New EARTHWORKS “Study” of Marcellus Health Effects in PA

sauce for the gooseOh lookie here. A new “research study” (full copy embedded below) has just been released by the extreme environmental anti-drilling group EARTHWORKS that says residents in Pennsylvania who live near Marcellus Shale drilling have a “pattern of health symptoms associated with oil and gas development.”

Let’s use the same standard they use to judge such studies, shall we? If any of the study’s authors have, at any point in time since birth, ever had anything to do with an anti-drilling organization, the study is instantly discredited. That’s the standard used for studies and research that are favorable to shale gas drilling—if the author of such a study has had any experience in the drilling industry, that study is tainted and must be expunged from the public discourse (see this MDN story about the University at Buffalo study and this MDN story about the University of Texas study).

The three authors of this so-called study either work for, or are related to, the enviro-left. So why wouldn’t we apply the same standard here?

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WV Shale Marcellus Drilling & Production – By the Numbers

A fantastic article in the West Virginia The State Journal takes a close look at natural gas production numbers from shale gas drilling in the state. It’s the kind of article MDN wishes it had written! In their review of the numbers, The State Journal asks a teaser question in the opening: Which county has produced the most shale gas in the state? You might guess Wetzel or Marshall counties. But you would be wrong. The county producing the most shale gas (to date, since shale gas drilling began in Dec. 2007), is Harrison County.

Here’s a few interesting highlights from this “mother load of information” article:

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Atlas Fined Twice for Same Incident – EPA Sticks Nose in PA

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to interfere in oil and gas drilling—an activity specifically regulated by states and not the federal government. Yesterday the EPA slapped Atlas Resource Partners, L.P. (owned by Atlas Energy, L.P.) with an $84,500 fine over a fire at a Marcellus drilling site in 2010—after the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) had already investigated and fined Atlas $80,000 for the same incident last year.

This is the first time both a state agency and the EPA have fined a Marcellus driller for the same incident.

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API Says EPA Botched Pavillion, WY Fracking Tests

The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued a press release yesterday taking the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to task over their sloppy work in Pavillion, Wyoming.

You may recall the EPA is on a quest to try and prove fracking has contaminated water supplies in the Pavillion area with fracking chemicals. Never mind that the drilling and fracking done in Pavillion is shallow at around 1,200 feet down (not the one mile or more that’s common in shale plays). Never mind that the water table in Pavillion is deep at 800 feet (not the 300 feet as is typical in the northeast). Never mind that drilling and fracking was done in porous sandstone in Pavillion (not tightly-packed shale deposits). And never mind the EPA drilled just two test wells, one of which didn’t produce enough water for a valid sample. (See this MDN story for more background on Pavillion.)

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South Fayette, PA Thumbs Nose at PUC over Zoning Review

Although parts of the zoning provisions in Pennsylvania’s new Act 13 Marcellus drilling law have been challenged in court and oral arguments were heard in PA Supreme Court earlier this week, there are other parts of the Act 13 law—zoning parts—that were not overturned and are not up for discussion. According to the PA Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with interpreting whether or not a town is in violation of those remaining sections, the town of South Fayette in Allegheny County is in violation and unless they revise their zoning laws, they won’t get impact fee revenue this year.

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MSC Celebrates 2012 Accomplishments, Looks Forward to 2013

The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), headquartered in Pittsburgh, is (MDN would argue) the Marcellus Shale’s premier information and advocacy organization. They are top-flight professionals in every sense. MDN editor Jim Willis attended the MSC’s SHALE GAS INSIGHT conference in Philly in September—one of the best industry events of any type he’s ever attended (protesters and all!).

Last night the MSC held its annual membership meeting at Carnegie Music Hall to celebrate and reflect on the accomplishments of 2012 and to look forward to 2013. And what a list of accomplishments it was! The MSC issued this press release about last night’s gathering:

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