Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pennsylvania Marcellus News Roundup, June 21-28

Air Quality Concerns Threaten Natural Gas's Image
Massive stores of natural gas that lie underneath big portions of the United States offer a cleaner source of electricity to a country that relies heavily on coal, but producing all that gas also can pump lots of pollution into the air.
 Range Resources Protestors Say Company Isn't Paying Enough Taxes
A group of people protested Range Resources on Tuesday, asking for taxes to be placed on Marcellus Shale drilling.
Patriot Makes Case for Marcellus Water; Legislators Promise Help to Get Permits
Executives with Patriot Water Treatment LLC and members of the region's legislative delegation to Columbus appear optimistic that issues between the state's Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Natural Resources could be resolved so that the company can continue to operate and expand.
Pennsylvania Senate Dems: Marcellus shale impact fee must be part of budget
Claiming Southeast Senate Republicans' support, Senate Democrats today vowed to push ahead with an impact fee on deep gas wells — threatening to amend a key budget-related bill if necessary.
 Groups Argue Over Marcellus-Related Job Growth
Two groups are arguing over the growth numbers attributed to Marcellus Shale Drilling. The first salvo was fired by the Keystone Research Center:
Between late 2007 and 2010, the Marcellus Shale boom created fewer than 10,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania, much less than the 48,000 figure reported in recent news stories, statements and commentaries.  
 Political tussle develops over Marcellus jobs data
The state Department of Labor and Industry said in a report this month there were 72,000 "new hires" in the Marcellus Shale drilling industry and in related industries between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011.
But not all of them are new jobs, a distinction that led to a political argument in Harrisburg this week.
EPA announces sites for fracking study, focuses on the Marcellus
Environmental Protection Agency investigators will fan out to oil and gas shales across the country this summer to start the field work for the agency's study of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water, EPA said Thursday.
Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale will get the closet look with three counties -- Washington, in southwestern Pennsylvania and Susquehanna and Bradford, in the northeast corner of the state.
Marcellus violations drop in Pittsburgh region
The Department of Environmental Protection has updated its list of violations with 253 new records for April and May. That’s on top of the 313 for the first three months of the year.
Pennsylvania Legislature likely won't consider all of Corbett's agenda before summer recess
Impact fees for Marcellus Shale drillers: Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, is pushing this issue on behalf of the folks at home, and Corbett is pushing right back. Corbett has made clear he wants to hear the findings of his Marcellus Shale Commission, due in late July, before any state policy is set on the natural gas boom, much less taxes or impact fees.
Sportsmen monitor gas drilling in Marcellus Shale
A new coalition of outdoors groups is emerging as a potent force in the debate over natural gas drilling. The Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation isn't against the process of fracking for gas, but its members want to make sure the rush to cash in on the valuable resource doesn't damage streams, forests, and the various creatures that call those places home.
Gushers highlight potential of Pa. gas field
Two unexpected gushers in northeastern Pennsylvania are helping to illustrate the enormous potential of the Marcellus Shale natural gas field.
Nat Gas: bubble, boon or break-even? *updated*

The New York Times continues its series taking a skeptical look at the natural gas shale boom with pieces Sunday and Monday on whether industry has been over-hyping the economics of the business.
Industry didn’t waste any time with a counter-punch.
Range Resources CEO Pinkerton To Step Down Amid Transition Plan
Range Resources Corp. (RRC) Chief Executive John H. Pinkerton will step down and be succeeded by the natural-gas company's president and chief operating officer, Jeffrey L. Ventura, part of a company shift in focus to the Marcellus shale region in Pennsylvania.
Western Pa. shale boom seen as plus for area banks 
A vast shale field in the Northeast that's expected to be a key source of natural gas has improved long-term prospects for four regional banks, an analyst said Monday.
Bogus signs suggest testing Pa. water with fire
Fake signs suggesting travelers put an open flame to drinking fountain water to test for methane produced by natural gas drilling are being removed from rest stops along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Natural gas fee vote pulled from Pa. House agenda
House Republicans on Tuesday abruptly canceled a vote on an impact fee to produce revenue from Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction, only hours after they had announced it would be debated.
Gas driller fined $180,000 for Marcellus violations
Independent energy producer Chief Oil & Gas has been fined $180,000 by Pennsylvania regulators for environmental violations in the Marcellus Shale, the Department of Environmental Protection said on Tuesday.

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