Pro-Drilling Rally Welcomes Pres. Obama in Binghamton Aug 23

Pro-Drilling Rally to Welcome Obama in BinghamtonFriday was a picture perfect, late summer/early fall day in Binghamton with temperatures around 75 degrees and blue skies. MDN editor Jim Willis had the pleasure of hanging out for a few hours with pro-drilling “salt of the earth” types of folks at Otsiningo Park in Binghamton, NY. About 250 pro-drillers were on hand with signs lined up along a fence bordering Interstate 81 to welcome President Barack Obama as his motorcade/bus whistled past the park on their way to Binghamton University where the President held a town hall meeting to discuss his education plans (i.e., have everyone else pay for your child’s college education via high taxes).

Drilling supporters were there to not only affirm and encourage Obama in his “support” of fracking, but to shame our spineless and indecisive governor, Andy Cuomo, for his lack of leadership on the issue of fracking and shale drilling. Drilling supporters want it known their patience has run out and they see Cuomo for what he is: kowtowing to the extreme left of his own party. It’s repugnant and it’s economically hurting landowners in the Southern Tier of New York State…
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Anti-Driller Shouts Fracking Question to Obama in PA Appearance

Well, you knew it would happen. A shrill and rude anti-driller tried to shout down President Obama as he spoke at Lackawanna College last Friday. Maya van Rossum, head of the rabidly anti-drilling Delaware Riverkeeper Network, tried to get Obama to respond to a shouted question about fracking. He briefly looked up from his TelePrompter, and then went on without responding to her rude outburst. In fact, Obama (much to our dismay) did not say a word about shale drilling nor about the top notch Petroleum & Natural Gas Technology program run by Lackawanna College, even though it was a golden opportunity for him to do so…
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Wirt County Landowner Group Close to Deal for Huge 241K Acres

The largest Marcellus/Utica landowner group MDN is aware of is the Wirt County Oil and Gas Group, in WV (see WV Group Largest Landowner Coalition in Marcellus/Utica). The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports the group is close to a deal to lease their considerable holdings of 241,000 acres. The group has closed its membership–no new landowners are currently allowed to join. They’ve narrowed down lease offers to two companies, although they’re not releasing the names (yet) of which companies they’re negotiating with.

A decision is due by an October 5 membership-wide meeting…
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Health “Study” of Whopping 27 People Blames Drilling for Symptoms

A very small, statistically invalid and anecdotal set of 27 people in Washington County, PA who claim the ill health symptoms they have are caused by activities related to shale gas drilling is reason enough for the AP to trumpet a story that shale drilling causes negative health impacts. The symptoms include skin rashes, eye irritation, breathing problems and headaches–i.e., just an average day at the local walk-in clinic. But because there are shale wells, a gas processing plant and compressor stations nearby, the drilling industry is blamed for the symptoms.

Hmm, there’s roads nearby. Are the roads to blame? There’s railroads nearby–are they to blame? There’s a Girl Scout troupe nearby….you get the picture. Nope. Drilling is squarely to blame for this “array of symptoms” because these people claim they didn’t have the symptoms prior to drilling but they do now. We wonder, are any of them members of the Sierra Club?…
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Did WVDEP Ignore It’s Own Research on Shale Well Air Pollution?

The West Virginia Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act, passed and signed into law in December 2011, directed the WV Dept. of Environment Protection (WVDEP) to conduct three studies. The third and final study on air quality was released in June (see WVDEP Releases Study on Air Quality Impacts of Shale Drilling). The WVDEP said based on the data they received, no new regulations are required to control air pollution near drilling operations. However, a West Virginia University professor that oversaw the raw report given to the WVDEP disagrees with their assessment.

Dr. Michael McCawley, chairman of the Department of Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at WVU, said he thinks a 625-foot “setback” is not far enough (in some cases) and that air emissions from Marcellus and Utica shale drilling need more regulation…
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When Will DOE Approve Cove Point, MD LNG Export Facility?

In early August the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) approved a project to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) via a facility along the Gulf Coast–in Lake Charles, LA (see Third Houston company gets LNG export approval). No doubt the DOE’s newly minted secretary, Ernest “Hair” Moniz, had a great deal to do with it (we affectionately call him Hair, if you’ve seen his picture, you know why). So far, Lake Charles is the third LNG export facility to receive a green light from the Obama administration over the past two years–all of them along the Gulf Coast.

What about a little LNG action along the East Coast–so we can export some of this abundant (and cheap!) Marcellus Shale gas? Dominion is still waiting for a green light from the DOE for their Cove Point, MD LNG project–a project heavily protested by the likes of the Sierra Club and other anti-fossil fuel groups. Japan and India–two good allies of the U.S.–are lined up and waiting, ready to buy the entire output of the Cove Point facility when/if it starts to ship…
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