Friday, October 22, 2010

Another round of Marcellus News

In addition to the latest news round-up, I've added links to Frac Tracker (a watchdog group) and an industry sponsored booster site, Marcellus Coalition. They're an interesting contrast, to say the least.

-Pike County is forming a task force to examine Marcellus issues, even though there has not been much in the way of gas drilling operations in the county.
-The PA Senate wrapped up its pre-election business without tackling the severance tax. Maybe we should just allow the lobbyists to pay them openly as consultants. A self-serving pol, nice job if you can get it.
-The Delaware River Basin Commission continues its moratorium on drilling while it continues to draft regulations.
-Corbett and Onorato debated one last time in the Governors race, beating dead horses  as they covered the same talking points as before, including the gas severance tax.
-Corbett knows where his bread is buttered. He has accepted more than $700,000 in campaign donations from the gas industry. Hmmm, can't have any connection to why he totally opposes taxing gas production. For some reason, I just thought of those third-world dictators who take money from foreign companies that plunder their countries.
Marcellus gas excitement is now spilling into Eastern Ohio.

-Well, the gas boom has definitely created jobs - for lawyers.  Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney, a law and "government relations" firm has added some new attorneys and a shareholder to their Oil and Gas / Marcellus Shale Practice.
-Billionaire Philip Anschutz got a few more billions from selling his Appalachian oil and gas assets, or at least his holding company did.
-Atlas Energy continues to expand its operations, output and profits in SW PA.
-Natural gas production from the Pennsylvania part of the Marcellus Play continued to rise in the third quarter of 2010.
-A $10 million dollar grant has been made to improve shortline railroad service to the gas industry. I find it interesting that we are not allowed to spend tax dollars to improve rail service for citizens, but we can give it away to help build rail service for a very rich industry.

-Those worried about what chemicals are used in fracking water may be interested to know that the use of  treated sewer water is being considered. At least it would cut down on the amount being taken directly from local fresh-water supplies.
-Speaking of water, Consol Energy plans to drill eight more wells near the Beaver Run reservoir, the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County's water supply.
-The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board  has passed a proposal to update drilling regs, but another body needs to give its OK before anything happens.
-The Williamsport SunGazette discusses concerns over water supplies and withdrawals used in the fracking process. 
-Allegheny County health officials have not yet decided whether they need to monitor air quality over Marcellus shale gas drilling operations since they did not find any pollution over the three wells they sput checked.. Well, I guess 3 out of 822 wells sounds like a statistically meaningful sample to them.

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