NY Law Back Door Way to Stop Widespread Shale Drilling?

Back door signSome days it’s just plain hard to live in New York State. We have so many stoners in our Assembly and Senate, so-called representatives (like Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Endicott) that force their will on the people rather than do the people’s bidding, it feels like New York is an outpost in North Korea or Putin’s Stalinist Russia instead of one of 50 free states in North America. Our latest reason for depression is a quick-get-it-passed-before-anyone-notices bill that all but ensures even if Andrew Cuomo approves shale drilling/fracking today, it will now be unlikely to produce any serious drilling programs. The misnamed and innocent-sounding “Community Risk and Resiliency Act” was signed into law by Cuomo last week. What’s that? Never heard of it? Neither had we. Here’s the gory details…
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Antero Hits Producing Well Drilling New Well, Methane in Local Water

Antero Resources has been cited with a Notice of Violation (NOV) from the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection for breaching one of their own existing and producing shale wells when drilling another well on the same pad. The incident occurred at Antero’s five-well Primm Pad in Doddridge County, WV near West Union. While drilling a new well they poked a hole in an existing well and potentially in an abandoned well–meaning methane is now flowing to places it shouldn’t be flowing. The WVDEP has given Antero until today to get the situation under control. Unfortunately it looks like it may have affected (gulp) up to a dozen of the neighbors’ water wells with migrating methane…
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IHS Shale Supply Chain Study: 56 Sectors, 524K Jobs, Major Impact

Last week an important new shale supply chain study was released by top flight research firm IHS, or Information Handling Service, the publisher of choice for the American Petroleum Institute (API). The IHS study is titled “Supplying the Unconventional Revolution: Sizing the Unconventional Oil and Gas Supply Chain” (main report below). The supply chain is composed of all of those companies supplying goods and services to the shale industry that are not oil and gas producers. The report finds employment related to unconventional oil and gas production in shale supply chain companies totaled 524,000 jobs in 2012 and is expected to grow 45 percent to 757,000 jobs in 2025, equal to 41% of total direct and indirect employment in the shale industry. Conversely, the total number of jobs across the country directly attributable to the shale industry is 1.3 million. It’s not an overstatement that the shale revolution is the only thing that has kept the American economy out of the crapper over the past six years. Let’s dig in to this terrific report from IHS…
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Major OH Court Victory for Beck Energy & XTO in Lease Case

A court case with big implications for all Ohio landowners–and drillers–was decided in March 2013. In Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp, three landowners filed suit claiming that their leases with Beck Energy Corp. were void and should be terminated because Beck never drilled wells on their property and that a provision allowing Beck to pay a nominal delay fee was against public policy. The court agreed and granted summary judgment (see OH Lawsuit Victory: 600-700 Landowners Can Terminate Beck, XTO Leases). Beck had sold the leases–in Monroe and Belmont counties–to XTO Energy, so XTO got involved in the lawsuit too. The court then granted class certification to the lawsuit brought by the three landowners–meaning between 600-700 landowners would also be able to invalidate their leases. A few weeks later both Beck and XTO filed an appeal (see XTO, Beck Energy Appeal OH Case Allowing Lease Termination). On appeal, this week the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Ohio overturned the lower court ruling and ruled in favor of Beck and XTO–a major victory for Ohio’s drillers and a major defeat for the landowners who say their land never got drilled and they wanted to re-sign with different company…
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PA Democrats Introduce 5% Severance Tax to Kill Shale Drilling

Voters in Pennsylvania stand on a precipice. If they elect a Democrat governor and restore Democrat control to the PA House and Senate, there is no doubt a severance tax will be enacted on shale drilling, *in addition to* the existing impact fee that has now collected over $630 million in three years. Such a tax would be an unmitigated disaster. It would almost completely stop shale drilling in Pennsylvania–and no, it’s not an empty threat or hyperbole to say so. It is reality. Need evidence? Last week PA’s Democrats introduced yet another bill that would implement a severance tax–HB 2508 (see it below). Fortunately the existing Act 13 has a provision that if a severance tax is ever enacted, the impact fee disappears. However, you can count on the Dems to repeal that part of the Act 13 law and double-dip on the drilling industry, thereby killing shale drilling in PA…
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PA AG Casts Doubt on DEP’s Response to Water Complaints in New ‘Guide’

As MDN reported in July, Pennsylvania’s sleazy Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale (Democrat) went on a two-year witch hunt to find any little dust bunny he could to denigrate another state agency, the Dept. of Environmental Protection (see Anti-Drilling PA Auditor General Criticizes DEP in “Report”). As we stated at the time, many of the things he criticized the DEP about occurred under the watch of Democrat Gov. Ed Rendel and then-Sec. of the DEP John Hanger. But that doesn’t stop anti-drilling “reporters” like the PBS smearmeisters at StateImpact Pennsylvania from using the report to knock the DEP one more time. DePasquale is back with another a so-called “Citizen’s Guide” to shale gas development (copy below). In the latest anti-drilling propaganda issued by DePasquale using taxpayer’s money and on Auditor General letterhead, DePasquale outrageously implies that the DEP is untrustworthy and that the DEP website may contain information that’s not accurate…
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OH 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision on Dormant Minerals Act

A few weeks ago MDN told you about the important court case before the Ohio Supreme Court concerning the 1989 and 2006 Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (see Video: OH Lawyers Explain Dormant Minerals Act & Impact on Utica). While the OH Supremes have not yet ruled, there was a ruling on the periphery of the DMA from the Seventh District Court of Appeals concerning the 1989 version of the DMA a few days after our post…
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FWW Bleats About “Sacrificing” Residents Near Cove Point LNG Plant

The odious and misnamed Food & Water Watch, a virulently anti-drilling group, is none-to-pleased with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Cove Point, MD LNG export facility (see Dominion Gets Final Fed Approval to Build Cove Point LNG Plant). The wacko environmentalists at FWW (childlike, really) threw a press release temper tantrum yesterday, declaring FERC has chosen to “sacrifice” the rural residents who live a mile away from the proposed plant in favor of fat corporate profits for Dominion. So predictable…
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