In a preview of things to come for New York should fracking be allowed by Gov. Cuomo, an article in today’s Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin asks whether or not town board members who own land and stand to profit from leasing have a conflict of interest. The unstated answer, according to the article, is that they do.
It is the anti-drillers in New York who a) want fracking banned completely, and if that doesn’t work, b) want local municipalities to have the right to ban it. Either way they figure they’ve got their bases covered—except there are a number of municipalities where the town boards are in favor of drilling.
Another week, another “cut” at Chesapeake Energy and its flamboyant CEO Aubrey McClendon. Death by a thousand cuts will work, as long as in the end it’s death, right? And that’s exactly what the mainstream media is clamoring for.
A new hit piece by Reuters attempts to smear McClendon and in the process snags Canadian company Encana. The article, published yesterday, tries to portray McClendon and the president of Encana USA, Jeff Wojahn, as colluding to divvy up Michigan state oil and gas leases auctioned in 2010. It was an attempt to suppress prices and control the outcome of the auction, according to Reuters, and if that indeed happened, it would be a violation of federal and state laws.
Drillers who operate in Ohio are put on notice that the state is now watching how many Ohio residents are hired by the industry. Ohio State Senator Lou Gentile, Democrat from Steubenville, had the only amendment from his party to be included in the new drilling law signed by Gov. John Kasich earlier this month.
The amendment, called “Ohio Workers First,” requires the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to track hiring of residents and non-residents and create an annual report showing employment figures for the oil and gas industries in the state. The purpose? To show the “real economic impact” of drilling in the state. And to send a very loud and clear message to the industry.
Last Friday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied a request by the Marcellus Shale drilling industry to participate in the lawsuit brought by seven towns, a few individuals and “a non-profit organization” against the new Act 13 drilling law in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit seeks to overturn a portion of Act 13, the part that substitutes statewide zoning regulations for local zoning regulations when it comes to the oil and gas drilling industry.
Sensing “the end is near” in New York, the anti-drilling movement dispatched one of their big guns, Cornell professor Tony Ingraffea, to Washington, D.C. yesterday to stir the scare-you-to-death pot with New York’s congressional delegation.
The end is near for anti-drillers if Gov. Andrew Cuomo moves forward with his unannounced/announced plan to allow limited hydraulic fracturing in five (the “Lucky Five”) counties in New York State, and then only in towns that really really want it. Anti-drillers are hyperventilating over that possibility—so it’s necessary to try and influence Congress to either pressure Cuomo or override him.
The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY), a coalition of coalitions representing over 70,000 landowners, issued a statement about the unannounced/announced plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow hydraulic fracturing in five counties in New York—in a limited fashion—for the next two years. Their statement in full is embedded below.
The short version is: We’re trying to get clarification and determine what’s what, and we’re not going to criticize the governor until we hear more, and certainly not based on a newspaper article.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is investigating a possible case of methane migration due to drilling by Shell in Union Township, Tioga County (PA). A drinking water well in the area was reported to be bubbling with methane.