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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Fracking Falsehoods: Saying It’s So Doesn’t Make It So

fracking falsehoods -  Tom Shepstone Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Numerous fracking falsehoods were stated as facts in two recent hearings by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on proposed fracking regulations, but saying it’s so doesn’t make it so.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has developed a proposed set of new regulations governing hydraulic fracturing in the state. It held hearings in Gaylord and Lansing in July to collect public comment. The results were all too typical of what we see at many such hearings, as fractivists used the forum to talk about everything but the regulations and perpetuate fracking falsehoods as if they were facts.  Several of those fracking falsehoods would have earned Pinnochios in any other setting.

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Phony Grass Roots Anti-Fracking Campaigns Proliferate

anti-fracking campaigns -  Tom Shepstone Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


So much of the anti-fracking campaign is phony, it’s often difficult to choose what to expose first. Fractivism’s funders work hard to fake grass roots campaigns.

A good friend who happens to be a fervid natural gas supporter and earns not a dime from it, the epitome of what we might call a grass roots advocate, contacted me recently regarding some fascination advertisements he noticed popping up all over Craigslist. They come with various tags, but all do the same thing. They solicit full-time workers to “join the nation’s largest, most effective grassroots organization active on water, energy and environmental health protection issues” – to fight fracking for $10-14 per hour or thereabouts. It’s astroturf on steroids.

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Kane Is Able to Use Natural Gas Trucks, Despite AG Kane

Kane Tom Shepstone Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Last week we ran a piece about the utter hypocrisy of fractivists who use gas, yet refuse to recognize how virtually all new natural gas sources are developed; by use of hydraulic fracturing. This week we have an even better example.

Kathleen “Ellie” Kane, the Pennsylvania Attorney General who, prior to launching her bogus case against XTO, infamously said she was “on the watch for a criminal prosecution opportunity in the Marcellus Shale,” according to Clean Water Action, is married to the owner of the Kane Is Able. Inc. trucking company. That’s the source of the money she used to pursue her now floundering political career. But, her husband, Chris Kane, just told the Scranton Times (emphasis added): 

Kane Is Able Inc. made new additions to its fleet Monday — seven compressed natural gas trucks that burn fuel cleaner, run quieter and save money.

The trucks were on display for an event for the media and customers at Kane’s Taylor headquarters.

Natural gas is locally produced, and the trucks are environmentally friendly, said Chris Kane, director of the company.

Does the hypocrisy get any deeper? Well, perhaps if you’re Yoko Ono living in a $20 million gas heated apartment and use that platform to attack fracking and the 1%, but that’s New York and strange things are to be expected there. Here in Pennsylvania, we’re not as accustomed to such flagrant abuse of our intelligence.

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Ivanpah Makes Case for Natural Gas

German Renewables  - Tom Shepstone ReviewsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

The Ivanpah solar project in Southern California is making a powerful statement about the importance of natural gas in our energy portfolio.

We’ve published more than a few stories on this blog about Eric Schmidt and his Ivanpah solar project, torched turtles, streamers and all. Schmidt is a founder of Google, the second biggest corporation in the US (after Apple). He also a major fractivist funder and has honored others including the insufferable Mark Ruffalo. Still, he has also spoken positively about fracking, noting “fracking technology changed the entire energy equation for America” and created middle class jobs.

What gives? What accounts for this split personality? Well, Schmidt surely knows how to act politically correct with the hipsters who work in his industry. No doubt he has a message designed to appeal to anyone at a given time. He also appears to have a wife who wants to be known as an environmental philanthropist, which is hardly a surprise. Finally, he has deep financial interests in solar energy with which natural gas could be argued to compete and he needs to keep fracking under control for pricing purposes. But, there may be another reason Schmidt talks through two bullhorns at once; his Ivanpah project depends on natural gas and he needs more of it.

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Ideology Trumps All for Super Rich Fractivists

Fractivists - DickDowneyRichard Downey
Unatego Area Landowners Association

The corruption of super rich fractivists is hidden behind a facade of charity and community, but they are the anti-fracking movement, such as it is.

Back in the day, proving corruption was relatively easy. A search warrant lead to bundles of cold cash in a Ziploc in the freezer. Perp walk the crook in front of the press and . . . it was over. Much tougher nowadays in a world of dark money, pass-through foundations, off shore accounts, and 501(c )(3)s. You have to connect the dots. Therein, lies the tale of public opinion on fracking in New York.

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Where’s the Fracking Wasteland?

fracking wasteland - natural gasDouglas Berkley
Business Dev. Rep. – Transportation & Oil Field Services Company
Publisher: Tri-State Shale Traveler

Anti-fracking zealots are fond of using the term “fracking wasteland” and passing around pictures of drilling or fracking as if the processes were permanent aspects of the landscape. They’re not and they’re not creating fracking wastelands.

A recent story reporting a three year study by Indiana University of Pennsylvania on the water quality of the Beaver Run Reservoir seemingly got lost in the shuffle last week….especially when it comes to anti-fracturing zealots and those opposing drilling near parks in Pennsylvania and beyond.  Take a quick look at this story before discuss further:

Beaver Run Water Untainted by Shale Gas Wells, Tests Show

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Fractivist Ex-Mayor Matt Ryan Loses It?

Mayor Matt Ryan - Vic FurmanVictor Furman
Upstate New York Landowner Shale Gas Activist at NYRAD-R


Binghamton fractivist Mayor Matt Ryan decided he liked Planet Ithaca better than Binghamton the minute he left office, but was back in the area the other night allegedly harassing frequent guest blogger Vic Furman. Here’s Vic’s story.

I had just dropped of my brother off at the Broome County Airport and on the way home decided to stop in for a quick beer at my favorite watering hole, “Davy’s Last Chance Saloon.” The tavern is just a couple of miles down the mountain from my home. For over 30 years I have been enjoying the company of good neighbors and friends at this establishment. Davy, the establishment’s namesake, is a pillar of the community in the small farming town of Chenango Forks, 16 miles from Binghamton. Over the years he has shown support for the community by spearheading fund raisers and other events.

People gather at Davy’s to share laughs and troubles and there is almost never a raised voice except to celebrate something. But not this night, for there was a man there who I have only seen once before at this establishment, where I am a regular. It was the former Mayor Matt Ryan of Binghamton, now living 40 miles away as a resident of Ithaca, New York.

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The German Renewables Diversion

German Renewables  - Tom Shepstone ReviewsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


The German renewables diversion has captured the imagination of many politically correct fractivists but, when you look close, there isn’t much to it. 

It happens regularly. I am confronted in a debate somewhere over natural gas by someone saying “but Germany is getting half their energy from solar, so why can’t we do it here?” as if that should end all arguments. They are, invariably, regurgitating some line they think they remember from some fractivist presentation they attended or some blog dedicated to anti-fossil fuels agitprop. When I tell them it isn’t true and Germany is building coal plants at a breakneck pace, they react with skepticism and try to change the subject by resorting to every NIMBY’s firewall line of “but, what about…”

Fortunately, others are now taking notice; Germany’s renewables program isn’t delivering, isn’t affordable and isn’t anything close to what’s been touted by our fractivist friends. They’ve fallen for the German renewables diversion.

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