EPA Takes First Step to Renounce its Own Fracking/Water Research

junk-science.jpgAs we pointed out just last month, the so-called “scientists” who belong to the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board have begun the long process of getting the EPA to change the outcome of its 4-year study of fracking that concludes fracking doesn’t pollute groundwater (see Will EPA Whore Itself to Antis and Change Fracking Water Study?). The EPA originally launched a 2-year study, that later turned into a 4-year study, in which they analyzed 950 studies related to fracking. The EPA also designed and completed 9 of their own studies. At the end of this arduous and scientifically rigorous process, the EPA concluded, in a published report in June 2015, that fracking does not pollute water (see EPA Draft Report Says Fracking Doesn’t Pollute Groundwater Supplies). Ever since the EPA report was issued anti-drilling radicals have demanded the EPA change the outcome of its science (see Anti Groups Try to Convince EPA They Got it Wrong with Water Study). True science doesn’t change nor cave to political pressure. A few dozen members of what is called the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) released a draft a letter (copy below) yesterday. The letter calls into question the conclusion that fracking doesn’t pollute water. Voila. Another example of “science” being corrupted by political philosophy…
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Shortages Begin: Tangible Result of No Pipelines in New England

In December 2014 the Massachusetts-based utility Berkshire Gas Company announced the amount of natural gas they could purchase from the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) was at full capacity. There’s no additional gas supplies to buy–unless TGP builds their Northeast Energy Direct (NED) expansion project. So Berkshire was forced to tell new customers for natural gas in portions of Franklin County they won’t be able to tap into Berkshire’s line (see Guts: No New Pipeline in MA? Then No New Natgas for Utility Customers). In September, the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) approved long-term contracts for three utilities, including Berkshire Gas, to buy natural gas supplies from TGP’s NED pipeline when/if it gets built (see Mass. Approves Plan for Utilities to Buy Gas from New Pipeline). Anti-drilling nutters promptly sued to stop that plan (see Anti Group Sues to Stop Mass. Utilities from Buying Natural Gas). It’s now a year after Berkshire’s first announcement that some communities in Franklin County won’t get new natgas service. Berkshire has had to expand the prohibition area. They’re now turning down new businesses in neighboring Hampshire County, which is causing a stir. We’re not sure why antis don’t get it. No new gas, no new service. It’s pretty simple. Below is the story of a jilted Texas Roadhouse, who says they wouldn’t have purchased land and built had they known they couldn’t get natgas service. Translation: more businesses will stay away, or perhaps even leave, because they can’t get natgas due to the shortage
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Southwestern Energy Renewing Leases in WV, PA

Tick tock tick tock. Every day that passes brings landowners and drillers closer to the end of an initial five-year lease contract. In October 2014, Southwestern Energy purchased a humongous 413,000 acres of leases from Chesapeake Energy, most of that land in West Virginia (see Chesapeake Sells Close to 25% of Marcellus/Utica Operation). Southwestern paid over $5 billion for the deal. That leased acreage came with an expiration–which is happening now, at least for some (most?) of the acreage. Every lease is different. Some leases allow the driller to pay the same (or a different) renewal payment to keep the lease going for another period of time, typically another five years. The $5 billion question is, what will Southwestern do? Everyone is scaling back right now. Companies just can’t afford to do much drilling. Will Southwestern opt to renew those leases that they paid big bucks for? It seems we have an answer to that question. A WV newspaper is reporting that Southwestern has begun extending leases in Ohio and Marshall counties…
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Antis Wrong: No Link Between Fracking & Smallmouth Bass Decline

Back in 2012 Congressman Camille “Bud” George, Democrat from Clearfield County, PA, opened his big mouth and tried to blame fracking for a problem with smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River (see PA Dems Blame Marcellus Drilling for Smallmouth Bass Problem). Last May, the nutters from a group called “Occupy the Constitution Pipeline Route” repeated the same accusation, showing a picture of a diseased smallmouth with a huge tumor (see below). Thing is, none of it is true. Earlier this week the head of PA’s Dept. of Environmental Protection, John Quigley, and the head of PA’s Fish and Boat Commission, John Arway, both said the smallmouth bacterial disease issue is unrelated to fracking…
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Updated Map of Ohio Utica Permits/Wells for Jan 2016

Every few months the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) produces a map that shows where Utica permits have been issued, where Utica wells have drilled, and where drilled wells are now flowing natural gas (and oil and NGLs). We bring you a copy of this map from time to time. Below is the most recent version, issued on Jan. 4. Here’s a few MDN observations about this map…
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New LNG Facility Green Lighted in Canada, Would Use Marcellus Gas

Another LNG export facility along the East Coast of Canada has just received a green light from the Canadian National Energy Board (NEB). To be honest, this one was not previously on our radar. The facility would be built and owned by Hiranandani Group of Mumbai, India. They’re using a subsidiary company called Atlantic Coast (or AC) LNG Inc. The plan is to build the facility in Nova Scotia and (mostly) use Marcellus/Utica gas imported from the United States via the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline (M&NE). Currently the M&NE flows from north to south, from Canada to the U.S. There is serious talk of reversing the flow. In fact, at some points for brief periods the flow already gets reversed, during peak demand periods in Canada. The NEB has granted AC LNG a permit to import up to 2.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of U.S. natural gas. The permit also grants them the right to export up to 2 Bcf/d from the terminal, if built. Some of the particulars…
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Repsol Not Happy with Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge, Pipeline Reversal

A number of Canadian LNG export facilities being planned for eastern Canada are dependent on obtaining cheap, abundant Marcellus and Utica Shale gas from the U.S. Today we highlight news of a new (to us) entrant into the LNG race, AC LNG (see our companion story). How will Marcellus and Utica Shale gas get to the northern reaches of Canada? Via the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline LLP (M&NE), a pipeline that stretches from the Boston area all the way to the northern reaches of Nova Scotia. Historically the M&NE pipeline has brought natural gas south, from Canada to the U.S. One of the sources of the gas traveling south on the M&NE is the Canaport LNG facility in New Brunswick–which imports LNG and regassifies it and sends it out over the M&NE. Repsol, a huge Spanish oil company, is the owner of the Canaport facility. So it’s no surprise that Repsol is sounding the alarm and asking the question: What happens to the gas we send south if M&NE reverses its flow and begins sending gas north?…
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API 2016 State of American Energy Report

Earlier this week the American Petroleum Institute (API) released its annual report, the State of American Energy (full copy below). Several themes are prominent in the report: shale energy’s creation of jobs, the economic growth we’ve experienced due to shale energy, and the fact we are now more secure than we’ve been in generations with respect to energy. We’re far less dependent on foreign oil than we were just a few years ago. That’s great news!…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Jan 8, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: FERC defends Cove Point decision in court; time to ask FERC for Constitution Pipeline waiver; land deal near Shell cracker plant; pipelineophobia in PA; PIOGA continues court fight against DEP; TransCanada sue U.S. over jilted Keystone XL pipeline; shale drillers look to “slumbering” wells; and more!
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