Research for Hire: Anti Groups Sponsor Latest Yale Frack “Study”

researchThe next round in so-called anti-drilling research into the “health impacts” from fracking have arrived in the form of a study about to be published in the National Institutes of Health journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Titled “Proximity to Natural Gas Wells and Reported Health Status: Results of a Household Survey in Washington County, Pennsylvania” (full copy embedded below), this latest salvo in the fracking wars is DOA. Why? The anti-drilling Heinz Endowments, led by Mamma Teresa Heinz-Kerry, the Schmidt Family Foundation, founded by former Google CEO (and big-time anti-driller) Eric Schmidt, and the Philadelphia-area Claneil Foundation, funder of many anti-drilling “studies” are the main sponsors of this latest “study” that tabulates self-reported ailments of skin rashes and coughing from 492 people (in 180 families) living in Washington County, PA. Guess what they found? If you read the USA Today headline, they found “People near ‘fracking’ wells report health woes,” to which we say, those who don’t live near fracking wells report health woes too! The study itself says this: “…these results should be viewed as hypothesis generating…proximity of natural gas wells may be (emphasis added) associated with the prevalence of health symptoms including dermal and respiratory 3 conditions in residents living near natural gas extraction activities. Further study of these associations, including the role of specific air and water exposures, is warranted.” That is, nothing conclusive was found from this small sample of 180 households in a single county. But let’s not let “nothing conclusive” get in the way of spinning yet another tall tale that fracking causes health problems. Crank up the media lie machine…
Continue reading

NY Gov Cuomo Comments on Fracking, Hounding by Protesters

He speaks! The man-child Andrew Cuomo, erstwhile (and rumored) Governor of New York, someone who has a problem making decisions (should I wear the black tie or the blue tie?), had to run a small gauntlet of anti-drilling protesters to cast his ballot in yesterday’s statewide primary. Cuomo, as we’ve chronicled for years, refuses to allow fracking in New York ahead of this November’s election. The betting money is that he will allow it after the election. When asked about the anti-drilling protesters outside the polling place, Cuomo uttered an entire paragraph on the topic–more than he’s said in a year…
Continue reading

Buffalo Bills Stay in Buffalo, Thanks to $1.4B of Marcellus Money

For some time we’ve followed, with interest, the story of the sale of the Buffalo Bills NFL football team (see Fascinating Connection Between NFL & Marcellus/Utica). East Resources–an oil & gas driller with extensive holdings in the Marcellus–is owned by Terry Pegula. Terry sold much of his Marcellus holdings in 2010 to Shell/SWEPI for $4.7 billion. He later purchased the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey team. Not long ago he sold off more (the rest?) of his Marcellus and Utica acreage to Aubrey McClendon for $1.75 billion (see Aubrey McClendon’s Money Makes Purchase of Buffalo Bills Possible). Terry has, according to “sources” of Buffalo Business First, won the bidding contest for the Bills. The price? Uncoincidentally, $1.4 billion–the highest price paid for any NFL franchise in the history of the league…
Continue reading

New Transportation Hub for Drillers Coming to Eastern Ohio

A new tri-modal (rail/truck/barge) logistics and transportation hub serving the Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia shale drilling is coming to the former Ohio Cold Rolling Company steel finishing mill in Yorkville, Ohio, located on the border of Belmont and Jefferson counties–right in the thick of where shale drilling has recently heated up. Esmark, Inc., which purchased the old Ohio Cold Rolling Company two years ago, recently announced that they will close the mill. However, in its place they will create a new transportation hub where products like frack sand, steel pipes, heavy equipment and other goods used for Utica and Marcellus drilling will be loaded and unloaded and reloaded, heading to various destinations. Esmark is converting the 1 million square foot plant into a rail/truck/barge complex called the Yorkville Energy Services Terminal. Among the many services at the new facility will be sucking 3 million gallons of fresh water per day from the Ohio River–to be used in drilling and fracking…
Continue reading

API Research/List of Shale Supply Chain Companies for PA/OH/WV

Important new research has just been released by the American Petroleum Institute on the role of supply chain businesses in oil and gas. In particular, not only how many such businesses exist–but who they are, by name. MDN has glanced through the report and has pulled the writeups for Pennyslvania, Ohio and West Virginia (all three below). The research shows that the oil & gas industry in PA is contributing $34.7 billion to the economy each year–a staggering number. The average salary for a PA worker is $48,785–but the average salary for o&g workers in PA is $78,898 per year. Similar numbers are found for both OH and WV as well…
Continue reading

WV PSC Gets Fed Money to Increase Truck Inspections Near Drilling

Truck drivers in West Virginia–particularly in areas where there’s a lot of Marcellus Shale drilling activity–you’ve been put on notice by the WV Public Service Commission (PSC) that they’re stepping up the frequency of inspections. The WV PSC has received a $180,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that allows them to pay for overtime for officers to step up the number of truck inspections. Regular patrols will continue, however, the grant money allows the PSC to increase patrols in certain areas, which will include…
Continue reading

NY’s Steingraber to Keynote Lafayette College Anti-Frack Festival

Lafayette College will hold an anti-fracking event under the very thin veneer of coming together to “examine the issue from all sides” at a two-day symposium next week in Easton, PA. Lafayette College’s 2014 Roethke Festival will be held Sept. 19-20 and the keynote address will be delivered by none other than New York’s own queen anti-fossil fuel advocate, Sandra Steingraber (see Sandra Steingraber’s Big Gaffe at You Defend It Debate). MDN has heard Steingraber in person a couple of times. She actually believes we could (in NY anyway) shut off all fossil fuels–today–and rely totally on so-called alternative sources of energy like wind and solar. How? If only we had the “political will” to, you know, turn our thermostats down to 50 degrees in the winter, go back to using horse and buggy and otherwise go back to living like folks did in the 19th century. In our book she’s certifiably nuts. Another headliner at the Lafayette anti-fracking fest will be little known anti-drilling author Lamar Herrin who wrote a novel about fracking creatively titled “Fractures.” He’s going to read from his book (yawn). A token pro-driller will be on one panel–the always excellent David Yoxtheimer from Penn State. If we were you, we’d give this “coming together” a big, fat pass and instead head off to a good music festival somewhere…
Continue reading