News of the Week

May 11 - May 16, 2015

Vera Scroggins Appeals To You And The Courts

Anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins has been charged with six felonies for violating Pennsylvania’s wiretapping laws by recording a Montrose lawyer and his secretary without their permission. Scroggins is already facing a $1,000 fine and possible jail time for violating a court order to stay off gas sites. Her next court date for these latest felony charges is June 1st.

U.S. natural gas projects face Keystone-like resistance

The U.S. is producing record amounts of natural gas, a fuel widely viewed as cleaner and preferable to coal for electric power generation. But building the infrastructure necessary to bring that fuel to market is increasingly difficult for the industry. That was the message from industry executives at an "Infrastructure Week" event held in Washington by America's Natural Gas Alliance, an industry group.

Case challenges township’s right to change zoning in favor of gas development

Local rights to zone for oil and gas development in Pennsylvania are being tested by a Butler County case in which plaintiffs claim a township has acted unconstitutionally by failing to protect residents from the effects of a sharp increase in industrial activity. The measure has been challenged by two environmental groups, Clean Air Council and Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and four township residents, partly on grounds that it violates citizens’ rights to health and safety under Article 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The plaintiffs also argue that Ordinance 127 violates the state Constitution’s Environmental Rights Amendment, under which government has a responsibility to maintain environmental quality for its citizens.

Fiscal court opposes repurposing pipeline

Citing concerns for public safety and the environment, the Madison County Fiscal Court unanimously adopted a resolution expressing opposition to the proposed conversion of gas pipeline. The resolution concerned the “repurposing” of a 72-year-old pipeline, 24.5 miles of which runs through Madison County. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has proposed converting Tennessee Gas Pipeline No. 100-1 to transport natural gas liquids (NGLs) as opposed to natural gas.

Bluegrass Pipeline releases easements

Recently, Bluegrass Pipeline LLC decided that it will not pursue the Bluegrass Pipeline project. In light of this decision, we no longer have a need for the right of way agreement in the county land records, which will have the effect of extinguishing our easement rights on your property. The Bluegrass Pipeline would transport natural gas liquids -- naturally occurring substances found in natural gas -- for use in plastics, automotive fuels and other products. They are classified as hazardous materials under federal rules. Judge Shepherd ruled that the pipeline isn't acting in a "public service" and won't have any impact on Kentuckians' energy needs. Instead, he wrote, the project will transport the substances through the state en route to processing plants in Louisiana. He concluded that "the transportation of hazardous liquids interstate through Kentucky to the Gulf Coast does not justify granting a private company the right to condemn private property."

May 4 - May 10, 2015

7 years later, NY finalizes fracking review

Chapter 9 of the 2,000-page document lays out the option Martens has signaled he is likely to choose: the "no-action alternative," in which the state would deny any applications for high-volume fracking. The across-the-board denial would apply to any fracking that uses 300,000 gallons or more of fluid. "The impacts to water resources that would be avoided by the no-action alternative merit special attention," the report reads. "Even with mitigation measures in place, the risk of spills and other unplanned events resulting in the discharge of toxic pollutants over a wide area would not be eliminated. Moreover, the level of risk such spills pose to public health is highly uncertain."

Truck driver sues Range Resources over injury claims

A West Virginia truck driver is suing Range Resources over claims that company employees ordered him to keep working in wet clothes for hours after he was splashed with flowback water at a Buffalo Township well site.

Pipelines Emphasize Early, Dedicated Outreach Against Growing Protests to Construction

Williams, whose pipeline systems cross North America and the Gulf of Mexico, is acutely aware of how protests may impact operations. To get ahead of misinformation, it has, like other operators, a separate public outreach division, the first contact to establish relationships with stakeholders. About 15 people work for Williams outreach efforts in offices in Houston, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City.

The Parrots of PennEast

With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan, PennEast has launched a copy/paste campaign which I have dubbed The Parrots of PennEast. The campaign states there is a “sample” letter below and encourages supporters to “Simply cut and paste a comment to the FERC website.”

Poor Communities Bear Greatest Burden from Fracking

Fracking wells in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region are disproportionately located in poor rural communities, which bear the brunt of associated pollution, according to a new study.

HSBC Warns Clients of Fossil Fuel Investment Risks

Global banking giant HSBC has warned investors of the growing risk of their fossil fuel assets becoming useless, in a private report seen by Newsweek. In the report, titled 'Stranded assets: what next?', analysts warn of the growing likelihood that fossil fuel companies may become "economically non-viable", as people move away from carbon energy and fossil fuels are left in the ground.

Vera: The Woman Frackers Fear

Two years ago, on Friday October 18, 2013 Vera received notice that she was to appear in court 3 days later on Monday October 21, 2013, to face trespassing charges brought by Cabot Oil & Gas (COG). Today she faces jail time for exposing COGs operations.

David Einhorn's full 'Motherfrackers' presentation on the major problems he sees in the fracking industry

David Einhorn, Greenlight Capital, Inc. Founder and President, explains why he has a problem with the spending in the fracking business.

“Motherfrackers” and Big Oil Hypesters

Shale operators have never been able to get their volumes up high enough to generate free cash flow though Mr. Helman leaves one with the impression that they have. But they haven’t…at least not since 2009! That’s right, 2009.

What is Shale Justice

Shale Justice is a coalition of organizations whose aim is to coordinate our efforts, our regionally specific issues, our visions, our talents, and our hard work to end extreme forms of industrialized fossil fuel extraction which poses serious threats to our air, our land and our water.

2015 New York Final SGEIS

The individual chapters of the Final SGEIS (April 2015) can be viewed as PDFs (see below). The full 2015 Final SGEIS document is available as two large PDF files: Volume 1 (PDF) (35.8 MB) and Volume 2 (PDF) (8.4 MB). Although they are very large files, they are downloadable and searchable.

Marcellus Shale Players On-Line

Updated April 2, 2015 (4/2/2015)

Find out “WHO” are the corporations, their subsidiaries, the executive leadership, board of directors, associations, industry groups, lobbyists, Public Relation companies, and politicians? How are they connected? What is their message and “WHO” are the messengers?

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