Friday, August 20, 2010

Pennsy Gas Shale Update

Every Friday from here on out, I will be posting a roundup of the past week's news on the Marcellus Play gas shale in Pennsylvania.What I find amazing is that unlike the Gulf oil spill, climate change, and the possibility of Peak Oil, the public appears much more fired up over drilling for Marcellus gas.

"A Pennsylvania drilling company has a lease that would permit it to drill for natural gas beneath some Pittsburgh cemeteries, though no drilling is currently under way, a cemetery official said." Lebanon Daily News 

In Tioga county, people are opposed to a pooling law for the Marcellus Play. Full story is on the Wellsboro Gazette subscription site. A pooling law basically means an individual landowner has to agree to the terms for an entire mineral lease pool, providing less flexibility.In effect landowners give up their mineral rights to private drilling companies who have similar rights nearby. Supporters say it helps protect the environment, while opponents claim that it infringes upon their property rights.

The Tri-County Sunday Courier Express (whew, that's a mouthful!) has an editorial about the state not owning mineral rights under state parks. Possible consequences could include pipelines running through state parks, at least according to the op-ed.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato stopped by Penn College to see and praise their program to train gas-field workers. Meanwhile, Congressional candidate Michael Pipe attended a town meeting in Clearfield, where among other things he discussed the hydrofraking issue.

Wilkes University is creating a water quality database for NE PA, something that could be useful  in determining whether any contamination from drilling has occurred.

As reported in the Inquirer's Business Briefs, "Pennsylvania State University has established an education and research center devoted to natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. ..."
Ed Rendell now says only 100 state workers will be laid-off. He is counting in part on revenue generated from a yet to be approved severance tax for natural gas drilling on the Marcellus Play.
 A site called NewsInferno reports on water contamination and health issues arising from hydrofraking. A bit vague on the citation, but if I link to business pages I will give equal time to alternative-advocacy sites. The site does appear to be of the "world will kill ya and THEY don't want you to know!"variety.

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