We won’t keep you in suspense. Run!—don’t walk—to attend a screening, watch on cable television or purchase a DVD of the new documentary FrackNation. This is hands down the most important documentary on an environmental topic made in the last decade or more. It exposes the fabrications found in the documentary Gasland, and tells the truth about what MDN calls the miracle of hydraulic fracturing.
Phelim McAleer is an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker—someone who speaks truth to power. In Phelim’s case, he’s made a career of challenging accepted environmentalist orthodoxy. He delights in laying bare the misstatements and outright lies told by the so-called green movement. His newest documentary, FrackNation, tackles the hottest environmental topic currently being debated not only in the U.S., but around the world—hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas.
Phelim is originally from Ireland, but he’s a citizen of the world having worked for The London Sunday Times, the Financial Times and the Economist. For the past decade or so he’s been a freelance journalist and filmmaker. So how did an Irishman living in Los Angeles come to make a documentary about fracking in Pennsylvania? In the beginning was Gasland…
The case of a company dumping shale drilling wastewater down a sewer drain in Youngstown, OH—wastewater that has made it’s way to the Mahoning River—keeps getting worse. The owner of Hardrock Excavating (part of D&L Energy) says he thought he was “doing the right thing” by having his employees dump the wastewater at nighttime—to prevent an uproar. Little did he know the uproar he would create.
The owner, Ben Lupo, now admits his company dumped wastewater on at least six occasions, meaning the amount of untreated wastewater entering the water system in the Youngstown area exceeded 200,000 gallons—not the previously reported 40,000 gallons.
$10,000 per acre seems to be the price Gulfport is willing to pay other energy companies to take over their acreage in the Ohio Utica Shale. Last December Gulfport paid $10K/acre for 30,000 acres (see Gulfport Adds Another 30K Utica Net Acres, Pays $10K/Acre). Yesterday Gulfport announced they’ve purchased another 22,000 acres from the same company, Windsor Ohio (a division of Wexford Capital), also for $10K/acre. This new acreage bumps Gulfport’s Utica Shale lease holdings to 137,000 acres.
Yesterday’s Gulfport announcement about their latest Utica purchase:
Seven anti-drilling groups held yet another press conference yesterday in Albany, which is like saying the sun came up in Albany yesterday. This time the groups went a tad too far on the bizarro spectrum—even for other anti-drillers. Breathless in their charge, the assembled anti-drilling groups claimed (trumpet fanfare, ta da da da)…that Lawrence Schwartz, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chief of staff, has $3,000-$4,000 invested in the stock market in oil and gas companies. (Gasp!)
Yes ladies and gentlemen, that puny investment means Schwartz has run a mind-fake on Cuomo, and like Svengali of old, he’s hypnotized Cuomo into allowing fracking which will poison the good citizens of New York in order to boost the value of oil and gas companies and thus his personal holdings by what, maybe $500? The price of a single bottle of fine wine at one of Cuomo’s power lunches? But hey, this is “a really serious charge,” so these fine, upstanding groups—with no conflicts of interest of their own (*cough*)—are calling on the Albany County District Attorney General’s office to investigate…
Three Ohio government agencies—the Dept. of Health, Environmental Protection Agency and Dept. of Natural Resources—have cooperated to produce proposed legislation that will tighten regulations around low-level radioactive waste from shale drilling. The three agencies released their proposal yesterday:
Magnum Hunter Chairman and CEO Gary Evans was on hand Monday in Marietta, Ohio for the grand opening of the new regional office building for Magnum’s Marcellus and Utica Shale subsidiary Triad Hunter. Triad has (so far) leased 85,500 acres in the Marcellus Shale and 81,800 acres in the Utica Shale. The new office is located centrally to both the Marcellus and Utica plays—together referred to as Appalachia.
Triad spent $1 million to remodel a downtown Marietta building that will be their Marcellus/Utica regional headquarters. So far over 40 Triad employees have moved in. Magnum Hunter, through subsidiaries including Triad Hunter, Alpha Hunter, Eureka Hunter, Green Hunter Water and Viking International Resources has its fingers in a lot of different pieces of the drilling pie. According to Gary Evans, their commitment to Appalachia is long-term…
Two major universities in the Marcellus and Utica Shale have signed a “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) pledging to pool academic resources and work together on projects to research and leverage the rapidly expanding shale energy industry. Ohio State University and West Virginia University announced their new compact yesterday. Part the arrangement includes possibly developing shale energy field laboratories.
The attitude on the part of both institutions seems to be, “Let’s figure out how we can promote shale energy so it’s safe, and so everyone benefits.” Right attitude, right approach. Now, any bets as to how long before anti-fracking malcontents among the faculty and staff at those fine institutions begin a fracking witch hunt like happened at University at Buffalo? (See UB CLEAR: Burn the Fracking Witches and Their Castle.)
The Ohio Dept. of Job and Family Services (Ohio’s welfare agency) issued the very first edition of a new quarterly publication yesterday which tracks the changes in Ohio’s oil and gas industry (see a copy of the first issue embedded below). What did ODJFS find with regard to the oil and gas industry’s impact on Ohio? Jobs in the oil and gas fields are up 17% from 2011 to 2012. The average salary across all the shale-related industries in Ohio is $73,934 per year. Those with jobs extracting oil in Ohio’s shale are making over $100K per year.
In short, the Utica and Marcellus Shale in Ohio has been a jobs and economic boom for the state:
According to Jeffrey Green, director of research for WorkForce West Virginia, oil and gas jobs, mostly in the Marcellus Shale, grew by 9.5% from 2008 to 2011. The average annual wage for gas industry workers in West Virginia? $70,082 per year—and increasing each year.
Green share a number of statistics with WV lawmakers on Monday: