A new peer-reviewed study by MIT (see below) obliterates the findings and false claims made in a previous Cornell University study by Robert Howarth and Tony Ingraffea. The Cornell study tried to make the case that natural gas is actually worse for the environment than burning coal because of so-called greenhouse gas emissions from “fugitive methane” escaping into the atmosphere during the gas drilling process (see this MDN story).
A new study published in Environmental Research Letters by MIT researchers has done some actual—instead of theoretical—measurements and has found that “fugitive emissions” of methane are much smaller than Howarth and Ingraffea stated. Smaller by orders of magnitude—like only 22% of what the Cornell study theorized them to be. Oops. Paging Howarth and Ingraffea—the dean wants to see you in his office NOW.
A few weeks ago the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) announced plans to create what they call an “Energy Training Center” with the purpose of connecting Philadelphia-area residents with Marcellus Shale jobs. The president of CCP, Stephen Curtis, says the new program is essentially just a marketing campaign that repackages courses already offered by the school—there’s no new curriculum involved. Sounds like a smart move—no new courses or professors needed, repackage what you have, and put more Pennsylvanians to work. Except…
Except one professor at the school got his feelings hurt because no one told him about it before the press release was issued, and another professor is rabidly anti-drilling and opposed to it because of her twisted ideology. Both are now actively working to prevent the program from going forward. In other words, they would rather see fewer students and less income for the school if implementing this new marketing program goes against their own ideology (or selfish interest).
The massive federal government will not leave shale energy alone—that’s a given. Not because they think they can protect citizens, but because they want to control it. The latest attempt is by funding 15 research projects addressing what they consider “technical challenges to environmentally acceptable shale gas development.” The very concept is repugnant. Big-brother government choosing how an industry will do its job—what technologies it will be “allowed” to use. Welcome to Obamaland, Alice.
Yesterday the Dept. of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy announced 15 projects (“winners”) that they will fund over the next two years with $28 million of your tax money to research shale energy and ways to control it minimize it’s impact on the environment. Three of the 15 “winners” are located in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region. Here’s the announcement listing who got what from the government gravy train:
Hilcorp Energy plans to drill a Utica Shale well in Salem Township (Columbiana County), Ohio. Last night at the Salem Township trustee meeting a Hilcorp rep requested information about certain roads and made the comment that they plan to drill soon.
WorkForce West Virginia issued a new report to the WV legislature on Wednesday documenting that employment throughout WV in the oil and gas industry has increased 10% since 2008, and average wages for those workers have gone up 19%. Why? The Marcellus Shale, of course.
A few more interesting facts and figures from the report: