Saturday, April 28, 2012

Penn. Marcellus News Update for 4/28/12

Marcellus Group 'Raises Bar' with Fracking Conservation Guidelines
A group representing the natural gas industry in the Marcellus Shale issued its first recommendations on industry best practices in an effort improve its conservation ethic and deflect criticism that operators are damaging natural landscapes with wells, roads and compressor stations.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition's "recommended practices" are guidelines rather than requirements, and address site planning, development and restoration. Still-planned guidelines will focus on areas such as air quality and water management.
 Jackson Kelly continues expansion in energy
Continuing its expansion into the energy industry, Jackson Kelly has added attorneys from a Pennsylvania law firm and is in the process of opening a new office in Canton, Ohio, the firm announced April 27.
Effective May 1, four Gormly Gormly & Yuhas attorneys and staff will join Jackson Kelly and will relocate to the firm's Pittsburgh office upon completion of renovations.
 Top 5 producing states' combined marketed natural gas output rose in 2011
Combined marketed natural gas production from the top five natural gas producing states—Texas, Louisiana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Colorado—increased by about 7.5% in 2011, although their share of total U.S. natural gas output fell slightly to about 65%....Shale gas production from states such as Pennsylvania helped boost overall U.S. natural gas output by almost 8% in 2011.

Due primarily to drilling programs in the Marcellus shale formation, Pennsylvania's marketed natural gas production in 2011 more than doubled to nearly 1.3 Tcf, according to preliminary estimates from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection.
 Clean water advocate lectures at final teach-in
The Dissent in America Teach-In series wrapped up another year Friday, April 20, with a visit from Brady Russell, director of Eastern Pennsylvania Clean Water Action. Russell led a compelling discussion on the controversial “fracking” process and its effect on Pennsylvania’s environment.
Fracking is a term, and controversy, that many have heard of but few understand. The recent surge in media and political attention has brought this gas-drilling process – and the problems it causes – center stage in heated political and environmental debates.
PennFuture Dissects Pennsylvania's Shale Gas Giveaway
Pennsylvania’s noxious new natural gas law, Act 13, has received a fair amount of press attention, much of it negative. In drafting the legislation, state lawmakers gave the shale gas industry everything it wanted, including the right to drill almost anywhere and full protection from local ordinances.
The law, which took effect April 14, contains many sordid provisions. To help people understand the new law, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, or PennFuture, has released a handy guide to all of the favors and loopholes for the gas companies that Act 13 provides. PennFuture, an environmental advocacy group that supports natural gas drilling as long as it is regulated properly, said the guide was “deliberately written to be as accessible as possible to all, primarily presented in a question-and-answer format.”
EPA administrator rejects official’s ‘crucifixion’ comments
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson distanced herself Friday from comments by a top agency official who told a Texas community two years ago that his approach to enforcement was to make an example of polluters the way Romans crucified people to quash rebellions.
Republicans on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, demanded that Jackson fire the official, regional administrator Alfredo Juan “Al” Armendariz. (emphasis added)
ALEC and ExxonMobil push loopholes in fracking chemical disclosure rules
One of the key contro­versies about fracking is the chemical makeup of the fluid that is pumped deep into the ground to break apart rock and release natural gas. Some companies have been reluctant to disclose what’s in their fracking fluid. Scien­tists and envi­ron­mental advo­cates argue that, without knowing its precise compo­sition, they can’t thor­oughly inves­tigate complaints of contamination....One apparent proponent of the trade secrets caveat? The American Legislative Exchange Council, better known as ALEC, a nonprofit group that brings together politi­cians and corpo­ra­tions to draft and promote conser­v­ative, business-friendly legis­lation. ALEC has been in the spot­light recently because of its support of contro­versial laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” provision.

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