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Why Is Pennsylvania DEP Ignoring Reality on Methane?

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

 

 

Pennsylvania DEP is determined to target shale producers with insane methane regulations regardless of the facts and achievements in reducing such emissions.

There is something very weird going at Pennsylvania DEP. The agency is directly targeting the Commonwealth’s shale producers with punishing discriminatory regulations for which there is no rational justification. It’s all about two sets of what are known as General Permit regulations known as GP-5 and GP-5A. Only in the labyrinths of bureaucracy do rules get such arcane labels, of course, which serve to immediately dissuade us commoners from digging deeper. Many have, accordingly, failed to pay attention, but that’s how government gets away with its dirty work.

Fortunately, some people are paying attention and pointing out the absurdity of the proposed regulations. Among them are the principals of an interesting firm known as Silent Majority Strategies, who have made a devastating case against this effort by the Pennsylvania DEP to punish the natural gas industry for what appears to be Wolf administration retribution for not getting the severance tax the governor so ardently desires.

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Are Pennsylvania’s Form Letter Legislators Fractivist Tools?

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

 

 

Ten of Pennsylvania’s legislators have gotten so used to fractivist form letters they’ve decided to become form letter fractivist tools themselves it seems.

A little research supplied by one of our readers yielded some interesting insights into what some of Pennsylvania legislators do in Harrisburg. Apparently, these “public servants” view their job as issuing form letters to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); serving as fractivist tools for some entity we’ll never know.

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Fractivist Journalism and Its Proficiency with Fake News

LNG - Tom Shepstone Reports Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

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Fractivist journalism is one gigantic exercise in fake news – fake fracking news that is – as a story on a University of Guelph methane study illustrates.

Fake news seems to be enjoying quite a run these days, but there are no better examples than those provided by fractivist journalism. There are only a handful of reporters regularly reporting on fracking issues who bother to even attempt being objective. Most are in the model of StateImpactPA, a fractivist shill effort financed by the Heinz and Haas families to serve as an echo chamber for the work of sister entities such as the Clean Air Council, Delaware Riverkeeper, et al who are financed by the same families. There are numerous others as well and a loyal reader of this blog who happens to be a fractivist sent me an article yesterday that very much falls into the same category.

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The “Tragic” Performances That Led to the Dimock Verdict

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The Dimock verdict overturn by Judge Carlson tells the story of what he describes as a “tragic” pre-trial event and performance by the plaintiffs’ counsel.

Absorbing the full impact of Judge Carlson’s decision overturning the Dimock verdict on Friday requires reading his decision multiple times. There is so, so much there. It is packed full of insights as to how the fractivist cause has been pursued to the detriment of all involved, including the plaintiffs themselves, who were used like puppets in an ideological campaign against oil and gas development. Carlson used the word “tragic” to describe a pre-trial disaster at the hands of Attorney Leslie Lewis, counsel for the plaintiffs. The word is hardly typical of legal argument and obviously wasn’t chosen lightly. It is, nonetheless, absolutely correct.

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Rubin and Ingraffea Play Role in Dimock Verdict Overturn

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The Dimock verdict now having been overturned, it’s worth looking how fractivist experts did in the eyes of the judge. They didn’t impress him much at all.

Yesterday afternoon came the great news that the Dimock verdict had been overturned by Judge Carlson, the man who heard the entire case. For the record, Carlson not only but bent over backwards to accord the plaintiffs’ counsel respect they refused to give others, but he also stood on his tiptoes, stretched his arms and legs as far as they would go and offered to do somersaults to give the plaintiffs the opportunity to make their case.

Anyone who was there for any part of the trial could see that. Indeed, my view is Judge Carlson went too far in tolerating the plaintiffs’ counsel tactics and wasn’t explicit enough with the jury when he gave final instructions. He also allowed in very speculative expert witness testimony by the plaintiffs though he was anything but impressed by it.

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Truth, Justice and Vindication: Dimock Verdict Overturned

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The insane Dimock verdict rendered last year has been overturned, the jury’s decision bearing “no discernible relationship to the evidence” says the judge.

Friday can be a wonderful day and this one is especially so. The Dimock verdict rendered last year by an out-of-control jury that paid no attention to the evidence has been overturned. The $4 million award to the plaintiffs has entered the universe of wild dreams from which one awakes to find the world is still right-side up. Truth, justice and vindication have been dispensed.

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Why Is Pennsylvania DEP Shooting at Gas Pipes?

fracking - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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Pennsylvania DEP is engaged in something inexplicably dangerous; effectively shooting at gas pipes with targeted attacks on the gas industry over methane.

There is something very wrong going on at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The agency is, rhetorically speaking, shooting at gas pipes, threatening to explode an industry that saved the Pennsylvania economy during the last recession.

The issue is methane regulation, a solution looking for a problem, as the Marcellus Shale Coalition properly puts it. Never has government put so much effort into punishing one industry that’s done more than any other to solve a problem. It’s as if the District Attorney has decided to prosecute the Chief of Police for reducing crime and making their jobs less important. Such has always been the nature of Pennsylvania DEP where real problems are ignored in favor of harassing the innocent.

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Ohio EPA Making Pennsylvania Look Like New York?

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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Recent actions by the Ohio EPA to both upgrade and streamline its natural gas regulations while Pennsylvania complicates them raises the specter of New York.

New York has always been difficult. I well recall many years working on some branch line railroad issues in the Empire State and confronting a whole floor of regulators in their Department of Transportation. I was used to dealing in Pennsylvania where three people did the work of 30+ New Yorkers. But, times have changed. Pennsylvania, under Tom Wolf, now seeks to emulate New York’s self-defeating style, especially when it comes to natural gas regulation. The Ohio EPA is putting our DEP to shame, managing to get plaudits from both environmentalists and natural gas company while we attempt to drown our biggest economic drivers in a sea of regulations. The Ohio EPA is making us, God forbid, look more like New York every day.

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US Carbon Emissions Plummet Due to Natural Gas

carbon emissions

Win Porter
Energy and Environmental Consultant

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U.S. carbon emissions are reducing at a faster rate than any other country thanks to using more cost effective, clean natural gas.

While debate continues on how to tackle carbon emissions, or what energy sources are best to do the job, U.S. emissions have actually plummeted to their lowest level in 25 years.

Electric power in the Carolinas, and the rest of the Southeast, is largely produced by natural gas, nuclear power and coal. But renewables such as wind and solar are favored by environmentalists, who are also busy fighting natural gas.

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We Have a New President: How Will it Affect Energy and Environmental Issues?

Hydraulic FracturingRichard Goodwin
Environmental Consultant and Engineer
West Palm Beach, Florida

 

Energy and environmental issues have long been solved according to political correctness instead of by experts; with our new President that may change.

The results of 2016 Presidential Election – Republican President [without elected political experience but a successful billionaire developer and entertainment entrepreneur] and Republican Majority in Senate and House of Representatives [enabling appointment of moderate-conservative Supreme Court Justices] – reflects a victory for the private sector and a blow to political correctness. Given this dominance of political philosophy in all branches of government, forthcoming federal legislation and actions should apply fact-based, sound business and economic principles plus peer-review science to address our Energy and Environmental Issues.

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