Hanger Continues to Use Franklin Forks Water as Campaign Issue

John HangerAs MDN has previously pointed out, former Secretary of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) John Hanger is trying to make political hay out of methane in the water supply of three families in Franklin Forks (Susquehanna County), PA (see John Hanger Uses Franklin Forks Water Issue to Boost Gov Campaign). Which is kind of ironic since Hanger himself was raked over the coals by his own liberal buddies in Gasland for his handling of the same issue about 15 miles away in Dimock, PA. Hanger claims the DEP’s 16-month investigation in Franklin Forks was not independent enough for his taste. The DEP has fired back at their old boss and said they didn’t just rely on WPX’s investigation (as Hanger claims) but that they also conducted their own independent investigation and that Hanger is just making noise to, as we put it, boost his failing campaign for governor.

The sentiment coming from the DEP seems to be, “thanks for your unhelpful assistance John–now butt out”…
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NY’s Ongoing War Against Natural Gas – An Update

Lenape Resources is one of MDN’s favorite NY-based energy companies. We’ve heard their CEO John Holko speak at events touting the benefits of shale drilling in NY. John doesn’t just say good things about drilling, he puts his money (and his time) into the cause as well. In 2012 Lenape sued the Town of Avon, NY (Livingston County) over their hastily passed fracking ban, a ban that not only bans horizontal or shale fracking (which isn’t even allowed in NY) but also ended up banning vertical fracking in the town, something that’s been going on in NY for more than 40 years. Lenape lost the case in lower court and appealed it (see Lenape Appeals Ruling, Seeks to Overturn Frack Ban in Avon, NY).

In its heyday, before the NY frack moratorium that’s now 5 1/2 years old, Lenape employed 100 people. Today? They have 5 people. Sound familiar (cough *Norse Energy* cough)? NY is driving energy companies out of business with ongoing hostility by municipalities like Avon and with delays by the state. NY is about as business unfriendly as you get. Here’s an AP update on Lenape and the ongoing negative impact of the frack moratorium in NY:
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Does PA Supreme Court Act 13 Decision Affect NY Cases?

Apparently there’s been some concern, confusion and downright misleading information circulating since the recent PA Supreme Court decision that grants municipalities in PA the right to continue zoning where shale drilling can and cannot take place (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). Some have tried to draw parallels between the “Dryden” and “Middlefield” cases now before the NY Court of Appeals (NY’s highest court) and the decision by the PA Supreme Court, because both involve issues of home rule or the right of localities to impose zoning on oil and gas drilling.

Even though both the PA Act 13 and the NY Dryden/Middlefield cases are both home rule cases, they are nothing alike and the PA case in no way impacts or affects the NY case. Perhaps the biggest difference between the PA and NY cases is this: In PA even though municipalities can now legally zone for oil and gas drilling, they must still allow oil and gas drilling in at least one zone. In NY, towns have completely banned drilling throughout the entire (rural) township. Huge difference. And there are other differences. Because of the ongoing confusion, the pro-drilling attorney for the Middlefield case, Scott Kurkoski, issued the following statement on the JLCNY website to clear the air and set the record straight…
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NY’s Albany Anti-Frack Protest – Made Possible by Natural Gas

Not only are the crazies marching in Maryland (see today’s story Maryland Anti-Fracking “Madness” Continues – Crazies on the March), they’re also about to descend on Albany, NY. MDN friend and occasional guest blogger Vic Furman, a retired IBMer and one of the leaders of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, provided the article below pointing out the hypocrisy of those who oppose shale drilling. Vic says that in nine days when anti-drilling protesters arrive in Albany (many from out of state), they will do so because natural gas and oil from shale drilling made it possible for them to be there.

Take time to read Vic’s post and consider the salient points he makes:
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Maryland Anti-Fracking “Madness” Continues – Crazies on the March

The anti-drilling crazies in Maryland are on the march, literally! A coalition of extremist so-called “environmental” groups plan to march on Annapolis on the opening day of the General Assembly session to urge legislators to ban shale drilling. No, they are not demanding a moratorium–they are demanding an outright and permanent ban on fracking. How do you reason with unreasonable people? You don’t. You defeat them. And that’s what pro-drilling and clear-thinking people must do in Maryland. There is no sane debate with a crazy people.

Here’s a Maryland “madness” update:
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PA Town in Poconos Symbolically Votes to Condemn Fracking

The day before the PA Supreme Court ruled that towns must allow fracking but can impose their own zoning rules about where it is and isn’t used, the Stroudsburg Borough Council voted, unanimously, to pass a resolution (or depending on your news source, ordinance) that “condemns” fracking. Stroudsburg is located about five miles from the Delaware Water Gap in Monroe County, PA. It’s debatable whether or not there’s anything to frack under Stoudsburg. Because the borough is in the Delaware River Basin the DRBC doesn’t yet allow drilling there anyway–so the vote was purely symbolic.

The ring leader seems to be outgoing councilwoman Kathleen Lockwood who has proven her ignorance on the subject of fracking with her public comments on the matter (see below). Since this was a symbolic vote, we nominate Ms. Lockwood to symbolically remove herself from using all natural gas–she should quit heating her home with it, quit using it to cook her food, and quit using electricity in her home produced by using natural gas–you know, to show the rest of us her resolve in opposing fracking. If fracking is so bad and evil, surely she would want to quit using the results of that fracking–natural gas–right? What’s that? Not so fast? Let’s not be hasty now! Yeah, that’s what we thought…
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Carroll County Anti-Drillers Eager to Help with Air Quality Study

The anti-drilling group Carroll Concerned Citizens (Carroll County, OH) is only too eager to help out with a new air quality study that will be conducted by the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Oregon State University’s (OSU) College of Medicine in Carroll County. Perhaps a little too eager. Using a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the two universities are teaming up to place passive air quality sampling equipment on properties close to active or recently-completed shale drilling operations. Carroll Concerned Citizens (CCC) is one of the local “partners” that’s “assisting” in the study. Err, yeah. Please tell the CCC volunteers this is a scientific study, K? And tell them to keep their cigarettes at home when they’re out and around checking the air sampling equipment, K?

The eager-beaver announcement from CCC about the new study:
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National Fuel’s Executive Chairman Retiring on April 1st, Sort of

National Fuel is a big company–a $6.2 billion integrated company with its headquarters in Buffalo, NY and different divisions involved with shale drilling, pipelines and storage, utilities and more. National Fuel is also the parent of wholly-owned subsidiary Seneca Resources, one of the largest drillers in the Marcellus Shale (at last count they are the third largest owner of acreage with 775,000 Marcellus Shale net acres). So when there’s personnel changes at the top, it’s news. Today National Fuel announced that David Smith, formerly CEO until March of this year, and now Executive Chairman of the Board, will retire on (no joke) April Fool’s Day–April 1st. However, the announcement is a bit difficult to understand.

Apparently Smith is currently Executive Chairman of the Board, but after April 1st he’ll remain on the board as just Chairman (no Executive) of the Board. Say what? Yeah, we don’t know what the difference is either–except it seems to signal a further stepping away from day to day operations for Smith. That’s the takeaway we get from the National Fuel announcement…
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Handy New Webpage for Locating Marcellus Industry Jobs

The Marcellus Shale Coalition is perhaps the premier organization of its kind–made up of drillers and associated supply chain companies from huge multi-national corporations down to local businesses with a handful of employees. Recently the MSC introduced a new webpage that at first glance may seem rather unremarkable–but to MDN it’s a big deal. Some smart person at the MSC said, “Hey, why don’t we list our member companies on a webpage, and link the company name to the jobs/career info on their respective websites?” Simple! And brilliant.

The MSC did just that, and result will save people who are looking for a job in the Marcellus Shale hours of time in their job search. Here’s the location of the MSC’s new “Find a Job” page, along with our analysis of what it is, and what it isn’t…
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