Thursday, November 17, 2011

Marcellus News for Pennsylvania: Nov. 15-17

Markell: Delaware will vote against controversial drilling in Delaware River watershed
Gov. Jack Markell said late today that Delaware will vote against a regional agency plan to allow a controversial type of deep shale-gas drilling in the Delaware River watershed, citing unsettled and inadequate terms for state and local environmental safeguards and insufficient public review of recently amended regulatory proposals.
Poll says most in Pa. see more pros than cons in shale industry
About 41 percent of Pennsylvanians said drilling has yielded more benefits than problems so far, while 33 percent said it posed more problems and 26 percent weighed the pros and cons as equal. When asked to consider the long-term impact, 50 percent said shale gas will provide more benefits than problems, while 32 percent said the reverse.
One thing's clear: Pennsylvanians think the shale gas is indeed taxable. About 72 percent said firms extracting natural gas should pay a tax that's allocated at a local level.
Experts Say Shale Boom Equals Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
When you meet Randy Pfirman, you can almost see the dollar signs in his eyes. Just two years ago, the born and raised Williamsport man had a slow water hose manufacturing company on his hands. He had less than a handful of workers, and business was declining. Every year, the area would lose a factory, and they would lose another customer. Then in 2009, one of those remaining few customers “hit it big,” drilling one of the area’s first gas wells that tapped into the Marcellus shale. The man warned Pfirman that gas companies and their teams of workers would be “coming in from all over.”They did. And they wanted Pfirman’s products.“I don’t ever have to worry about what I’m going to do in the future,” said Pfirman. “Nobody in this area has to worry about jobs anymore.”
House GOP Leadership Kills Debate on Amendments to Marcellus Bill
In one of the more blatant displays of raw power against the will of the people, the House Republican leadership today rammed through second consideration of HB 1950, an omnibus Marcellus Shale drilling bill that is an early Christmas gift to the multinational gas drillers and puts frack fluid in the stockings of citizens.
Heavily debated Marcellus Shale bill passes Senate
The State Senate Tuesday approved legislation that would establish reasonable fees on gas drillers, establish strong environmental safeguards, and strengthen oversight of the Marcellus Shale drilling industry, according to Senator Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, who sponsored the measure.
Passage of Senate Bill 1100 comes after months of negotiation and compromise on a number of areas, including how funding would be allocated and local zoning issues.
DEP investigation finds inconsistencies in Marcellus violations
A DEP team convened to scour inconsistencies in oil and gas inspections between Pennsylvania’s three regions came out with its findings today. The verdict: inconsistencies exist.
As we reported in August, different regions’ inspectors were entering violations differently, accounting for swings in the number of offenses recorded in the southwestern vs. the northeastern parts of the Marcellus Shale.

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