Big News: EPA Fracking Study Delayed 2 Years – Now Due 2016

Big newsBig news from the “Shale Gas: Promises and Challenges” conference in Cleveland, OH yesterday from none other than the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Jeanne Briskin, coordinator of the multi-year study on hydraulic fracturing research the EPA’s Office of Research and Development is performing, said yesterday the final report for the EPA fracking study will be delayed by two years–until 2016. This is the first time MDN has heard that the final study will be delayed.

The fracking study was ordered by an activist Congress back in 2010. The EPA released an outline of their research plan in late 2011 but by then had already started to collect data, ahead of completing the plan for how they would collect the data (see EPA Releases Plan to Study Fracking, Jumps the Gun). A preliminary report was due and was issued in late 2012 (see EPA’s Fracking Study Progress Report (Dec 2012)). The final report is due in 2014. Not anymore…
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Anti-Drilling Stupidity on Parade in Albany, NY

The problem in New York, dear reader, is not (necessarily) an inept politician–Gov. A. Cuomo–but rather the hypocrisy and stupidity of many of my fellow residents. To wit, a rally in Albany on Monday drew something over 1,000 anti-fossil fuel protesters (the AP says 2,000, they always double the real number), where those who attended cheered poll results that show an increase across the state in those who oppose shale drilling…
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Stanford Prof Says Fracking & Earthquakes are a Concern

Every three or four months, as regular as clockwork, the mainstream media resurrects the claim that “fracking causes earthquakes.” We’ve written about it a number of times (see MDN’s Industrywide Issues>Earthquakes category). Any kind of underground activity causes small (micro) “earthquakes.” But the kind you feel on top of the ground–the kind of earthquake that makes the surface move? No, fracking does not do that. At least almost never–we are aware of a single instance in England where a well was fracked directly on a fault line that caused an earthquake (see Report from England Links Fracking to Earthquakes).

At yesterday’s “Shale Gas Promises and Challenges” event in Cleveland, a pro-drilling professor from Stanford University, Mark Zoback, playing to an anti-drilling crowd, said fracking’s link to earthquakes is a concern…
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NY State Politicians Tackle the *Really* Tough Issue…of Cider

This post is somewhat off-topic and purely for your entertainment purposes. We’re near the end of a legislative session here in New York State–you know, the state where 4/5 of the state, known as “Upstate,” is in economic poverty with job and population losses year after year. Our intrepid governor, Andrew “The Ditherer” Cuomo is hard at work with lawmakers (before heading off to the Hamptons for the summer). They’re trying to figure out how to improve the lives of all serfs New York residents, especially those losers in Upstate.

Would an immediate influx of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment from drilling in shale deposits be one of the things our hardworking politicians are discussing to, you know, improve the lives of Upstaters, especially farmers? Nope. Not even on the table. Instead, they’re fiddling around with legislation to allow farmers to make up to 150,000 gallons of hard cider a year (using NY apples of course)–presumably to keep them drunk so they won’t notice their property rights have been confiscated and they’re about to lose the family farm…
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OH Anti-Drillers Worked Up over Radiation

Anti-driller Dr. Marvin “Radon” Resnikoff has found some new clients to buy his recycled reports about killer radioactivity from shale drilling. His latest takers? The FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio (FWAPO). You may recall the U.S. Geological Survey was none too impressed with Resnikoff’s wild radioactivity claims (see Radon Debate: USGS Responds to Marvin Resnikoff Accusation). But hey, a guy’s gotta make a livin, ya know? So he continues to peddle his “radioactive” reports.

Last week the FWAPO released one of Resnikoff’s recycled light-on-facts reports (just change the headers and add the word “Ohio” in a few places)–see a copy embedded below. Resnikoff now has the anti-drilling faithful in Ohio all worked up over radiation…
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NiSource Big Pine Gathering Pipeline Goes Online in SW PA

NiSource and Columbia Pipeline Group announced yesterday their new Big Pine Gathering System is now online and running in PA’s Marcellus Shale. Big Pine is a 57-mile pipeline gathering system serving southwestern PA: Allegheny, Butler, Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland counties. NiSource has a long-term contract with XTO Energy to deliver XTO’s natural gas to three different pipeline transmission systems. In addition to XTO, NiSource recently signed PennEnergy Resources as another customer for the new pipeline.

Details from the NiSource press release:
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Place Your Bets: Will ‘Blood and Oil’ TV Show Last a Month?

Once again our opinion is confirmed that television is a vacuum cleaner with the sole purpose of sucking your brains out. You watch it–your IQ goes down. The latest empirical evidence to support that rather bold statement? A new “reality” series called Blood and Oil on the Discovery channel.

Yesterday, MDN told you about a new TV series debuting last night on the Discovery channel about a small family oil company in Ohio, threatened with extinction by big, bad oil coming to the state to tap the Utica Shale (see Blood and Oil: New “Reality TV” Series about OH Oil Company). We watched the first 12 minutes or so–until the first commercial break. That’s all we could take…
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