Once again opponents of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett are using the Associated Press to try and smear him over the issue of drilling. The latest “hit piece” against the governor comes over the issue of a recent Executive Order (EO) he issued which a) requires drillers and others requiring permits—pipelines, compressors, etc.—to supply fully completed paperwork, and b) if they do, encourages DEP employees to process that paperwork and respond in a timely manner.
So the AP is going after Gov. Corbett for his desire to provide good customer service. You just have to shake your head. Here’s the background and details:
Landowners in the Town of Caroline (Tompkins County, NY) are about to have their constitutionally protected property rights stripped away by the anti-drilling town board. Elections do have consequences, and last November two level-headed pro-drilling board members were tossed in favor of anti-drillers. What follows? Citizens are denied their constitutional rights.
Thursday night the town board will hold a freak show public hearing on their proposed fracking ban:
Bloomberg, perhaps the most anti-drilling large media company aside from Reuters, targets FracFocus.org in an elaborately long negative article. FracFocus is a website sponsored by the drilling industry where companies either voluntarily, or by state mandate, list the chemical composition of the fracking fluids they use for individual wells they drill. The public can find out what chemicals are used in well drilling nearby.
Bloomberg wants you to believe the website is just a sham, a pretense offered by the drilling industry in an attempt to cover up the dirty, filthy drilling they really do. And while Bloomberg is driving their anti-drilling message down the highway at 120 mph attempting to run over FracFocus, they swerve into the other lane and try to hit as many drilling companies head-on as they can along the way, just for good measure.
A new story from the AP is just so bizarre, it’s actually funny. The theme of the story? The shale energy industry is providing too many good paying jobs. Yep—you read that right. At a time when both Republicans and Democrats talk about jobs, jobs, jobs, the AP says if an industry provides too many jobs, and they pay too well, that’s actually a bad thing. What kind of mental gymnastics do you have to go through to arrive at that conclusion?
Here’s how the AP “story” starts—the setting is Woodward, Oklahoma:
Newfield Exploration is plugging three exploratory wells they drilled in Wayne County, PA in 2010. Why? They won’t comment on what they found in the wells, but the fact is, the Delaware River Basin Commission controls drilling in most of Wayne County and the DRBC has so far not allowed drilling in the Marcellus Shale. They currently have an ongoing review process for new rules to allow drilling, but the sitting members of the Commission have not voted to release the rules.
So to comply with PA Dept. of Environmental Protection rules, Newfield is plugging the wells—at least for now.
The Marcellus and Utica Shale formations only just skirt the outer edge of the State of Virginia—almost following a path along it’s western border with West Virginia and Kentucky. So the great debate over drilling and fracking has not really touched Virginia in a significant way—until now.
The Roanoke Times reports there is now a “battle” over fracking in The Old Dominion state:
The Utica Shale underlies part of the Canadian province of Quebec. But development of the Utica is currently on hold while a government panel studies and reviews the miracle of hydraulic fracturing, just to be sure it’s safe.
In the meantime, drillers like Lone Pine Resources, with leased acreage in Quebec’s Utica Shale, wait. While they’re waiting, they’ve sized up the potential reserves they own in the Utica, and for Lone Pine, it’s big.
David Drennon is marketing and transportation manager with H.G. Energy LLC in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He spoke yesterday at the Parkersburg Rotary Club weekly meeting about development of natural gas from Marcellus Shale deposits and oil from Utica Shale deposits. He offered these observations and predictions about shale development in WV: