The Great Chesapeake Massacre II: Lawler Fires Another 740 People

Jason Friday the 13thJust when you thought it was safe, Chesapeake Energy CEO Doug “the ax” Lawler has done it again. Two years ago Lawler swung the ax and fired 800 employees in a single day (see The Great Chesapeake Massacre: Lawler Fires 800 People in One Day). He’s done it again. Citing low commodity prices for gas and oil, Lawler fired another 740 Chessy employees yesterday. Most of the employees fired worked at Chesapeake’s Oklahoma City headquarters–562 of them. However, the firings reach across the country. We’re aware of at least two Chesapeake employees let go at the company’s St. Clairsville, OH office in the Utica Shale. The firings (or layoffs, if you prefer) represent 15% of the entire Chesapeake workforce, which as of today now stands at around 4,000 people. No doubt the firings make Lawler’s boss Carl Ichan happy…
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How Deep Did Cabot O&G Drill Their Rogersville Test Well in WV?

Journey to the Center of the EarthThe Rogersville Shale once again popped up on the radar. Yesterday at the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) Conference in Wheeling, WV, a research geologist with the Kentucky Geological Survey talked about the Rogersville Shale, outlining its geography in both WV and KY. Corky Demarco, executive director of WVONGA chimed in with a reminder that Cabot Oil & Gas has drilled a test well in the WV Rogersville in Putnam County (see Cabot Drills Test Well in WV Rogersville Shale, More on the Way?). The new news coming from Demarco’s comments yesterday is how deep Cabot’s test well was drilled…
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PA Gov Wolf Declares Severance Tax War on Shale in Budget Veto

vetoThe ideologically rigid, most-liberal governor in America (according to InsideGov), Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, yesterday vetoed a stopgap spending budget passed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate, further damaging the people he pretends to want to help–little children in schools. Falling back on the same old lies and political pandering rhetoric, Wolf said he was vetoing the bill because it “sells out the people of Pennsylvania to oil and gas companies and Harrisburg special interests.” It’s now open war on the Marcellus industry by the Wolf administration. In his veto letter, Wolf doesn’t mention that his own special interests–primarily teachers’ unions–are the real reason he’s holding out for an obscenely high severance tax on Marcellus Shale production. Sometimes politicians like Wolf have conveniently leaky memories. Wolf is perfectly happy with driving the state right over an economic cliff if he doesn’t get his way on a severance tax, no matter who (i.e., children) get hurt…
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Jeb Bush Visits Rice Energy in PA, Ticks Off Sierra Clubbers

Jeb BushLooking like he’d had his morning Ensure drink, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush had plenty of energy as he talked about energy policy in a speech he delivered yesterday at the headquarters of Rice Energy in Washington County, PA. As predicted, Bush said things the oil and gas industry can stand up and cheer for: lift the ban on exporting crude oil, make it easier to export natural gas, and repeal some of the onerous regulations now on the books. He would also roll back Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan regulations that target coal (and natural gas) with a regulatory death sentence. Below is how it was reported, followed by Bush’s policy paper on how he would handle energy policy if he were to get out of single digits in the polls and get the nomination (something not very likely)…
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Tiny Protest in Trenton, NJ Against PennEast Pipeline is “News”?

newsSome 35 anti-fossil fuel wackos, apparently with no jobs, show up during a slow news day at the Statehouse in Trenton, NJ to protest the PennEast Pipeline and news outlets report it as a major story, implying there’s a huge movement against the pipeline. What about the 366,500+ residents who also live in Mercer County and who aren’t opposed to the PennEast and who didn’t turn out to protest it? Is that worth a story? Apparently not. Of course this tiny protest wasn’t spontaneous–it was organized, planned, hyped and paid for by nutty Sierra Clubbers and THE Delaware Riverkeeper (Maya van Rossum)…
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EPA Visits Pittsburgh for Final Hearing on Methane Emissions Law

what you believeYour beliefs matter. For example, if you believe in the fairy tale of man-made global warming (see Inconvenient Global Warming Fact: Avg Temp Hasn’t Risen in 18 Yrs), then you will attempt to force the greatest country on earth–the United States–to abandon the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. It is that erroneous belief that animates the Kool Aid drinkers in the so-called environmental movement. If you’re a real creep, you try to prey on the unthinking public’s fears that the planet will bake and your health is at risk by continued extraction of fossil fuels. The federal EPA is preying on those fears with their latest power grab to illegally regulate the oil and gas industry through the back door by creating new, unlegislated laws to reduce so-called methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. Regulation of oil and gas drilling is Constitutionally left to the individual states. The EPA wants to corrupt that and was in Pittsburgh yesterday for a final public hearing on their draconian new unlegislated laws on methane emissions. The EPA got an earful–from both anti-drilling wackos and from the oil and gas industry…
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Sad: NC County Passes 3-Year Moratorium on Fracking

heartbreakerIt’s heartbreaking, but not surprising, to see residents in a North Carolina make the same mistakes made by residents in New York State. Monday night the Stokes County (NC) Board of Commissioners voted to enact a three-year moratorium on potential shale drilling in the county. Well-meaning but completely ignorant residents agitated and cajoled the commissioners into voting for no drilling. Stokes, located in northern NC, is part of the Dan River sub-basin, which in turn is part of the larger Triassic Basin. Earlier this year the state cleared the way for fracking to begin (see Triassic Park: North Carolina Becomes 34th State to Frack Shale). The ignorant agitators are happy with the moratorium as a first step, but ultimately (like New York) hope they can ban fracking altogether…
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WV Newspaper Says State Should Avoid NGL Severance Tax Hike

hopeJust last week MDN told you about the bone-headed proposal from a partisan group in West Virginia calling for a doubling or tripling of the severance tax on natural gas liquids–unless those NGLs stay in the state (see Partisan Group Wants to Double or Triple WV’s NGL Severance Tax). There’s at least one group of editors at a mainstream newspaper in the state who disagree. The editors at The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register point out the danger that such a tax will reduce drilling in the Mountain State, and rather than contribute more tax revenue to WV’s coffers, it will end up contributing less. Finally! Somebody who writes news who can grasp economics 101! Perhaps there is hope after all…
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Morningstar Predictions: Crude Max $64/Barrel and NatGas $4/Mcf

crystal-ball.jpgInvestment research service Morningstar is out with their latest “Quarter-End Insights” on energy. The highly regarded service says (a) the price of crude oil won’t rebound anytime soon, and their long-term price projection is for oil to be priced around $64/barrel here in the U.S., (b) even though natural gas production is slowing in the U.S., there’s plenty more ready to go online and therefore prices will remain low for a while–they project a “midcycle” price for natural gas of $4/Mcf; and (c) one of their top three picks for stocks in the energy space is Marcellus driller Cabot Oil & Gas…
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Phelim McAleer to Release GasHoax Ahead of Josh Fox’s GASWORK

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Tomorrow the Joseph Goebbels of the anti-fracking movement, Josh Fox (of Gasland fame) will release a new short fictional movie called “GASWORK – The Fight for C.J.’s Law.” The new propaganda film by Fox supposedly “investigates the dangerous working conditions in the oil and gas fields.” Er, well, yeah–it is dangerous! Which is why there’s such an emphasis on safety training by drilling companies. At any rate, Fox’s piece of propaganda, meant to smear fossil fuels, will air on a teeny tiny network called MSNBC (a network virtually no one watches anymore), at 8 pm Thursday during the “All In with Chris Hayes” program (a program we’d never even heard of before today). It’s important to point out Fox’s history of lies when it comes to the issue of fracking and natural gas drilling. No one does that better than Phelim McAleer, a real filmmaker who made the fabulous documentary FrackNation. Phelim is back to counter Josh’s latest propaganda with his own short film called GasHoax. Phelim plans to release his film tomorrow morning, ahead of Fox’s release, so people can know the true story of who Fox is and how he operates…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Wed, Sep 30, 2015

best of the restThe “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: 10 new Utica permits; enviro benefits of pipelines; PennEast opponents intervene; PA drilling scares OPEC; GE’s digital power plant for gas; lessons from ETE/Williams deal; global warmers want to prosecute climate change skeptics (like MDN); more methane emanating from Philly Clean Air Council; pipelines to Mexico; and more!
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