Ohio Air “Study” Near Frack Sites Retracted for Basic Math Error

retractedIn May 2015 MDN brought you news of a then-newly released “study” from “scientists” at Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati that reportedly found people living near fracking sites in Ohio were being exposed to “deadly” air pollution (see Sham Air Study: “Unsafe Exposure” for Those Near OH Frack Sites). The so-called study used the dreaded “c” word–cancer–implying those who live close to fracking operations “may have” an increased chance of getting cancer. The published paper was titled “Impact of Natural Gas Extraction on PAH Levels in Ambient Air” and published in the peer reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology. At the time, left-leaning mainstream media had a hay day, trumpeting the study as yet more proof that fracking is not only evil–it kills ya. We pointed out all of the problems with this so-called scientific research: a very small number of air samples, taken from “non-random” (i.e. cherry-picked) locations, with untrained homeowner “volunteers” collecting the samples and shipping them to Oregon for study. In news that no mainstream outlets are reporting, the authors of the study have retracted it because (a) they used a wrong value for a gas constant, and (b) they screwed up an Excel spreadsheet link/formula. That threw off the entire outcome. In other words, the air near fracking sites is just fine–nothing to see here folks–just move along and ignore our previous 5-alarm study…
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NJ Judge Dismisses Trespassing Lawsuit Against PennEast Pipeline

Gavel-falling.jpgIn May MDN told you about a sham lawsuit brought by two radical environmental groups–Homeowners Against Land Taking – PennEast Inc. (HALT PennEast) and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation–against the PennEast Pipeline (see PennEast Responds to Sham NJ Lawsuit Re Surveying w/o Permission). The lawsuit falsely claimed PennEast was surveying on New Jersey landowners’ property without permission. PennEast has responded that the claims of trespassing to survey are (our words) horse manure. PennEast checks carefully before entering a property to survey. So the company mounted a “vigorous defense.” A New Jersey State Superior Court judge yesterday tossed the HALT lawsuit…
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Velocys Puts Ashtabula, OH Gas-to-Liquids Plant Put on Hold

on holdIt’s been some time since we’ve heard anything about/from the Ashtabula Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) plant project that Velocys says it will build in Ashtabula, Ohio. As a quick tutorial for those who may not know, GTL converts natural gas, a hydrocarbon, into other hydrocarbons, like diesel fuel, gasoline, solvents and (for Ashtabula) waxes. An abundance of cheap natural gas in the Marcellus/Utica is one of the prime motivators for establishing a GTL plant in the area. But although we’ve heard plenty of talk about such plants, none of them seem to get built–including the Ashtabula plant. There has been progress on the Ashtabula project. Early in 2015 Velocys filed for a permit, which was subsequently granted (see Ohio EPA Issues Final Permit for Ashtabula GTL Plant). Late last year Velocys announced the successful completion of pilot plant tests (see Velocys Makes Progress with Tech Used in Ashtabula GTL Plant). Since that time, we’ve heard nothing. Until now. Buried at the very end of a press release issued yesterday, Velocys said it has put the Ashtabula project “on hold” because they can’t get investors to pony up money for the project. Below is the Velocys announcement, followed by some analysis of what may really be going on…
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Smoking Gun: AGs Signed Pact to Keep Exxon Documents Secret

smoking-gun.jpgEmails recently obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests provide proof that New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, along with Democrat AGs from a number of other states, pre-planned an attack on Exxon Mobil, not only colluding with each other, but with also with radical environmental groups. And they tried to keep it all secret. AG Schneiderman’s office circulated a “Common Interest Agreement” to the other AGs–a pact he wanted them to sign that they would not release any documents about their colluding schemes to smear Exxon–BEFORE they launched the attack. We honestly wonder if what they did is criminal. We sincerely hope Exxon is pushing for an FBI investigation into this bunch of sleazy AGs–which include not only Schneiderman, but also the AGs from the Virgin Islands, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts…
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Delaware Riverkeeper “Intervenes” to Protect its Patsy – the DRBC

Wayne Count PAIn May MDN reported the great news that the Wayne Land and Mineral Group has filed a lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to contest the DRBC’s ongoing blockade of shale drilling in Wayne (and Pike) counties in Pennsylvania (see Wayne County, PA Landowner Sues DRBC Over Fracking Ban). The DRBC has blocked drilling since it considered rules for drilling in 2010, when it put a “temporary” ban in place. The Wayne Land and Mineral Group argues in its lawsuit that oil and gas wells, under the DRBC’s charter, do not constitute a “project” that is regulated by the DRBC and therefore are exempt from oversight from the DRBC. A brilliant legal move! The DRBC has become little more than a patsy for radicalized Big Green Groups, including THE Delaware Riverkeeper. The DRBC inevitably does the bidding of Riverkeeper, and Riverkeeper is strongly anti-drilling. So it was no surprise for us to learn that THE Delaware Riverkeeper has filed to intervene and indeed has joined the lawsuit, to defend their patsy…
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Federal EPA Continues to Fuss over Atlantic Sunrise Route in PA

EPA-logo.jpgThe federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a lengthy comment with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week regarding the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project (full copy below). The EPA said, in a nutshell, that more studies should be done. The EPA said the pipeline could have “significant adverse environmental impacts.” They also said alternate routes should be considered. A few things to know about the EPA’s filing: First and foremost, the EPA is treated like any other individual or organization who files comments on a project with FERC. That is, the EPA’s comments will receive no special treatment or consideration. Second, the only value in EPA’s comments is publicity for anti-pipeline nutters. Third, the “alternate routes” the EPA professes to prefer have already been considered, thoroughly, and discarded by FERC. So this is a lot of smoke and noise and mirrors–and nothing else…
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NY Lawmakers Ask Gov. Cuomo to Ban New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

Barbara Lifton
Barbara Lifton

Barbara Lifton is a dangerously stupid person. Dangerous because she happens to be an elected member of the New York State Assembly–representing the ultra-liberal bastion of Ithaca, NY. Lifton has long opposed shale drilling in the state, but her hatred of shale drilling has now spilled over and metastasized into a full-blown, irrational hatred of all fossil fuels. Lifton and 21 other energy no-nothings in the NY state legislature sent a signed letter to Gov. Andrew “man-child” Cuomo asking him to halt all state approvals of pipelines, compressor stations, power plants, and gas storage facilities. Essentially–stop any more development of energy that comes from fossil fuels. Even though, as we reported Wednesday, last year 81.5% of all energy used in this country (and in New York State) came from fossil fuels (see Last Year Fossil Fuels Provided 81.5% of All Energy Used in U.S.). That’s the stupid part. Lifton and her cronies are advocating that we dump the source of 81.5% of our energy. Let’s play a “what if?” game. If such a thing were done, if we stopped using fossil fuels in New York State, we would be instantly transported back to the Stone Ages, complete with mass death and disease. Ninety percent or more of the population would either have to move, or die. Here’s the humorous part: The letter Lifton signed requesting an energy holocaust was produced on a computer made from plastics (i.e. fossil fuels) and powered with electricity from fossil fuels. The clothes she wore at a rally in Binghamton to announce this lunacy were made from plastic fibers (i.e. fossil fuels), and she got to the rally from Ithaca in a vehicle powered by fossil fuels, riding in a vehicle and on tires made from fossil fuels. You get our drift. Pure insanity. Here’s a report about the letter, the rally, and the dangerously stupid Barbara Lifton…
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Update on Illegally Dumped Frack Waste in Kentucky Landfills

Estill County, KYIn March MDN reported that 47 dumpsters full of concentrated frack waste from OH, PA and WV was illegally dumped in a Kentucky landfill in Estill County, KY (see Marcellus/Utica Frack Waste Illegally Dumped in Kentucky Landfill). The cuttings were buried between last July and November, near as anyone can tell. The landfill sits across the road from a school. Normal frack waste has extremely low (usually no) kind of radioactivity. But when drill cuttings are further processed and concentrated, as was the case with this series of loads, the naturally occurring radiation present can become more concentrated. Fortunately there’s no indication of a problem at the landfill: no indication that it’s leaking radioactivity into the water table, etc. But parents and residents were rightly up in arms (see Local Residents Demand KY Landfill Accepting Frack Waste Close). The hunt has been on to track down the perpetrator–but apparently he’s hard to find and not long after the story broke, he shut down the company’s website and changed the address of the company to a public library address. Yeah, something is fishy…
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Sierra Club Attacks Mountain Valley Pipeline with Sham Report

junk-science.jpgAnother day, another attack on natural gas by the radicals of the Sierra Club. In this case, the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club found a retired geologist they could buy, er, a, hire to write a report slamming the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. The pipeline is due to be built by EQT, NextEra Energy and several other partners. The geologist who sold himself out to the Sierra Club says the pipeline would run through a “karst” area–an area of sinkholes and caves–and building the pipeline could potentially damage the water aquifer in that area. Below is a news report and a copy of the sham report released by the Virginia Sierra Clubbers…
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Marcellus & Utica Shale Story Links: Fri, Jul 8, 2016

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: Private Appalachian producers highlight different approaches to downturn; Eclipse’s record-breaking Purple Hayes well redefines well dev; after pushing peak oil theory, fractivists now say we have too much oil; can new buyers boost LNG market?; Canadian gas imports to U.S. spike; and more!
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