PA DEP Signals Approval for Shell Ethane Cracker Air Quality Plan

positive signsWe understand it’s a really big commitment to decide to spend $2 billion or more on a single project, like the Shell ethane cracker plant announced in June 2011 that may (or may not) be coming to the Marcellus (see Shell Commits to Building a Billion Dollar Chemical Plant in the Marcellus Region of U.S.). But after a while (nearly four years!), the waiting grows tiresome. In March 2012 Shell settled on a potential site in Monoca (Beaver County), PA, about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh (see Shell Announces Location of Ethane Cracker Plant). In June 2012, a Shell official said a final decision on whether or not to build was “18 to 24 months away” (see Shell: Final Decision on Cracker Plant Still 18-24 Mo. Away). Er, right. The end of the 24 months was nine months ago. Still, there have been some positive signs, including a very positive sign from last Saturday…
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Urban Drilling in the Marcellus/Utica? Yes, in Some Locations

Is Marcellus (and Utica) Shale drilling going urban? Coming to cities and towns? In some cases, the answer to that question is, yes! Don’t look for drilling rigs to pop up in the city limits of Pittsburgh (it’s banned there anyway). But for smaller towns and cities surrounded by farmland and open fields, it’s not only possible, it’s actually happening. At least the leasing of those smaller urbanized areas is happening. Take West Leechburg (Westmoreland County), PA, for example…
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Pittsburgh Economic Leader Says Wolf Severance Tax Really 15% Rate

Last Friday Dennis Yablonsky, the CEO of the Allegheny (PA) Conference on Community Development, had a rather sobering and shocking assessment of PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s high severance tax. He said the effective rate of Wolf’s severance tax is actually 15%, not the 5% touted (lied about) by Wolf and his DEP Acting Secretary John Quigley. According to Yablonsky, the tax as proposed is just too high and will (our words) kill the industry in the state…
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OH Gov “Tax Oil and Gas” Kasich Wants to Run for White House

Go Tax Young Man! Er, ah, no. “Go West young man! Land on the moon! Go to Mars!” Those were the words of the very animated, very self-important and very deluded Ohio Gov. John Kasich last week as he spent time…in Ohio, where he’s governor, trying to run his state? No. Kasich spent last week in New Hampshire where he’s trying to gin up excitement for a potential run as president on the GOP ticket. Earth (and conservatives) to RINO Kasich: There’s no way in &@!! conservative Republicans will vote for you in an election. We’re done voting for RINOs (like Bob Dole/John McCain/Mitt Romney/Jeb Bush/Chris Christie/John Kasich). We will only swing the lever for real conservatives, not people who want to tax the oil and gas industry into oblivion as you’re proposing to do Gov. Kasich. If a RINO like Kasich is at the top of the ticket, the Republicans will lose the presidency, once again, because conservatives will stay home–including MDN. Here’s more  about John “foreigner hunter” Kasich on the campaign trail, hoping to spark interest in a potential run for The White House…
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Albany Times Union Says Electric Lines will Corrode NED Pipeline

In an effort to bend over backwards, forwards and in any direction that will help, Kinder Morgan continues to have multiple talks with multiple communities in an effort to build their $6 billion extension to the Tennessee Gas Pipeline, a project called Northeast Energy Direct (NED). The pipeline would stretch from New York State through Massachusetts into New Hampshire before re-entering Massachusetts and terminating near Boston. It aims to bring desperately needed natural gas to New England. Yesterday we told you about the gutsy move by a local gas utility in MA that said if the pipeline isn’t built, no gas new customers (and no new gas appliances for existing gas customers) would be allowed–indefinitely (see Guts: No New Pipeline in MA? Then No New Natgas for Utility Customers). One of the ways Kinder hopes to minimize the project’s impact is by running the pipeline through existing rights of way where electric power lines are run. But ninny nanny anti-drillers have a counter argument even for that. Get this (it’s really quite funny): The anti-drilling Albany Times Union is reporting that the presence of power lines way up in the air will corrode pipelines deep under ground–so say “numerous scientific studies.” The TU refers to just one such study, written for Israel (not even a North American study). We’d say the TU is diggin’ deep in their propaganda advocacy to prevent shale drilling and pipelines…
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Equitable Origin: Another Organization Wants to Regulate Fracking

It seems everybody and his brother (and sister) want to regulate shale drilling in the U.S. The latest group attempting to set itself up as some sort of standard is Equitable Origin (EO), which originated in South America and has offices in both New York City and Bogata, Columbia. EO has been around since 2009 trying to horn in on regulating conventional oil and gas drilling in this country by arrogantly setting up a so-called standard that they hope everybody will just adopt, called the EO100 Standard. Two weeks ago EO introduced an update to that standard called EO100.1 for Shale Oil and Gas Operators (full copy below). It will, of course, go nowhere. The interesting thing to MDN is the increasing number of organizations who want to regulate what is Constitutionally a state’s right to regulate…
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Dem Congress Members Collude with White House to Target Fracking

It was easy to predict–so easy, in fact we did predict it back in 2012. The “it” is the federal effort to regulate all of fracking and oil and gas drilling in the U.S. (see Feds ‘Hope’ States will Use BLM Rules for ALL Fracking). The Obama White House and EPA have desired to control fracking for years. Since Republicans controlled the House, Obama couldn’t push through a complete takeover of fracking (although increasingly he ignores the law and does what he wants anyway, petulant man-child that he is). Obama’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has just released their final rules for fracking on federal lands (see BLM Introduces “Final” Fracking Rules for Fed Lands – 3 Yrs Late). In a well-timed move (collusion), five Congressional Democrats introduced legislation that would put the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in control of fracking–usurping the states and their Constitutional rights to do so. One of the five is, shamefully, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey…
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USGS Says There’s Plenty More Fossil Fuels to Come in Appalachia

There were plenty of fossil fuels in the past 150 years in Appalachia–an area stretching from the northeast to the south–and there’s plenty more where those came from. That’s the conclusion from an updated series of papers collected together in a new U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper (#1708) called “Coal and Petroleum Resources in the Appalachian Basin: Distribution, Geologic Framework, and Geochemical Character” (free access, linked below). The USGS says, “Professional Paper 1708 is a modern, indepth collection of reports, cross sections, and maps that describe the geology of the Appalachian basin and its fossil fuel resources. This publication supplements and updates older USGS regional studies of Appalachian basin coal and petroleum resources.” Here’s an abstract/summary of what’s in the new report…
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