NY Attorney General Investigates Towns Who Won’t Ban Fracking

abuse of powerThe out-of-control New York State Attorney General’s office (Eric Schneiderman, AG) continues to be, well, out-of-control. We’ve just learned that in October Schneiderman’s office launched an ethics investigation against board members of several townships in Broome County, NY—board members who voted on a resolution that says, in essence, “We’ll wait for the DEC before we make any decisions about whether or not to allow fracking in the town.” Those resolutions are widely seen as pro-drilling, even though the language is neither pro- nor anti-drilling.

What makes the actions of AG Schneiderman’s office so outrageous is that he has not launched any investigations of board members for towns who have voted to illegally ban fracking, even though those board members have “conflicts of interest” by siding with the environmental groups who have contributed money and manpower to their campaigns! This action by Schneiderman’s office in targeting pro-drillers is detestable, arrogant, and (MDN would argue) an abuse of power. More details…

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Latest Round of Drilling Permits Along PA/OH Border

Hilcorp received a permit last week from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to drill its 18th Utica Shale well in Lawrence County, PA. Meanwhile, Chesapeake, Noble and R.E. Gas Development received permits last week from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) to drill six new shale wells in Carroll and Harrison counties.

The details of who is drilling and where:

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Small Businesses Learn about Selling to Utica Shale Drillers

Do you work for or own a company interested in providing products or services to the drilling industry industry in eastern Ohio—specifically in and around Muskingum County? People in your shoes attended an Oil & Gas Seminar at the Muskingum County Business Incubator yesterday and heard about how to start selling to the industry.

Some sage advice for businesses wanting to sell into the industry from Halliburton Procurement Manager Daniel Etter:

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Mahoning Utica Pipeline/Processing Plant “Moving Forward”

Back in July, MDN told you about a new joint venture between Hilcorp and NiSource to build a wet gas pipeline and processing plant in the Youngstown, Ohio area (see this MDN story). There is still no official location (yet) for the new project, which will cost between $300 and $500 million to build, but we now have a name for it: the Hickory Bend Pipeline System.

According to a NiSource spokesperson, Hickory Bend (the pipeline and the processing plant) is “moving forward.” What does that mean? It means the Mahoning Valley will soon see a big boost in jobs for construction workers and welders:

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Range Resources Selling Permian to Concentrate on Marcellus

Range Resources issued their 2013 plans yesterday. Range plans to spend $1.3 billion next year, 85% of which will be spent on drilling in the Marcellus and Mississippian Shale plays. Range owns 500,000 acres of leases between the Marcellus and Mississippian. The focus in 2013 will be on wet gas, which means Range will reduce the rigs they use in northeastern Pennsylvania from the current four to five rigs down to one rig next year.

Range is selling some of its Permian Basin assets in New Mexico and Texas to help fund next year’s drilling budget.

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WSJ Devastating Critique of “Promised Land” Movie

There is a must-read opinion piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (free access for the article), titled, “Good Will Fracking.” It is, of course, about the upcoming January release of the anti-fracking movie “Promised Land,” starring Matt Damon. Apparently the movie is (thankfully) a stinker, according to early reviews, so it likely won’t be seen by many people.

Here’s how the WSJ piece begins:

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