Everything’s a Mess and No One’s Responsible…

I received a link to this article from my mother who lives near the Tioga County/Potter County line and keeps tabs on that area for me. Both she and some local friends have been monitoring the smaller creeks in that area for a while now…thank you!

So the article found here talks about one of the main issues that occur when only the type of short sightedness this industry creates finally comes into play. Where the hell do we put all this radiation frack water once were done with it? (what, there’s radiation in that stuff?) If you read the article you’ll find out that nobody seems to know and apparently no one (no regulatory office, no state office, no federal office, etc) is responsible for regulating or disposing of this type of thing. It seems to fall in between the gaps of the existing laws we have, probably because this is the first time deep horizontal, hydraulic fracturing of wells has been done at this stupendously high level and SO very close to people’s homes and water supplies. In short, no one thought it through and no one bothered to test and see if there was radiation and then make a plan for disposing of it.

The finding of this article actually comes from here. This is a fellow blogger who I think is located in the Potter County area. They posted the article I mention above on February the 6th. The interesting part of this are the comments after the post. read through them to discover some scary experiences from a frack truck driver and get a bit of a feel for how some folks feel about this.

State Impact PA

I’ve posted links to the State Impact PA site before but wanted to remind folks that there is a great resource here and even though the gas industries have slowed down for now there is still a lot of good journalism work being done by Chris Amico, Danny DeBelius, Scott Detrow and Matt Stiles of my local NPR station; WITF. here’s a link to the State Impact map which gives you a quick look at all the wells, where they are and who owns them. http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/drilling/

You will also find some interesting new stories as you scroll further down the page on the left under the heading “Latest News”.

Shale Gas Drilling Photos

The below link will take you to public web album with photos from folks who live in areas where the gas drilling is happening.  Click the link and see what the truth looks like.

https://picasaweb.google.com/chec.pitt/ShaleGasDrilling

Marcellus Shale advisory board members rack up violations

Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 12:00 AM     Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 6:38 A By DONALD GILLILAND, The Patriot-News

Eight of the drilling companies with representatives on the Pennsylvania governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission were cited with environmental violations last year. One of them led the state in violations. All of them contributed to Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign.  That lends some ammunition to environmentalists’ complaint that Corbett populated the commission henhouse with industry foxes favored for their largesse rather than careful business practices. Industry officials say the representatives bring valuable expertise and talent to the panel.

According to an analysis of violations from the Department of Environmental Protection conducted by Clean Water Action, an environmental group, the companies represented on the governor’s commission accounted for 42 percent of all drilling violations last year — 514 out of a total 1,227.  “It’s pretty shocking,” said Myron Arnowitt, Clean Water Action’s state director. “Some of the very worst companies are on the commission.”  With 174 violations, Chief Oil & Gas led the state last year; Chief’s vice president of government and regulatory affairs, Terry Bossert, sits on the commission. Attempts to contact Chief for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful. Chesapeake Energy had the third-highest number of violations at 132; Chesapeake’s vice president of government relations, Dave Spigelmyer, was appointed to the commission, but chose to step off prior to the beginning of its work.  Other companies with violations serving on the commission are: East Resources (74 violations), Exxon Mobil (66), Range Resources (32), Chevron (16), EQT (15) and Consol (5).  The violations range from administrative oversights to illegal discharge of industrial waste. About one in six wells had problems.

“We’re concerned that some of the folks on the commission are really part of the problem, and we don’t see how they’re going to be part of the solution,” Arnowitt said.

Companies represented on the commission also donated more than $790,000 to Corbett’s campaign, he said. Ray Walker of Range Resources is serving on the commission as the representative of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group he chairs.

“The commission’s objective is to develop a comprehensive, strategic proposal for the responsible and environmentally sound development of Marcellus Shale,” said the coalition’s spokesman, Travis Windle. “Having subject matter experts — like Ray Walker and others — whose understanding of these highly technical issues is second to none only makes sense.” Range is also widely recognized as one of the most environmentally responsible of all the companies drilling in Pennsylvania. It was Range that told DEP the state’s regulations had to change or its rivers would be destroyed.
That’s not good enough for Clean Water Action.  It’s one of 17 groups that plans to stage a rally outside the commission’s meeting at the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg at noon today. The groups are calling for the governor to disband the commission unless citizens groups are given seats at the table. “The rally is really to address the fact — from our perspective — [that] the makeup of the commission is not what it should be to address the problems Marcellus Shale drilling has brought to the state,” Arnowitt said.

Arnowitt was part of an April 13 meeting between environmental groups and both the governor’s energy executive and the DEP secretary. The groups were denied seats on the board, but the officials asked them to supply specific ideas of how to incorporate more public comment into the proceedings. That has not been done. “We’re still putting together ideas,” Arnowitt said. “We’re happy to talk more about how to include more input, but that’s a separate question.”

That disparity between public and private action is telling, said Chad Saylor, spokesman for Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, who leads the commission.The proceedings are open and transparent, he said, and public comment is still welcome.


To read this article in full online, click here:

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/04/gas_panel_members_rack_up_viol.html



Cheaper by the billion

Via Penn Futures – Friday, March 04, 2011

Range Resources is selling the 52,000-acres it owns in the Barnett Shale natural gas play in Texas for a cool $900 million.

Is Range bailing out of one of the most productive shale plays in America?

Are they going bankrupt?

Um, no.

According to one industry analyst, Range intends to plow the proceeds of that sale into developing its Marcellus shale holdings in Pennsylvania.

Why? Because production in Pennsylvania is “cheap.”

And production is not the only thing that is cheap.

Transportation of gas to market is the largest component of a gas driller’s cost. Pennsylvania’s Marcellus gas lies in the middle of the strongest natural gas market in the world – the Eastern United States.

So, transportation costs in Pennsylvania are also cheap.

According to this analyst, Range will spend over a billion dollars this year developing its Marcellus production capacity. Despite giving up its Texas holdings, Range expects production to grow 10 percent this year, and 25 to 30 percent next year. It also expects that costs will remain low this year and next year, meaning “solid” (an industry term for huge) profit margins will continue.

“Range offers shareholders a future full of cheap production growth. The company is going to generate significant cash flow, which is great news for shareholders,” wrote the analyst.

But it gets even better for Range.

According to another report, Range has the potential for a “triple play” – to produce natural gas and natural gas liquids not only from the Marcellus Shale but also from the Upper Devonian Shale above the Marcellus and the Utica Shale below the Marcellus.

Range Resources CEO John Pinkerton sums it up well. “…our shareholders are going to make a whole bunch of dough…”

But none of this is great news for ordinary Pennsylvanians facing drastic reductions in government services, for communities in the Marcellus region that are struggling to deal with the impacts of gas development, or for Pennsylvania’s environment. Because Range, like all the other gas drillers in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus development boom – who have similarly cheap production – pays no drilling tax.

That’s what’s really cheap.

Documents: Politics, Recycling and Tracking of Natural Gas Waste

The New York times ran this article recently. Documents: Politics, Recycling and Tracking of Natural Gas Waste

Over the past nine months, The Times reviewed more than 30,000 pages of documents obtained through open records requests of state and federal agencies and by visiting various regional offices that oversee drilling in Pennsylvania. Some of the documents were leaked by state or federal officials. Here, the most significant documents on wastewater recycling are made available with annotations from The Times. Previously published documents relate to natural gas waste.

To see these documents click the link below.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/01/us/natural-gas-documents-2.html#document/p64/a10110

Speaking Out on Water Issues

Tiadaghton Audubon Society is pleased and privileged to have Sean Saville, National Field Director of the National Audubon Society speak on the Gulf Oil Spill at our annual meeting on Wednesday November 17 at 7:30PM in Mansfield Pa at the Holy Child Church, 242 South Main St. He has extensive and intimate knowledge of this disaster and how it affects all of us.

Penn State, the same evening, will be setting up water well samples sites from residents at the Tioga County Fairgrounds (see below) to be used in a study concerning gas well drilling in the Northern Tier.

Please consider coming to Mansfield to hear Sean’s presentation after you drop off your water samples. Get first hand information from Sean on the Gulf Oil Spill. Please join us.