AP: NY Drilling Rules “Likely” to be Released in Feb 2013

throw in the towel What’s this? The mostly-anti-drilling Associated Press appears to be throwing in the towel and admitting the DEC is likely to release new fracking rules in New York in February?! Indeed they are. But at the same time they are only too happy to cast doubt on when drilling might actually begin (hint—don’t plan on it next year):

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Shell Ethane Cracker in PA Still Not a Done Deal

As MDN has cautioned in previous stories, and as Shell themselves have said, the $2 billion ethane cracker plant planned for Monaca (Beaver County), PA is still not a done deal. Yes it’s looking good, yes PA passed the necessary tax incentives, but Shell is still studying the site for the proposed plant. Although Shell was supposed to purchase the land by the end of 2012, that now will not happen.

Like any real estate deal—until the money is in the bank and the deed in your hand, anything can happen…

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OH Gov. Kasich Keeps Beating the Higher Drilling Tax Drum

What is it about states like Texas that causes Ohio’s Gov. John Kasich to view them as “foreign” and their citizens as “foreigners” (see this MDN story). An anal retentive fixation on the part of Kasich? Perhaps.

His fixation is in full bloom again. Kasich reports he recently went on some “foreign travel”—to Houston, Texas—where he had private discussions about raising taxes. Kasich also has a fixation on raising taxes on the drilling industry in Ohio so he can “spread the wealth” around to everyone:

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Climate Change Being Used as Excuse for New Law in PA

In 2009, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Climate Change Advisory Committee released a plan with non-binding recommendations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent statewide by 2020. The move was prompted by a 2008 law passed by the state legislature. (Ever notice “global warming” became “climate change” because the earth isn’t actually warming? … but we digress.) Part of the “recommendations” to reduce carbon dioxide is more use of natural gas. But getting natural gas from the ground tends to increase the release of methane, another so-called greenhouse gas.

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Thinning Pipeline Caused Explosion Near Charleston, WV

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), part of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, has issued a corrective order to Columbia Gas (subsidiary of NiSource) dealing with the pipeline explosion near Sissonville, WV on Dec. 11 (see this MDN story). The PHMSA found that the pipeline section that exploded, which was built in 1967, was getting too thin:

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