Federal Defense of Property Rights Act Explained; End of Frack Bans?

What's the 411MDN has the low-down on proposed new federal legislation we first told you about yesterday, the Defense of Property Rights Act (see Congressman Proposes Bill to Compensate NY’s Jilted Landowners). When we published yesterday’s article, we did not have a copy of the proposed legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Tom Reed (Republican from Corning, NY). We now have a copy of the bill (embedded below), we have comment from Reed’s office, comment from the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY), and we’ve spoken to a top attorney that has elucidated just what is in the bill. Bottom line: it’s a good bill and we need to support it. Here’s why…
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Small Victory: NY to Allow LNG Storage Facilities – Again

Fracking to obtain natural gas is potentially too dangerous for public health, according to New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens. Or so he said in December when he agreed with a trumped up report by Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. (Stay tuned, Zucker won’t be “acting” much longer–he’ll soon be rewarded with the full title for his performance in December–the quid pro quo for prostituting himself for Cuomo.) However, it’s just fine with Joe if fracked gas from other states is liquefied and stored in facilities in NY, available for use by trucking fleets and other customers. Today (Wednesday) Martens will release new rules that allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities to operate in the state–facilities that have been banned since the 1970s following an explosion at an LNG facility on Staten Island that tragically killed 40 workers. Anti-drillers have fought the re-introduction of LNG facilities tooth and nail, so we count today’s announcement as a small victory for the good guys in the ongoing fracking wars in NY…
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Pittsburgh Private Equity Fund Looks to Lease in Marcellus/Utica

Not everyone is sitting on the sidelines during the downturn in shale drilling in the northeast. And yes, there is no doubt there’s been a downturn, along with the dropping price of gas (and oil). Ridgetop Capital, located in the Pittsburgh area, has just raised it’s sixth round of private investment capital (cash from wealthy people)–a huge $200 million. Ridgetop’s owner, Brad Carpenter, is now on the prowl to snap up Marcellus and Utica Shale leases that he hopes to get at a bargain because of the slow-down…
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USFS Seeks Comment on Pipeline Survey in Monongahela Natl Forest

AvatarHere on Pandora where the forests are sentient and can think and feel…oh wait, that’s in the movie Avatar and the sequel is not due out until the end of 2017 (drats!). We live on Mother Earth, not on Pandora. But you wouldn’t know it by the reaction of anti-drillers at the prospect of running Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline through 17 miles of the Monongahela National Forest. You’d swear the forest can actually feel it–and would experience a catastrophic wound in its very soul…
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Anti-Drilling Environment America Issues “Report” of Top Violators in PA

Looky here–another new “report” has just been issued by yet another anti-drilling organization. Must be time for a new fundraising campaign. The far-left, anti-fossil fuel Environment America (aka PennEnvironment) has just released a sham “report” titled “Fracking Failures: Oil and Gas Industry Environmental Violations in Pennsylvania and What They Mean for the U.S.” (full copy below). The “report” claims, “Fracking operators in Pennsylvania have committed thousands of violations of oil and gas regulations since 2011. These violations are not ‘paperwork’ violations, but lapses that pose serious risks to workers, the environment and public health.” The “report” was authored by a lawyer and a journalist, both anti-fossil fuelers that use fossil fuels every day of their lives, and funded by the Colcom Foundation–a far-out organization dedicated to removing the “scourge” of humankind from the face of the earth (and no, we’re not making it up). This latest “report,” which will no doubt be reported by sycophants at places like StateImpact Pennsylvania as “news,” claims that Cabot Oil & Gas is the number one violator of the environment in Pennsylvania. The “report” also throws heaps of mud on the Center for Sustainable Shale Development and the four companies that have endorsed the CSSD’s strict operating standards…
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New Report: Marcellus Shale Drilling’s Impact on PA Schools

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly, has just published the third report in a series of studies commissioned on the Marcellus Shale and its impact on the state. Titled “Marcellus Shale Gas Development and Impacts on Pennsylvania Schools and Education” (full copy embedded below), the report looks at whether or not the rapid development of shale drilling in the state has stressed local schools in areas with the most Marcellus Shale drilling. It was feared that with an influx of workers, and potentially families, local schools would see a spike in enrollment. The report says that hasn’t happened. There was also a concern about dropout rates–perhaps kids leaving school early to work in the gas fields. That hasn’t happened either. In fact, if anything, the Marcellus has contributed more money to the coffers of local schools. No negative impacts, lots of positive impacts from northeast shale drilling…
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Guest Post: The Self Delusion of Anti-Pipeliners in New England

Yesterday MDN ran a story from NGI’s Daily Gas Price Index that delves into the motivation behind the intense opposition to pipeline projects in the northeast (see Why Such Intense Opposition to Pipelines in the Northeast?). Rick Groll, a geologist and industrial seismologist living and working in the Boston area, has some of his own observations on the motives of his fellow New Englanders. What makes these anti-pipeliners tick? Rick offers us some insight in this guest post…
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