How Long Before NY High Court Rules on Town Bans? An Answer…

how long?Two weeks ago MDN told you the encouraging news that the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) will hear the Dryden and Middlefield town ban cases (see Anti-Drillers Attempt a Brave Face with NY Appeals Court Decision). Anti-drillers, like former Gannett and Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reporter Tom Wilbur, are understandably shaken by this turn of events. They believe they had won (using NY’s courts) where they couldn’t win (in the political arena and the arena of ideas)–so when the high court said “yes” to hearing the case, they took it as a bad omen. They continue to put on a brave face, but make no mistake–they’re scared.

What about the timing for a decision in these twin cases being heard together as a single case? Wilbur does a good job of tracking down just how long the appeal to the high court will take to run its full course…
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Economic Suicide Attempt #2: Youngstown to Vote Again on Frack Ban

In May 2013, the citizens of Youngstown, OH wisely chose not to commit economic suicide by voting against a ban on fracking–a ban that not only ban fracking but also outlaw the business activities of some companies that support the drilling industry (see Youngstown, OH Votes Down Fracking Ban Amendment). The people had their say, and they said 57% to 43% “we’ll take fracking and the jobs that go with it, thank you very much.” But you have to hand it to irrational anti-drilling zealots–they don’t give up. They are bound and determined to commit economic suicide, and now, they may have just been handed the equivalent of a loaded gun with permission to do it…
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USGS Study Says Drilling Wastewater Not Fully Treated by Plants

In a bit of a scam, the U.S. Geological Survey has released the results of a new study that supposedly shows when conventional and unconventional wastewater (no distinction) is run through the local sewer plant for processing, it results in nasty stuff being dumped into local streams and rivers (study titled “Discharges of produced waters from oil and gas extraction via wastewater treatment plants are sources of disinfection by-products to receiving streams”). The scam is that U.S. taxpayer-paid researchers working for a U.S. government agency produced this report, but you can’t get a copy unless you pay Elsevier $41.95 for a copy. Excuse us, but reports and studies conducted by the government and paid for by us, taxpayers, are supposed to be free (we paid for it!)–not locked up in a private, for-profit business.

Therefore, we only have the abstract and summary on which to evaluate the study…
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Halcon Resources to Begin Seismic Testing in Mahoning County, OH

Let the thumping (in Mahoning County, OH) begin. Mahoning County commissioners have approved a one-year road use agreement with Halcon Resources that allows them to perform seismic testing along county and town roadways. Halcon will pay $600 per mile, post a $100,000 bond (for the county) and a $50,000 bond (for each of six townships) where they will test. Halcon will also spend some major money repairing roads even before they begin testing…
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WV Lawmaker Trip to ND to Study Drill Tax Cost $25K

A few weeks ago MDN told you about 18 West Virginia legislators who were due to fly to North Dakota for an overnighter to study that states Legacy Fund–money set aside by ND from shale drilling taxes and fees to benefit the state in the future. Some WV legislators want to set up a similar fund, called a Future Fund, and they figured the best way to do so was to conduct a junket to ND for some prominent (and not yet convinced) lawmakers. MDN pointed out it would be a heck of a lot cheaper to fly a couple of ND officials to WV than the other way around (see 18 WV Lawmakers Flying to ND for a $20K Overnighter on Drill Tax).

It seems the Charleston Gazette agrees with MDN. They also say it was 19 legislators (not 18) that went on the trip, they stayed for two nights not one, and they got a $55 per-diem for meals. Total bill estimated to be something like $25K. Sure pays to be a WV legislator…
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WashPo Takes Aim at Fracking in the George Washington Natl Forest

A “reporter” with the appropriate last name of “Fears” has authored a masterful piece of propaganda for the Washington Post on the “looming” decision about whether or not the U.S. Forest Service should allow shale drilling in a teeny tiny part of the 2 million acre George Washington National Forest that covers parts of Virginia and West Virginia.

All you need to know about the viewpoint of the so-called article (really just more anti-drilling propaganda) can be found in the first two sentences…
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PA Rep. White (He of Fake Online IDs) Gets a Primary Challenger

Astonishingly, PA Rep. Jesse White from Washington County, PA still holds his office, even after admitting he used fake online IDs to mock pro-drillers he disagrees with–people who are his own constituents (see How the Mighty Have Fallen: PA Rep White Admits Guilt, Not Sorry). To his own shame, and the shame of the PA legislature, White is not sorry, hasn’t apologized and has not (yet) been removed from office. It appears he will serve out his term until the scheduled election next year.

However, Rep. White’s days in office may be numbered. He now has a strong primary challenger…
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Millennium Pipeline Looks to Move More Marcellus Gas with Dominion

The story of the northeast: Too much Marcellus Shale natural gas, not enough pipelines to move it all to market. More pipelines are on the way like the Constitution, but in the meantime, how to move the enormous amount of gas already flowing?

On Friday, the Millennium Pipeline, a major transmission pipeline that traverses New York State from Steuben County in the western part of the state to Rockland County in the southeastern part of the state, announced a binding open season through September 13 on a proposal to ship more Marcellus gas by creating an interconnect between Dominion Transmission’s pipeline and the Millennium at or near Horseheads, NY (close to Elmira)…
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