Elections Board Strikes Down 5th Youngstown Anti-Frack Ballot

access deniedLogicFree Mahoning Valley (aka FrackFree Mahoning Valley) doesn’t like to bother with piddly things like, oh, the law. Who follows that? The law is only a useful tool when it favors their twisted viewpoint. When it doesn’t? Ignore it. Over the past several years FrackFree Mahoning Valley and their supporters have duped enough E! Entertainment viewers in Youngstown, OH to sign a petition putting a so-called home rule measure up for a vote four times (see Fourth Time the Charm for Youngstown Frack Ban Measure?). The measure is meant to ban fracking in Youngstown–a symbolic thumb in the eye of the Utica Shale industry. Fortunately the voters of Youngstown have voted it down all four times. But that doesn’t stop the crazies. They’re back with another petition, signed by enough E! Entertainment viewers to get it on the ballot yet again. But this time the Mahoning County Board of Elections has voted, unanimously, to keep it off the ballot…
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Tiny Protest (in PA) Claims to be Part of “Hands Across Our Land”

Yesterday we told you about the “nationwide” protest that was a bust–held in three locations in Virginia and one in West Virginia by less than a cumulative 100 people (see Anti-Pipeline “Hands Across Our Land” Protest in VA & WV a Bust). The protest was supposedly against two natural gas pipelines planned to run from West Virginia through Virginia and for one of the pipelines, into North Carolina. We spotted one more protest that claims to have been part of the Hands Across Our Land “movement”–a protest at a well pad site in Pennsylvania. Of course the PA gathering had nothing to do with being against pipelines, the supposed reason for the protest in the first place. This particular group of protesters slipped across the border from Ohio (an anti-drilling group called Frackfree Mahoning Valley) to show their “solidarity” with a family who didn’t want a drill pad operating near their property. Once again it illustrates that whether they claim to be “against” fracking/drilling, or “against” a pipeline–it’s really neither. These protesters are “against” fossil fuels, period. That’s what motivates them–an irrational hatred of fossil fuels…
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Youngstown Plant Starts Operations, Selling Pipes to Shale Industry

Although drilling activity in the Marcellus/Utica, indeed across all shale plays, has decreased in the past six months, that doesn’t mean all gas and oil related businesses have been adversely affected. Take Vallourec’s VAM USA LLC subsidiary–a pipe manufacturer with a facility in Youngstown, Ohio. In May, VAM began producing the first pipes for commercial sale at its new premium threading plant in Youngstown. More money, more jobs, rolling into eastern Ohio–thanks to the miracle of hydraulic fracturing. Here’s the details on VAM’s startup in producing pipe products for the shale industry…
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Hardrock Pleads Guilty to Illegal Wastewater Dumping, Fined $100K

A final footnote to tell you about concerning the notorious case of illegal frack wastewater dumping near Youngstown, OH that happened in 2012 and 2013. Ben Lupo, previous owner of D&L Energy and its associated company Hardrock Excavating, directed employees to dump frack wastwater hauled by Hardrock into a drain that emptied into a stream that emptied into the Mahoning River near Youngstown, OH (see Youngstown Business Dumped >200K Gal of Untreated Wastewater). It was later discovered that from September 2012 to end of January 2013, Lupo was responsible for dumping at least 30 loads of frack wastewater literally down the drain and into the river. After an investigation and charges, last August Lupo plead guilty and was sentenced to 23 months in prison and a $25,000 fine (see Final Chapter for Youngstown Illegal Wastewater Dumper: Prison & Fine). The final final chapter has now been written. Lupo’s company, Hardrock Excavating, pleaded guilty on Thursday and was fined $100,000. In an interesting twist, the judge ordered $25,000 of that total to be paid to two environmental organizations…
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Full Speed Ahead for Hilcorp in the Northern Utica in 2015

In 2014 Hilcorp spent some $400 million on drilling in the *northern* Utica Shale play–an area that virtually everyone else has abandoned for the more alluring wet gas to be found in the southeaster portion of the play. According to Hilcorp, they are enjoying success in the northern Utica and that’s where they will continue to focus their efforts…
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Vallourec Star Pipeline Plant in OH Shutting Down for 3 Weeks

Vallourec Star, a steel pipe manufacturer in Youngstown, OH, has had more business than it knows what to do with since it opened in 2012. That is, until recently. With the plunging price of oil and gas comes scaled back budgets for drilling in 2015. Vallourec Star has been experiencing a slow down. In anticipation of even more slowing down, they’ve announced a three week shut down of the plant, meaning hundreds of families will have a big hole in their family budgets. For those that can do without a paycheck for a while, the company is also offering a 6-month voluntary layoff, which signals they think the “slow down” may be with us for while…
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Blue Racer Shelves Plans for Mahoning, OH Wet Gas Plant

It was only last August that Blue Racer said they would build a new $70 million wet gas processing plant in Mahoning County, OH (see Blue Racer to Build New Wet Gas Plant in Mahoning County, OH). A Blue Racer Midstream executive backpedaled last Thursday at the Marcellus-Utica Midstream conference and said those plans are now shelved, indefinitiely. Why? That part of the shale play “hasn’t panned out yet” for the company…
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OH Researchers Confirm Hilcorp Fracking Caused Low-Level Quakes

According to one graduate student and two professors at Miami University of Ohio, the fracking done by Hilcorp in the Youngstown area DID cause some low-level earthquakes (see ODNR Says Youngstown Earthquakes “Probably” Caused by Fracking). The three researchers are set to publish an article titled “Earthquakes Induced by Hydraulic fracturing in Poland Township, Ohio” in the February/March issue of the peer-reviewed Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. Using a technique called “template matching” the researchers say they could identify 77 earthquakes, all except one that could not even be felt at the surface (and the one was barely felt) and matched those quakes to fracking activities by Hilcorp. The researchers stressed that the only reason the quakes happened was because Hilcorp was fracking directly over top of a previously unknown underground fault. They also said it was a very small portion of the frack operations that led to the quakes…
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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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First Energy Completes New Power Line for Pennant Midstream in OH

FirstEnergy, an electric utility company operating in the northeast, announced yesterday they have completed the installation of 3.5 mile, 138 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in Mahoning County, OH that runs to the Pennant Midstream natural gas processing facility in Springfield Township. The new line cost $3 million and replaces “temporary equipment” (i.e., jury-rigged) installed previously so the Pennant plant could begin operations. The new line allows for future expansion at the facility. This is not the first shale-related project for FirstEnergy. Earlier this year FirstEnergy announced a $36 million electric substation for a MarkWest processing plant in WV (see FirstEnergy Builds Electric Substation for MarkWest WV Plant). Here’s the details for their latest project…
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Run for the Beach! The Hills are “Swarming” with Earthquakes!!

Who knew that earthquakes can “swarm”–you know, like bees or locusts? That’s the absurd fearmongering nonsense being peddled by the nutters at Frackfree Mahoning Valley (Mahoning County, OH). They recently issued a press release (below) that says if wastewater injection wells are allowed to continue operating in Mahoning County, “swarms” of earthquakes will follow. Sounds almost biblical, doesn’t it?…
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Blue Racer to Build New Wet Gas Plant in Mahoning County, OH

Listen up supply chain companies who want to get involved with a big new project coming in the Ohio Utica Shale. Blue Racer Midstream, the $1.5 billion joint venture between Caiman Energy II, LLC and Dominion formed in December of 2012, plans to build a new wet gas processing facility in Mahoning County by June 2016. The new facility, located near Petersburg in Springfield Township appears to be “back on track” according to an article in the Youngstown Business Journal
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Final Chapter for Youngstown Illegal Wastewater Dumper: Prison & Fine

The long, sad and maddening saga of Ben Lupo is now just about complete. Lupo, previous owner of D&L Energy and its associated company Hardrock Excavating, directed employees to dump frack wastwater hauled by Hardrock into a drain that emptied into a stream that emptied into the Mahoning River near Youngstown, OH (see Youngstown Business Dumped >200K Gal of Untreated Wastewater). It was later discovered that from September 2012 to end of January 2013, Lupo was responsible for dumping at least 30 loads of frack wastewater literally down the drain and into the river. It was a breathtaking environmental crime, of that there is no doubt. After a long investigation and criminal charges, Lupo finally plead guilty and earlier this week he was sentenced–to 23 months in prison and a $25,000 fine (although it cost over $3 million to clean it all up)…
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Fourth Time the Charm for Youngstown Frack Ban Measure?

You’ve got to hand it to those anti-drillers in Youngstown. When anti-fracking insanity takes hold–it goes deep. Anti-drillers have successfully gotten enough signatures to put a ballot measure before voters three times now. The measure would enact a ban on fracking in Youngstown. Not that anyone actually wants to drill in the City of Youngstown. However, passing such a ban would a) force some employers to relocate out of town (not an empty threat, they’ve said it many times), and b) send a signal loud and clear that Youngstown wants to drop out of the flourishing Utica Shale bonanza taking place in the state. Makes no difference to the fracking insane that they will royally screw the city with such a ban–they’ve just collected enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot a fourth time…
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Youngstown Frack Ban Vote Goes Down in Flames for 3rd Time

Youngstown has now voted for a third time on a proposed fracking ban in the city. And for the third time, it was voted down by an overwhelming majority. (For our most recent coverage, see 20 Youngstown U Profs Attempt PR Stunt on Frack Ban – Goes Limp.) Three strikes and you’re out, right? Not according to the virulent anti-drillers who have made opposing the miracle of shale drilling in Ohio their life’s cause.

Susie Beiersdorfer and Lynn Anderson, two of the chief agitators for the ban, something they and others have intentionally mislabeled as a “Community Bill of Rights” (it’s nothing of the sort), say they’re happy to keep wasting taxpayer’s money on useless votes that don’t pass. Didn’t pass the third time? They want it to come back a fourth, fifth, umteenth time. We say it’s time to start sending them the bill for votes that don’t pass. That would stop this nonsense but quick…
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20 Youngstown U Profs Attempt PR Stunt on Frack Ban – Goes Limp

On Wednesday, 20 Democrat faculty members who teach at Youngstown University, most of whom (perhaps all) are *not* professors in the geosciences area (i.e. they’re clueless about fracking) attempted a PR stunt that well, went limp. They all endorsed a frack ban that’s coming around for the THIRD time on the ballot in Youngstown (voting happens May 8). Even the Democrat mayor of Youngstown knows that such a ban would be a “jobs killer” for the city and recommends a “no” vote next week (see Anti-Drillers Force 3rd Vote on Frack Ban in Youngstown).

Here’s the limp effort from 20 professors at a university you probably should not send your children to because people like those listed below mis-teach there:
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