Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Continues Vendetta Against Range Resources

Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, and the anti-drilling Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, continue their tag-team effort to criminalize and humiliate Range Resources. Shapiro, a sleazy politician, is investigating so-called environmental “crimes” committed by shale companies in a bid to boost his chances of being the next nominee to run for governor (see PA AG Investigates Shale Drillers for “Enviro Crimes”). One of Shapiro’s sham investigations is into Range Resources and the long-ago settled “Haney” court case. The Post-Gazette is trying to get sealed court documents unsealed in the Haney case.
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Study Shows No Health Impacts from Marcellus Drilling Near School

One of the false allegations made against shale drilling is that it somehow pollutes the air–of particular concern near schools. A new independent two-year study commissioned by Range Resources at one of their drilling sites, located about a mile from a local school, thoroughly debunks that allegation. A first-of-its kind public health and long-term ambient air monitoring report (full copy below) provides analysis from nearly two years of continuous data from an unconventional Marcellus Shale well site nearby a high school and elementary school campus in Washington County, PA. The study found no health impacts from shale drilling.
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PA DEP Claims Energy Transfer Illegally Damaged Streams, Wetlands

Speaking of the exploded Revolution Pipeline located in southwestern Pennsylvania that’s led to a driller declaring bankruptcy (see EdgeMarc Energy Files for Bankruptcy, Blames Revolution Pipe Outage), yesterday the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an order to Energy Transfer, builder of Revolution, to “identify and restore or mitigate all streams and wetlands that it illegally eliminated or altered during the construction” of the pipeline. DEP claims ET “illegally” eliminated at least 23 streams and changed the length of another 120 streams.
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Pittsburgh Media Attempts to Link Shale Drilling to Childhood Cancer

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette seems to be doing its best to tie what it calls a “cancer cluster” to local shale drilling in the region. We first noticed a developing story about a potential cluster of rare Ewing sarcoma cancer cases among children in the Pittsburgh region a few months ago, when Pittsburgh media first began to report on it.
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SWPA County Judge Rules Range Can’t See Reporters’ Notes/Sources

one hand tied behind the back

So-called reporters, like some at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, must have known they were breaking the law by using confidential information (sealed under a court order) in some of their anti-shale articles. Range Resources, fighting against an out-of-control Attorney General (Josh Shapiro) who wants to charge the company with crimes, wants to depose those reporters to try and find out who, exactly, broke the law in leaking information that is sealed by court order. However, a county judge won’t let Range do it. Not yet, anyway.
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CNX 1Q19 & Beyond: Go Big (in the Utica) AND Go Home

CNX Resources released its first quarter 2019 update yesterday, which shows the company lost $87 million, as opposed to making $527 million in profit in 1Q18. Even so, CEO Nicholas DeIuliis announced the company is upping its drilling budget from the previously announced $700 million to instead spend $885 million, largely to drill more “deep dry” Utica wells. Go big or go home!
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Range Resources Considers Drilling Under Washington, PA Airport

Washington County, PA Airport (click for larger version)

In 2013 CONSOL Energy (now CNX Resources) signed a deal with the Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County to lease 9,000 acres surrounding the airport for natural gas drilling (see $50M Check in the Mail: Pittsburgh Airport Lease a Done Deal). The program was/is a huge success. Range Resources is now sniffing around, investigating doing something similar at the Washington County, PA airport.
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OH Man Arrested for Making Bomb Threat Against Marcellus Biz in PA

Last week an Ohio man was arrested for allegedly calling in a bomb threat last November against Myers Well Service, located in Eighty Four (Washington County), PA. A cell phone belonging to Ryan Dougherty of Belmont, OH was used to make the threat. Dougherty claims he called the business, but didn’t make any threats. The investigation took three months. Last Tuesday authorities arrested and charged Dougherty.Continue reading

Smith Twp Residents Say They Have Enough Processing Plants

A single township in Washington County, PA, Smith Township, is home to two “sprawling” shale gas complexes that process and separate Marcellus/Utica gas extracted in southwestern Pennsylvania. One is MarkWest Energy’s Harmon Creek complex, and the other Energy Transfer’s Revolution complex. Area residents think they have quite enough infrastructure and are asking town officials to throttle back new development.
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Antis Try to Pick Open Old Scab of Settled (and Sealed) Range Case

Three families who live near a former drill site and frack wastewater impoundment at the Yeager Marcellus Shale site in Washington County, PA sued Range Resources in May 2012 claiming the air they breathe and the water they drink had been contaminated by Range’s operations at the site (see EPA Investigating Range Drill Site in Western PA). The case was eventually settled and sealed in September 2018.
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Range SWPA Production Takes Hit After MarkWest Plant Explosion

Range Resources issued an updated 2018 (not 2019) capital spending and operational update yesterday to say (a) they spent about $20 million less last year than originally forecast and (b) the company took a hit on production because of an outage at the MarkWest Houston/Harmon Creek processing facilities.
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Sad Postscript: Man Dies of Injuries from MarkWest SWPA Explosion

As we previously reported, an explosion and fire last week at the MarkWest Energy natural gas processing plant in Chartiers (Washington County), PA sent four people to the hospital–carried there by helicopter (see MarkWest Plant Explosion in Washington Co. Injures 4; 1 Critical). We are profoundly sad to report that the man who was in critical condition has died. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office reported that Jeffery Fisher, 61, of Salem, WV died at 3:38 p.m. Tuesday at UPMC Mercy hospital. Below is an update on the situation, with additional new details.
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MarkWest Plant Explosion in Washington Co. Injures 4; 1 Critical

An explosion and fire last night around 6 pm at the MarkWest Energy natural gas processing plant in Chartiers (Washington County), PA sent four people to the hospital–carried there by helicopter. All of them remain hospitalized, and one of them is, sadly, in critical condition. The explosion happened near “two temporary tanks that were onsite for routine maintenance,” according to a MarkWest statement. The tanks hold, “liquid ethylene glycol plus hydrocarbons”–used to clean incoming raw natural gas. The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection is on location today to determine what happened and why–and to ensure there have been no negative impacts to the environment.
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CNX Midstream Sues Contractor for Walking Away from Pipe Project

On Monday, CNX Midstream sued West Virginia contractor Ronald Lane Inc. claiming the contractor “without warning or justification ceased work on the Project and abandoned the Project,” the Project being a package of water and gas pipelines in Greene and Washington counties in PA. And that, “Lane informed [CNX] that Lane intended to redirect all of its forces and efforts to other projects that Lane considered to be more profitable than the Project. Lane made it clear to [CNX] that Lane had no intention to perform any more work on the Project.” Lane was the winning bidder for the Project in late 2017 at a total cost of $7.1 million. According to the lawsuit, CNX claims Lane began construction in March and abandoned the Project in June.
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