Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Marcellus News Update for Pennsylvania: July 12-19

Snakes on the Marcellus shale: a business idea
Bob Zumstein has been lecturing on timber rattlesnakes for years and recently had been invited to talk to two Marcellus Shale companies about where workers might encounter these venomous suckers and what they should do if they spot one.
Chief Oil & Gas cleared of water contamination charges by Pennsylvania DEP
Source: Chief Oil & Gas
In April 2011, Crystal Stroud of Granville Summit, Bradford County, PA accused Chief Oil & Gas of contaminating her water well, which had been found to contain high levels of barium and lead. In numerous public appearances and radio and television interviews, Ms. Stroud stated that a well drilled by Chief had caused water contamination and health problems for her and her family. A thorough investigation showed that Chief Oil & Gas is not responsible for the water well contamination or health claims of Crystal Stroud.
Frack humor falls flat for energy company
When the folks at Talisman Energy dreamed up a children's coloring book about a dinosaur explaining the origins of natural gas, they had no idea that the "friendly fracosaurus" would become a casualty in the anti-fracking cultural wars.
$200 Million Lost to Legislative Inaction on Drilling Tax
Pennsylvania has lost $200 million from legislative inaction on a Marcellus Shale drilling tax — revenue that could have prevented state cuts to schools, colleges and health services for the state's most vulnerable.
Bishops, nuns and rabbis debating gas fracking

"We have people's lives who are being blessed or adversely affected by this," said Bishop Thomas Bickerton of Pittsburgh, who leads more than 800 United Methodist congregations and 187,000 members in western Pennsylvania, where major drilling is taking place.
"The conversations within the church are rather lively and robust," Bickerton said, and he thinks gas drilling "warrants some careful looking" by religious groups and public officials.
Panel Backs Pennsylvania Drilling Fee
A controversial fee on natural-gas drilling in Pennsylvania, the only state that doesn't tax natural gas extraction in some form, is being recommended by a commission appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett.
Marcellus commission ends day, passes 100 recommendations

The commission has ended its votes for the day, passing nearly 100 recommendations.
Environmental groups have already come out against the recommendation on forced pooling. The recommendation should be a big test for the commission and Gov. Tom Corbett as many legislators and Corbett himself previously promised to fight any push for it.
Corbett panel's report backs impact fee on Marcellus Shale drilling
Gov. Corbett's advisory panel on drilling in the Marcellus Shale endorsed a long list of recommendations Friday on how to deal with the burgeoning industry, including imposing a local impact fee - not a tax - on the extraction of natural gas.
Trade association asks PUC to reconsider public utility status
The trade association representing Pennsylvania's oil and gas industry convinced the state Public Utility Commission to reconsider making natural gas pipeline company Laser Marcellus Gathering Co. LLC a utility.
 Corbett panel's report sets guidelines for Marcellus drilling
Broadly speaking, the recommendations endorse the industry's call for modernizing the regulatory structure of shale-drilling and creating uniform local zoning rules to streamline approval processes. The commission also endorsed boosting markets for the fuel with incentives for using natural gas in transportation, electric generation, and manufacturing.
 Halliburton’s living large on gas shale
With energy companies like Halliburton HAL talking up growth in U.S. shale regions that offer rich returns in oil and natural gas liquids such as propane and ethane, it’s no wonder that Royal Dutch Shell is bailing out of a Canadian pipeline project to bring down natural gas from the Arctic.
Rex Energy settles Marcellus rights lawsuit by 230 western Pa. property owners for $14M
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Westmoreland County Judge Gary Caruso signed off on the settlement between the landowners and the State College-based gas-drilling firm, which admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
Pa. treatment plant sued over drilling wastewater
 Two environmental groups sued a Pittsburgh-area municipal sewage plant on Tuesday, saying it never got a permit from the state to treat often-toxic Marcellus Shale drilling wastewater, although the plant's head said it has stopped treating the wastewater.
Oil, gas industry wants water ban overturned
The Pennsylvania oil and gas industry is asking a federal judge to overturn a federal ban on using surface and groundwater in the Allegheny National Forest to conduct hydraulic fracturing at Marcellus shale well sites there.

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