Latest Gallup Poll Shows We’re Losing the War on Fracking

opinion-poll.jpgWe don’t automatically believe every poll we read–especially polls by left-leaning pollsters like the Gallup organization. But their latest poll results have the ring of truth–and it’s disturbing. In 2014 and again in 2015 Gallup conducted a nationwide poll of the American public asking this question: “Do you favor or oppose hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” as a means of increasing the production of natural gas and oil in the U.S.?” In March 2014 opinion was evenly split–with 40% favoring and 40% opposing and another 19% clueless (i.e. no opinion). One year later, in March 2016, it breaks down thus: 36% support fracking, 51% oppose it and 13% remain clueless. The biggest swing against fracking has been among Republicans. The vast majority of Democrats have been against fracking–for years–and remain so. They are ideologically rigid in their hatred of fossil fuels. The change has come among Republicans. Folks, we’re losing the public relations war with fracking. Fortunately the founding fathers constructed our great country as a republic–not a simple majority “mob rule” democracy. Democratic principles of freedom to be sure–but with safeguards to protect the minority, which the founders realized was often right. We have to do more to win the American public to our side–to show them that fracking is not evil and does not harm the environment but is, instead, a modern day miracle…
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New Utica-Powered Electric Plant Proposed for Guernsey County, OH

A new Utica (and Marcellus) natural gas-fired electric generating plant has been proposed for Guernsey County, OH. Apex Power Group is proposing to build a large 1,100 megawatt plant in Valley Township–producing enough electricity to power 1 million homes. The plant will generate 500 jobs during construction, and 25 full-time jobs to operate the plant when it’s completed. Apex says construction is targeted to begin in 2018 and will go online in 2020…
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Small NatGas Electric Plant Proposed for Delaware Data Center

Today MDN published an article about a proposed natural gas-fired electric plant planned for Ohio (see New Utica-Powered Electric Plant Proposed for Guernsey County, OH). Contrast that article about an 1,100 megawatt plant and its tone of “this is great, look t the jobs it will bring and the energy it will produce” to an article about a data center in Middletown, Delaware. The builders of a proposed data center need a lot of electricity (all those computers use a lot of electricity)–so they filed an application to build their own 52.5 megawatt natgas electric power generating plant. The Delaware plant will produce about 4% of the electricity produced by the proposed Ohio plant. And yet the article about the Delaware proposal is alarmist–as if this tiny little plant will poison the air the neighbors breathe. We find it amusing…
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Top 10 Marcellus/Utica Drillers in SWPA – Ranked by Production

top-10.jpgEverybody loves a list. We do too! We spotted a ranking in a recent issue of the Pittsburgh Business Times that lists the top 37 shale gas producers in southwestern Pennsylvania, based on the amount of gas they produced in 2015. We pulled the names of the top 10, listed in order from most to least…
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PA DEP’s $8.9M Methane Migration Fine Appealed by Range Resources

Last June the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) sent Range Resource a notice they planned to fine the company a whopping $8.9 million for methane migration into water wells and a nearby stream in Lycoming County, PA (see PA DEP Slaps Range with Record $8.9M Fine for Methane Migration). The DEP said the Range well, drilled in 2011, had been leaking methane since at least 2013 (improperly cemented well casing) and the methane had “contaminated the groundwater-fed wells of private water supplies, and a nearby stream.” But the DEP never actually sent a bill for the fine to Range. Why? Because Range immediately appealed the DEP’s initial notice to the PA Environmental Hearing Board. It now appears the appeal process will drag on at least until the dog days of summer–in July…
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Sigh of Relief for Rex Energy: Noteholders Agree to 2nd Lien Deal

As we previously reported, Rex Energy, a small Marcellus/Utica driller headquartered in State College, PA, had offered to refinance its notes (i.e. IOUs) so the notes expire later, meaning they don’t have to cough up cash sooner to pay off the debt (see Rex Energy Offers to Refinance Outstanding IOUs). With few takers for a second lien, Rex then offered to sweeten the deal (see Rex Energy Extends & Sweetens Offer to Refi Outstanding IOUs). Rex finally closed out the offer last week. They had hoped to refi up to $675 million worth of outstanding notes. In the end, they got 94% of the noteholders to spring for the deal (sigh of relief at Rex)…
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MDN Subscriber Does Bang-Up Job as Moderator at NE O&G Awards

Charlie Schliebs
Charlie Schliebs

Each year the Oil & Gas Awards hosts an industry summit followed by an award ceremony in various locations across the country. For the past couple of years MDN editor Jim Willis has been a moderator at the summit. However, Jim could not attend the event held last week in Pittsburgh (see Winners of 2016 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards [FREE Access]). So in his place, Jim nominated Charlie Schliebs, Co-founder and Managing Director at Stone Pier Capital Advisors in Pittsburgh (and long-time MDN subscriber), to be moderator. By all accounts from those we’ve corresponded with, Charlie did a magnificent job. His was the one session reported on by NGI’s Shale Daily (see below). We’d like to once again thank Charlie for his willingness to moderate and for the great job he did. We sincerely hope he puts next year’s event on his calendar! Charlie wrote the following post on LinkedIn about the experience…
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EXCO Reaffirms No New Marcellus Drilling in 2016, Capex Cut 69%

On March 1 EXCO Resources issued a press release with fourth quarter and full year 2015 results. In the release EXCO, once a sizable player in the Marcellus with 145,000 net acres in the Marcellus and having drilled and operating 124 horizontal Marcellus wells, said there would be no new Marcellus drilling in 2015 (see EXCO: No Marcellus Drilling in 2015/2016, NYSE Threatens Delisting). Last week EXCO reaffirmed that sentiment, saying they are cutting capital expenditures by 69% in 2016 over what they spent in 2015. EXCO spent $277 million last year, and now plans to spend $85 million this year. The only place they plan to spend money on drilling is a few wells in the Haynesville Shale. Also of note, their borrowing base went down…
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Democrat Attorney Generals Back Away from Al Gore, NY AG

Remember the story we ran last week noting a big climate change meeting in New York City where Al Gore partnered up with the New York’s odious, anti-drilling Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to smear fossil fuel companies and threaten them with lawsuits if they don’t admit global warming is real and that their companies are killing the earth (see Climate Change Hucksters, Incl. NY AG & Al Gore, Threaten O&G)? Along with Gore and Schneiderman there were attorneys general from 11 states also attending–and got their picture taken with the King of Climate Change himself. Turns out it was all just a photo op. While Gore and Schneiderman wanted the world to think that all of these states are prepared to sue fossil fuel companies, the attorneys general from 9 of the 11 states are backing away. They don’t want to sue fossil fuel companies. Only California and Massachusetts joined New York in the threat. So the entire thing was a charade, a scam, one more in a line of scams from Gore…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Mon, Apr 4, 2016

The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading. In today’s lineup: Antero Midstream is bullish about wastewater; Gastar faces borrowing base blow due to late Marcellus sale; solar farm developers target upstate NY farmers; CELDF failed initiatives cost Youngstown taxpayers $80K so far; Philly energy hub concept struggles; US rig count hits all time low again; good news & bad news on America’s leaking methane; and more!
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