It seems that darned West Virginia ethane cracker plant is just getting too much attention, so the AP has written a “Me too! Me too! Look at me! Pick me!” article about the proposed Shell ethane cracker plant planned for Beaver County, PA. AP has “investigated” (there’s a first!) and found certain evidence that may point to Shell actually going forward with their cracker plant. As MDN pointed out tongue-in-cheek just last week, the Greater Pittsburgh area has some angst that the WV cracker may spell the end of the Shell cracker in their state–so there’s a bit of trash talking going on (see Clash of the Ethane Cracker Titans: PA vs WV Smackdown).
AP to the rescue! Here’s the evidence from the AP that yes indeed, Shell really really really is maybe considering may possibly might actually build a cracker plant near Pittsburgh after all:
A few weeks ago MDN told you about a meeting convened by PA State Sen. Jim Ferlo (we called it Ferlo’s Follies) where Ferlo and other anti-drillers carped and complained about a proposed plan to allow drilling under (not on) some Allegheny County, PA parks. We noted that one anti-driller at the meeting offensively and shamefully shoved an 8 year-old child in front of the microphones to plea for a ban on drilling in parks (see PA Anti-Drillers Shove Their Children Before the Microphones).
We’re happy to report the anti-drilling rabble-rousers have been defeated–soundly. Last night the Allegheny County Council voted down the proposed 3-year moratorium on drilling under (not on) county parks, and they voted it down rather convincingly: 9 to 2…
Don Surber from the Charleston Daily Mail writes a good analysis article in today’s edition that attempts to answer the question, “Why would Brazilian company Odebrecht pick Parkersburg, WV to build an ethane cracker plant?” Surber argues the selection of Parkersburg as the location vaults it into potentially being the most important city in the entire state of WV. He’s right.
Surber’s main point: Don’t focus on the ethane cracker, as nice as that will be. Instead, it’s the three polyethylene plants Odebrecht is going to build that are the real story, the real diamond, if (still a big if) the ethane cracker gets built. Why? It is the polyethylene (plastics) plants that will create a renaissance in manufacturing (i.e. jobs) in the region…
Warren County, PA, located in the northwestern part of the state, is not in the “sweet spot” for Marcellus/Utica Shale drilling. That was the blunt (but kindly delivered) message from two Penn State Marcellus Education Team educators at a meeting yesterday at the Warren Public Library.
Warren County does have a few Utica wells: 12 permitted with 5 already drilled or being drilled right now. However, widespread drilling will not come to Warren in the near future. Question: Will it ever come to Warren? Answer…
This was predictable. The radical Sierra Club (of New Jersey) and other anti-drilling organizations including the New Jersey Environmental Federation, Environment New Jersey and the always rabidly anti-drilling Delaware Riverkeeper have joined forces in a coordinated attack against the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposal to allow barges to carry frack wastewater on America’s waterways–including the mighty Delaware River.
Never mind that barges containing chemicals far more deadly than frack wastewater make their way up and down our rivers every day (including the Delaware)–right now. Anti-drillers conveniently don’t mention that little fact. They just want fracking wastewater to be banned, because they want fracking banned, because fracking leads to more drilling and use of that awful, nasty, horrible fossil fuel, natural gas…
As MDN pointed out a few days ago, anti-drilling members of the anti-drilling Trout Unlimited (TU) have changed tactics (see TU: If You Can’t Beat Shale Drillers, Try a New Lie). Instead of calling for an outright ban on Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania, they’ve decided to call for over-regulation–attempting to make their requests sound reasonable and fair. The intent is still the same: stop drilling any way you can.
agitator organizer Paula Piatt traveled from Mifflin County (central PA) to Lackawanna County (northeast PA) to spread the “let’s regulate them to death” message yesterday…
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: