remake is Anti-Drilling, Anti-Fracking Propaganda

New DallasRemember J.R. and Bobby and Sue Ellen and Pam? As in, the Ewings? For those of us who came of age during the 70s and 80s, watching Dallas on CBS Friday nights was a given. The original series ran from 1978-1991. Well tomorrow night, Dallas is back. The 80s primetime soap is being remade and will debut on the TNT network.

Here’s the interesting thing about the new series: it pits J.R.’s son as the bad boy who (gasp) likes to drill for oil, and Bobby’s son (adopted) is the good boy who wants to use alternative renewable sources of energy. Oh, and fracking is evil, of course! Pluezz. Talk about a Hollywood, hackneyed caricature that employs all the stereotypes.

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Will Natural Gas Replace Gasoline?

Oilprice.com conducted a wide-ranging interview of energy trader and author Raymond Learsy ostensibly about his new book, Oil and Finance: The Epic Corruption Continues, which looks at corruption within the oil sector. But the interview turned in an interesting direction: a discussion about how natural gas could conceivably replace gasoline.

During the interview, Learsy takes the New York Times to task for their yellow journalism against the natural gas industry. On the topic of fracking, Learsy said this:

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