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New Brunswick Fracking Indecision Inexcusable

New Brunswick Shale - Resource Wise New Brunswick ReportsLynn Farmakoulas
Spokesperson/Communications Director
Resource Wise New Brunswick

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Indecision about New Brunswick fracking by the government is wasting what’s in the cart, letting the cart rot, and shooting the horse.  

Since being elected in the Fall of 2014 the Gallant Liberal government has had exactly two decisive moments: announcing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in December 2014 and announcing an indefinite moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in May of 2016. The Liberal government’s plan to raise revenue in the province so far has been to hike the harmonized sales tax we pay on goods and services. Unlike our sister province of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick is sitting on possibly the largest deposit of shale gas in Canada. So, when Nova Scotia announced a moratorium it was a “meh” moment. In New Brunswick, it’s a serious matter.

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Looking at Fracking in 2016 Through the Purple Hayes

LNG - Nick Grealy ReportsNick Grealy
Administrator of NaturalGas2.0NoHotAir and ShaleGasInfo Blogs

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Fracking today is on display with the Purple Hayes wells in Ohio and the lesson is that fracking technology is destroying all the best arguments of its opponents.

If we could simply convince people that “fracking” doesn’t mean thousands of wells or hundreds of well pads, as so many fractivist groups in the UK insist will happen, we could then move on to a grown up discussion as to why are we using high carbon/zero tax LNG in the UK instead of the lower carbon high tax alternative onshore shale gas offers.

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Purists vs. Problem Solvers, As Shale Revolution Changes All

LNG - Nick Grealy ReportsNick Grealy
Administrator of NaturalGas2.0NoHotAir and ShaleGasInfo Blogs

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While the shale revolution offers to make real environmental differences and solve real problems, ideologically blinded purists demand 100% solutions.

The US shale revolution is now going global via LNG. Countries that formerly would have chosen coal for power generation are now going gas.

“There are markets like Bangladesh and Pakistan where traditionally they would have gone with coal but now gas can be the cheaper option once you include the cost of new infrastructure,” LeLong of Goldman said. “You are seeing these energy poor countries often with poor credit ratings turning to LNG.”

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Two Things of Which We Can Be Sure: Shale and Shell

LNG - Nick Grealy ReportsNick Grealy
Administrator of NaturalGas2.0NoHotAir and ShaleGasInfo Blogs

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Reuters report about Shell and shale is among the most important shale stories of not only this year, but of the entire shale era.

Shell’s late embrace of shale actually makes a lot of sense. They are getting into shale at exactly the right time. ExxonMobil’s foray into XTO was stunning at the time, but in retrospect was too soon.  BP, Total and Chevron have made various, if often  tenuous, efforts. Statoil made the wisest and earliest investment in the Marcellus back in 2009 of any major, although ENI’s smaller US investment of the same year was also smart in timing and money.  BHP Billiton seemed to have bought at the height of the market in 2011, but even that will ultimately be in the money, even at these prices.

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Why UK Shale Has An Even Brighter Future Than US Shale

LNG - Nick Grealy ReportsNick Grealy
Administrator of NaturalGas2.0NoHotAir and ShaleGasInfo Blogs

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UK shale prospects are even brighter than those of US shale if the nation but seizes the initiative and moves forward expeditiously for a change.

There are some key questions about shale gas internationally, and for now, the international front often means UK shale.  Every country in Europe is awaiting the UK’s decision (on fracking anyway). But geology is the study of planetary resources.  Some suppose the United States is uniquely blessed with the ability to drill for oil but I have always agreed with Roberto F. Aguilera’s point here:

As indicated in our recent book, The Price of Oil, successful developers around the world could reap benefits similar to those experienced by the US in its progress with unconventional gas. The advantages afforded by the shale revolution in the US have been so strong that its international spread is inevitable. Most of the technology employed is not proprietary and so can be transferred across borders.

I don’t pretend to be clairvoyant about natural gas, but a realistic view of what the UK will look like should not depend on environmental catastrophe predictions of 2010 that never showed up, or the economics and drilling technology of the decade before now either.

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Shale Industry Dangers: The Missing Evidence

LNG - Nick Grealy ReportsNick Grealy
Administrator of NaturalGas2.0NoHotAir and ShaleGasInfo Blogs

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Shale industry dangers are the mother’s milk of fractivism but the evidence to support the hype, in the form of hard data or lawsuits, just isn’t there.

One thing many US observers find annoying about the shale debate is how an “urban myth” has developed where the US is particularly careless and the UK wouldn’t suffer the consequences of “cowboy” and “controversial” operators.

Certainly UK regulations are tough and I have no problem with them either. But there is a variant of Stockholm Syndrome going on, where not only UK regulators, but even more bizarrely, some UK would-be operators, cite the US experience just as negatively, and sometimes even as often, as some fracktivist groups. As a result, feelings and opinions trump facts.

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Should We Take Shale Gas to Town?

LNG - Nick Grealy ReportsNick Grealy
Administrator of NaturalGas2.0NoHotAir and ShaleGasInfo Blogs

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Should we drill for shale gas downtown? Nick Grealy says it makes perfect sense and the possibilities are intriguing, if not perfectly poetic justice.

The recent approval from North Yorkshire County Council for Third Energy’s well is neither the dawn of a new shale era nor the portent of doom local and national opponents would have us believe. Any news at all is good news in the UK shale industry, as we approach the five year mark for a license to even look. While there is cause for optimism in forward movement, there is much yet to be done on some basic facts.

In common with most of the industry, we’ve been sitting waiting for movement for so long that we’ve forgotten how new, and thus “controversial” shale gas is to many people. Issues that scientists, academics and regulators thought rebuffed years ago are exciting new facts to those who never heard about shale until a leaflet plastered with scary pictures falls through the letterbox. I was struck by that on two talk radio shows last week. It seems patently ridiculous that at this stage in the debate people still talk about taps on fire for example, or are convinced their water (from mains water!) is somehow at risk. The new licensing era will need both a  grown up discussion and a refresh on the facts.

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The Inevitability of French Shale Gas

LNG - Nick Grealy ReportsNick Grealy
Administrator of NaturalGas2.0NoHotAir and ShaleGasInfo Blogs

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The inevitability of French shale gas is slowly descending upon the minds of the most politically correct nation on earth as some French ignore reality.

When I started pointing out the paradox of France importing shale LNG as it bans the technique itself as some sort of ecocide catastrophe, I did so in hope that pointing out the contradictions would lead to some movement in France itself towards a more rational discussion of shale fears.

I’m happy to report some luck there, but first, let’s talk about why France’s role is important to me. As I tell my Anglo Saxon frack head friends, in between planning how to poison the water table and kill children, I have three things in common with the French: I’m smart, alternately charming/obnoxious and I speak French. As I’ve noted before I’m far from being the only French speaking shale advocate, and I’d be happy to release a key member of the London Local Energy technical team, far more fluent than I, but who can drill too. He’d be happy to hop on Eurostar and head to the suburbs of Paris, especially as the interminable wait for UK movement is starting to move from the realm of the boring to the anger inducing.

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Will Energy Policy Be Decided by Law or Fiat?

Constitution Pipeline - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

Recent decisions raise the big question: will energy policy be determined by law or by fiat? For New York and propane gel fracking it’s fiat, of course.

Following a string of politically expedient, scientifically questionable and legally obtuse rulings by state and federal agencies, the Colorado Supreme Court delivered a dose of sanity and reality last week. It ruled that local governments cannot ban or declare a moratoria on hydraulic fracturing in Colorado when state law approves of the practice.  Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Richard Gabriel wrote “(i)n matters of statewide or mixed concern…state laws supersede any conflicting government regulations.” Energy policy in Colorado was thus determined by interpretation of law but, increasingly, it is being determined by fiat.  

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SolarCity: A Bigger Boondoggle by the Day

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

SolarCity, part of the Buffalo Billion Boondoggle engineered by the corrupt Cuomo administration, becomes a bigger boondoggle by the day.

Although we’ve monitored the SolarCity debacle here and the media is full of reports regarding Preet Bharara’s investigations of the Buffalo Billion deal, which may well yet bring down the crime boss himself, no one has done a better job of recording the slow motion collapse of the boondoggle than Jim Heaney at Investigative Post. He is now out with two more reports showing what a phony deal the whole thing is. It is cronyism, corruption and political correctness rolled into one, but what is, perhaps, most interesting is the lessons it provides regarding the futility of massively subsidizing renewables when inexpensive, clean, low-carbon natural gas is available to do the same thing and simultaneously invigorate an Upstate economy desperately needing it.

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