Martens Prepares to Blame Shah if Fracking Doesn’t Happen in NY

scapegoat Pennsylvania is doubling their natural gas output every year by using fracking. So is West Virginia. Ohio has now joined the fracking club and is ramping up their natural gas production. All of the states in the northeast “neighborhood” are fracking—without water contamination, without pollution problems, without a negative impact on “public health,” et cetera et cetera. All except New York, which continues to dither over its decision to frack. Why? Politics. Not science, not health concerns. Politics.

In testimony before the NY legislature yesterday, Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens acknowledged if the DEC doesn’t meet a Feb. 13 deadline to publish final drilling rules the review process will need to restart—yet he also told legislators there is no projected date for finishing shale gas drilling rules and it will depend on recommendations from a health review the DEC will receive “in a few weeks.” MDN finds Martens’ comments from yesterday troubling…

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Phelim McAleer & FrackNation Documentary Come to Upstate NY

come join us If you live anywhere in the vicinity of either Binghamton, NY or Albany, NY, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is hosting a free screening of Phelim McAleer’s new documentary FrackNation this weekend. Phelim himself will be there!

The dates are Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 pm in Binghamton, and Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 pm in Albany. MDN editor Jim Willis will attend the Binghamton screening and would love to meet MDN readers (drop me a line to let me know you’re going: [email protected]).

Here’s the press announcement:

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Chesapeake Pays $15.4M to Prevent Exodus of Top Talent

Last week MDN told you the news that Chesapeake Energy founder and CEO Aubrey McClendon was given the pink slip by the Chesapeake board of directors (see Breaking: Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon Gets Pink Slip). At the time we theorized that Chesapeake may rue the day they let him go—we fully expect to see McClendon turn up again, running a new company to compete with Chesapeake. He’s young (53 years old), he’s charismatic, and he’s full of energy and determination.

Although it was pure speculation at the time, perhaps we weren’t so far off the mark. Chesapeake has awarded big (big) stock option “retention” bonuses worth $15.4 million to three members of McClendon’s leadership team to keep them right where they are—at Chesapeake:

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Judge Tosses Out Lawsuit Against Spectra NYC Pipeline Project

Spectra Energy continues to battle environmental extremists who want nothing to do with more natural gas (especially “filthy” shale gas) coming into New York City, even though NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls more natural gas “vital” to the city. Spectra has had to battle nutty protesters that strip down (see NYC Pipeline Protesters Get Naked, Paint Themselves Green), and even protesters who don’t tell themselves they’re about to break the law (see Nutjob Protester Stops NYC Pipeline Construction for 2 Hours).

The protesters and their more adult-acting supporters took Spectra to court in New York State to stop the 16-mile pipeline from New Jersey to New York City from being built. A judge has just tossed the lawsuit telling the protesters, “wrong court”…

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OH Gov. Kasich Budget Soaks Drillers & Farmer Landowners

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (supposedly a Republican) just released his biennial budget and as promised, it’s a socialistic masterpiece that raises taxes on shale drillers and farmers in order to fund a massive expansion in Medicaid and provide a state income tax cut.

When liberals like what you’re doing and you’re a Republican, that’s not a good sign…

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WV Group Largest Landowner Coalition in Marcellus/Utica

A group of landowners in Wirt County, WV have just taken the crown as the largest landowner coalition MDN is aware of in the entire Marcellus and Utica Shale. The Wirt County Oil and Gas Group closed the door on new signups as of Monday, and the total acreage represented by the group is an astonishing 227,000 acres—almost 1/4 million acres! The really attractive part for potential drillers? The land is located in the wet gas area of the Marcellus.

The next largest group MDN is aware of is in Upstate New York—the CNY (Central New York) Landowners Coalition—with 194,500 acres. Both the Wirt County and CNY coalitions have representatives in Houston this week for the NAPE Winter Expo, shopping the acreage looking for a lease.

More details on the Wirt County group:

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MarkWest Sues Enerflex Over Compressor Station Fire in Western PA

Midstream powerhouse MarkWest filed a lawsuit on Monday in Washington County, PA seeking $1.1 million from Enerflex Energy Systems, manufacturer of equipment for compressor plants. MarkWest says Enerflex sold them defective equipment that led to a fire, and a lot of damage, in their compressor facility in Avella, PA last year:

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