If the situation with fracking in New York weren’t so tragic, it would be funny. Shakespearian, even. MDN told you yesterday about the Andy and Junior show—how Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ex-brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. spilled the beans that Cuomo was ready to allow fracking last month and then it was (trumpet fanfare ta da da da) Junior to the rescue! RFK aka Junior says he talked Andy clean out of it (see The Andy & Junior Show: Why NY Fracking is Delayed Yet Again).
But what’s this? Being stung by having the truth aired to the press by what he thought was his confidant, his amigo (never trust a narcissist like Junior), Gov. Andy told the press yesterday Junior’s talk was not why fracking is still on hold…
According to two at least two West Virginia landowners, Chesapeake Energy has been in no hurry to pay them the royalties they are owed. In each case, the landowner has had to contact Chesapeake. Even after calling Chesapeake, the landowners are still waiting for their first royalty checks to arrive.
Here’s the story of two landowners, one in Ohio County, the other in Brooke County:
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Kinder Morgan, the country’s largest pipeline company, is seriously considering Tuscarawas County, Ohio as the location to build both a new natural gas processing plant and a new fractionation (separating) plant. If true, it could mean up to $1 billion in new investment for Tuscarawas County.
Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization (based in Columbus, OH), and Winner Global LLC, a privately-held energy and environmental technology company (based in Sharon, PA), formed a joint venture in January called Winner Water Services that will purify acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines into water that can be used for drilling and fracking operations in the Marcellus and Utica Shale.
Winner has not finalized the site of its first plant, but expects to soon. The first of seven plants should be operational by this fall…
Ben Lupo, owner of both Hardrock Excavating and D&L Energy in Youngstown, OH, will plead “not guilty” when he appears in U.S. District Court on March 15, according to his lawyer. Lupo has been charged with instructing one of his employees to illegally dump untreated shale drilling wastewater down a sewer drain—after hours and in the dark of night (see Youngstown Shale Wastewater Dumper Faces Jail and Big Fines). The water ended up in the Mahoning River.
Lupo’s lawyer is appealing the decision of the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources to rescind all operating permits for D&L and effectively shut it down. The attorney says the “alleged” actions were done by D&L’s sister company, Hardrock, and D&L should not be penalized for it—even though D&L and Hardrock share the same owner and some of the same facilities. The attorney claims no D&L employees have been charged in the case. Here’s the latest:
The Washington Examiner picked up on Josh Fox’s first known public response to Phelim McAleer’s documentary FrackNation, the devastating critique of Fox’s documentary Gasland. Fox didn’t say much, but what he did say is illuminating:
The anti-drilling group Food & Water Watch believes they have a sympathetic ear with legislators in the State of Maryland—so they’re making an all-out push to get the miracle of fracking banned in the state. Yesterday they released a faux “report” enumerating what they believe are the negatives of fracking. According to FWW, some of the ills fracking will visit upon the pristine state of Maryland include: “air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, light pollution, marred landscapes and caravans of trucks full of toxic waste.” You mean, just like it hasn’t in PA, OH and WV?
The propaganda (i.e. press release) issued by FWW yesterday:
A number of stories coming from PA for the past several months revolve around how towns and counties will spend a windfall they’ve received from the state since instituting the first-ever shale well impact “fee” last year (for background on the fee-which-is-really-just-a-tax, see: List of PA Impact Fee Disbursements by County/Town). We’ve spared you the boring details. However, we bring you one of those stories to illustrate a point.
Cumberland County, PA has no active shale drilling, yet they will receive $200,000 in “walking around” money from the hard work of energy companies and landowners who are drilling. And what do the wise leaders of Cumberland County intend to do with this new-found pile of cash? Buy a new fire truck or two? Refurbish school classrooms? Refit snowplows with new equipment? Maybe convert some county vehicles to run on natural gas? Nope. They plan to put $149,000 of it into a program to give away (blow) on “green projects.” The squabbling over how to distribute it has already begun…