Shotgun Wedding: New Board Member Forced on WPX Energy

shotgun weddingYesterday WPX Energy, the spin-off drilling company from midstream giant Williams Partners, announced the appointment of Karl Kurz to the board of directors. MDN previously told you that WPX is being jerked around by its second largest stockholder, Taconic Capital Advisors, which led to the firing of the WPX’s CEO (see CEO Shake-up Explained: Taconic Capital Jerking WPX’s Chain). It appears that Kurz, previously COO for Anadarko Petroleum, is Taconic’s toady on the board–there to do his masters’ bidding.

Here’s the interesting thing to MDN: Williams, WPX’s one-time parent that still has a major stake in WPX, was attacked by a Carl Ichan disciple at the same time WPX was attacked by Taconic–no coincidence if you ask us (see Bad News: Corporate Raiders Take Aim at Williams). Carl Icahn’s toady at Chesapeake Energy is it’s new CEO Doug Lawler–a one time executive at Anadarko (see The Great Chesapeake Massacre: Lawler Fires 800 People in One Day). Now we get a former Anadarko person on the board at WPX. See a trend here?…
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Guest Post: Pennsylvania Drilling Moratorium – Good or Bad?

Chris AckerBefore Pennsylvanians head to the polls in November to elect a new governor and new legislators, they may want to consider the consequences of installing Democrats to re-assume power in the state. Specifically, Democrats have vowed to slap an ongoing moratorium–essentially a ban–on Marcellus Shale drilling should they regain control. MDN has been one of the few places in the media to even cover this story, and we’ve called it just what it is: economic insanity (see PA Democrat Party Votes to End Marcellus Shale Drilling Statewide).

MDN friend and contributor Chris Acker, a Pennsylvania property owner and geological engineer with an MBA, does a deep dive into the issue to explore what would happen should PA slap a moratorium on new shale drilling. Hint: It’s like experiencing someone’s worst nightmare…
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Compare & Contrast 2 Eastern Democrat Governors on Shale Drilling

Let’s compare and contrast “state of the state” addresses delivered yesterday by two Democrat governors in the eastern United States. Governor A has a thriving, business-friendly state that welcomes not only service businesses but specializes in ensuring heavy industry businesses are welcome and investing in his state. In fact, Governor A, who is not only business-friendly but also environment-friendly, works tirelessly to expand job opportunities for his residents, including shale jobs. He’s probably the only Democrat MDN would vote for! And that’s saying something.

Governor B, on the other hand, generally sits on his rear-end, goes to expensive fundraisers deluding himself that he has a chance at the presidency, has the highest unemployment in the eastern U.S., is driving thousands of businesses (and business owners) out of his state each month while mouthing platitudes about being business-friendly, and frankly is a do-nothing governor. Can you guess which is which?…
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NY Releases a Draft (Frackless) State Energy Plan

Last week Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State very quietly released a draft New York State Energy Plan for 2014. No fanfare. No nothin. The plan supposedly “sets forth a vision for New York’s energy future that connects a vibrant private sector market with communities and individual customers to create a dynamic, clean energy economy.” Completely absent from the plan? Shale drilling. Which means this is not really a plan at all, but a political advertisement that panders to Cuomo’s kook fringe left–people like Debra Winger, Josh Fox, Mark Ruffalo, Yoko Ono and a plethora of other non-thinkers.

We were first alerted to the release by MDN friend and intrepid blogger Andy Leahy and his excellent NY Shale Gas Now! blog site. Must be the AP reads Andy, because not long after his post went live, the AP ran a story that’s been republished in dozens of newspapers coast to coast. Here’s Andy’s excellent take on the draft so-called “energy plan” from Gov. Frackless…
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Hearings Underway on OH Plan to Bribe Voters with Utica Shale Tax

Some RINO elected Republicans in Ohio and some oil and gas industry folks have combined forces to endorse a horrible idea: raising the drilling tax on Utica Shale drilling. MDN previously outlined our objections to the plan (see Taking a Closer Look at Ohio’s “Piddly” Utica Shale Tax Increase). The Ohio House is now holding hearings on the plan–listening to testimony both for and (presumably) against.

Here’s the latest on the Ohio hearings to retard the growth of the Utica Shale by increasing taxes on it to bribe redistribute some of the money to people who don’t have a thing to do with producing it:
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Washington County, PA Airport Considers Offer to Lease

Washington County, PA commissioners will vote today on a proposed lease of the county’s airport property–to allow shale drilling under (but not on top of) the property. According to the deal offered, the county would receive $6,400 per acre as a signing bonus and 18.25% royalties on any gas produced. It’s unclear how much of the 360 airport-owned acres will generate revenue for the county because when the county purchased the property some landowners retained mineral rights. However, the deal, if signed, is sure to generate a boatload (or planeload) of money for Washington County.

Here’s more details about the proposed offer, and which drillers (plural) are cooperating to do the drilling…
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Shale Drilling Leads to Higher Property Values in WV

One of the old, trite, and untrue arguments trotted out by anti-drillers is that when drilling comes to town, property values decrease. It shouldn’t surprise you, if you read MDN, to learn that the exact opposite is true. The latest evidence of that comes to us from one of the most horizontally drilled/fracked counties in West Virginia: Marshall County.

Officials in Marshall County report that because of all the drilling in the county, property values in the county have risen by an average 10%. Put another way, if you were to sell your house today, you’ll get 10% more than you would have gotten just a few years ago. The only “problem” is that some peoples’ property tax bills will go up because of it…
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