Industry-Backed Ad Turning the Tide Against PA Severance Tax

media biasMust be that new advertisement airing in Pennsylvania warning folks against Gov. Tom Wolf’s Marcellus-killing 15% severance tax is having an effect. How can we tell? Because mainstream media outlets like the ABC affiliate in Harrisburg is manufacturing a false controversy about who’s behind the ads–quoting anti-drillers like Jan Jarrett from the non-transparent partisan group called the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center–to distract people from the effectiveness of the ad. Plus, the pro-Democrat Harrisburg Patriot-News doesn’t even bother manufacturing a false controversy–they just outright criticize and ridicule the ad, not even bothering with a veneer of objectivity…
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Belmont, OH School Will Need to Accept $ Cut from Cracker Project

The teachers’ unions won’t like this one. As part of the “aggressive incentive package” (not yet disclosed) by Ohio Gov. John Kasich in order to lure an ethane cracker plant to the state, the local school district in Belmont County will have to accept concessions. That is, John Kasich wants to deny the lil’ chil’ren money OWED to them. The Shadyside school board will need to sign off on any property tax deal cut with the companies (from PTT Global Chemical from Thailand and Marubeni Corporation from Japan) planning to build the cracker plant complex. We seriously doubt that the school will have much choice in the matter. What if the school (and teachers’ unions) say “no”? Will that stop the plant? You can bet your bottom dollar that ain’t gonna happen with John “foreigner hunter” Kasich on the job…
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Rex Energy Hires Stonehenge to Build Gathering Pipeline in PA

Rex Energy has contracted with Stonehenge Energy Resources to build a pipeline gathering system for Rex in Butler County, PA. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but the system–to be built this year–will provide an additional 400 million cubic feet per day of natural gas pipeline capacity, expandable in the future. The Stonehenge gathering system will deliver gas to MarkWest Energy’s Bluestone processing plant. The details…
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PA DEP Meetings on Injection Well, Marcellus Landfill Expansion

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold two public meetings, one tonight and one two weeks from tonight, with implications for the Marcellus Shale industry in the state. The first meeting, tonight at 6 pm in Indiana County, will be a question and answer session followed by a public hearing on an application from Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) to convert an old production well into a wastewater injection well. The well is located in Grant Township, Indiana County. The second meeting, on June 15 at 6 pm in Lackawanna County, will consider Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s permit application to expand its facility located in Dunmore and Throop Boroughs. That expansion would mean accepting more waste in general, including Marcellus drill cuttings (leftover rock and dirt from drilling). The details for both meetings…
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Scranton Newspaper Endorses Jessup Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant

Must be a major advertiser has jerked pretty hard on the Scranton Times-Tribune’s chain because the newspaper that rarely supports anything to do with drilling is all of a sudden singing the praises of the planned Marcellus gas-powered electric generating plant in Jessup, PA being planned by Invenergy (see Newspaper Admits PA Gas-Powered Electric Plant Will Pollute Less). The editorial board of the Times-Tribune penned an editorial that is a full-throated endorsement of the project. The editorial says, in part…
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Outsider Anti-Drilling Groups Celebrate Victory in Maryland Frack Ban

As MDN reported last week, Maryland’s new Republican Governor, Larry Hogan–missing an important piece of his male anatomy–allowed a Maryland bill to become law that bans fracking in Maryland for another two years (see Maryland’s Pusillanimous Gov Allows Frack Moratorium to Become Law). That now gives non-Maryland anti-fracking groups another two years in which to lock down a total and permanent ban on fracking–which is their stated goal. The odious Food & Water Watch and other non-Maryland, outsider anti-drilling groups couldn’t be happier over the victory…
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NYC Conf: Competing Visions to Relieve New England Gas Crunch

SNL Financial reports on the Platts Northeast Power and Gas Markets Conference in New York City, held last week on May 28-29. Among those participating were companies offering vastly different solutions for the ongoing natural gas shortage in New England. On one side was GDF Suez Gas NA LLC (a French company) and Repsol Energy North America (a Spanish company), both hoping to import LNG to Massachusetts. Their pitch is that New England just needs enough natural gas to even out the peaks and valleys of supply–and of course GDF’s LNG terminal is the perfect solution (see Guess Why GDF Suez Doesn’t Want Marcellus Pipeline to New England). On the other side was Spectra Energy whose stated goal is to move 1/3 of Marcellus Shale gas produced into New England (see Access Northeast Pipeline — Pulling Ahead of Kinder’s NED Project?). Here’s a summary/wrap-up…
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Report: Shale Drillers Find Ways to Profit by Lowering Costs

The New York-based Manhattan Institute, a non-profit think tank with a mission “to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility,” says the shale revolution is only just getting started, contrary to the naysayers who believe the low price of oil and gas means the end of the revolution. In a new report titled “Shale 2.0: Technology and the Coming Big-Data Revolution in America’s Shale Oil Fields” (full copy below), Mark Mills, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, writes that new technology is rapidly lowering the cost to produce shale energy and that drillers will be able to turn a profit on much lower oil and gas prices than previously thought…
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Big European Oil Companies Want UN to Slap Carbon Tax on U.S.

The Europeans are sometimes, well, stupid. How else can you explain six large oil companies–BG Group, BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total–buying into the tax scheme called carbon credits? The six sent a letter (copy below) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) begging the UN to introduce carbon pricing systems and “create clear, stable, ambitious policy frameworks that could eventually connect national systems” that would “reduce uncertainty and encourage the most cost effective ways of reducing carbon emissions widely.” This is madness. Create laws that supersede each country’s sovereignty and impose a worldwide tax on carbon–the stuff you breathe out with every breath–as some sort of solution for the imaginary problem of man-made global warming? If the UN does such a thing, it will spell the end of the companies sending the letter! What do you call a company trying to commit economic suicide? Do the investors of these six companies know the heads of those companies are trying to destroy the company and their investments along with it? No wonder Europe is in decline…
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