Anti-Drilling Activist Bad-mouths Fracking at Murrysville Hearing

A paid political activist who is not a doctor but works for the so-called Physicians for Social Responsibility (left wing group), told a hearing in Murrysville (Westmoreland County), PA on Wednesday that she could not prove fracking leads to negative health affects on those living near the activity, but in the very next breath she essentially said it does, saying there’s a “strong correlation” between fracking an ill health. Her proof? A list of Big Green-paid for “health studies” (propaganda campaigns).
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H&H Bends Over Backwards to Reduce SWPA Well Pad Truck Traffic

Frac sand truck

Shale driller Huntley & Huntley (H&H), headquartered in Monroeville (Allegheny County), PA, leases land and drills in the Pittsburgh suburbs. They’ve picked a tough place to do business. The company works hard to win over residents who live near their shale drilling projects. The latest example is what H&H is doing to reduce truck traffic in Murrysville (Westmoreland County), PA.
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Protesting Antis Allowed to Attend Plum, PA Private Shale Meeting

Shale driller Huntley & Huntley (H&H), headquartered in Monroeville (Allegheny County), PA, organized a private meeting last night in Plum, PA for “officials from local municipalities, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the oil and gas industry.” The meeting was an effort at good communication, so local officials know what is and is not allowed, and who regulates what, when it comes to shale drilling. Of course anti-drillers got wind of the meeting and pitched a fit until H&H opened up the meeting to let them attend.
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Huntley & Huntley Proposes Another Well Pad in Upper Burrell

Upper Burrell Twp

Huntley & Huntley continues to make Upper Burrell in Westmoreland County, PA a key area of focus. In January we told you about H&H’s plans to add two more well pads in Upper Burrell, numbers 10 and 11 (see Huntley & Huntley Proposes Shale Wells 10 & 11 in Upper Burrell). And now, just a few months later, yet another new H&H well pad is being planned–number 12.
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Former Range Exec Who Went to H&H is Now at Encino

Last October MDN told you that the man largely responsible for the huge success of Range Resources in drilling in the Marcellus Shale, Range’s former senior vice president in charge of the Marcellus, John Applegath, left retirement to head on over to Huntley & Huntley, to helm the drilling program there (see Retired Range VP of Marcellus Heads to Huntley & Huntley as COO). He didn’t stay long.
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Huntley & Huntley to Use Gas-Powered Electric Fracking in SWPA

Huntley & Huntley, with some 100,000 acres leased in southwestern Pennsylvania, has kicked its shale drilling program into high gear this year. Yesterday we told you that a former Range Resources veteran in charge of Range’s Marcellus drilling program has joined up with H&H (see Retired Range VP of Marcellus Heads to Huntley & Huntley as COO). We have more H&H news: The company has contracted with oilfield services company U.S. Well Services to use “electric fracking”–natural gas powered electric fracture stimulation. It’s more environmentally friendly than diesel-powered fracking, reducing noise by 99% and fuel consumption by 90%.
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Retired Range VP of Marcellus Heads to Huntley & Huntley as COO

The man largely responsible for the huge success of Range Resources in drilling in the Marcellus Shale, Range’s former senior vice president in charge of the Marcellus, John Applegath, is heading to Huntley & Huntley to helm the drilling program there. Applegath recently retired from Range, but he’s not ready for the pasture just yet! He’s jazzed to be working with the much smaller H&H and the team they’ve assembled, to drill in the Pittsburgh area. H&H has roughly 100,000 leased acres in southwest PA.
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Huntley & Huntley Drilling Another 5 Wells in Upper Burrell, PA

Zeus

What a difference a year can make. In October 2017, Upper Burrell Township (Westmoreland County, PA) supervisors approved a plan by Huntley & Huntley to drill four shale wells in the town. The supervisors endured an extremely hostile crowd as they voted to approve the plan (see H&H Drilling in Upper Burrell Gets Final Approval, Raucous Crowd). Those wells, at lease some of them, have since been drilled. H&H came back with a plan to drill another five wells at the same location–the Zeus well pad. This time there was no crowd opposing the plan. Just a simple, quiet approval by town supervisors.
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Penn Twp Frack Ban Decision Now in Hands of Local Judge

Last November we updated you on a lawsuit filed by a group of anti-fossil fuelers in Penn Township (Westmoreland County), PA (see Penn Twp Ninny Nannies File Lawsuit to Block Apex, H&H Wells). A group calling themselves Protect PT, backed with money and legal help from Big Green group PennFuture, filed a lawsuit to try and stop Apex Energy and Huntley & Huntley (H&H) from drilling wells in the township. A Westmoreland County judge heard some testimony in the case in April (see Penn Twp Antis Try to Use PA ERA to Block Shale Drilling). The peril with Protect PT’s lawsuit is that it uses Pennsylvania’s so-called Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), which liberal PA judges have, in recent years, breathed new life into. The argument is that fracking denies those who live near this temporary activity their “right” to enjoy Mom Nature, therefore it should be banished forever. Protect PT is attempting to pull off a total frack ban in the Penn Township. Although the judge heard testimony in April, more was given this week. All testimony is now done and the case rests with the judge. We expect whoever loses will appeal. Below is a recap of the case and the testimony given this week…
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9 More Seismic Testing Devices Stolen in SWPA, 6 Were Returned

Click for larger version

Somebody in southwestern Pennsylvania has sticky fingers. In March MDN reported that someone(s) in SWPA had stolen nine seismic testing nodes in Westmoreland County (see Whoops! Stolen Seismic Testing Nodes in SWPA have Tracking Devices). The seismic testing devices were legally placed in various locations by Geokinetics, hired by Huntley & Huntley to map what’s below the surface in preparation for drilling shale wells. Geokinetics let it be known that if the devices were not returned by March 26, the perps would be hunted down and prosecuted. Oh! And did we tell you that each device has a GPS tracker in it, so Geokinetics can locate the devices whenever they want? We now have a second case of sticky fingers. Stupid is as stupid does. Geokinetics reports another nine units were lifted, this time in Monroeville (Allegheny County). Once again the word has gone out: Return them now, by April 16th, or you will be found and prosecuted. Six of nine have already been returned…
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Penn Twp Antis Try to Use PA ERA to Block Shale Drilling

Last November we updated you on a lawsuit filed by a group of radical anti-fossil fuelers in Penn Township (Westmoreland County), PA (see Penn Twp Ninny Nannies File Lawsuit to Block Apex, H&H Wells). A group calling themselves Protect PT, backed with money and legal help from Big Green group PennFuture, filed a lawsuit to try and stop Apex Energy and Huntley & Huntley (H&H) from drilling wells in the township. The lawsuit finally made it to a county judge who is hearing testimony this week. One of the “expert witnesses” called by Protect PT is retired and discredited Cornell professor Tony Ingraffea, who makes a living by traveling around the country bashing fracking (see our Ingraffea stories here). The peril with this particular lawsuit is that it uses Pennsylvania’s so-called Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), which liberal PA judges have, in recent years, breathed new life into. The argument is that fracking denies those who live near this temporary activity their “right” to enjoy Mom Nature, therefore it should be banished forever. That’s what Protect PT is attempting to pull off–a total frack ban in the Penn Township…
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Monroeville Continues to Block Seismic Testing to Prevent Drilling

Monroeville, PA (Allegheny County, suburb of Pittsburgh) is hostile toward the shale industry. In September, Monroeville Council voted to enact a super-restrictive seismic testing ordinance (see Monroeville, PA Passes Restrictive Seismic Testing Ordinance). The ordinance is meant to hassle Huntley & Huntley (H&H), which wants to conduct seismic testing in two rural areas of the municipality (for potential drilling in a neighboring municipality). In October, the contractor hired to do the seismic work for H&H, Geokinetics, took Monroeville Council to court over their punitive seismic ordinance (see Monroeville Seismic Testing Ordinance Challenged in Court). Both sides compromised and in November settled the case, which Monroeville Council voted to accept in December (see Monroeville Council Approves Seismic Testing Court Settlement). That should be the end of the story, right? Wrong. Monroeville has continued their harassment by asking a court to immediately suspend the testing because (they claim) Geokinetics did not give proper notification to residents that the testing was happening. This is nothing more than a transparent attempt to prevent future drilling by slowing, or stopping, H&H’s ability to get an accurate picture of the best places are to drill a Marcellus well. Fortunately Geokinetics just finished the testing, so Monroeville’s pathetic attempt to stop it is now moot…
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Monroeville Back from Edge of Insanity, Allows Some Fracking

Common sense has broken out in Monroeville. Either that, or fear of litigation. Either way, Monroeville (Allegheny County, PA) has rolled back an overly-restrictive zoning ordinance meant to hassle Huntley & Huntley’s plans to drill wells in the township–the very same township where H&H has its headquarters. Last October, Monroeville Council passed a temporary ban on oil and gas well drilling everywhere except for those areas marked M-2 industrial zoning–a big change (see Monroeville, PA Hostile to Shale, Bans Drilling in Most Places). Previously, drilling permits were “conditional use” in Monroeville, meaning each permit was evaluated on its own merits, regardless of which zoning district it was located in. By limiting drilling to M-2, Council severely limited drilling in the municipality–but at least drilling was still allowed. Then in January, Monroeville Council advertised their new zoning ordinance to FURTHER RESTRICT any kind of oil and gas activity–not just drilling, but pipelines, compressor plants, etc.–to a 150-acre parcel located next to the city dump (see Monroeville Pushes Ban on NatGas Activity, Incl. Drilling & Plants). It would be, in essence, a total ban on shale drilling activity throughout the township. Two weeks ago Monroeville Council voted (unanimously) to withdraw the proposed new ordinance, which means the zoning ordinance from last October limiting drilling to M-2 remains the law. Still not good, but better than a total ban…
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H&H About to Drill Well in Upper Burrell as Antis Plead with Judge

In some places, drillers have to fight tooth and nail, every inch of the way, just to drill a simple Marcellus Shale well. Such is the case in Upper Burrell (Westmoreland County), PA. Huntley & Huntley has plans to drill four shale wells in Upper Burrell Township. Sure there’s been push-back, but we thought the corner had been turned when town supervisors voted last November to approve H&H’s plans (see H&H Drilling in Upper Burrell Gets Final Approval, Raucous Crowd). The supporters of drilling far outnumbered the antis at the meeting. However, a small group of antis remains committed to blocking H&H’s drilling plans. The latest twist is that antis are asking a judge to rule that the supervisors, who were discharging their duties in accordance with the law, erred in their decision to grant final approval for H&H’s drilling plans. Here we go again…
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