Maryland Fracking and Cove Point Up Against Usual Suspects

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K.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

Despite small victories with natural gas development in Maryland it has been a major struggle the whole way. Even the Cove Point liquified natural gas (LNG) export facility has proven to be a major challenge.

Maryland still has a moratorium on shale gas development and getting it lifted has proved to be an extended battle, a long slog.  The Cove Point facility, which is important to natural gas development not only in Maryland, but throughout the Marcellus Shale region, is currently a natural gas import facility ran by Dominion, a Virginia-based energy company. However, to no one’s surprise, it, too, has faced several hurdles and opposition from the same fractivists who oppose development of the Marcellus in Western Maryland.

The now little-used Cove Point facility is proposed for a $3.4 billion upgrade to transform it into an international LNG export facility. Although there is forward progress here as well, the opposition from the usual suspects has been intense. Understanding the dynamics of the opposition requires stepping back to take a look at the Maryland fractivist circus act when it comes to anything to do with natural gas in our state.

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Coal Is Winning? If So, It’s Time for More Natural Gas.

Coal Is Winning -  Tom Shepstone Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


A recent article at Watts Up With That addressed the war on coal and declared coal is winning. If so, it’s time accelerate our development of natural gas.

The article which appeared last week on Watts Up With That offered up some very compelling evidence that the war on coal is not going so well and, in fact coal is winning, for obvious reasons. It is still the most economical energy source for many areas of the world who have not tapped their natural gas resources by taking part in the shale revolution. There can be little real progress in reducing the wretched air pollution in places such as China if they do not do so.

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Coloring Reality: Fractivist Fantasies

fractivist fantasies -  Tom Shepstone Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


A coloring book aimed at fracking illustrates the vapid nature of the anti-gas cause, forever engrossed in self-indulgent fractivist fantasies. 

Our friend Jim Willis at Marcellus Drilling News is always ahead of the curve and earlier this summer called our attention to something called the Stream and Shale Coloring Book, the infantile effort of J.J. Brown to interject herself into the fracking debate. A natural gas supporter from Susquehanna County also took note of the coloring book recently after receiving word of it from a former boss on the West Coast and caused us to take a closer look. It is a pitch perfect illustration of the utter shallowness of the anti-gas cause as they wallow in fractivist fantasies.

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Perhaps the Biggest Shale Gas Outrage

biggest shale gas outrage -  Tom Shepstone Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


No bigger shale gas outrage can there be than the exploitation of a child suffering from a genetic disease for a phony grass roots campaign against fracking.

We ran a story last week about the fractivist astro-turfing called Phony Grass Roots Anti-Fracking Campaigns Proliferate about how big money funders pay students and others to gin up what appear to be grass roots campaigns but are anything but. That activity is outrageous enough, but an alert reader of this blog recognized picture used in the demagogic photoshopped graphic used with one of the Craigslist ads for the workers. Her discovery proves to be the biggest shale gas outrage of them all.

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Laughable Oil and Gas Lingo

oil and gas lingo - TurconiMaria Turconi
External Affairs Intern
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation


Oil and gas lingo often provides somme good laughs for others who may not be familiar to the industry, especially when you’re an intern trying to learn.

Americans seem to have a knack for naming and renaming things. Nothing says innovative better than a catchy name, slogan or acronym. Every industry takes it upon itself to create their own lingo to describe their equipment, operations and sometimes employees. The oil and gas industry is no different. There could be a whole dictionary of oil and gas lingo.

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Natural Gas Statistics Keep Impressing

natural gas statistics -  Tom Shepstone Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


The Energy Information Administration’s most recent Natural Gas Monthly report offers all the natural gas statistics one needs to understand the unstoppable nature of the industry.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is one of those anomalies of government – an agency that actually produces huge quantities of vital information on a timely basis in a format that is usable by lay people and experts alike. I know of no other Federal agency so good it what it does. It puts out numerous reports on a regular basis covering everything you imagine on the subject of energy, including something called the Natural Gas Monthly. This month’s version caught my attention and as I checked through the various tables and charts, I was struck by the overwhelming message of all these natural gas statistics; that natural gas is going to be a huge and growing part of our economy for decades to come.

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Pennsylvania Drilling Data Isn’t What Fractivists Hoped

Methane Seeps - Jim Willis reportsJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


Recent releases of drilling data from Pennsylvania have already stirred fractivist hearts but there is nothing there to suggest the hydraulic fracturing process isn’t safe.    

Here comes the next media smear campaign. This time the meme is “You know that lie we’ve been telling about how shale drilling contaminates water wells? Well it was true all along. Here’s the proof!”

Case in point: The Associated Press has a single, breathless story of a new list just released by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) of 243 water wells “contaminated” by Marcellus Shale drilling. We’ve included the list below. These 243 are wells DEP officials believe have been affected by shale drilling after conducting an investigation. Some of the cases are still under investigation but included on the list because the DEP thinks they were likely contaminated by drilling. Is this the smoking gun? Is Marcellus drilling a threat to water after all? As always, MDN is here to provide some much needed perspective.

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The Woodstock Myth of the Silenced

The Silenced - Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist at NYRAD-R


Musician Marc Black has launched a self-centered musical plea to fellow fractivists to “Sing For The Silenced,” as if there were any such among them.

We’ve heard about the supposed “silenced” before, haven’t we?  You know; the people alleged to have reached agreements not to disclose financial settlements they received from gas drillers who contaminated their water? Except, when the truth came out in the most well-known case of the “silenced,” we learned the “victims” were the ones demanding the silence. Marc Black’s new gig merely perpetuates this myth of the “silenced” with the help of the infamous Vera Scroggins, who plays a bit part in the playact.

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The Marcellus Shale Resource Is Lifting Pennsylvania

Marcellus Shale - TrevorTrevor Walczak
VP, National Association of Royalty Owners, PA Chapter (NARO-PA)

The Marcellus Shale is a natural resource that keeps on giving to Pennsylvania residents in ways no one thought imaginable less than a short decade ago.

I am from coal country – the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. My family’s immigrant patriarchs all spent their early working years carving out a living in the mines throughout the first half of the twentieth century. While the mines were cold, dark, and dangerous, they were the means to give these new immigrant families a better life. When they had enough money saved to buy their freedom, they did. Freedom for my dad’s family was a plot of farmland in what we now call Marcellus Shale country, far from the colliery spoils, mine fires and acid mine drainage. It’s become a country of opportunity thanks to shale gas development.

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Hydraulic Fracturing Means Jobs for Western New York

hydraulic fracturing - Holko

John Holko
Owner, Lenape Resources, Inc.
Alexander, NY

A recent letter to the editor of the Buffalo News asked why hydraulic fracturing is so controversial. Unfortunately, the writer didn’t provide an accurate answer.

This 70-year-old process was made into a controversy by those who chose to misunderstand the science behind its development as well as its local history. There are thousands of producing natural gas wells in New York State. Most wells drilled after 1947 were hydraulically fractured and within the past 10 years, technology and innovations have made this process safer and more productive.

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