Newly Elected PA Auditor General Targets DEP First Day on Job

crosshairs Keeping a campaign pledge—because it’s always good to keep a pledge if you’re an anti-drilling Democrat, but it’s OK to conveniently forget all the other pledges you made—the newly sworn-in Auditor General for Pennsylvania, Eugene DePasquale, has targeted the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in what can only be described as a political attack in his very first day on the job:

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Range Resources 4Q12 Results: NatGas up 35%, NGLs up 41%

Range Resources today issued an update stating the company’s natural gas production for the fourth quarter of 2012 was an average 844 million cubic feet per day—an increase of 35% over the same period in 2011 and 7% higher than the third quarter of 2012. Natural gas liquids production rose an astonishing 41% over the same period in 2011.

Range is one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus Shale and much of their production comes from the Marcellus—particularly southwestern PA. Today’s Range announcement:

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Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Leaving in March

An interesting twist…MDN has followed, with some interest, the future of three federal officials (besides Lord Obama Himself) who potentially have the most influence over oil and gas drilling in the U.S. In case you don’t know, regulation and oversight for oil and gas drilling is specifically left to the individual states under the U.S. Constitution—something the lefties in this country are desperately trying to circumvent by claiming aspects of it come under federal laws like the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

The three federal officials who have been complicit in attempting to overthrow states’ rights in regulating oil and gas drilling are…

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Accident Kills Marcellus Shale Rig Worker in Fairview, WV

Monday night, an Omni Energy Services Corp. worker died when a rig being used to drill shallow exploratory holes for Marcellus Shale seismic testing overturned and crushed him. The accident happened at the Loveridge Mine preparation plant property owned by CONSOL Energy in Fairview (Marion County), WV. The accident was not related to CONSOL’s coal mining operations at the property.

The few details that we know thus far:

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Study Says NE States with Fracking Have Better Credit Ratings

The Kroll Bond Rating Agency has just released an update to a report they originally authored in January of last year titled, Fracking the Marcellus and Utica Basins: Potential Credit Implications. While not taking a position on whether or not fracking in the Marcellus and Utica Shale is good or bad per se, they do say their analysis shows fracking in the Marcellus and Utica Shale is very good for the credit ratings of municipal and state governments where fracking is allowed. Fracking is also jobs-creating engine according to the independent report.

From the Kroll announcement:

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Man Bites Dog: Pittsburgh Law Firm Opens Operation in Houston

In the news business, no one wants to run a story along the lines of “dog bites man”—that’s not news. But when the story is “man bites dog,” that’s news. This is one of those stories. Hardly a week goes by that MDN does not read about a law office expanding it’s practice somewhere in the Marcellus or Utica Shale region, many times it’s a branch office of a large Houston, TX law firm opening up in the Marcellus region. Such announcements are (let us be honest) self-serving advertisements to try and get business. Nothing wrong with that! But it’s not something MDN readers will be interested in reading about.

This time, however, a law office expansion is news. Why? Because it’s not a big Houston energy law firm setting up shop in Pittsburgh, but the other way around. For MDN, the story points out how the Marcellus Shale has changed the energy game in the U.S. and is, ever so gradually, shifting the center of power in the energy universe from Houston to Pittsburgh…

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