Depending on which news source you read, yesterday’s anti-fracking protest rally and march in Albany, NY drew “hundreds” of protesters, “more than 1,000” or “about 1,200.” Any way you slice it, there were a lot of loud-mouthed people in Albany yesterday, trying to catch the attention of one person: Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
A few “famous people” were there as well, which is what caught the attention of the media. People like actress Debra Winger (who lives in Sullivan County, NY) and author Bill McKibben (writes about climate change).
Josh Fox of Gasland fame was there too, although he doesn’t even rate a mention in the Albany Times Union story, and just a brief mention in the Gannett story. Guess Josh’s 15 minutes of fame is now about over.
Pennsylvania’s newly passed Act 13 was an important update to the state’s oil and natural gas drilling laws, but it didn’t do the whole job. Written into the Act 13 law itself is a requirement for the regulatory rewrite of the state’s 1984 Oil and Gas Act. That process has now begun.
Two weeks ago, the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a 23-page “concept paper” of proposed changes to the agency’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board (a copy is embedded below). It’s essentially a list identifying sections of the law with brief comments on changes (not intended to be the final language of a new law). The changes cover important issues like well location restrictions, water supply protection, predrilling surveys, application requirements, erosion and sedimentation controls, wastewater controls, standards for pit and tank containment and more.
Authorities in Plum Borough, near Pittsburgh, PA, believe there has been illegal dumping of Marcellus brine (wastewater)—two times—into its municipal sewer treatment system. The following notice offering a $1,000 reward was published today:
The path is now cleared for hydraulic fracturing and Utica shale gas drilling to begin in Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio. The U.S. Forest Service, after holding off on a decision about fracking in the forest until a study was completed, has concluded that fracking is safe to do and has approved a plan to move forward with it.
It’s idle speculation, but hey, we all love to idly speculate, right? An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal speculates that Chevron, with a heaping mound of cash—$21 mind-blowing billion to be exact, is in the hunt to buy a smaller company, or two.
Among the names speculated about is none other than Chesapeake Energy. Another is Hess.
An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer written by a staff writer who also maintains their “green blog” (i.e., someone who is opposed to shale gas drilling) has penned a fair representation of how the drilling and fracking issue has divided communities, and even families, in New York’s Southern Tier.
The witch hunt at the University at Buffalo (UB) continues. This time 83 UB faculty members have taken up their pitchforks and torches to aid in the hunt against the university’s new Shale Resources and Society Institute.
Anti-drilling Bloomberg news is only too happy to lend a megaphone to the effort:
The Penn State Extension Marcellus Education Team has just announced a new monthly shale webinar series, which begins on Thursday, Sept. 13 from 1:00-2:00 pm. The topic of the first session is a general overview of the Marcellus Shale with latest trends and updates. MDN has attended previous Penn State Extension webinars—they’re well worth your time.
Here’s the press release announcing the series along with the list of topics for future sessions:
Lee Fuller, executive director of Energy in Depth (EID), an industry-backed public relations firm, recently sent along some free advice to Josh Fox about his forthcoming ficpic Gasland 2. In the form of an open letter, Fuller provides a devastating rebuttal of the lies Fox aired in the original Gasland.
What lies? The lie about the water supply in Dimock, PA being contaminated by chemicals from fracking (it wasn’t, as proven by the EPA). The lie that areas where fracking exists have higher rates of breast cancer (they don’t, as proven by breast cancer organizations). The lie that fracking caused methane in a water well in Colorado, the famous flaming faucet (the methane in that well was not caused by fracking, admitted to by Fox himself). The list goes on.
We embed the full letter below for your edification and education. Well done Lee!