The ranking Republican member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (Republican from Louisiana), and several of his Senate colleagues, are “demanding answers” from Gina McCarthy, Obama’s choice to head the EPA, over her involvement with the discredited and fired Al “Crucify Them” Armendariz (see EPA Administrator Al Armendariz Resigns over Crucify Comment). Seems a colleague at EPA emailed old Al when he was under fire and Al responded at the time essentially “don’t worry about me” and made mention of Gina McCarthy’s new EPA air pollution rules as “icing on the cake.”
Clearly Armendariz saw McCarthy’s efforts as dovetailing nicely with his own strategy to “crucify” several oil and gas companies as examples to scare the rest of the “villagers” into falling into line. Sick and sleazy. (Armendariz went to work for the Sierra Club after leaving EPA.) Vitter and other Republicans are rightly concerned over the tight relationship between Armendariz and McCarthy—specifically on the matter of Armendariz’s action in outlawing Las Brisas Energy Center (LBEC) in Corpus Christi, Texas—and they want answers. Vitter issued the following press release yesterday:
Devon Energy sent a letter March 5 to the federal Environmental Protection Agency to inform them that Devon is pulling out of the EPA’s Natural Gas STAR Program—a program aimed at reducing methane emissions. Devon says in the letter that EPA is guilty of “seriously flawed misuse” of the data provided to it by drillers to justify costly regulations and to “taint policy research.” The Devon letter minces no words…
In the past MDN has been critical of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission appointed by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. There were supposed to provide a set of best practices for hydraulic fracturing to the state legislature and have repeatedly missed their stated deadlines to do so (see Maryland Shale Commission Misses Second Deadline for Report). The first deadline that slipped by was August 1, 2012. Then it was Dec. 31, 2012. Then they (wisely) didn’t commit but said some time in the spring of 2013.
We don’t know for sure, but perhaps their recommendations are late in coming because they’ve been waiting on the University of Maryland (UMD) to complete a report on best practices. Three weeks ago, the UMD Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg, Maryland, submitted a 172-page report (full copy embedded below) of recommendations for drilling and fracking best practices to the Maryland Dept. of the Environment (MDE).
One day after Gov. Andrew “the Ditherer” Cuomo verbally slapped around landowners and those who favor fracking by saying they ought to refrain from lobbying and “hallway chatter” (see The Gall: Cuomo Lectures Landowners on How to Play Politics), the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York held their annual lobbying day in Albany to, well, engage in hallway chatter…
Crestwood Midstream provides pipelines and compressor stations in West Virginia for their customer, driller Antero Resources. In Nov. 2012 Crestwood purchased four compressor stations in Harrison and Doddridge counties to better serve Antero. Yesterday Crestwood announced another new deal with Antero to build yet another compressor station (for $35 million) to service Antero’s “western” acreage in WV.
The Crestwood announcement about the new deal with Crestwood:
America finally has a gift—wrapped up in a bow—ready to help it regain some of the economic footing we’ve lost in the world over the last decade or so of unprecedented trade deficits and debt. That gift? Hydraulic fracturing and the shale gas it produces in huge quantities. All we have to do is frack it and sell it—both here at home and as an export to other countries. Everyone wins.
A long list of extremist environmental groups including Earthjustice, Earthworks and the Sierra Club are lobbying the Obama administration to stop plans for new export facilities for natural gas. Why? Because it’s an evil fossil fuel and would help make America great again. A press release from said groups issued yesterday:
It’s time to toss out (at the next election) the anti-Constitutional town board members of Deerfield (Oneida County), NY. Monday night they voted unanimously to extend an illegal moratorium on fracking for another six months:
On Tuesday Lackawanna College announced the establishment of a School of Petroleum Natural Gas at its New Milford (Susquehanna County), PA location. The program will offer two associates degrees. The branch college campus at New Milford is being transformed and dedicated to the new program. Lackawanna notes a number of major oil and gas companies have a local presence, providing a ready job market for graduates.