Former Gannett reporter and current book author Tom Wilbur (Shale Gas Review) is making a prediction: Gov. Cuomo and the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will either release new shale gas drilling rules by November 29, or file an extension and release them by March 1 of next year. Why? Because that’s exactly one year from the date the DEC held its final public hearing on proposed new fracking rules, and according to a “little-known” and obscure state law, they either have to adopt the rules (within one year) or apply for a 90-day extension.
Tom’s anti-drilling buds are telling him they think the state will move forward this year, by November 29.
CONSOL Energy has decided to stop working on the first-ever Utica Shale well in Trumbull County, Ohio saying they are “re-prioritizing” their activity in the county. Does that mean CONSOL is leaving the county?
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman tried to sue the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to force them to delay issuing drilling rules unless/until a comprehensive federal study of fracking was performed first. His frivolous lawsuit was tossed by a federal judge (see this MDN story).
Having his work repudiated by a federal judge apparently won’t stop Schneiderman from filing yet another frivolous lawsuit when and if the DRBC votes to approve Marcellus shale drilling rules. He’s keeping the threat alive:
Conventional wisdom says that in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio most (or all!) of the land available to lease for Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling is already leased. If you’re an energy company that wants a piece of the Marcellus action, you’ll have to buy acreage from a competitor.
According to newly formed energy company EdgeMarc Energy, that bit of conventional wisdom is wrong:
Drilling rigs for shale gas use a lot of electricity to power the equipment—so much electricity each drill site uses enough generators to power an entire town. Drillers make their own electricity rather than draw from the local power grid. Almost all electrical generators at well sites are powered by diesel engines. But a few enterprising companies are offering alternatives to diesel. Hey, why not use natural gas to power those engines, since you’re drilling for natural gas!
Linde North America is one of those enterprising companies. CONSOL Energy’s gas division is experimenting with a dual-fuel technology that combines liquefied natural gas (LNG) with diesel, blending them together, a technology being pioneered by Linde. CONSOL is currently testing it with three generators in the Marcellus, and according to Linde and CONSOL, the early results are promising.
Red Hook, NY (Dutchess County) is considering a ban on fracking. Leading the charge is town Conservation Advisory Council Chairwoman, Laurie Husted, who wants the town to strip away the Constitutional property rights of landowners (disenfranchise them) to ever allow natural gas drilling. She says let’s take away that right now, “when there isn’t pressure from the natural gas industry to explore on local farmland.”
Husted spoke at a town board meeting Wednesday night:
Bloomberg, one of the most anti-drilling of mainstream news organizations, has just completed a new national poll on hydraulic fracturing. Unfortunately they have not released the actual questions and responses to the poll (like other news organizations do and like they themselves have done previously). They’ve only written up their interpretation of the numbers. It’s no wonder why—according to their own interpretation the numbers show fewer people today than earlier this year think fracking should be more regulated than it is now. That is, people in general are more favorable to fracking than they were just six months ago. That’s not the kind of trend Bloomberg likes to report on.
Taken between Sept. 21-24 and polling 1,007 people across the country (and with a margin of error +/- 3.1%), here are the numbers that we can glean from the news story:
Dimock Proud, a group of landowners in the township of Dimock, PA who seek to defend their town’s reputation against unfair media attacks, recently reported that Craig and Julie Sautner, landowners in Dimock and some of the most vocal critics of Cabot Oil & Gas, settled their claim with Cabot, sold their property and left town (see this MDN story). Dimock Proud provided MDN an update on the Sautners yesterday via email.
The first pubic utility to be licensed in Pennsylvania in decades was just approved by the state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC). Leatherstocking Gas Co., a joint venture of Corning Gas Co. and Mirabito Energy Products (both headquartered in New York State) will spend the next five years installing pipelines to carry natural gas to businesses and residences in throughout rural Susquehanna County, PA.
It’s long been an irony that the county producing some of the largest volumes of natural gas in the state did not have its own natural gas utility to benefit local residents by letting them purchase some of the gas they produce—a situation now resolved.
Prepare yourself for the impending release of a Hollywood blockbuster staring Matt Damon that takes direct aim at fracking. The movie, titled Promised Land (releasing just after Christmas), attempts to cast natural gas drillers as money-grubbing villains. Yes, of course it’s fictional and those in the industry, or those of us who cover the industry, know it’s just entertainment and nothing but lies. The problem is, the larger movie-going public doesn’t know it.
You have to ask yourself, who would stand to gain if fracking in the U.S. was shut down? In fact, who would be willing to put up the millions of dollars it takes to film and market a big-budget film like this one? If you guessed the people behind it come from an oil-rich Middle Eastern country that doesn’t want to stop selling us its high-priced oil to us, you would be right.