Reversal: Media Discredits Penn State Water Contamination Study

ripping mask offThe mask has been ripped off fractivist liars peddling what they pretend is science–and it’s been ripped off by mainstream media outlets including the Associated Press, USA Today, the International Business Times and (yes) The New York Times. Let us explain. Last week MDN brought you a story about a new research study that was ostensibly authored by Penn State researchers which found, using “non-traditional” methods of research, that wastewater leaking from an above-ground impoundment had migrated up to a mile and a half away and had contaminated three private water wells in PA–five years ago (see Penn State Finds Chemical Migration in 3 PA Water Wells from 2010). We told you how mainstream media, including the AP, had gone wild with excitement, endlessly repeating the story with the implication this is the smoking gun. The so-called research paper was published in the peer reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences–a gold standard among academic journals. It seems one of the authors of that paper lied…
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Barnesville, OH Hires Costly Columbus Lawyers in Gulfport Lawsuit

In 2012, Barnesville (Belmont County), OH signed a contract with Gulfport Energy to sell Gulfport water from the Slope Creek Reservoir for 1 penny per gallon. Gulfport now wants to begin drilling in the area, following a joint venture agreement with Antero Resources. But Barnesville says the water level in the reservoir is too low and won’t sell. Gulfport sued and the whole matter has ended up in federal court (see Gulfport Energy Sues Barnesville, OH for Access to Water in Reservoir). As we later pointed out, the cost to Barnesville taxpayers because their political leaders “didn’t think” when they signed on the dotted line will now be very expensive (see Barnesville Officials “Didn’t Think” When Signing Gulfport Water Deal). Barnesville has just hired a high priced law firm from Columbus to represent them in court. How will Barnesville pay the new high priced lawyers? From money the town received from (yes) selling water from the reservoir to someone else…
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Medina, OH Landowner Says He’ll Meet NEXUS Surveyors Packing Heat

Landowners in Medina County, OH received a letter from the NEXUS Pipeline a few weeks ago telling them that surveyors have the right to enter their property and conduct surveying–whether the landowner has granted permission or not. The letter said that landowners had until May 1 to sign a permission letter, and after that date surveyors would show up. A word of caution for NEXUS surveyors: York Township resident Walter Giebeler says he has a big gun collection with some nasty looking firearms and if surveyors show up on his property, the 80 year-old Giebeler is going to pay them a visit carrying several firearms as a means of threatening them…
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Rice Energy Floats 6M Shares of Stock, Looks to Raise $145M Cash

Yesterday Rice Energy, a pure play exploration & production company focused on the Marcellus and Utica, is floating a new round of stock–6 million shares of it. It was only January 2014 when Rice launched its initial public offering of 44 million shares of stock and hauled in $924 million (see Rice Energy IPO Soars, Brings in $84M More Than Expected). The IPO was priced by underwriters at $21 per share and by the close of the bell on its first day of trading, the stock had gone to $21.90 per share (a 4% increase). How much does the company want for this new round of stock? They’ve priced it at $24.20 per share–which is pretty good considering the stock closed yesterday at $25.12 per share. If Rice gets the asking price of $24.20 per share, this latest round of new stock sales will haul in just north of $145 million in cash…
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Dominion Says Their Pipelines Gather 80% of All Ohio Natural Gas

The Guernsey County Energy Coalition heard from utility and midstream giant Dominion last week at their regular meeting in Cambridge, OH. Mack Smith Jr., Dominion’s manager of commercial gas services, had some fascinating things to say. One of them was this: “Dominion gathers about 80 percent of all Ohio gas and interconnects with seven major pipelines to distribute gas to markets, and to sell storage services to marketers and end users.” Did you know that Dominion gathers 80% of all Ohio natural gas? We sure didn’t! Here’s some more pickings from what Smith said last Thursday…
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CONE Midstream Looking to Add Customers Beyond CONSOL & Noble

In August 2014, CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy formed a midstream joint venture called CONE Midstream to connect their Marcellus and Utica wells (see CONSOL & Noble Energy Form New Marcellus Midstream Company). By February of this year, CONE had already flown by the 500 million cubic feet per day of of throughput (see CONE Midstream’s Strong Beginning, Hits 500 Mmcf/d 6 Mos Early). CONE issued their first quarter 2015 update on Monday. Management also held an earnings call and on that call upper management stated they are now looking to open up their pipelines to flow gas for other companies. CONE CEO John Lewis said so far CONE has two customers: CONSOL Energy and Noble Energy. Lewis said they’re looking at taking on new customers as well as looking at possibly buying other pipelines already in place to add to their network…
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PA DEP Loses its ‘Common Sense’ in Seneca Air Pollution Ruling

Every now and again the legal definition of “adjacent” and “contiguous” pops up in lawsuits in Pennsylvania related to natural gas drilling. Two years ago we highlighted the issue (see Should PA Compressor Plants Miles Away be Considered “Adjacent”?). The argument revolves around lumping together several potential air pollution sources, like compressor plants and even well pads and pipelines–into one, common, larger source of air pollution for the purposes of regulation. Smaller sources are regulated by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) and larger sources, over a certain threshold, by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with much stricter and more expensive standards. The PA DEP, for whatever reason, has gone after Seneca Resources and its parent company National Fuel Gas Co. for their operations in Lycoming County, PA. Even though Seneca’s well pads, pipelines and compressor stations are miles apart, because they are all owned by one corporate entity, the DEP wants them all lumped together into one source for pollution regulation. Although the combined single source would not trigger EPA regulation, Seneca/National Fuel Gas is suing the DEP to push back, on principle. The case will get a hearing in court this week…
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VA Newspaper Takes AG to Task for Decision Allowing Fracking Bans

Earlier this week MDN told you about Virginia’s far-left Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring giving local municipalities the “right” to regulate and ban fracking (see Virginia AG Says Localities Can “Regulate” & “Prohibit”). What we didn’t know is that Herring’s “opinion” which is taken as law completely contradicts and undoes an opinion issued by his Republican predecessor, Ken Cuccinelli, who wrote that while municipalities can limit drilling to areas zoned for it, they can’t outright ban it. Herring, bowing to pressure from the kook fringe of his party, aims to change it. What gives us comfort is that we’re not the only ones to notice that Herring has stepped WAY over the line on this. None other than the editorial writers for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot wrote an editorial yesterday that calls Herring to task for his recent overreach opinion on fracking…
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