Low Levels of Radiation Found in Range PA Wastewater Impoundment

radiation.jpgVery low levels of radiation were present in leftover sludge from a tank where wastewater is stored at a Range Resources wastewater impoundment in Mt. Pleasant Township (Washington County), PA. The good news is that rigorous testing, as Range and others do, caught the issue. The better news is that the radiation levels are so low, they’re barely above “background levels” and you would literally have to sleep next to the tank for years to be affected. In other words, it’s a non-issue, something that doesn’t happen often but when it does, the industry handles it.

Of course if you live near the impoundment and your anti-drilling, you over dramatize it and make it seem as though you’ll be glowing in the dark any day now…
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Williams’ Oak Grove, WV De-Ethanizer Operational This Month

Back in February MDN told you about a “superload” or extra-long tractor trailer winding its way through the back roads of West Virginia on it’s way to the Oak Grove process plant (see Williams’ Oak Grove, WV Plant (Slowly) Gets New De-Ethanizer). Two such loads were delivered the plant, taking some three days or more to go 30 miles from the rail yard to the plant. The extra-long loads were de-ethanizers–equipment that will strip ethane from natural gas liquids processed at the plant. The ethane can then be sold via pipeline.

Each ethane superload is some 40 yards–120 feet or about 12 stories–long. Both of them now stand erect in Oak Grove and later this month they will start pumping and separating ethane. Which is good news indeed for drillers in the southwest Marcellus and Ohio Utica areas who can now turn what was an expense (disposing of ethane by burning it or mixing it with other hydrocarbons) to a revenue stream (selling it for some good coin)…
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NJ Engineering Firm Coming to Montrose to Clean Up Fracking Mess

Sadat Associates, a Trenton, NJ-based environmental engineering company, rather arrogantly believes it will sashay in and clean up “the mess” caused by fracking in the Marcellus Shale–at least that’s how we read an article appearing in The Times of Trenton. Sort of like Superman has arrived on the scene–now all our problems will be fixed. Sadat Associates has a lot to learn about getting work in the Marcellus Shale industry.

Our prediction–they may want to stick to servicing their current industrial polluting clients in New Jersey. We doubt too many will take kindly to their poor portrayal of a safe industry in northeast Pennsylvania…
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Sunoco Hires Big Gun Law Firms to Help Complete Ethane Pipeline

An update on Sunoco Logistics’ legal battles to build a 50-mile pipeline in western PA to connect to an older 8-inch pipeline that’s being re-purposed to flow ethane and propane from western PA all the way to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia along the Delaware River. The problem is push-back from residents along the pipeline’s route–for the new 50 miles of pipeline and for the compressor stations that need to be built along the entire route (see More Pushback from PA Residents on Proposed Mariner East Pipeline). Sunoco feels it has no choice but to be granted state recognition as a public utility corporation (not the same thing as a public utility).

They have a lot riding on their request to be recognized as a public utility corporation, so Sunoco has just hired a couple of big gun energy law firms to give them a hand with their multiple legal battles. One of those firms is Blank Rome, handling Sunoco’s application to be classified as a public utility corporation. The Sunoco case at Blank Rome is being headed by Michael Krancer–former Secretary of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, super sharp lawyer and all-around nice guy (MDN has spoken to, and heard Mike speak, a number of times). The other law firm lending a hand is Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, who will help out with Sunoco’s problems with new pipeline construction in western PA…
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Some Utica Shale Drillers are Winners, and Some are Losers

Interesting to note that Crain’s Cleveland Business comes to the same conclusion that MDN espoused a week ago: BP rolled the dice in the Utica Shale–and they bet wrong (see BP Calls it Quits in the Utica Shale – Total Write-off).

The Crain’s piece makes a valid observation: Although shale drilling is far less risky than other types of oil and gas exploration and production–it’s still a risk. With any risk, some will win and some will lose (contrary to the pap taught today in schools that everyone can be a winner). Shale drilling is high stakes in some respects, a lesson that BP learned the hard way…
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Turns Out that State College Teens are the REAL Scientists

Back in February we told you about high school kiddies from the State College, PA area who are helping with a project to monitor water conditions in a creek that runs through Black Moshannon State Park (see State College Teens Help Out with Shale Network Water Sampling). The project is part of something called the Teen Shale Network. The point is to monitor the water to get baseline readings ahead of shale drilling slated to be begin nearby, and then again after–to see if there are any changes that can be attributed to shale drilling. Wow! What a concept! Real, live, actual, in-the-field empirical research.

Contrast the dedication of these kids slogging through the snow all winter, entering freezing waters to do real, actual science, with that of people like Cornell “professors” Tony Ingraffea and Robert Howarth, who sit in ivory towers reading the work of other scientists and generating term papers they call “research” (see Devastating Critique of New Ingraffea/Howarth Methane Study by EID). Big difference. If you ask us, the State College kids are the real scientists. Here’s an update on the activity of our real scientists doing real research…
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NYT Editors: Burning Fossil Fuels Worse than Chernobyl & Fukushima

The editorial board at the New York Times is pretty much a lost cause–that we all know. Populated by extremists who worship at the feet of Karl Marx and who think socialism will work “this time” because they’re so smart and know how to do it right. So we (hardly) ever read the Ancient Gray Lady, far past her prime and ready for the grave. But some items in the NYT catch our attention, from time to time–purely for entertainment purposes (no real reporting goes on in the NYT anymore).

An NYT editorial from May 1st illustrates how completely off their rockers the Kool Aid-drinking editors at the NYT have become with respect to global warming (even though the earth hasn’t been warming for the past 15 years, see Warming whoops: Scientists debate the falling rate of rising temperatures). The NYT editors say burning oil, natural gas and coal is causing more damage to Mother Earth than Chernobyl and Fukushima did. Folks, this lunacy must be stopped and stopped NOW before they throw us back into the Stone Ages…
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Radical Trout Unlimited Says Fracking OK Sometimes…Really??

For the past few years MDN has pointed out that groups like Trout Unlimited (TU) are strongly anti-drilling. Maybe not every last member is against drilling, but every quote we’ve ever read from the organization proper or it’s members comes down on the side of being against shale drilling. In February the watchdog group Center for Consumer Freedom named TU and others as “radical green groups” (see Trout Unlimited, Other Groups Outted as Radical Green Groups).

We thought it was interesting, and funny, that the increasingly anti-drilling Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (must be the industry spends more ad dollars with their rival the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) ran an article focusing on the ever-so-reasonable TU and it’s considered, erudite, nuanced approach to shale drilling. A TU senior official says in the article: “We’re not opposed to fracking, we just think it shouldn’t happen everywhere.” Right. Just change that last word to “anywhere” and you have their real sentiments…
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Unusual Letter to the Editor in Upstate NY Newspaper

A letter to the editor published in the Jamestown, NY Post-Journal is so unusual, it caught our eye and made us want to share it with you. As you know, there is an ongoing moratorium (let’s just call it a ban, because that’s what it really is) in New York–going on almost six years now. Some 70,000 landowners and a lone energy company, Norse Energy, are the only ones with the guts to sue to break the ban (see NY Hearing on JLCNY/Norse Lawsuit v Cuomo, Martens, Shah).

The letter to the editor we noticed is in some respects like many others. It points out the rank hypocrisy of anti-drillers in NY who oppose shale drilling when 1/3 of the state–including many in the anti-drilling movement–heat their homes with fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The letter also points out some other key arguments. The unusual thing about the letter? It’s from a former member of the NY State Assembly–a Democrat. THAT caught our attention…
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NIMBYism Becomes NOMEism in MA Over Kinder Gas Pipeline

Now that’s more like it! You may recall MDN brought you a story about Kinder Morgan’s plan to run a leg of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline across the state of Massachusetts to bring badly needed Marcellus and Utica Shale gas to New England, where five Democrat and one Republican governor from New England states say they desperately need the gas (see Reaction to TGP’s Planned Pipeline Across Massachusetts).

We were utterly mystified that residents in Massachusetts were reacting so, well, reasonable about the prospect of a new pipeline. However, all is right in the world now–the stars have realigned. It took some time, but opposition has arisen and Deerfield, MA became the first town to pass a resolution against the pipeline. Now that’s the wacky, liberal, unreasonable Massachusetts we know!…
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New Green Investors Stock Index Rejects NatGas

The silly fools who are today’s modern “environmentalist” movement are so convinced that carbon–the stuff you breathe out with every breath–is going to “pollute” precious Mother Earth–they’re demanding investors not put their money into “dirty” fossil fuels anymore. Hey stupid people–why don’t you purge your own bodies of carbon if it’s that bad? Oh that’s right–you won’t do it because carbon is the second most prevalent element that makes up 18% of the human body and you would kill yourselves. Maybe there’s an opportunity for a carbon-purging salon, kind of like a tanning salon except it removes carbon from the body to help out ole Mother Earth. But we digress…

The Natural Resources Defense Council along with huge asset management company BlackRock (who famously fired the world’s best-ever mutual fund manager for their own stupidity, see BlackRock’s Screw-up with Dan Rice & Rice Energy), are creating a new stock index with FTSE Group. The new index will be for “climate-minded investors,” ya know. Oh, and because natural gas belongs to the wrong clique (the dirty fossil fuel gang from across the tracks), natgas isn’t allowed in the new green investors index. Whatever.
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