Friday, April 29, 2011

Jobs New York needs

New York Post Article

Greens imperil 'fracking' boom

Just a three-hour drive from New York City, the economic devastation is some thing out of "Grapes of Wrath." Across the Southern Tier, the gray scenes of the Great Depression come to life in the rusted and idled farm equipment and dilapidated barns that dot the countryside. In the faces of the hardscrabble people who have hung on to the land, you see hopelessness. Their children have never known prosperity.
I first visited the farmers of Tioga County a decade ago as counsel for agriculture to the state Senate. I saw farms in foreclosure thanks to a brutal combination of high property taxes, ever-stricter environmental regulation, high energy costs and low milk prices.

Read more:

to read more:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Halt in Natural Gas Supply Costs Israel $1.5 Million a Day

Will natural gas surge mean lights out for nuclear?

by Kate Springer
April 26, 2011

Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, utility companies overseas and across the U.S. have halted or cancelled plans to build nuclear power plants, the latest being NRG Energy Inc. in Texas.

But in many cases it’s not the disaster that is causing hold-ups. It’s the promise of natural gas.

With some of the lowest and most stable natural gas prices in U.S. history, building new nuclear facilities is no longer a viable option in competitive markets, experts say. That’s true even for Exelon Corp., operator of the nation’s largest fleet of nuclear power plants.
Read more:

Range's gas output temporarily outstripping infrastructure here - Business News -

Range's gas output temporarily outstripping infrastructure here - Business News -

Range's gas output temporarily outstripping infrastructure here - Business News -

Range's gas output temporarily outstripping infrastructure here - Business News -

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Evo Morales: Natural gas discovery boosts Bolivia’s reserves by a third

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Leftist President Evo Morales announced Wednesday the discovery by French energy giant Total of natural gas deposits that he said would boost Bolivia’s reserves by 30 percent.
The Aquio field’s deposits will increase Bolivia’s gas output by 6.5 million cubic meters a day when it begins operating in 2015, and reach 18 million cubic meters by 2020 with additional drilling, the state-run YPFB energy company said.
The poor Andean country currently produces 41 million cubic meters of gas daily, selling it chiefly to Brazil and Argentina.

EPA to shed light on fracturing rules

Diesel injections will be focus of clarification on natural gas work


April 26, 2011, 10:38PM

The guidance, which EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says is coming "very shortly," is meant to clear up rules for natural gas producers.
A congressional investigation concluded earlier this year that companies have not secured EPA permits before injecting more than 32 million gallons of diesel fuel and other fluids into the ground in fracturing operations between 2005 and 2009.
States historically have regulated hydraulic fracturing. The technique involves injecting mixtures of water, sand and chemicals including diesel fuel deep underground at high pressures to break up dense shale rock and release gas locked in it. Although Congress exempted most hydraulic fracturing activities from EPA's jurisdiction as part of a 2005 rewrite of the Safe Drinking Water Act, that exception does not apply to diesel - even though the government only began to regulate it last year.
Jackson insisted that the EPA has authority to regulate diesel fuel in fracturing fluids.

Daily Journal - BLM hears from Colorado businesses, regulators, residents on hydraulic fracturing

Daily Journal - BLM hears from Colorado businesses, regulators, residents on hydraulic fracturing

GOLDEN, Colo. — Federal land managers are trying to balance the risks and rewards of hydraulic fracturing, a process that blasts water, sand and chemicals underground to free natural gas.
Industry representatives, regulators and residents offered different views on how it's going at a Bureau of Land Management forum in Golden on Monday.
Some residents said they worry how hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, might affect groundwater. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission director Dave Neslin said his agency has investigated hundreds of complaints tied to fracking, but hasn't found any groundwater contamination.
Dave Cesark of Mesa Energy in Grand Junction said the risk isn't zero, but fracking has been used safely for decades, the Coloradoan reported.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daily Journal - Corbett to address gathering of natural gas drilling industry in Pittsburgh

Daily Journal - Corbett to address gathering of natural gas drilling industry in Pittsburgh

Ohio shale deposits hold potential for oil, gas, jobs

Who will reap the lion's share of this windfall and who will fill these jobs is anybody's guess. Industry lobbyists and regulators note the charge will be led by outside companies. At least at the onset, these energy firms largely will be trucking in their own workers because they have the expertise in new techniques that now makes these ventures profitable.
But eventually, drilling jobs could be created in eastern Ohio, where unemployment rates are much higher than the state and national averages.
Some landowners there already have benefited, getting thousands of dollars per acre from mineral extractors competing over increasingly fewer tracts.

to read more:

N.Y. registry to chart gas-drilling chemicals

NEW YORK -- A pair of state groups has launched a registry for chemicals used in extracting natural gas through hydraulic fracturing.
The online registry makes it easier for the public to find out what chemicals are being used to extract natural gas in nearby wells. But participating drillers will continue to withhold information about chemicals they consider proprietary.
Drillers have used a process known as "fracking" to unlock reserves of natural gas trapped in formations underneath several states. The process involves the high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals to break up rock and release the natural gas.

to read more:|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

Friday, April 22, 2011


Over the past several years the GWPC has been asked. "Do state oil and gas regulations protect water?" How do their rules apply? Are they adequate? The first step in answering these questions is to evaluate the regulatory frameworks within which programs operate. This is the purpose of this report.

The Role of the EPA's CWA and SDWA

A little background on EPA's role.
NY State has primacy for some of these regulations

Safe Drinking Water Act

Several statutes may be leveraged to protect water quality, but EPA’s central authority to protect drinking water is drawn from the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The protection of USDWs is focused in the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program, which regulates the subsurface emplacement of fluid. Congress provided for exclusions to UIC authority (SDWA § 1421(d)), however, with the most recent language added via the Energy Policy Act of 2005:
“The term ‘underground injection’
(A) means the subsurface emplacement of fluids by well injection; and
(B) excludes
(i) the underground injection of natural gas for purposes of storage; and
(ii) the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.”
While the SDWA specifically excludes hydraulic fracturing from UIC regulation under SDWA § 1421 (d)(1), the use of diesel fuel during hydraulic fracturing is still regulated by the UIC program. Any service company that performs hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuel must receive prior authorization from the UIC program. Injection wells receiving diesel fuel as a hydraulic fracturing additive will be considered Class II wells by the UIC program. The UIC regulations can be found in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations Parts 144-148. State oil and gas agencies may have additional regulations for hydraulic fracturing. In addition, states or EPA have authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate discharge of produced waters from hydraulic fracturing operations.

Clean Water Act

Disposal of flowback into surface waters of the United States is regulated by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program. The Clean Water Act authorizes the NPDES program. In New York State the program is the SPDES program

State regulations

In addition to federal authority to regulate the hydraulic fracturing process, states may have additional regulations on hydraulic fracturing and the production of fossil fuels.

The Truth About the Halliburton Loophole in New York

DEC clearly discusses the perceived "Halliburton loophole" on their website.

The exemption does NOT affect the regulations of natural gas wells in New York State! More information can be found about the UIC program by reading through the GEIS.

Why are we still discussing this issue?

Effect of Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

Questions have been raised about whether certain specific exemptions or exclusions in federal law prevent the Department from regulating Marcellus Shale well drilling and hydraulic fracturing. They do not. As explained below, the Department retains full authority to regulate these activities to prevent pollution and to protect the environment and public health and safety.

Safe Drinking Water Act

The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended the Underground Injection Control ("UIC") provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act to exclude hydraulic fracturing from the definition of "underground injection." The objective of the federal UIC program is to protect underground sources of drinking water from contamination by underground injection of hazardous and non-hazardous fluids. However, protection of groundwater resources during oil and gas extraction activities is a responsibility of state government. The cited federal amendment in no way hampers or denigrates the Department's authority over oil and gas well development in New York, including oversight of hydraulic fracturing activities to ensure protection of groundwater resources.

Clean Water Act

The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 defined "oil and gas exploration, production, processing, or treatment operations or transmission facilities" to include all field activities and operations related to these facilities "whether or not such field activities may be considered to be construction activities." The effect was to exempt well site activities that disturb one or more acres from the Clean Water Act's requirement for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") stormwater permits for sediment runoff from construction sites. The Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") thereafter modified its NPDES storm water permit regulations to reflect the revision. On May 23, 2008, in National Resources Defense Counsel vs. USEPA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit filed an Opinion disagreeing with the EPA's interpretation of the statute, vacating the modified rule, and remanding the matter back to the EPA for further proceedings.
The federal exemption never hindered the Department's authority to require appropriate erosion and sedimentation controls at all well sites, regardless of their size. Erosion and sedimentation control measures deemed appropriate by the Regional Minerals Manager must be maintained at all well sites, even sites that are smaller than one acre. Department inspectors check the integrity and effectiveness of these controls, and order immediate repairs when needed.

Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)

EPCRA was enacted by Congress in response to concerns raised after the 1984 incident in Bhopal, India, when a large toxic release killed thousands of people. Congress specified that EPCRA applies to the manufacturing sector, as defined by specific Standard Industrial Codes (now replaced by North American Industry Classification codes). Oil and gas extraction activities do not fall within the manufacturing sector, and are not among the additional industry sectors added to EPCRA in 1997.

Existing well construction and fluid containment requirements sufficiently prohibit any uncontrolled release of fluids to the environment. Furthermore, the Department is requiring applicants to submit information on hydraulic fracturing fluid composition prior to well permit issuance. The Public Officer's Law and the Department's Records Access Regulations provide a methodology to handle any information submitted by applicants and operators that is claimed to be trade secret or confidential commercial information. Neither the fact that a formula may be considered proprietary, nor that the fact that EPCRA does not apply to the oil and gas extraction sector, prevents the Department from requiring that the information be submitted.

You are Invited to Join Our First Official Event

Otsego Proactive Network will be presenting the film,


Tuesday May 3rd at 7:00 pm at Schenevus Central School Cafeteria
Admission is free and open to the public.

Documentary filmmaker and Windsor, New York, resident Aaron Price tells the story of a struggling community whose future he believes could be dramatically improved if natural gas development were permitted in New York’s Marcellus Shale. The film chronicles the struggles of upstate New Yorkers facing economic hardships and how the production of natural gas in their backyards could dramatically improve their lives.

Aaron Price, Director of Gas Odyssey, Windsor, NY
Bob Williams, Environmental Consultant,
Binghamton, NY

Loren Salsman, Environmental Engineer, Dimock, PA

Will be on hand after the showing to answer questions 

Donations will be accepted.

Contact Information:

OSU Stillwater Saves Big By Using Alternative, Home Grown Fuel - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

OSU Stillwater Saves Big By Using Alternative, Home Grown Fuel - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports -

Craig Day, News On 6
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- We would all love to save money on gas right now. Saving more than $1.50 a gallon sounds pretty good doesn't it?
Oklahoma State opened a new compressed natural gas fueling station today. It's a way OSU's Orange is now going Green and saving big bucks in the process.
Joined by Governor Mary Fallin, and the nation's leading advocate for natural gas, T. Boone Pickens, Oklahoma State leaders officially opened a new compressed natural gas fueling station.
"It's cleaner. It's cheaper. It's abundant. It's domestic. And you don't have to refine it," said Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis.
Eighteen of the buses in the university's fleet are now running on CNG. Transit Director Steve Spradling says it is saving OSU a lot of money.
"Just in March alone, we saved about $17,000 on the local transit system," Spradling said.

read more or watch video:

Dow Chemical to build new chemical plants

Dow Chemical Co. will increase its ethylene and propylene production to cash in on higher U.S. natural gas production from shale.
The chemical company said it plans to build a new ethylene plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast that will be operational by 2017. It also plans to restart its ethylene plant near Hahnville, La., by the end of 2012.
"The improved outlook for U.S. natural gas supply from shale brings the prospect of competitively priced ethane and propane feed stocks to Dow ..." Jim Fitterling, Dow's president of corporate development and Hydrocarbons, said in a statement.

Read more:

Chesapeake stems flow from blown Pennsylvania gas well

NEW YORK | Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:51am EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy has stemmed the flow of leaking drilling fluids from a natural gas well that suffered a blow-out late on Tuesday in Pennsylvania and prompted the company to suspend a controversial gas production technique in the state.Chesapeake, one of Pennsylvania's biggest shale gas producers, used a mix of plastic, ground-up tires and heavy mud to plug the well -- an operation that echoes BP's "top kill" effort to seal its ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well last year.
"Late Thursday afternoon, efforts to seal the leak and regain control of well pressure were successful," Chesapeake said in a statement on Thursday evening.
The company said it still did not know the cause of the blowout nearly two days after it occurred. It was planning to start an investigation into the accident, the statement said.

To read more:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The US Should Follow Europe's Lead

Paul Driessen

President Obama and environmentalists often say America should follow Europe’s lead on energy, climate and economic matters.
Recent events suggest that we should listen more attentively to the Europeans.
Two brutal winters have awakened Europe to the fact that global temperatures stopped rising in 1998 – and that frigid days and nights pose far graver dangers to the elderly and poor than warm weather and moderate global warming.
Germany and the Netherlands were gripped by near-record lows this past winter. People suffered frostbite and some froze to death in Poland and Russia.
Barely twelve months after its Meteorological Office said the 2009-10 winter was the coldest in three decades, Britain endured its coldest December-January since 1683. Because the United Kingdom’s ultra green energy policies have driven heating costs into the stratosphere, British pensioners rode buses or spent all day in libraries to stay warm, then shivered all night in their apartments. Tens of thousands risked hypothermia, trying to control costs by bundling up and turning the heat down or off. Many died.

To read more:

"In Slovakia, the government stopped issuing solar licenses barely six months after launching its program. After unaffordable subsidies were sharply reduced, new solar installations in the Czech Republic fell 76% (from 2800 MW in 2009 to 400 MW in 2010); in Spain they plummeted 98% (from 2800 MW to 69 MW between 2008 and 2009). Private investments in these government-supported programs also cratered."

Chemophobia might fracture natural gas initiatives
As an unscientific follow-up to last week’s interminable “toxic sugar” story is another chemophobic rant from The New York Times. This time it’s about chemicals involved in the hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) process used to release natural gas from shale deposits deep underground. The Times reporter Ian Urbina would have you believe that the trace levels of chemicals (such as toluene and benzene) used during hydrofracking may ultimately end up in our drinking water. His article revolves around a Congressional investigation report stating, “Questions about the safety of hydraulic fracturing persist, which are compounded by the secrecy surrounding the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids.” Written by Representatives Henry A. Waxman (D-California), Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) and Diana DeGette (D-Colorado), the report also criticized companies for at times “injecting fluids containing chemicals that they themselves cannot identify.”

Matt Armstrong, attorney for the natural gas industry, however, argues that, "This report uses the same sleight of hand deployed in the last report on diesel use — it compiles overall product volumes, not the volumes of the hazardous chemicals contained within those products. This generates big numbers but provides no context for the use of these chemicals over the many thousands of frac jobs that were conducted within the timeframe of the report."

Meanwhile, if the U.S. turns away from hydrofracking for natural gas, we may want to consider Europe’s “cold” condition in the aftermath of their green energy investments. Paul Driessen, senior policy adviser for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, points out that in Europe, whose latest winters have been the coldest in centuries, the trend towards green energy sources has caused home heating supplies to be priced out of reach for many of its needy residents.

In agreement, ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross further posits that, “The carcinogenic effects associated with benzene come from studies of high-exposure occupational workers. This has little or nothing to do with the traces of benzene present in hydrofracking liquids, let alone the hypothetical amounts that might conceivably migrate from shale gas deposits to drinking water. To deny Americans the possibility of plentiful, cheap and safe natural gas because of hyper-precautionary fears about ‘toxic and carcinogenic’ chemicals from hydrofracking fluid seems terribly irresponsible.”

Pa. agency OKs more gas drilling on game lands

MARC LEVY, Associated Press
Updated 07:27 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, 2011
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Game Commission has expanded the scope of leasing state-owned hunting lands for harvesting natural gas from the lucrative Marcellus Shale formation, this time netting more than $18 million.
The money helps a financially strapped agency that has cut back programs, such as raising pheasants for small-game hunting, while going a dozen years without an increase in the hunting license fees that are its primary source of support.
About two-thirds of the lease money is payment for the extraction of natural gas from beneath game lands in Bradford and Lycoming counties in northern Pennsylvania by way of wells that would be drilled on adjacent, privately owned land. Another lease on game lands in adjoining Tioga County will allow up to three well pads — each of which can host multiple wells — and pipeline construction.

Speakers at Fort Worth energy conference say industry must reform image | Barnett Shale ...

Speakers at Fort Worth energy conference say industry must reform image Barnett Shale ... - Pickens Talks Tough Toward Gas Opponents - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - Pickens Talks Tough Toward Gas Opponents - Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Canada Natural Gas Rises on Increased U.S. Air Conditioner Use

By Gene Laverty - Apr 20, 2011 2:23 PM ET
Canadian natural-gas prices rose as hot weather in the U.S. South boosts air-conditioner use and demand for power-plant fuels.
Cooling needs across the U.S. will be 70 percent above normal tomorrow and top out at 77 percent higher April 24, according to Belton, Missouri-based Weather Derivatives. Temperatures in Houston may touch 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) today, about 10 degrees hotter than normal, said AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
“There are some warmer-than-normal temperatures in the southern U.S.,” said Tim Evans, energy analyst for Citi Futures Perspective in New York. Natural gas is facing less competition from nuclear plants because of seasonal maintenance, he said.
Read more:

Piedmont Natural Gas contributes to storm relief

Triangle Business Journal - by John Downey , Charlotte Business Journal

Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 7:51pm EDT
Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) will contribute $50,000 to the Red Cross and other relief agencies to assist individuals in eastern North Carolina hard hit by the spate of tornadoes over the weekend.
"We know these storms have tragically touched the lives of many across eastern North Carolina, and our hearts go out to them as they rebuild their lives and their communities,” says CEO Tom Skains in a written statement. “These are our neighbors and our friends and we realize the effort to rebuild and start over will be both painful and difficult.”

U.S. natgas well blowout raises safety concerns

NEW YORK | Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:28pm EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A blowout at a Pennsylvania natural gas well late Tuesday could heighten concerns about the safety of a controversial process to extract gas from shale rock.
The accident comes at a sensitive time for energy drillers, exactly one year after an explosion that led to the massive BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and just as regulators mull whether to allow the technique in New York state.
The well in Bradford County, operated by Chesapeake Energy, spewed thousands of gallons of drilling fluid used in hydraulic fracturing, county emergency management officials said.
The process, also called fracking, releases natural gas from shale rock by blasting it with water, sand and chemicals.
Local residents were evacuated from Leroy Township, about 25 miles from the New York border, though Chesapeake said no one was hurt.
To read more:

The Unfriendly Side of Eco-Friendly

I found this article online and decided to post it here as a reminder to us to not lose sight of our goals; to find a way to co-exist with development while being excellent environmental stewards. This discussion parallels the local discussion on natural gas development.
By Gary Truitt

The term eco-friendly is usually not associated with terms like extortion, intimidation, harassment, and lewd behavior. But there is a dirty underside to the green movement. Several incidents have come to light in the past week that show a different side to the environmental movement than most folks see. Most in the green movement come off as sensitive, caring individuals who only want to do what is right for the earth. And, for many, this is the case. However, some of the more radical elements of the movement will stop at nothing to enforce their eco-agenda. These eco-zealots try to hide behind a pastoral green facade, but you do not have to look too deeply to find the truth.

The battle over atrazine is a prime example of an environmental movement that gives no quarter. When Jere White, Executive Director of the Kansas Corn Growers Association, testified before an EPA hearing on atrazine, he became a target for harassment and intimidation by environmentalists. White recently testified before the Senate Ag Committee that environmental law firms have hounded him for depositions and demanded he supply reams of paperwork. “Growers and associations like ours that have provided comments and support for atrazine are now being targeted by the activist trial attorneys. We’ve been hit with subpoenas for massive, expensive and time-consuming production of records unrelated to any litigation. We are being harassed, even bullied, for daring to defend ourselves. The message is clear: If you stand up for atrazine, you’d best be prepared to pay a price,” White testified. According to White, the day after his testimony at the EPA hearing, “The very next day, activist attorneys sought and obtained subpoenas against Kansas Corn, Kansas Grain Sorghum, and me personally.”

What was it that White said to warrant this kind of treatment? White focused his testimony on atrazine as a safe herbicide used by American farmers for the past 50 years. He emphasized that atrazine is one of the most studied molecules on Earth and stressed that, for many farmers, the herbicide is a matter of staying in business during a difficult economy. According to the EPA’s own analysis, the removal of atrazine could cost farmers up to $28 an acre. “Most farmers live next to their fields,” White said. “They raise their children in these environments. If there were any real harm in atrazine, the American farmer would have been the first to notice and the first to care. They value atrazine because it is effective and it is safe. That’s why well over half of all U.S. corn acres are protected from weeds by atrazine.” Anti-atrazine researchers have been scrambling to confuse the issue with a variety of studies and theories. Yet, the actions of one such researcher call into question the legitimacy of such research.

{Paragraph deleted to not mention the researcher's name}

White says these tactics are nothing more than eco-bullying, “We can’t imagine what kind of useful information they hope to find by looking through membership records, leadership programs, or who paid for the ice cream at a farmer’s meeting. But the threat of legal harassment might make an organization or an individual think twice about standing up for a product like atrazine.” The real danger of course is if they are successful with Atrazine, no other aspect of agriculture will be safe. Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are calling on the White House to tighten the leash on EPA and lessen the influence of radical environmentalists who seem to have free reign in the administration. Science and common sense had better return to the green movement before it puts the American economy in the red.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MSC Actively Addressing Bromide Issue, Supports DEP Guidance

April 19, 2011 Newsroom, Press Releases
Canonsburg, PA – The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) is actively working to reduce the amount of water taken to surface discharge facilities and is crafting solutions to address the issue of bromides entering waterways. When present with organic matter and chlorine – commonly used to at drinking water plants – brominated species of trihalomethanes (THMs) can form. Bromide, however, is not a public health concern, unless it reacts with other elements to form THMs above safe drinking water standards over an extended period of time. There are many known bromide contributors in our waterways. Marcellus operators are recycling significant and growing amounts of water; these figures continue to increase as technologies advance.
Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the MSC, issued the following statement:
“Research by Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority experts suggests that the natural gas industry is a contributing factor to elevated levels of bromide in the Allegheny and Beaver Rivers. We are committed to leading efforts, and working alongside DEP and other stakeholders, to address these issues quickly and straightforwardly, and support the appropriate action taken by DEP today. As emphasized in our Guiding Principles, our industry will continue to implement state-of-the-art environmental protection across our operations and operate in a transparent and responsible manner.”
Gov. Tom Ridge, an MSC strategic advisor, added this:
“The Marcellus Shale Coalition remains committed to developing this great natural resource in a responsible manner. When sound research is brought to our attention, we will take swift action to address issues directly, as laid out in our Guiding Principles. We support DEP’s efforts, and will continue to work aggressively and collaboratively to craft solutions aimed to protecting our waterways and our environment.”

Pa. sees threat to drinking water from natural gas drilling waste -

The DEP (in Pennsylvania) is finally working towards getting a handle on the wastewater issue.

Pa. sees threat to drinking water from natural gas drilling waste -

"Tuesday’s announcement was a major change in the state’s regulation of gas drilling and came the same day that an industry group said it now believes drilling wastewater is partly at fault for rising levels of bromide being found in Pittsburgh-area rivers."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Something Different Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs

It not an easy job!

School district launches 47 new 'green' school buses

School district launches 47 new 'green' school buses

Forty-seven new compressed natural gas buses drove through the streets of Kansas City, Kansas, on Wednesday to arrive at a dedication and open house ceremony at the new Central Office and Training Center at 59th and Parallel Parkway, before proceeding to the bus parking lot. (Photo courtesy of Tammy Dodderidge, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools)
   A caravan of 47 new “green” school buses wound through the streets of Kansas City, Kansas, on March 16 making their way to their new home.

read more:

Find the Pipeline in this picture....

Visit for the answer!

Tiny Pennsylvania Land Trust Is Tempted by Marcellus Shale Gas Riches

By Elizabeth McGowan at SolveClimate
Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:00am EDT
Gas developers would pay the land trust at least $15 million to drill on its acres. The group's divided board is taking a wait-and-see approach for now
By Elizabeth McGowan, SolveClimate News
Editor's Note: Some laud natural gas as cleaner burning, home-grown energy — a "bridge" fuel to a renewable future. But others fear the environmental costs of the industry's newest extraction technique — a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing or fracking — are too high. SolveClimate News reporter Elizabeth McGowan traveled to Northeastern Pennsylvania in late March to find out how this quest for energy is affecting the landscape and the people who call it home. This is the first in a multi-part series.
TUNKHANNOCK, PA.—Paul Lumia tugs at his toboggan cap while striding across a meadow dusted with the remnants of a late spring snow, then sloshes through pockets of standing water that would have been coated with ice a few days prior.
It's there, while seated on a striking stone wall — the artistic legacy of a long-ago farmer — that he recounts a story of irony and temptation.

Natural Gas Industry Pushes Back Against AG Eric Schneiderman's Hydrofracking Lawsuit Threat

State AG Eric Schneiderman announced earlier today that he plans to sue the federal government if it doesn't commit within 30 days to conducting a full-scale review of regulations that would allow hydrofracking in the Delaware River Basin.
Now, the industry is pushing back.
Schneiderman made the ultimatum in a letter to agencies that decide policy for the federal government as a member of the Delaware River Basin Commission.
The DRBC is led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and associated agencies include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Parks Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“In a just-released statement, The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York said “There appears to be a fundamental misunderstanding as to the composition of the DRBC and its responsibilities under federal and state law. The Governor of New York is one of five DRBC commissioners, along with the Governors of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and a single officer of the Army Corps of Engineers..”…

read more:

Capitol Confidential » Schneiderman threatens fracking suit

Capitol Confidential » Schneiderman threatens fracking suit

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he’ll sue the federal body that oversees the Delaware River Basin if they don’t conduct a full environmental assessment on hydrofracking.
He notes that the Delaware River Basin Commission, which includes the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, proposed regulations for hydrofracking in December without a full environmental assessment on the river basin which includes portions of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Flower Mound Well Site Impact Study

What is the relationship between property values and proximity to a natural gas well.

Study Summary
… there is little or no impact on residential property from proximity to well.
Sales comparison research indicated that a diminution in the value due to proximity to natural gas sites occurs only for properties immediately adjacent to the site. Several sales where view of the well site was obstructed by buffers such as trees or other structures indicate that value is not measurably impacted, even when the property is in close proximity.

Pipeline Impact on Property Values Study

"There is no measurable long-term impact on property values resulting from natural gas pipelines for the particular pipeline project studied.  As reported in previous studies done for NW Natural, the variations ion short term values are either not substantial or non-existent."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some Thoughts on the Howarth Shale Gas Paper

Some Thoughts on the Howarth Shale Gas Paper

A new paper by Cornell’s Robert Howarth, which claims that shale gas is worse for greenhouse gas emissions than coal, has been getting a lot of attention in the popular press. Howarth’s basic question is an important one: what happens to the claimed emissions benefits of natural gas once you include the methane leaked in its production and transport? Alas, his analysis is based on extremely weak data, and also has a severe methodological flaw (plus some other questionable decisions), all of which means that his bottom line conclusions shouldn’t carry weight. But someone else, with better data and more careful calculations, ought to address this important set of questions that he raises properly.
I won’t catalogue every problem with the study – it’s more useful, I think, to flag the biggest issues. I see four.

read more:

Natural Gas versus Coal: Clearing the Air on Methane Leakage

Natural Gas versus Coal: Clearing the Air on Methane Leakage
Last week, Cornell University professor Robert Howarth released a preliminary assessment questioning claims that natural gas is cleaner than coal when lifecycle emissions are taken into account. “When the total emissions of greenhouse gases are considered,” Howarth argues,  “[hydraulic fracturing]-obtained natural gas and coal from mountain-top removal probably have similar releases and in fact the natural gas may be worse in terms of consequences on global warming.”
Although Howarth does not provide much detail about his methodology, what he does include in his two-page draft left me extremely skeptical.  At Worldwatch, our optimism about natural gas’s ability to facilitate a swifter transition to a low-carbon economy is predicated on the assumption that consuming natural gas generates significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal, so I agree that it’s essential to consider climate and other environmental impacts over the fuels’ entire cycle. But in performing a lifecycle assessment, gas and coal must be held to the same standard, and it’s not clear that Howarth is doing this in his analysis.

Shale Gas and America's Future Part 2

Shale Gas and America's Future Part 1

NYT OP ED -About My Support for Natural Gas

Op-Ed Columnist
About My Support for Natural Gas
Published: April 15, 2011
Oh, puh-leeze!
Some readers of The New York Times are unimpressed with the idea of substituting natural gas for imported oil, even though such a move would help wean the country from its dependence on OPEC. Or so it appears after I made that argument in my column on Tuesday, noting that natural gas is a fossil fuel we have in abundance and is cleaner than oil to boot.
After that column was published, I was buried under an avalanche of angry e-mails and comments, most of them complaining that I had ignored the environmental dangers of drilling for gas, particularly the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique that involves shooting water and chemicals into shale formations deep underground.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Coal vs. Natural Gas: Why an Amazing New Study Doesn’t Prove What It Says

"Howarth’s study ignores what happens when gas and coal is converted into electricity. Instead, the study is solely focused on the emissions involved in production of each fuel source. This is flawed because modern gas power-generation technology is more efficient than that for coal, meaning that gas yields more electricity per unit of energy content."

By Kirsten Korosec | April 15, 2011

Natural-gas junkies advertise the fuel as a magic elixir that will painlessly usher Americans from dirty coal and foreign oil to a cleaner alternative. Now a new paper from Cornell University not only debunks these clean energy claims, but makes an audacious declaration: natural gas produced from shale is dirtier than coal.
Now, natural gas is far from a wonder fuel. But the Cornell paper’s big headline-generating conclusion — and it pains me to say this — simply can’t be taken seriously, thanks to inadequate data and a serious methodological problem. Which is not to say it’s wrong, just that we have no real way of knowing.
To read more:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Still Not Worse Than Coal | The Energy Collective

Still Not Worse Than Coal The Energy Collective

At the end of last year I examined assertions by a professor from Cornell University, based on his unpublished paper, that leakage from natural gas production and transportation systems in the US resulted in lifecycle emissions for gas that were actually worse than those from coal. From what I saw at the time, I couldn't agree with his conclusions. Now Professor Howarth's paper is apparently about to be published, with a specific focus on shale gas. It has already been leaked via the New York Times and The Hill news site. After seeing the data and calculations supporting its claims, I am still not persuaded, though I would be quick to concede that the subject deserves a more thorough assessment by a body actually equipped to gather the necessary data and process it rigorously.
I don't make a habit of reviewing scientific papers, but this one begs for a critique, for two reasons. First, it's appearing in the middle of a crucial national debate on the potential risks of the techniques involved in unlocking the potentially game-changing shale gas resources that have been found in the US and elsewhere around the world. What better way to make those risks--which I believe to be entirely manageable--seem not worth taking than by portraying shale gas as having more adverse environmental consequences than the chief fuel its supporters see it displacing: coal. So at a minimum the paper demands careful scrutiny because of its potential significance to the debate surrounding the largest energy opportunity the US has uncovered in decades.

Need more information on Water Issues?

This document put out by the Water Research Institute at Cornell has a comprehensive list or resources as they pertain to Water Quality. This is good starting point if you are more interested in garnering an understanding of the water issues.

"This list is in no way exhaustive. Rather it attempts to provide a set of primary references that offer key pieces of information in building a clear understanding of the gas drilling issue. Thus, it is subjective in its completeness. Annotations attempt to identify unique or defining characteristics of each entry. References to popular press and advocacy groups, both of which are numerous and described in detail elsewhere, are for the most part excluded here."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chrysler Plans to Introduce Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles in U.S. by 2017

Chrysler Group LLC, the U.S. automaker operated by Fiat SpA (F), plans to start selling compressed natural gas-powered vehicles by 2017.
“The technology is very actively being worked on,” Bob Lee, Chrysler’s vice president for engine and electrified propulsion systems, said yesterday in an interview in Detroit.
Fiat, which owns 30 percent of Chrysler and plans to increase the holding to 51 percent, has engines using compressed natural gas in Europe. Chrysler executives have explored bringing that Fiat technology to the U.S.
“It’s a good way for some diversity in the market in terms of fuel use,” Lee said at the SAE 2011 World Congress, an automotive engineering convention in Detroit.
Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of both Chrysler and Fiat, has said natural-gas engines are an attractive way to cut emissions because they’re cheaper than competing technologies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

US EPA looks at new rules for natgas 'fracking'

UPDATE 3-US EPA looks at new rules for natgas 'fracking'


* EPA eyes new regulations for wastewater discharges
* EPA investigating use of diesel in fracking
* Republicans worried about overregulation
* EPA says greenhouse gas fracking leaks can be fixed
  (Adds details on study on greenhouse gases from fracking)
By Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency is looking at how best to address wastewater
discharges produced by natural gas "fracking," and may revise
regulations on wastewater from coal bed methane extraction, a
top official said on Tuesday.
read more:

EPA Committed To Regulating Natural Gas Drilling, Official Says

EPA Committed To Regulating Natural Gas Drilling, Official Says

Momentum Growing For Pickens’ Nat Gas Bill

 by Todd Shriber | April 12th  

An editorial published in the New York Times provides vocal support for the natural gas legislation legendary energy investor T. Boone Pickens has been pushing for, indicating the bipartisan bill may have some momentum behind it. The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act, or the Nat Gas Act, was introduced last week.

Pickens has been one of the of the most ardent supporters of the U.S. decreasing its dependence on foreign oil and boosting its of natural gas, which is far cheaper than oil and in abundant supply in the U.S. Pickens is the largest shareholder of Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE), which is a natural gas supplier for heavy vehicles and his BP Capital Management held stakes in several companies with significant natural gas exposure at the end of last year.

read more:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fluid Flow in the Subsurface (Darcy's Law)

 from newly launched FracFocus : chemical registry site

Why Fluids Cannot migrate from the formations upwards:

The principle that governs how fluid moves in the subsurface is called Darcy's law.  Darcy’s law is an equation that defines the ability of a fluid to flow through a porous media such as rock.  It relies on the fact that the amount of flow between two points is directly proportional to the difference in pressure between the points and the ability of the media through which it is flowing to impede the flow.  This factor of flow impedence is referred to as permeability.  Put another way, Darcy's law is a simple, proportional relationship between the instantaneous discharge rate through a porous medium and the pressure drop over a given distance.
read more:

Understanding the Exemptions of Exploration and Production Waste from RCRA

Which wastes are considered hazardous and which are not...

Ryder to Participate in National Natural Gas Vehicle Education Event

Will Showcase a Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Vehicle At “NGVs Take the Hill” Event In Washington, D.C.
MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R), a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, today announced that it will participate in the “NGVs Take the Hill” public display event on Wednesday, April 13, 2011, a few blocks from the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The event, sponsored by NGVAmerica, will showcase educational exhibits and a display of heavy-duty trucks and other vehicles powered by natural gas.
“Participation in this event underscores our commitment to bringing cost-effective, environmentally-sound commercial transportation solutions to market that help businesses reduce both fleet fuel costs and emissions.”
The purpose of the event is to educate the public, media, and policy- and decision-makers about the use of natural gas as a clean, domestic and abundant transportation fuel that is a viable and available alternative to foreign oil. Demonstrating the Company’s commitment to and leadership in the natural gas heavy-duty truck market, Ryder will exhibit a vehicle from its heavy-duty natural gas fleet offering at the event.
“Providing leadership to promote the use of natural gas in heavy-duty commercial fleets is a key initiative for Ryder,” stated Robert Sanchez, President, Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder. “Participation in this event underscores our commitment to bringing cost-effective, environmentally-sound commercial transportation solutions to market that help businesses reduce both fleet fuel costs and emissions.”
Ryder has ordered 202 heavy-duty natural gas trucks as part of an agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG). The heavy-duty natural gas truck rental and leasing project in Southern California is a $38.7 million project funded as part of a joint public/private industry partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, and Ryder. The project is expected to displace an estimated 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel with 100 percent domestically produced natural gas. Ryder will begin taking delivery of the trucks in April and expects to integrate the full order into its fleet by September. Ryder has also begun work to upgrade the first of three existing maintenance facilities in its network to be properly equipped for the indoor servicing of natural gas vehicles and will soon commence construction of two natural gas fueling stations.
In addition to reducing emissions, businesses that incorporate natural gas vehicles into their fleets can realize additional cost savings because natural gas fuel prices are lower than diesel fuel prices, which are currently on the rise. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Outlook 2010, natural gas costs as much as 42 percent less per equivalent gallon of diesel today, and with oil prices rising at a significantly faster rate than U.S. natural gas prices, the gap is projected to widen to 50 percent or more in the future, enabling customers to dramatically reduce total fuel expenses. Natural gas also runs cleaner than diesel – ultra-low-emission natural gas vehicles can reduce total well-to-wheel CO2 emissions by as much as 25 percent. Natural gas is a domestic, U.S. energy source that provides a cost-effective alternative to foreign oil and a pathway toward energy independence.
About NGVs Take the Hill
The “NGVs Take the Hill” event, sponsored by NGVAmerica, is intended to raise visibility around natural gas as a viable alternative to diesel and other fossil fuels. The event, which will run from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern on April 13, 2011 will feature both natural gas vehicles and educational booths, as well as an appearance by T. Boone Pickens, in an open air exhibit located a few blocks from the Capitol building (300 block of Maryland Avenue, SW, between 3rd Street and Independence Avenue).

Former DEP secretary to discuss risks and benefits of gas drilling

By JIM MARTIN, Erie Times-News
John Hanger proudly counts himself as an environmentalist.
Hanger, who was secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection under then-Gov. Ed Rendell, said that means he believes in strong environmental laws and agencies to enforce those laws.
But he also believes in context.
And that, he said, seems sometimes to be missing in the increasingly vocal debate over gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
"Gas drilling is not the root of all evil or the pathway to all good," said Hanger, who will lecture on April 19 at 7 p.m. at Gannon's Zurn Science Center.
The context that is missing, he said in a recent interview, is that 80 percent of the nation's energy comes from a combination of coal, oil and natural gas.
And of those three, natural gas is the cleanest and has the most modest impact on the environment.