Bradford County Taxes Stay Low Due to Shale Gas

Bradford County  - Tom Shepstone reportsTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Bradford County just announced its proposed budget for 2015 and it demonstrates, yet again, the economic contributions of shale gas to property tax stability.

Sometimes it’s what doesn’t happen that makes all the difference. Non-events can change lives as easily as the big splashes that tend to get our attention. Such is the case with property taxes in one Pennsylvania county that just happens to be a leader in shale gas development – Bradford County.

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Energy Day in Houston, Education in Pennsylvania

Energy Day - desRosiers_headshotBill desRosiers
External Affairs Coordinator, Cabot Oil & Gas


A trip to Houston to participate in “Energy Day” fills attendees with ideas for building a foundation for expanded energy education in Pennsylvania. 

Education continues to be a focal point for the External Affairs department at Cabot. Our company has, in 2014, expanded its partnership with Junior Achievement of Northeast Pennsylvania to host three separate Careers in Energy programs at West Side Career & Technical Center (WSCTC), Tunkhannock High School and Mt. View High School.

We have also sponsored two Challenge Programs at Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center as well as WSCTC, facilitated a three-part lecture series at Lackawanna College in Scranton, conducted numerous operational visits for both students and teachers of area high schools and, in April, announced the single largest donation it has ever made to create an endowment at Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas. And, now we’re building for the future.

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Self-Deception by Fractivists Knows No Bounds

Fractivists  - Tom Shepstone reportsTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

Many fractivists believe they can ethically use natural gas while opposing fracking, believing their gas doesn’t come from it. They’re sadly misinformed.

A loyal reader e-mailed me recently regarding some arguments he’s been hearing from fractivists in his college town. The thrust of their argument is that there’s no hypocrisy in fighting fracking and still using natural gas to cook and eat. This is because the process, in their shallow minds, is a very recent development and that even now, despite the widespread of use of hydraulic fracturing, there is plenty of natural gas still produced by traditional extraction methods. We’ve had commenters here who suggested the same thing.

They wrongly believe, too, the bulk of the gas used the Northeast utilities, is not gas produced by hydraulic fracturing. Therefore, these fractivists feel free to use natural gas and simultaneously oppose fracking without the slightest pangs of guilt, worries of ethical consistency or fear of hypocrisy. It’s an act of total self-deception.

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Shale Gas Supply Chain Boosting Economies

Shale Gas Supply Chain  - Tom Shepstone reportsTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


The shale gas supply chain is both broad and deep and is reviving American manufacturing together with a whole lot of other things.

IHS Economics came out with a study last month entitled Supplying the Unconventional Revolution: Sizing the Unconventional Oil and Gas Supply Chain, and it’s such a data-packed document it has taken me a while to get through it. Having done so now, though, I can recommend the report to any natural gas supporter looking to document what they see everyday with their own eyes; palpable prosperity across the board wherever shale gas or shale oil (which is generally what is meant by “unconventional energy” in this instance) are involved.

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Living Luddite: The Delaware Riverkeeper

Delaware Riverkeeper - Jim Willis reportsJim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)


There is a revival of Luddism in some quarters as groups such as the Delaware Riverkeeper oppose anything connected with oil and gas development.

THE Delaware Riverkeeper herself, Maya van Rossum, has apparently been called back from outside the orbit of the Delaware River Basin (see Martian Chronicles: Delaware River Basin Shifts to Western PA?). What urgent matters would draw Ms. van Rossum from trying to stop evil shale well drilling in western PA all the way back to the Delaware River Basin in eastern PA? Why, a pipeline, of course.

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Ugly Is in the Eye of the Sierra Club Beholder

Sierra Club  - Tom Shepstone reportsTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


The Sierra Club has gone ugly in its attack on natural gas development on Pennsylvania State Forest Lands, but their evidence is a “damn old mirror” (to quote George Strait).

This Sierra Club blog post was recently brought to my attention by a gas industry supporter who immediately recognized what the enviro blogger didn’t; that the pictures used to suggest ugly natural gas development on state land, showed the opposite. The Sierra Club, of course, knows its audience – any sign of human development of any kind is a pox on the earth to them. Less radical people, though, see things quite differently. They want environmental protection for the sake of human beings, not in spite of them.

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Shale Production Leaving Households with More Income

Williams - desRosiers_headshotBill desRosiers
External Affairs Coordinator, Cabot Oil & Gas


Shale production is reducing the costs of energy as a share of household disposable income for US families, thanks to the Mighty Marcellus and other plays.

The Energy Information Agency (EIA) released a Today in Energy piece on October 21, 2014, detailing how everyone is benefiting from domestic energy development whether they realize it or not. According to the EIA, the latest disposable income data indicate consumer energy expenditures will only amount to 5% of disposable income this year, which is significantly below the long-term average of 5.5%.

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Pink Envy Consumes Fractivists

Fractivists - Cherie MessoreCherie Messore
Public Relations Consultant

Pink envy seems to have consumed the minds of fractivists maddened over an act of charity by the natural gas industry, telling us a lot about the fractivist mindset.

I’m so angry, I’m seeing red, er, pink.

The angst-riddled outcry about  Baker Hughes’ donation of 1,000 pink drill bits and $100,000 to support breast cancer awareness is a pathetic example of band wagoning  gone crazy, and the power of popular press and social media to spread the news at lightning speed.

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Illinois Landowners Sue to Reclaim Mineral Rights

Illinois Landowners  - Tom Shepstone reportsTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Illinois landowners have filed a lawsuit to reclaim their mineral rights from a state that’s more interested in appeasing ideologues and keeps delaying fracking regulations. 

Having spent a good part of my life writing land use regulations, I’ve witnessed an evolution in attitude toward regulation in general. It’s particularly evident in land use regulations where “not in my back yard” or NIMBY positioning has replaced all reason. Regulation once regarded as the judicious exercise of police power to protect the public without infringing on property rights any more than absolutely necessary, has become a political bludgeon ideologues and neighbors use to stop others from doing what they merely dislike.

The problem has spread to state and federal regulations as well, as laws and regulations have been turned into blunderbusses with which to shoot down anything resembling progress by those who would prefer things stay as they are. It’s now taking an even worse turn as “moratoriums” and refusals to regulate have been adopted as the weapons of choice by ideologues intent upon stopping that of which they don’t approve.

The public interest in health and safety is a mere bystander today, but there is hope because some landowners are fighting back, including some from Wayne County, Illinois who are suing their state for failure to do its duty and adopt regulations that will allow them to harvest their natural gas. It’s a refreshing backlash for landowner rights.

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If Only We Could Develop Our Natural Gas in New York

natural gas in new yorkSandra Davis
Delaware County, New York Resident

The most frustrating aspect of the moratorium on developing natural gas in New York is the personal toll it takes on impacted families for the sake of appeasing ideologues.

As Christmas nears, I find myself yet again this year worrying how am I going to buy for my kids? It has been like this for my family for the past several years. We need things to change in Upstate New York and have been waiting far too long for them to do so. Things don’t need to be this way.

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