Last week MDN told you the U.S. Coast Guard is in the process of green lighting the barge shipment of frack wastewater and brine (see Coast Guard Green Lights Barge Transport of Frack Wastewater). MDN has tracked down the 25-page proposed policy “letter” issued by the Coast Guard–the rules that will need to be followed by those who want to use barges to ship wastewater (full copy embedded below). In addition, we also discovered the website the Coast Guard is using to elicit public comments.
So far, there are nine comments on the public comment page (they’re currently displaying only nine of 29 they’ve received), all of them against barge shipment of frack wastwater (see this page). MDN editor Jim Willis filled out his own comment in support of barge shipments (which hopefully will show up soon). What about other pro-drillers who read MDN? You might want to consider stopping by this page to leave a comment that supports barge shipments of frack wastewater…
The land records room at the Wood County, WV Courthouse has not seen a lot of oil and gas lease research–yet. But that may change. When the records room for a given county starts to be overrun with researchers, that’s a sure sign that Marcellus (or Utica) Shale drilling is on the way. The very first thing that happens is researchers must locate who owns a given property, and then landmen head into the field to get them to sign a lease. So when a land records rooms becomes congested, you know it’s not long until leases are signed and drilling begins.
Woods County Clerk Mark Rhodes says he’s been told researchers have descended on neighboring Pleasants County (northeast of Woods) and that the crowd of researchers in Pleasants will migrate south to Woods in about six months. Here’s an inside look at the challenges faced in tracking down who owns the mineral rights for a given piece of property–especially in WV where mineral rights were severed from surface rights for many landowners years ago…
Good news for those who live in the northeastern U.S.–Kinder Morgan, owner of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, said on Friday they have thrown the switch (or in this case opened the valves) on their new $500 million Northeast Upgrade Project. The upgrade to TGP’s system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey adds 636,000 dekatherms per day of additional capacity to the system, which means more Marcellus Shale gas is now flowing to markets like New York City and the coast of NJ.
This is very good news indeed. Kinder Morgan’s announcement from Friday:
As MDN chronicled in September, Ohio’s anti-drillers have made everyone in the state less safe by forcing drillers to file physical paperwork with local first responders about the chemicals used and stored at drill sites–instead of filing it electronically with just the state where it could more easily be accessed (see OH Antis Force Change in Chemical Reporting, Everyone Less Safe). Dunderheads. The deadline for compliance with this new standard, being forced on Ohio by the federal government, was November 15th. Because it’s taking a bit longer than expected (surprise!), the new compliance date for OH drillers is now December 15th.
So now drillers will have to file the same information in triplicate with a) the State Emergency Response Commission, b) county local emergency planning commissions, and c) fire departments who cover the area where they are drilling. Intrepid (and very brave) first responders will then have to choose: Dial up the information via the internet from the state’s website and hope what they find there is the same as what they have in their own files, get someone out of bed at the county level to rifle through the file cabinet, or leave a first responder behind at the firehouse to rifle through their own file cabinet (instead of actually responding to the emergency). Fabulous choices. Thanks so much anti-drillers!…
West Virginia University professor and research Dr. Michael McCawley, chairman of the Dept. of Occupational & Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health, is nothing if not persistent. Dr. McCawley is the lead researcher and author of a “raw” report that was done for the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP). The report was on air pollution potential around drilling sites. According to McCawley his original research was ignored by WVDEP (see Did WVDEP Ignore It’s Own Research on Shale Well Air Pollution?). A few weeks ago he took his case directly to WV legislators to tell them existing setback standards are not good enough (see WVU Prof Tells Legislators 625? Setback in Drilling is Not Enough).
McCawley continues to keep up the gentle pressure by keeping the issue alive in the press and in people’s consciousness–and frankly, we admire him for it. We don’t view McCawley as a wild-eyed anti-driller. It appears to us that he’s genuinely concerned with people’s health and with a thriving shale drilling industry. McCawley’s proposed regulatory changes are common sense and would not prevent shale drilling in WV. His latest comments…
As a stuffed replica of Pete Seeger shuffles out onto the stage…wait, no! That really IS Pete Seeger, about 150 years old now (too ornery to die), out there peddling a new master work of artistic quality…OK, it IS Pete Seeger, so the music ain’t all that great. Pete is on stage hawking a new anti-fracking album, called Buy This Fracking Album, that he and some of his anti-fracking buds are cooking up right now. And it’s for a very worthy cause: an attempt to
make a boatload of money from a bunch of suckers, er, call attention to the serious issue of fracking.
This calls for a press release! And so Pete & co have issued one (below). We’ve inserted MDN snarky editorial comment a) for your reading enjoyment, and b) to set the record straight and tell the truth about this album and about fracking. Enjoy…
The Pennsylvania Democrat Party, using their wholly-owned subsidiary–The Associated Press–issued the following piece of undisguised propaganda aimed at unsettling PA voters this week. It is a skewed bag of half-truths and lies aimed at smearing Gov. Tom Corbett and PA’s elected Republicans, implying they are in the back pocket of “big gas.”
However, the only thing that’s “big gas” is what’s blowing out the Democrat/AP press machine…
This is what passes as “journalism” at Gannett. (Specifically with McNewspaper–otherwise known as USA Today.) Interview someone who is ideologically driven and rigid–someone who abjectly hates fossil fuels and works for a benign sounding “institute”–oh, say like the Post Carbon Institute. (What utter folly to name it that. How about the Post Oxygen Institute? Or the Post Hydrogen Institute? Why not pick one of the other low atomic number elements? Why pick on carbon? But we digress…) This so-called expert–who is nothing of the kind–tells USA Today he’s “studied” the drilling issue and has pronounced that fracking for gas and oil is a flash in the pan, a temporary phenomenon. It’ll all be over soon. Can’t be economical much longer. Let’s all move along to “sustainable energy” nirvana now.
Then, just for good measure, sprinkle the story with a picture of two of people protesting fracking–you know, to convey the right impression that hordes of people are against this insane environmental rape of Mother Earth. Here’s the interesting thing: Ever notice the pictures they use of people protesting against fracking are always a shot of people protesting in New York State? Looks to us like it may even be the same 100-200 protesters! Same group, different angles, different events. Why is that, do you think? Could it be there are only a few hundred dedicated, full-time, paid (by groups like the Park Foundation)
hippie wannabes people who travel around like Gypsies (or pot smoking Deadheads) doing this kind of protesting? JS–jest sayin’…
Below are upcoming events for this week and next.
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: