Obi-Wan Quigley: These are Not the TAB Droids You’re Looking For

these are not the droidsPennsylvania’s Acting Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary, John Quigley, continues to come under fire from PA Republican legislators over his (so far) less-than-transparent operation of the department–especially over firing the former Oil & Gas Technical Advisory Board members and replacing them with his own people, including so-called “non-voting” members (see Why did PA DEP Acting Sec Quigley Mass Fire Gas Advisory Board?). Since he’s losing the PR battle on that front, he’s changed tactics, referring to the TAB almost as window dressing…no big deal…they don’t even have any authority or power to really do anything…nothing to see here, these are not the droids you’re looking for, move along…
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PA Counties Line Up Against Wolf Severance Tax, Distrust Assurances

Pennsylvania counties are saying “no thanks” to PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s severance tax plan. They don’t believe (justifiably so) that they’ll make out just as well under a severance tax as they have under an impact fee. They’re not falling for Wolf’s “just trust me, ya’ll will be just fine” routine. Wolf is not in a political pickle because the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania is lining up against his high severance tax proposal. Wolf tells counties they’ll still get what they were getting under the impact fee. They’re telling him, politely, that he’s full of beans…
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PA DEP Issues Drought Watch in 27 Counties, Including Marcellus

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection issued a drought watch for 27 counties in the state, including some of the most heavily drilled Marcellus Shale well counties–including Susquehanna, Bradford and Tioga counties. A drought watch is, according to the DEP, the first and least-severe level of the state’s three drought classifications and calls for water users to voluntarily conserve 5% of the water they have been using…
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Dominion Needles Anti-Drillers by Throwing Party for Cove Point LNG

celebrateDominion hosted a party yesterday and anti-drillers weren’t invited. Dominion’s party sported the Japanese ambassador the U.S., Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and other dignitaries–international, state and local–to celebrate the fact that the Cove Point LNG export facility is now under construction. Japan and India have together spoken for 100% of all the natural gas that can be liquefied and pumped through the new facility once it’s built and begins operations in 2017 (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones). As near as we can tell this was a party just to have a party. That is, there was no particular portion of the project completed or other “milestone” reason to celebrate. They just wanted to celebrate and (judging from the language in the announcement below) needle anti-drillers (the “doubters” who said it couldn’t be done) to point out that Dominion has won–and they have lost–despite their best efforts to scuttle the project…
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Bonnie Raitt Gives Them Something to Talk About – Stupidity

Bonnie Raitt has decided she’s going to give them something to talk about–and it’s not love. Raitt is the latest celebrity to mouth lies about fracking. She’s donating a couple of songs to a new album due out in June called “Buy This Fracking Album”–an attempt to fundraise for a losing effort. Raitt, whose musical talents cannot be denied (which makes this story so sad and painful to write), is regurgitating lies she’s been told. Raitt actually said fracking “destroys our water, our communities and our planet.” It’s just a shame that such a talent is so ignorant of the facts. The only way to get the attention of Raitt and the others contributing to the album is to never again buy a ticket to one of her concerts, never spend a penny on another song she sings, and deny her any kind of revenue. Money talks and it’s about the only language people like Raitt listen to, so let’s make sure she gets the message loud and clear…
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Liberty Says “Non-Fracked” Trinidad Gas Better than Marcellus Gas

For some time a controversy has been brewing in (where else?) New York State. But this controversy isn’t about fracking–at least not directly. Liberty Natural Gas filed a plan back in 2010, prior to the Marcellus Shale revolution, to construct an off-shore LNG import (not export) facility off the coast of New York and New Jersey–in the ocean. A floating LNG facility. A pipeline would run from the off-shore terminal to Jones Beach, NY and from there would connect to a Transco pipeline lateral. But something happened on the way to the forum–the Marcellus Shale boom. There is no longer a need for the terminal. Anti-drillers (anti-fossil fuelers, really) are dead set against it. The Marcellus revolution caught a lot of people by surprise, including Liberty. So did Liberty acknowledge the project is no longer needed? Nope. They’re trying to convince anti-drillers the project is still needed because it will bring in “non-fracked” gas from places like Trinidad. That is, they’re shooting the very industry they belong to right in the head, and attempting to appease the nutters on the other side that will never be appeased. Not a very smart move by Liberty…
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WV Prof. Engineers Likely Need Contractor License to Keep Working

If you’re a professional engineer (PE) working in the Marcellus/Utica Shale in West Virginia, listen up. You may (probably will) be required to become a licensed contractor in the State of West Virginia. It’s a bit convoluted under what circumstance you do and do not need a contractor’s license. This is how law firm Steptoe & Johnson (who just won the “Law Firm of the Year” award at the Oil & Gas Awards for the Northeast, congrats!) explains it…
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