Monday, February 14, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania, Feb.14

Politics and Policy Debate
Hey look at this, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson got a free trip to the Super Bowl from Consol Energy. Perfectly legal BTW, as were their contributions to his campaign. Nuthin' to see here folks, keep moving. PoliticsPA has some more thoughts on this. UPDATE: Sen Scarnati says he will repay Consol for the Super Bowl trip -see no ethical problems...yeah

A Farming for the Future Conference in State College held discussions on Marcellus drilling, with particular attention paid to water issues.

Democrats in the State House are pushing once again for a severance tax on gas withdrawal.

State Reps. Greg Vitali and Tim Briggs will hold a hearing on taxing Marcellus drilling at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 in the Upper Merion Township Building.

Buffalo, NY has banned hydrofracking,  a moot point as the Marcellus and other gas-bearing shale do not underlie the city.

Canton township is starting a Water Monitoring and Protection program. Meanwhile at the Palace Theater in Canton, there was a free screening of Gasland.

Allegheny Township's environmental advisory commission will study zoning and other issues surrounding gas shale drillimg.

Professor Abby Kinchy of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will discuss local perspectives on Macellus issues during the upcoming American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington, D.C.

The DEP found no hazardous levels of volatile hydrocarbons from drilling ops during a four week study.

Planning to study: the EPA released their draft plan for a study of hydrofracking.

Business, Economics and Operations
Timber industry reps are hoping to reap some economic benefits from drilling operations in Pennsylvania. At the same time, drilling has been blamed for damage to forests in West Virginia.

In yet another intersection of timber harvesting and gas extraction, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reports that they have seen an increase in revenue related to gas drilling, but not enough to offset decreased timber harvest revenue.

Consol Energy said its proved reserves at the end of 2010 were 3.7 trillion cubic feet(Tcf), nearly double the 1.9 Tcf reported at the end of 2009.

In a sign of operations shifting from NY to PA, National Fuel is transferring twenty to thirty people from Amherst, NY to their Pittsburgh office.

Research and Markets report that natural gas production in Pennsylvania was 143bcfe (billion cubic feet equivalent) during calendar year 2009.

 A lack of pipeline infrastructure is hindering gas development up near the new York state line.

A puff piece on is touting economic rewards and low environmental  impacts from Marcellus drilling.

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