Six families in Fayette County, PA have filed a “nuisance” lawsuit against Chevron, Williams and WPX Energy claiming nearby gas drilling activities have “diminished their ability to make use of their property” and have ruined the “quite use and enjoyment” of their homes. The families claim they’ve suffered from the effects of “toxic chemicals” due to the drilling activities in the area.
The AP story with details (slightly edited to remove some of the anti-drilling commentary AP adds to such stories):
We’re not quite sure how this one slipped by our radar, but a month ago the attorneys general from 13 brave states–1/4 of all states–sent a letter (copy embedded below) to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drawing a line in the sand and saying, “Don’t step over that line” when it comes to regulating fracking. To which we say, “Horray!” Finally, someone with backbone to push back against a rogue, out-of-control EPA desirous of regulating anything and everything–in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
New York, of course, was not one of the 13 signatories. However, West Virginia (with a Democrat governor), was. Ohio signed it too. Sadly, even though Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is pro-drilling, the new Democrat attorney general in PA, Kathleen Kane, is anti-drilling and she refused to participate in signing the letter–even though her state is reaping huge rewards from shale drilling and stands to lose big-time under an activist EPA.
Here’s what prompted the letter…
Unbelievable. The main campus of Penn State University, located in State College, PA, wants to convert an electrical-generating steam plant from burning coal to burn clean natural gas–and the Borough of State College refuses to let Columbia Gas run a pipeline underneath an uppity neighborhood (appropriately named “the Highlands”) to provide said clean-burning natural gas to Penn State. So Columbia has filed a lawsuit against State College, calling their action just what it is: “arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and against applicable law …”
The lawsuit, however, is on temporary hold for a month while Columbia and Penn State attempt to see if they can concoct a new pretzel-like route to reach the university, avoiding any uppity neighborhoods…
A new report analyzing the rapid rise and impact of Marcellus Shale royalties in Pennsylvania was recently released by the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy. Among the startling facts in the “policy brief” are: The Institute estimates that $731 million in Marcellus Shale royalties were paid to Pennsylvanians in 2012. In rural northeastern Susquehanna County, PA, residents received $133 million in royalty payments–in 2010. That number will be higher for 2012. Can you imagine the profound impact that money has in the farming communities across Susquehanna County?
Here’s the full policy brief/analysis from the Allegheny Institute:
Yesterday, Halcón Resources Corporation provided a mid-quarter operational update for the shale plays they are actively drilling. One of those plays, the one with the most detail in the update, is the Utica Shale. Halcón has drilled eight and is in the process of drilling its ninth Utica Shale well on their 140,000 acres of leases. Even though some analysts responded with disappointment to Halcón’s early test results from Utica wells drilled in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago (see Halcón Resources Issues Utica Shale Well Production Update), to their credit, Halcón continues to be transparent, not holding back any information on their Utica drilling program.
Here’s Halcón’s latest Utica Shale update:
Wheeling, WV City Council decided at last night’s meeting to delay a vote for at least another month that would allow GreenHunter Water to begin construction of a new fracking wastewater recycling facility in the city at a site along the Ohio River (for background, see GreenHunter Buys Barge Terminal in Wheeling for Frack Wastewater). City Council members asked some pointed questions of GreenHunter last night.
The proceedings (and outcome) from last night’s meeting:
Signs of spring: Cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. Blossoms on the scrub apple tree in my back yard. Persnickety dandelions–everywhere!
Another sign of spring: West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette talking about his state getting an ethane cracker plant. Hope springs eternal for Mr. Burdette…
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: