In a major victory for landowners in the Town of Chenango (Broome County), NY, the town board voted 3-2 Wednesday night to reject a moratorium on shale gas drilling and fracking. If it had passed, it would have been the first township in the Southern Tier area of New York, an area thought to hold major quantities of Marcellus and Utica Shale gas, to do so.
One of the main reasons board members voted to reject the moratorium? They didn’t want to pay for expensive lawsuits which were sure to follow a vote to ban:
It seems the Village of Oxford (Chenango County), NY is still flirting around with Park Foundation funded “pro bono” attorney David Slottje—who’s trying his hardest to get Oxford (in a prime Marcellus/Utica drilling location) to introduce language into their zoning ordinances that would result in a de facto moratorium on fracking and natural gas drilling. Slottje and the Village Planning Board were at it again last weekend in a Saturday meeting.
Wednesday night the village board voted to move forward with another public hearing (later this month) before adopting new zoning language which would, in clear violation of current New York State law, slap tight restrictions and prohibitions on natural gas drilling and related activities:
Yesterday’s revelation that early last year the NY State Health Department and the NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) had drawn up a draft 8-page assessment which said fracking is safe for public health in New York continues to reverberate around the state.
There were predictable reactions from both sides of the debate, jockeying to frame the drilling issue before a final final final public health impact review is released sometime later this month (or in February)…
In the next few weeks, data on air emissions from Marcellus Shale drilling operations will be made public via the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) website. The data, required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, has sparked a new idea at the PA DEP.
The DEP intends to also require emissions filings from compressor plants on conventional (non-shale) gas pipelines starting in March…
Piedmont Natural Gas, a natural gas utility based in North Carolina, has just signed a 15-year contract with Cabot Oil & Gas to buy a “meaningful portion” of its natural gas supplies from the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale starting in 2015.
Although the details of the agreement are confidential, Piedmont’s CEO did share the following on an investor’s call yesterday:
In July MDN told you about Encore Energy, a horizontal well operator formed last year and headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that’s acting as a leasing agent for a large tract of Utica Shale acreage. At the time they advertised they “have access to” 175,000 acres in Ohio (see Encore Energy Shopping 175K Utica Shale Acres in OH). That number has grown. Encore is advertising they have now have access and rights to lease a quarter of a million acres in the Ohio Utica.
Wanting to remind drillers they’re still around and have land deals to lease, they issued another press release on Wednesday:
Although New Jersey seems hell-bent on opposing pipelines for low-cost Marcellus Shale gas (and would never tolerate fracking of their pristine soil), the state continues to benefit from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. The latest example is a brand new electrical generating plant currently being built in West Deptford Township. The new 738 megawatt plant will go online in 2014 and will be powered by—yep—PA Marcellus Shale gas, generating low-cost electricity for the residents of New Jersey. Can anyone say “hypocrites?”
An announcement from the company that will supply the new plant with low-cost Marcellus Shale gas to power it for the next 15 years: