Friday, September 30, 2011

To Drill or not to Drill... that is NOT the Question

The discussion in the media for the most part about natural gas development in New York has been focused on the environmentalists push to ban. The media has sensationalized all the reasons why the state should not move ahead with developing its shale resources. This stance has been so over played that it has become many people’s mantra leaving little room for any other type of discussions. It was felt (by the antis) that if enough pressure was put on the state, that they would respond as some of the Town boards have been responding to the pressure by saying… NO. So, when the state released the almost finalized sGEIS and then the Regulations, there was general disbelief and panic.
The question was never "To drill or not to drill" but "How to drill safely". That is now obvious.

Energy expert Yergin: Shale gas here to stay

September 26, 2011|By Andrew Maykuth, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Daniel Yergin, one of the most influential voices in the world of energy, says shale gas is here to stay.
"Shale gas has come on really fast," Yergin, an author and energy analyst, said in an interview Monday. "But people don't realize it's 30 percent of our gas production. It's not a question of whether to do it or not. It's happened."
Yergin, who is a member of a presidential shale-gas advisory commission, said it's important to develop resources like Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale "responsibly," adhering to best environmental practices while responding to local community concerns.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Testimony Before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
As prepared for delivery.
Chairman Stearns, Ranking Member DeGette and Members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to testify on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory process. 
It is a priority of the EPA and of this Administration, to ensure that our regulatory system is guided by science and that it protects human health and the environment in a pragmatic and cost effective manner. 
One means by which this Administration has made this priority clear is through Executive Order 13563, which includes a directive for federal agencies to develop a regulatory retrospective plan for periodic review of existing significant regulations.  Under that directive, EPA has developed a plan which includes 35 priority regulatory reviews.  Recent reforms, already finalized or formally proposed, are estimated to save up to $1.5 billion over the next 5 years.
But let me be clear: the core mission of the EPA is protection of public health and the environment.   That mission was established in recognition of a fundamental fact of American life – regulations can and do improve the lives of people.  We need these rules to hold polluters accountable and keep us safe.  For more than 40 years, the Agency has carried out its mission and established a proven track record that a healthy environment and economic growth are not mutually exclusive.
The Clean Air Act is one of the most successful environmental laws in American history and provides an illustrative example of this point.  

For 40 years, the nation’s Clean Air Act has made steady progress in reducing the threats posed by pollution and allowing us to breathe easier.  In the last year alone, programs implemented pursuant to the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 are estimated to have saved over 160,000 lives; spared Americans more than 100,000 hospital visits; and prevented millions of cases of respiratory problems, including bronchitis and asthma.

Few of the regulations that gave us these huge gains in public health were uncontroversial at the time they were developed.  Most major rules have been adopted amidst claims that they would be bad for the economy and bad for employment. 

In contrast to doomsday predictions, history has shown, again and again, that we can clean up pollution, create jobs, and grow our economy all at the same time.  Over the same 40 years since the Clean Air Act was passed, the Gross Domestic Product of the United States grew by more than 200 percent.

Some would have us believe that “job killing” describes EPA’s regulations.  It is misleading to say that enforcement of our nation’s environmental laws is bad for the economy and employment.  It isn’t.

Families should never have to choose between a job and a healthy environment.  They are entitled to both.
We must regulate sensibly - in a manner that does not create undue burdens and that carefully considers both the benefits and the costs.   However, in doing so, we must not lose sight of the reasons for implementation of environmental regulations: These regulations are necessary to ensure that Americans have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.  Americans are no less entitled to a safe, clean environment during difficult economic times than they are in a more prosperous economy. 

As President Obama recently stated in his Joint Address to Congress, “…what we can’t do…is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades…We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom where we try to offer the…worst pollution standards.”
Thank you for the opportunity to testify.  I look forward to your questions.

Want a Natural Gas Fueling Station in your home or Farm?

Ecofriendly LLC develops natural gas station for home, farm
Friday, September 23, 2011
Paul Gianakas saw a business opportunity in the cars of the future. To finance it, he had to part with cars of the past.
His 1965 Chevrolet El Camino left the garage and never came back. His 1968 Ford Mustang moved on to greener driveways.
The sale of those two hot rods and several others helped raise the $100,000 that Mr. Gianakas needed to launch Ecofriendly LLC, a 3-year-old company in Gibsonia meant to capitalize on a future of natural gas-fueled cars.
Ecofriendly installs personal pumps that unload compressed natural gas (CNG) into equipped vehicles, often installing the pump next to the car in an owner's garage. The option of at-home fueling comes at a time when enthusiasm for the cheaper fuel is undercut by a lack of infrastructure and significant upfront costs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Press Release: EPA to Hold Three Public Hearings on Proposed Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Natural Production

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold three public hearings in September on the agency’s proposed standards to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations.  The proposed standards would rely on cost-effective, existing technologies and practices to reduce pollution that contributes to smog and can cause cancer, while supporting the administration’s priority of continuing to expand safe and responsible domestic oil and natural gas production.
WHAT:              Public hearings on proposed air pollution standards for the oil and natural gas industry
WHEN:             Sept. 27, 28 and 29, 2011
                        Each hearing will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 8 p.m. (local time)
WHERE:           Sept. 27:  Pittsburgh
                        David L. Lawrence Convention Center
                        Rooms 315-316
                        1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd.
                        Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222
                        Sept. 28:  Denver
                        Colorado Convention Center
                        Room 207
                        700 14th St.
                        Denver, Colo.  80202

                        Sept. 29: Arlington, Texas
                        Arlington Municipal Building
                        City Council Chambers
                        101 W. Abram St.
                        Arlington, Texas 76010
                        To register to speak at a specific time at any of the hearings, please contact Joan C. Rogers at 919-541-4487 or People also may sign up to speak in person on the day of a hearing; however, they may not be given their preferred time slot to speak. EPA must issue a final rule by Feb. 28, 2012.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Martinsville, WV Repeals Ordinance on Gas Exploration

August 16
City Repeals Ban
New Martinsville City Council unanimously passed the second and final reading of a measure to repeal an ordinance prohibiting natural gas exploration and gathering activities within city limits during a special council meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Now that the ban is lifted, council is expected to revisit the issue. Recorder Bonnie Shannon indicated they will perhaps now look at drawing up specific guidelines for such activity within the city. “Now it has opened everyone’s eyes,” she said.

Wellsburg City, WVA Rescinds Gas Drilling Ordinance

WELLSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — Natural gas drilling in Wellsburg is legal again.
City Manager Mark Henne says council rescinded an ordinance passed in May with a 5-3 vote Tuesday.
Wellsburg was among four cities that banned Marcellus shale gas drilling within their boundaries.
New Martinsville is planning to repeal its ban, too. A final vote is set for Sept. 5.

Middlefield's Zoning Law pertaining to Natural Gas Development Goes to Court

The Town of Middlefield's laws drafted to keep the development of natural gas resources  will be tested in Court...

We will be watching these (middlefield and Dryden) cases closely. 

For Immediate Release:                                                        September 15, 2011

A lawsuit has been filed against the Town of Middlefield in Otsego County to declare the provisions of its Zoning Law pertaining to oil and gas drilling within the Town of Middlefield to be void and in violation of New York State law. The law firm of Levene, Gouldin & Thompson, LLP has been retained to stop the town’s efforts to ban oil and gas drilling.

Jennifer Huntington and other Middlefield residents have already signed oil and gas leases. The new town zoning law will deprive them of their rights to market their minerals under their leases. Similar zoning laws are being enacted in other New York towns. All of these bans violate Environmental Conservation Law § 23-0303(2) which states that all local municipalities are preempted from passing local laws relating to the regulation of the oil and gas industries. Towns may not pass laws prohibiting oil and gas operations since the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is exclusively charged with the obligation to regulate the oil and gas industries in New York.
The Middlefield case will establish precedent preventing towns from violating New York law.  Success in Middlefield will be a win for all landowners in New York. Donations to support the Middlefield case can be made payable to the “Middlefield Fund For Landowner Rights” and mailed to NBT Bank, 2 Commons Drive, Cooperstown, New York 13326.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Town to be Sued for Banning Drilling

Gas company to sue Dryden over town's drilling ban

Case challenging new provision in town zoning rules could set precedent in New York

ALBANY -- In what could be a precedent-setting case for municipalities statewide, a Denver-based natural-gas company will file the first lawsuit against a local drilling ban in New York, the company's attorney said Tuesday.
Anschutz Exploration Corp. plans to file a lawsuit this week in state Supreme Court in Tompkins County to have the town of Dryden's ban struck down, according to Thomas West, an Albany-based attorney representing the company.
to read more:

Flooding & Hydraulic Fracturing - Martens on YNN

Yesterday, I happened to catch this on YNN. I have to hand it to Commissioner Joe Martens, he has come a long way.
The fact that many of the permit conditions were added to satisfy the environmental activists and the fact that they have NO interest whatsoever in accepting the changes is very telling.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Popular Mechanics Article: Myths about Natural Gas Drilling

Is Fracking Safe? The Top 10 Myths About Natural Gas Drilling

Members of Congress, gas companies, news organization, drilling opponents: They've all made bold claims about hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the U.S. supply of underground natural gas. We take on 10 controversial quotes about natural gas and set the record straight. By Seamus McGraw

Read more: Is Fracking Safe? The Top 10 Myths About Natural Gas Drilling - Popular Mechanics