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Energy In Depth News Clips

January 4, 2010

Refuting claims on fracturing (EID LTE). Times-Tribune. “Forrest Remick's Dec. 27 column takes an unusually harsh stance against both the concept of natural gas and the critical, decades-old technologies needed to produce it. Of course, making that argument, Mr. Remick forgets to mention his paid consultancy work for the nuclear power industry - an alternative to generating electricity for the American people … Thankfully, that which apparently is not known to Mr. Remick is well known to our elected leadership in Pennsylvania: Natural gas burns clean, and creates thousands of high-wage jobs right here in the state at a time when they're needed most.”

Plan affords right drilling safeguards (LTE from IOGA NY)Star Gazette. “The Dec. 27 guest viewpoint, 'Safety, health come first,' highlights the spirited, ongoing debate surrounding responsible, job-creating natural gas production in New York, particularly as it relates to the draft regulations released by DEC in September. But while the writer maintains that the agency's aggressive draft regulatory framework does not adequately protect the environment, the facts - and the document itself - simply do not support her claims. At 804 pages in length, the draft plan easily ranks among the most aggressive and comprehensive regulatory proposals ever introduced, especially as it relates to hydraulic fracturing, the critical, 60-year old energy production technique used to access shale gas thousands of feet below the ground …”

Hands Off the Watershed (editorial)The New York Times. “New York City has now officially registered its ringing opposition to a proposal by state regulators to allow natural gas drilling in the watershed that supplies drinking water to more than eight million city residents. Albany should amend its proposal and put the area permanently off limits to drilling … The only sure way to guarantee the protection of the watershed, and New York City’s supply of drinking water, is to quarantine the area.”

Pa. political leaders must do more about the natural gas bounty (editorial)Daily Review. “The genie is out of the bottle in Pennsylvania. Whereas the economic impact in local communities as well as statewide warrants exploitation of the massive gas field, the state retains the obligation to ensure that the extraction does not cause long-term environmental damage. While dissimilar geologic and other relevant factors make comparisons with gas plays in other regions of the nation risky, Pennsylvania's leaders in Harrisburg must demand the examination of results of the analyses in states over the Marcellus Shale, and apply them to drilling that already is under way across the commonwealth.”
News 8 reports spur change for air quality in Barnett Shale. WFAA-TV. “[Two months ago], a dangerous, cancer-causing toxin was found in the air near some natural gas facilities in the Barnett Shale  ‘If you're exposed to a high enough level for a long enough period of time, it can cause blood diseases leading up to leukemia,’ said Dr. Michael Honeycutt, with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. ‘We are going to be looking at oil and gas fields, ensuring that oil and gas operators are complying with permits, complying with federal rules," [EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz] said. ‘It is going to be a big priority for this office.’”

Innovation in actionDuncan Banner. “Jay Glasscott, president of A3Environ Inc., has unveiled plans that would reduce the carbon footprint left by natural gas extraction in hydraulic wells and plans to establish his business inDuncan. Glasscott plans on doing this by recycling flowback water from hydraulic wells. “We want to recycle the flowback water so it can be shipped to other well sites and they can reuse the water. In doing so we can greatly reduce the cost of natural gas extraction,” Glasscott said.”

Audubon Society considers allowing oil and gas drilling at sanctuary in Vermilion Parish. Times-Picayune.The National Audubon Society's Paul J. Rainey Sanctuary … is one of Louisiana's best-kept wetlands. [A]fter Hurricane Rita tore through southwest Louisiana, the preserve fell into a rapid state of decline … That is why Audubon is considering a measure that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago: opening the sanctuary to oil and gas drilling. Profits would be used to pay for marsh restoration, multimillion-dollar land-building projects that Audubon cannot now afford.”

Next 10 years promise more change. Shreveport Times. “Before 2008, the Haynesville Shale -- perhaps the largest in the world -- hardly was on the general public's radar. By the end of 2009, the natural gas discovery had changed the landscape of northwest Louisiana -- literally, with hundreds of drilling rigs popping up -- and had made government and individual property owners wealthier than they ever could have anticipated. But not all news was good; with more drilling came more accidents, some fatal, some causing serious injuries to rig workers.

City seeks to treat gas-drilling byproduct. Mineral Daily News-Tribune. “At the forefront of an environmental and economic-development issue that affects the drilling of natural gas reserves throughout the Mountain State, the city of Keyser will be getting some unprecedented face time with West Virginia’s senior state officials at the upcoming Mineral County Day in Charleston. City officials are slated to meet personally with Gov. Joe Manchin and the director of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to discuss the city's efforts to use its wastewater treatment facility to treat the water-byproduct from drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale deposit now being tapped throughout the Appalachian range.”
My New Year’s Resolution(T. Boone Pickensop-ed)The Huffington Post. The 1.6 million members of the Pickens Plan Army already know my New Year's resolution: as soon as health care wraps up in Congress, to see that Washington's number one public policy issue becomes winning approval of a plan to end our dangerous and costly dependence on foreign oil … It is imperative that we utilize this country's enormous natural gas reserves as quickly as possible … Not only do we have reserves capable of seeing us through the 21st century, but natural gas can put a huge dent in the amount of oil we import almost immediately.”

Hydrocarbons: Tulsa’s future. Tulsa World. “Apologies to all the energy futurists out there, but Tulsa's petroleum industry 10 years out probably won't be a whole lot different from the one we see now or saw at the onset of the new millennium, local leaders predict. ‘Renewable fuels are not going to totally be the answer,’ said Rod Sands, CEO of Tulsa-based Explorer Pipeline. ‘Hydrocarbons will be here for a long time to come.’ Making the burning of those fuels cleaner and more energy efficient may be the next big leap, industry officials pointed out. Improved drilling technology should produce more oil, just as directional drilling has revolutionized the natural gas shale plays.”

The rush is on. Morning Times (PA). The natural gas rig looming over a hundred feet over the Eileen property in Smithfield Township is one of 92 drilled in Bradford County in 2009 — over six times the number drilled in 2008 … But if current trends continue, it could be only a matter of time before such rigs jutting out from the rural landscape become less a novelty and more a part of the county’s everyday scenery.

Natural gas boon fuels bright spot for local economy. Sun Gazette. In spite of unemployment climbing above 9 percent, local officials say there was plenty to be positive about in 2009, not the least of which was the continued development of the Marcellus Shale. That positive feeling should carry over into 2010 and beyond, said Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce President Vincent Matteo. ‘The future is natural gas, not only for Lycoming County, but for the region,’ Matteo said.”

Wayne County filmmaker to premier documentary about gas drilling dangers at Sundance. Times-Tribune.“Mr. Fox, a filmmaker who owns about 20 acres in Milanville, Wayne County, turned his cross-country quest for information about the dangers of drilling - and the stories he heard along the way - into the feature-length documentary ‘Gasland,’ which has earned a coveted spot among the films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in late January. Mr. Fox took his car and a hand-me-down camera through Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado and other states where gas is extracted using hydraulic fracturing … Although his advocacy began and remains ‘a fight to preserve my home,’ he said, Mr. Fox also discovered in making the film that gas drilling is a national issue.”

Cornell grad creates detailed guide to frackingStar Gazette. “Last summer, Matt Cortese, a Binghamton native and Cornell University graduate, earned an eight-week assignment through the state's Public Health Works! Internship Program to research water quality issues. He focused on Marcellus Shale development and a controversial process called hydraulic fracturing … The crux of his presentation, and his assigned task with the health department, is showing how fracking can affect water quality. He itemizes hundreds of chemical byproducts from the various steps of the process … The take-home message from Cortese's hour-long PowerPoint presentation is not really new: Fracking is the key to making production from shale economically viable, but it poses serious risks to water resources if not managed with care. What's new is the level of detail Cortese brings to the table.”

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There are 194,500 acres represented in the Coalition as of 8/18/2010. The latest gas offers in New York State are $3000/acre with 20% royalties.

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