Federal NETL Study: Fracking Doesn’t Contaminate Water Supplies

Real ScienceThis is a very important story that MDN has been following for more than two years. In June 2012, MDN reported the launch “out of nowhere” of a study by U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to test whether or not faults, or large cracks that sometimes exist through multiple rock layers, can create a pathway for hydraulic fracturing fluids to migrate to aquifers (see NETL Study of Faults & Fracking, Are We Being Set Up?). We were a tad skeptical at first, but we were soon reassured this is real and unbiased science (see Update on NETL Faults & Fracking Study). A year later, the preliminary data reported by NETL was encouraging (see Breaking: Obama DOE Says Study Shows Fracking Fluids Don’t Migrate). The final version of the study, more than two years in the making, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday (full copy below). What did it show? According to the headline of an AP story: “Landmark fracking study finds no water pollution”…
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Spectra Energy New England Pipeline Gets a Name & a Partner

Yikes. Pipelines planned for the northeast continue to spring up. They’re needed, that’s to be sure. And they bring with them billions of investment (and loads of jobs). All good things. Ultimately it will mean lower utility costs for gas and electric, particularly in New England–if these companies can get them built. One of the most recent entrants is Spectra Energy with their announcement in July to expand the Algonquin and Maritimes pipeline systems adding an additional 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2017, much of it slated for New England’s electric generating plants (see Spectra Energy to the Rescue! New England Pipeline Expansion). That project now has a name and a new partner. It’s being called the Access Northeast project and Spectra has picked up a partner in Northeast Utilities to help shoulder the expense, pegged at $3 billion to build it…
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Morgan Stanley Buys Partnership in Eureka Hunter for $65M

Yesterday Magnum Hunter, a Marcellus/Utica driller with a number of subsidiaries, including midstream company Eureka Hunter, announced that Morgan Stanley is becoming a partner in Eureka Hunter. Price tag for becoming a partner? $65 million. According to Magnum Hunter and Morgan Stanley, Eureka Hunter is now worth $1 billion. The deal itself is complicated and includes multiple subsidiaries and names you’ve likely never heard of (like Ridgeline Midstream and ArcLight Capital Partners). We just told you the news in a nutshell. Below is the press release from Magnum Hunter announcing that news–a press release obviously written by lawyers, rendering it virtually unreadable for the rest of us…
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OH Village Water Study Finds Utica Drilling Doesn’t Pollute

Smart people in Garrettsville, Ohio. Garrettsville is a small village (population 2,325) located in Portage County, OH. In 2011 there were five Utica Shale wells being drilled near the village. Some of the residents were concerned that the drilling may affect sources of public drinking water the village relies on. So the village Board of Public Affairs contacted and arranged to have the Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute at Youngstown State University monitor some 20 water wells in the area to see if Utica drilling affected any of them. The study began in 2012 and is “ongoing.” What has it found?…
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Pavlovian Opposition Continues Against PennEast, Atlantic Sunrise

Whenever a major new interstate pipeline is proposed, especially in the northeast where more such pipelines are desperately needed, anti-drillers jump up and begin protesting immediately. It’s like a knee-jerk reaction–a Pavlov’s dog experiment gone awry. They don’t even know why they oppose it–they just do. Can’t help themselves. And so earlier this week we have two anti-pipeline meetings–one in New Jersey against the PennEast Pipeline project, the other in Pennsylvania against the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. Whenever these nuts gather their conversation turns to the shrill and irrational. Try this one on. The proposed PennEast Pipeline will “cut a wide ‘virgin’ path along the entire western edge of the county” in Hunterdon County, NJ, according to Sierra Clubers at an anti-pipeline meeting on Monday. Kind of conjures up rape, does it not? That’s just what they intend with their incendiary language…
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Mich. AG Continues to Target Chesapeake, Racketeering Charge

In June 2012 Reuters tried to stir up trouble against Chesapeake Energy by broadcasting “leaked” (Watergate anyone?) emails that somehow magically appeared on the Reuters doorstep that supposedly show Chesapeake trying to collude with Encana Energy to keep the price of Michigan state land oil and gas leases artificially low (see Did Reuters Break the Law with Latest Chesapeake Story?). Eventually the Michigan Attorney General’s office filed charges against Chesapeake, even though the federal government had investigated and didn’t find anything worth pursuing (see Feds Clear Chesapeake & Encana in Collusion Case, Michigan Next?). Michigan is still hell-bent on shaking down Chesapeake (see Michigan AG (Unbelievably) Files More Charges Against Chesapeake). The same Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette, has also filed charges against Chesapeake’s leasing arrangements with private landowners. On Monday, a Michigan court said Chessy must face a trial on one charge of racketeering (a felony) and 20 counts of using false pretenses to allegedly defraud private landowners in the state…
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Chesapeake Hires New Mouthpiece

Chesapeake Energy has a new mouthpiece: Brad Sylvester. The company announced (a few weeks ago) that Sylvester is joining Chesapeake as its new Vice President of Investor Relations and Communications. He has his job cut out for him. The company is being sued and hauled into court in multiple states over leasing practices. Michigan, as we highlight in another MDN story today, continues to press the attack on Chesapeake–this time with a racketeering charge in federal court (a felony). Sylvester was most recently employed by Southwestern Energy. He’ll report to Chesapeake’s Chief Financial Officer, Nick Dell’Osso. Nick, you may recall, is one of Aubrey McClendon’s fair weather friends (see McClendon Exits Chesapeake, Well-Bonused “Friends” Replace Him). Here’s the Chessy announcement that Sylvester is stepping into the lion’s den:
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‘Marcellus Shale Documentary Project’ opens Sept. 23 @ Penn State

Penn State will debut the “Marcellus Shale Documentary Project” in State College, PA on Sept. 23 at the Palmer Museum of Art. We don’t know for certain, but we’re 99.9% sure this is more anti-drilling clap trap dressed up as a serious pursuit of the truth behind the Marcellus. The project “features photographic images that tell the personal stories of Pennsylvanians affected by the Marcellus Shale gas industry.” As part of this “important” new exhibition, a series of events are planned, referred to as a “museum crawl” (something like a pub crawl, only you get drunk on “art” instead of booze). A panel discussion to bash fossil fuels and “extractive industries” will happen in late October as part of the project. The panel is being sponsored (paid for) by Penn State, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, and something called The Rock Ethics Institute. Bet you didn’t know that rocks have ethics, did you?…
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