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The Year Wraps Up With Natural Gas Usage Rising

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

 

Natural gas usage keeps rising, despite the hurdles it has faced. Daniel Markind highlights accomplishments and challenges at the state level.

Without a doubt, the election of Donald Trump was the big story of 2016.  While Barak Obama never came out fully against shale gas and oil, and indeed reaped its benefits, their production did not fit his “clean” agenda and the Obama Administration never was welcoming to the new technology or the industry.  The new President will have a different mindset.  It remains to be seen what specific steps Donald Trump will take, and what reaction those steps will engender.

At the state level, the gas and oil supply glut is over and 2017 looks more promising than 2016, albeit with numerous challenges.  Among the most interesting states, here are some of the highlights:

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Fracking Regulation Overkill; Time to Talk?

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

 

Fracking regulation in Pennsylvania has swung like a pendulum. It’s time to talk and craft reasonable rules that allows the industry to move ahead.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition has filed a Petition for Review in Commonwealth Court challenging the new oil and gas regulations enacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Quality Board and known generally as the Chapter 78a Regulations.  It’s the latest evidence of failure by all parties involved in figuring out a process to work together for the good of the entire State. 

The energy industry overreached  under the Corbett Administration, almost inviting public derision by pushing provisions in Act 13 such as the medical gag order.  Once in office, the Wolf Administration returned the favor with absurd tax claims and abuse of the regulatory process to develop the Chapter 78a Regulations.  As I’ve said repeatedly, some of these Regulations are common sense, some are workable and some just ridiculous.

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Pumpkin Spice, Colder Mornings, and Maryland Fracking: I Love the Fall

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 3.45.08 PM

K.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

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One year from now the Maryland fracking expires. Despite tougher regulations, fractivists still aren’t happy about Maryland fracking, though.

Fall is among us here in Maryland. We are casually preparing for a new winter as we eat our last blue crabs of the season, sip on pumpkin spiced everything, and watch our state’s government spin its wheels while trying to figure out fracking regulations.

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John Quigley’s Email Shocks the Conscience

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

 

We knew, of course, it had to be bad, but the e-mail sent by John Quigley to his fractivist allies in the “environmental community” shocks the conscience.

The e-mail that got DEP Secretary John Quigley fired is now out and it’s far worse than anything I had imagined. This man-child had no business being in position of authority on the smallest board in the tiniest community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, let alone serving as the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. He not only lacked the temperament for such a role, but also demonstrated a complete lack of judgment. His actions were appalling for someone with his level of responsibility and “shock the conscience.”

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Fracking Lies and Misconceptions are Driving Public Opinion

maryland fracking

K.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

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Fracking lies and misconceptions spread through the media are continuing to hinder public opinion on natural gas development.

A few years ago, during a lunch break at work, we were discussing natural gas development in Maryland. Unbeknownst to everyone in the room at the time that I was a heavy supporter, a colleague of mine, whom I respected for his insight on many issues, began telling everyone how bad the fracking process was.

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Governor Wolf Follows Cuomo’s Lead: Taxes and Regulations!

severance tax - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

Proposed DEP regulations changes have been approved for oil & gas drilling and Governor Wolf continues to disappoint.

Yesterday was an extraordinary day in the energy field.  In Pennsylvania, following seven hours of public debate and comment, the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved the proposed Department of Environmental Protection changes to Chapters 78 and 78a of the Pennsylvania Code, the rules and regulations governing oil and gas drilling in the Commonwealth.

The vote was 3-2, with everything happening according to script.  The Democratic appointees approved the changes, the Republicans did not.  Among the changes are updates and expansion of the permitting process, a requirement that drillers identify old and abandoned wells, and a ban on storing waste in pits, using the brine for dust suppression or deicing.  As I said before, some are common sense and some make no sense.

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Rural Pennsylvania Under Siege by the Wolf Pack

John PetersonJohn Peterson
Former US Congressman, Pa 5th District

 

Governor Tom Wolf and a pack of environmental activists originally brought into state government by Ed Rendell have rural Pennsylvania under siege.

Rural Pennsylvania’s chances to ever have a strong economy again are severely at risk. Gov. Tom Wolf filled the leadership posts of two agencies — the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) — with alumni from the radical environmental group, PennFuture. Further, the very structure of how the DEP hands down penalties and creates regulations is hurting our economy and needs to be reformed.

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Fracking Isn’t Increasing Methane and the Earth is Still Round

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 3.45.08 PM

K.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

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Despite the myths, extraction of fossil fuels is not the primary source of methane. While the EPA say it’s still “learning,” it might want to explore an accelerated course.

One of the largest myths in human history was the expectation that the earth was flat and sailors who went too close to the edge would simply fall off the face of earth. This idea lived until the 15th century, even though proof existed for several centuries that contradicted the notion. In fact, one ancient Greek, Eratosthenes, was able to calculate the circumference of our planet and measure exactly how large (or small) it really was.

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Pennsylvania DEP Issuing “Administrative Concern” Violations!

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

 

There is a scandal taking place at Pennsylvania DEP, a scandal encouraged by fractivist media outlets such as PennLive, that undermines the rule of law.

Pennsylvania DEP, under true believer John Quigley who came to the agency from Heinz and Haas family-funded PennFuture, a fractivist special interest group, has gone rogue and is abandoning the rule of law, using its power to simply impose its will without the benefit of either law or regulation. It is also doing so with cover from the usual empathetic media types such as PennLive.

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Cabot’s High Standards for Methane Emissions and Water Recycling

George FelcynGeorge Felcyn
Senior Director of the Policy Resolution Group at Bracewell LLP

 

Cabot Oil and Gas has minimized their impact on the environment by substantially reducing their methane emissions and recycling every ounce of water they use.

Last week, energy industry participants, experts and observers convened on the University of Texas-Austin campus for the second year of UT Energy Week. Organized by The University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute, the student-led Longhorn Energy Club, and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business, the conference boasted a solid week of panel discussions, keynotes and presentations on issues ranging from the use of natural gas in Mexico’s power sector to where, and when, the low price of crude oil will finally bottom out.

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