Downtown Cleveland Now Heated with 100% Utica/Marcellus Gas

Sometimes mainstream media gives the Marcellus/Utica industry a gift–and doesn’t even realize it. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a story in today’s edition about the change in fuel source for downtown Cleveland. Cleveland Thermal began supplying steam to heat buildings in downtown Cleveland in 1894. The first fuel they burned? Wood. Later came coal. And today? The point of the story is that Cleveland Thermal is now using a new plant that is 100% natural gas-fired to create the steam used to heat 94 downtown Cleveland buildings. We haven’t been to Cleveland in a long time, but we have to guess 94 buildings in downtown is likely most of downtown. And it’s all being heated with Utica/Marcellus shale gas. Here’s a truly fascinating factoid: Cleveland Thermal (now owned by Corix Group) estimates it will take around 1.3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas per year to produce the steam that heats those 94 buildings. We ran a story in March 2016 about the amount of natural gas Cabot Oil & Gas is getting from their average Marcellus Shale well (see Go Big or Go Home: Cabot O&G Wells Average EUR of 27 Bcf). Be prepared to have your mind blown. When Cabot drills a new well, on average, over the life of that well (perhaps 20 years), Cabot will get 27 Bcf. So one, single well drilled by Cabot in Susquehanna County, PA could supply ALL of the heat for ALL of downtown Cleveland for 20 years. Behold the power of shale gas…Continue reading

OH Court Sides with Town Against ODNR/Driller in Cleveland Suburb

court-gavel.jpgIn January 2015 MDN highlighted an ongoing squabble near Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County, OH, between the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission (OOGC) (see ODNR Appeals Decision Overturning Drilling Permit Near Cleveland). The ODNR is responsible for evaluating and issuing permits to drill oil and gas wells in the Buckeye State. The OOGC is the body that hears appeals from people who disagree with a permit issued by the ODNR. Such an appeal was filed for what we believed was a conventional (vertical only) oil well to be drilled in North Royalton, OH to Cutter Oil Company. It now appears the permit is for a horizontal shale well. No matter whether the well is vertical-only or horizontal, if the OOGC is allowed to overturn the permit because of nebulous and unspecific “safety concerns,” it sets a legal precedence, which is likely what the ODNR is trying to prevent with their appeal. That appeal has gone through several courts and on Tuesday the 10th District Ohio Court of Appeals sided with OOGC against ODNR in saying the ODNR didn’t take safety concerns into consideration…
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Antis Celebrate OH Appeals Court Hearing with Street Dramatization

Note: Somewhere along the way MDN received incorrect information and previously said the case was being heard by the Ohio Supreme Court. It is not. It is being heard by the 8th District Court of Appeals. Our error!

It may be impolite to say so, but those who oppose fossil fuels, and therefore oppose drilling, and pipelines, and anything/everything to do with fossil fuels, are just plain nuts. They prove it, repeatedly, with their words and their actions. Take the group which purportedly represents a coalition of groups and individuals in Ohio called the Ohio Community Rights Network (OHCRN). Today the 8th District Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case where one Ohio community, Broadview Heights, illegally tried to pass a so-called Community Bill of Rights that bans fracking. That measure got tossed by lower courts (see OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case). But that hasn’t stopped the green faithful from appealing and appealing and appealing. They finally got their day before the high court–so what do they do? They issue a press release calling oil and gas drillers, and the State of Ohio, Goliath, and of course they cast themselves and the wacko citizens of Broadview Heights who passed the frack ban as David. Further, to commemorate this “historic event,” the crazies from OHCRN will present a “street dramatization” at 11:30 am today to illustrate the David vs. Goliath nature of the case…
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Federal Power Grab: Natl Park Service Creates New Drilling Regs

stop the power grabThere are some 408 parks that are part of the National Park System in the United States. The National Park Service (NPS) is the government agency charged with managing those parks. The NPS has just put everyone on notice that new regulations for oil and gas drilling on and under those parks is coming. In some cases mineral rights are not owned by the government and drilling does happen on or under the parks. Oil and gas drilling currently happens in 12 of the 408 parks, including drilling operations in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. Just over half of the drilling operations happening in those 12 National Parks is exempt from NPS regulations. In an annoucement (below), the NPS said (1) we’re about to make drilling regs more strict, and (2) the new regs will apply to all drilling in all National Parks, including the places where it’s currently exempt from NPS rules–even if the mineral rights are not owned by the NPS. It is another power grab by the federal government. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) tried this tactic with non-park federal lands–a move that landed it in court (see Federal Judge Blocks BLM Rules for Fracking on Federal Lands). Will the same thing happen to the NPS?…
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The Mad Moms of Broadview Heights Remain Mad over Tossed Lawsuit

The Mad Moms of Broadview Heights, OH (a suburb of Cleveland) say they’re “not going away” when it comes to opposing fossil fuels in their neighborhood. MADION (Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhood) are appealing a tossed-out lawsuit filed by the group following a defeat handed to them by the Ohio Supreme Court. In March, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled a 2012 so-called Community Bill of Rights law adopted by Broadview Heights that prohibits drilling is unconstitutional (see OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case). That didn’t sit well with the (stark raving) Mad Moms (see Broadview Heights, OH Moms: Don’t Frack With Us). The Mad Moms filed a new lawsuit to stop the drilling. Last week Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Timothy McCormick tossed the new lawsuit citing the Supreme Court decision. The Mad Moms plan to appeal Judge McCormick’s decision…
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Broadview Hghts, OH Won’t Appeal Overturned Home Rule Law

In March MDN told you about the crushing defeat of a home rule law in Broadview Heights, a Cleveland, OH suburb (see OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case). A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge struck down Broadview Heights’ so-called community bill of rights that bans all oil and gas drilling–including shale drilling. The judge rightly ruled that only the state–and not localities–have the right to regulate oil and gas drilling. That caused the anarchists at the Ohio Community Right to Know Network (OHCRN) to call for an uprising. They “refuse” to recognize the court’s decision (i.e. they’re lawless). Fortunately for the citizens of Broadview Heights, city leaders do still recognize the rule of law. Last week the city announced it will not appeal the decision, because it has no basis on which to appeal it. But that doesn’t stop the nutters from an OHCRN associate group, calling itself Mothers Against Drilling In Our Neighborhoods, from filing yet another frivolous lawsuit, which they’ve done…
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Broadview Heights, OH Moms: Don’t Frack With Us

Yoko Ono and Sean LennonThree weeks ago anti-drillers in the Cleveland suburb of Broadview Heights were handed a crushing defeat in which a County Common Pleas Court judge struck down a so-called community “bill of rights”–the only “right” of which was to deny legitimate oil and gas drillers the ability to conduct business. We pointed out what sore losers anti-drillers are (see OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case). The immediate reaction from the small group of antis in Broadview Heights was to engage in borderline sedition–calling the government and the courts illegitimate. They’ve appeared to dial back that rhetoric just a tad (perhaps their lawyer told them to pipe down), but they’re still PO’d (personally offended). Last night Mothers Against Drilling In Our Neighborhood (MADION) held a rally to spout and vent…
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CELDF Costing Towns Big $ With Losing Pipeline/Drilling Bans

Communities that attempt to block pipelines (and drilling) with illegal so-called community rights ordinances that seek to block those activities are losing in court and, in at least some of the cases, taxpayers in those communities end up paying the legal fees for the pro-drilling side. That’s the good news we find in an article by a PBS “reporter” (we’d call her an anti-drilling propagandist) writing on the StateImpact Pennsylvania website. To the small group of fossil fuel-hating nutters in Conestoga Township (Lancaster County), PA, you may want to consider the considerable cost of launching yet another campaign funded by outsiders Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), the shadowy group behind much of this mischief. Be sure to ask the CELDF if they’re willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees if you lose (as you surely will) a legal challenge to a pipeline ban in the township. Make them put their money where their huge mouth is…
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OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case

anarchyWe’ve commented before on the lawless tendencies of anti-drillers, particularly in Ohio where, when they lose a court case, they declare the government is illegitimate (see OH Anti-Drillers on Rampage after Supreme Court Home Rule Decision). It hasn’t been a full month since the Ohio Supreme Court ruling and now a second, crushing defeat for anti-fossil fuelers. Last week a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge struck down the Cleveland suburb of Broadview Heights’ so-called community bill of rights that bans all, including shale drilling. Once again, as with the Supreme Court “Munroe Falls” case, we see what sore losers anti-drillers are. If a court case like Broadview Heights doesn’t go their way, they immediately start talking about anarchy–that the government has “ceased to be legitimate.” These are not only stupid people, they’re dangerous too…
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ODNR Appeals Decision Overturning Drilling Permit Near Cleveland

A squabble has erupted near Cleveland, in Cuyahoga County, OH, between the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the Ohio Oil and Gas Commission (OOGC). The ODNR is responsible for evaluating and issuing permits to drill oil and gas wells in the Buckeye State. The OOGC is the body that hears appeals from people who disagree with a permit issued by the ODNR. Such an appeal was filed for what we believe is a conventional (vertical only) oil well to be drilled in North Royalton, OH to Cutter Oil Company. The OOGC says yep, the ODNR didn’t take into consideration “safety concerns” by the city in issuing the permit. ODNR disagrees and is appealing OOGC’s decision to un-permit the permit granted by ODNR. Yes, it’s about a conventional well, but it has implications for unconventional (shale) drilling as well if the OOGC becomes activist in overturning permits based on the nebulous “safety concerns” of citizens and municipalities…
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3 of 4 Frack Ban Ballot Measures in Ohio Fail – Athens Exception

What about those idiotic “ban fracking” ballot measures up for a vote on Tuesday in Ohio’s Utica Shale? The ballot measure in Youngstown, OH was the fourth such vote for that city (see Fourth Time the Charm for Youngstown Frack Ban Measure?). The Youngstown ballot measure went down in flames. There was a ban measure in Gates Mills, OH, a suburb near Cleveland (see Gates Mills, OH Caves – Anti-Frack Measure on Nov. Ballot). The Gates Mills ballot measure went down in flames too. Finally, there was a ballot measure in ultra-liberal Kent, OH. That ballot measure was voted down (miracles never cease!). Three strikes and yer out. But what’s this? The loonies in Athens, OH prevailed in snookering enough Democrat voters to support a ban that it actually passed in Athens. A year ago we asked the question, Will Utica Shale Drilling Come to Athens County, OH Soon?. We can now answer that question: NO. No drilling will come to Athens–at least to the city (and likely the rest of the area) now that the voters of Athens have thumbed their nose at the industry. There’s plenty of other locations outside of Athens in which to drill…
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Gates Mills, OH Caves – Anti-Frack Measure on Nov. Ballot

The very exclusive and uppity Cleveland suburb of Gates Mills, OH is the latest community to fall prey to the misnamed, so-called community bill of rights that seeks to ban all drilling on, under or near property in the community. We’ve written about Gates Mills before (see these MDN stories). We originally chided Gates Mills Mayor Shawn Riley for concocting a plan that we thought would prevent drilling in the community (a community that already has some conventional wells in it). We were contacted by an MDN reader and by Mayor Riley to correct us: His intent is to pool landowners together and together (somewhat akin to a landowner coalition) to develop a contract that would strictly control how, when and where any Utica drilling would be done. He’s not anti-drilling–just really really careful and infrequent drilling. But there are a number of anti-drillers in town who want nothing to do with it whatsoever–and they want to force their preferences on their neighbors too. That’s what a “community bill of rights” does–it forces anti-drilling regulations down everyone’s throat. That’s what will be on the ballot in November in Gates Mills…
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OH City Ban on Drilling Heads to Court – Implications for Utica?

Last week two Ohio drillers filed a lawsuit against Broadview Heights, OH, a suburb of Cleveland, for the city’s recently passed ban on drilling oil and gas wells. According to the lawsuit, only the state (via the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources) has the sole legal right to allow or deny a given oil/gas well from being drilled. That is, this is yet another so-called “home rule” court case. This particular case is interesting on a lot of levels. Number one, contrary to the understanding of those commenting on a story about the case in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the oil and gas wells that have been drilled and those that may be drilled in the future in Broadview Heights–are not fracked shale wells. They are conventional shallow wells. Even so, the case could have implications for Utica (unconventional fracked) drilling…
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Gates Mills, OH Mayor Faces Uphill Battle in Proposed Land Trust

In February MDN reported that an Ohio community near Cleveland had concocted a plan to restrict drilling in their neighborhood by getting residents to sign a restrictive land trust (see Cleveland Suburb’s Socialist Model for Restricting Utica Drilling). As it turns out, MDN was a bit off base in our analysis (yes, we admit when we’re wrong!). The mayor of Gates Mills, Shawn Riley, contacted MDN to set the record straight–something we haven’t had a chance to do, until now…
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The Reason United Canceled Daily Flights Between Cleveland & OKC

A few weeks ago MDN asked the question, Can a Single Canceled Airline Route Affect Utica Shale Development? United Airlines is canceling its daily flights to and from Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport and Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport. It’s a big deal because the Utica’s top drillers, including Chesapeake Energy and Gulfport Energy, are headquartered in OKC, and introducing longer delays in getting from here to there may put a damper on Utica development. It’s not so far-fetched that a single canceled route could have a pretty significant impact.

When we brought you that story two weeks ago, we assumed that UA just decided to willy nilly cancel it. But such is not the case. As Midwestern icon Paul Harvey used to say, here’s “The Rest of the Story”…
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Confab in Cleveland: Utica’s Best Opportunities & Biggest Fears

Several speakers at last week’s Crain’s Cleveland Business Shale Summit 2014 predicted a major ramp-up in drilling in the Utica Shale during 2014. Of note: one speaker said based on his informal survey he believes the number of drilling rigs in the play will zoom from 40 to 60 or more by early next year. Another speaker said the Utica looks and behaves a lot like the Eagle Ford Shale play in Texas–and that’s a very good thing. The biggest fears by those in the know? Over-taxation and over-regulation–both issues very much alive in the state legislature right now.

Here’s an excellent run-down on what happened at the Summit by intrepid reporter Bob Downing from the Akron Beacon Journal, including which counties are believed to hold the best drilling opportunities:
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