Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – March 3, 2018

natural gas now - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy.

Here’s more material sent along by Natural Gas NOW readers; great stuff highlighting the power of natural gas and the absurdity of fractivism. Check out the links and other short bits below:

Not Secession, But Pre-emption

Glenn Reynolds, a law professor from Tennessee recently wrote an excellent article addressing the problem of urban states such as New York that tend to treat their rural residents as serfs. He both identifies the problem:

Inhabitants of rural parts of heavily urbanized states often have very different values and lifestyles, are generally stigmatized (as “hicks” “rubes” and “rednecks”) by the urban ruling class, and lack comparable access not only to political power, but to media and other avenues that might be used to challenge the majority. Because their lifestyles and economic base are sharply different from inhabitants of urban areas, legislation that oppresses them can be enacted with limited impact on urban inhabitants.

and suggests a solution:

I thus suggest that federal laws regulating these key subject-matter areas be recast to pre-empt more restrictive state laws, meaning that urban regions would be unable to impose stricter laws on less- powerful rural areas. If this seems too inflexible, perhaps that pre-emption should in some cases be defeasible at the county level; if the government of a county affirmatively wants to accept stricter state regulations, then it may do so, but if not, then the federal regulations are a ceiling, as well as a floor.

And, it could be done with individual pieces of legislation. Interestingly, there are already court cases indicating, with respect to water pollution regulations, that the Feds have fully occupied the field, so pre-emption of stricter state regulations is hardly a big step.

Natural Gas NOW

Such legislation would simply recognize one of the most neglected minorities in big urban states; their rural residents.

Wolf Administration Announces Expansion of Clean Fuel Facility
“Expanded Facility Along I-80 Will Cut Down on Air Pollution”

Tom Wolf has ordered Patrick McDonnell to oppose natural gas development in the Delaware River Basin, because it might negatively affect New York and Jersey he says. (He couldn’t possibly care less about the needs of Pennsylvanians for the economic revitalization such development would bring.) Meanwhile, though, they both are crowing about how those who live along Route I-80 (e.g, New Yorkers and Garden Staters) will benefit from natural gas:

A compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station will help reduce air pollution from trucks traveling along Interstate 80, thanks to a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection…

“This grant will promote more use of CNG tractor trailers along I-80, which will remove hundreds of thousands of pounds of air pollution,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

Natural Gas NOWThe project, once completed, will displace an estimated 116,650 gallons of diesel fuel per year, as more tractor trailers equipped to run on CNG will utilize the facility and travel on the I-80 corridor. The reduction in diesel use will result in reductions of more than 86,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and more than 322,000 pounds of nitrous oxide.

“With many of these clean fuel infrastructure projects, there is a chicken and egg problem – without the infrastructure to refuel these vehicles, will they be used?” said McDonnell.

“With this project we’re helping to solve that problem.”

Tom Wolf seems determined to prove just how much of two-faced trust-funder he really is.

Hydrogeologist to DRBC: Fracking Concerns Are Misrepresented

Blayne Diacont, a hydrogeologist who formally worked for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), recently testified before the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) on its proposed ban on high volume hydraulic fracturing. His testimony is posted at Energy In Depth and made some key points about the foolishness of the ban:

You only need to look at your adjacent basin and sister agency for guidance…

Their existing regulations could easily be adopted as the rule in your basin.  Utilizing low flow protection policies, determining what order streams have sufficient flow to support withdrawals, conditioning approvals to limit rates, performing cumulative impact analysis, installing monitoring networks and performing ARS studies could all be done at your agency, as they have done successfully at the SRBC.

The utilization of their 2016 SRBC Assessment report as a footnote to your document banning hydraulic fracturing in your basin is troubling at best, as it obviously ignores statements within the SRBC document such as this: “To date, the Commission monitoring programs have not detected discernable impacts to the quality of the Basin’s water resources as a result of natural gas development.” The use of this document as a footnote, which if read clearly indicates that the industry can be successfully regulated, is an indication of either a lack of understanding of the regulatory tools available and used by the SRBC and other agencies, or a lack of effort to coordinate and understand how numerous regulatory agencies have successfully regulated our industry…

…the DRBC’s statement that 70 percent of their watershed is underlain by the Marcellus and Utica … is a gross misrepresentation when considering what part of the basin is actually underlain by developable natural gas … I would approximate that it is much more likely to be less than 10 percent of your watershed…

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Your report attempts to equate the fact that our industry continues to achieve longer laterals for our horizontal wells to something negative (longer laterals equals more water required to complete the well)…in the context of your report it implies that this is a bad thing.  Instead, longer laterals should be seen as a positive technological advancement, because, longer laterals equals less land disturbance (less well pads required, less roads, etc.)  The fact that more water is needed to complete the well is irrelevant as long as the withdrawal is properly regulated/managed/ and performed to avoid impacts at the source…

Amazing how easy it is to grasp things when common sense is applied, isn’t it? The Commissioners of the SRBC have acted rationally based on science but, when it comes to the DRBC, the same folks have decided to throw science to the wind and exercise raw political power. It’s that simple.


An Upstate New York reader sent me this:

I was behind this car on the expressway. See attached photo. Check out the plate: “No Oil.” On a Chevy Volt!

So….even though it’s electric, doesn’t it have mechanical parts that need oil, and what about all the plastic on the auto body? How was it made?

And….check out the plate frame. The driver supports someone in the Navy. Maybe he’s lucky and his Navy vet friend didn’t leave US soil or struggle to find a job post-service.

Anyway the misconception about fossil fuels continues here in NYS.

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Yeah, that’s about right, I’d say. I’d also ask where the driver supposes the electricity comes from. I can only imagine the idiotic responses.

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3 thoughts on “Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – March 3, 2018

  1. Regarding Secession/Pre-Emption …

    Tyranny of the Majority is a long-recognized weakness of democracies wherein a majority of the voting public can choose policies that are not merely contrary to minority groups, but potentially very damaging.

    A practical counter – on the federal (US) level – is Electoral voting where entities (States, in US presidential contests) cast the final ballots.

    Counties offer the best (final?) path forward for disenfranchised US citizens in non urban areas.
    County structures have existed since the start of the country, are self policing (sheriffs), can be self funding (income, property and commerce taxes) and self legislating (county administrators).

    Oppressed individuals have a much higher degree of prevailing if local units (counties, in this case) can unite and present their views to the larger political unit (state government).
    On a practical note, recognized structures can offer a stronger presentation for aggrieved individuals.

    An additional incendiary element to consider is the growing population of non US born residents who populate urban areas and vote in elections with dubious legal validation. This in increasing.

    Upstate New York, northern California, southern Oregon and other resource-rich areas continue to be destroyed by the toxic, restrictive policies emanating from urban residents.

    • I thought you guys used to call your selves the “Silent Majority”; now the problem is the Tyranny of the Majority. The real reason you can’t get your way, whether it is secession or exemption, is because your political ideas have no appeal, even to upstaters. The real disenfranchised are those who didn’t vote. If half of the registered Republicans and Conservatives that didn’t vote in the last election had, Cuomo wouldn’t be governor now.

      If you check population stats and voting you’ll find that upstate cities and villages have more than half the population and tend to more liberal than rural areas in the same county. You will also find that the Republican majority is getting smaller every election. Unless you pull an American version of Pol Pot and depopulate the cities and villages, you will lose.

      The real way to get gas in the northeast is to expand your base. The anti’s are making the mistake of eliminating nuclear and frustrating gas development while they have negligible renewables to replace the missing energy. The resulting spike in gas prices is the fault of the anti’s. You have to make sure the people in the middle, who are gas supporters now, realize that the anti’s are costing them money and that we can save them that and more.

      Re-check Vic Furman’s article on NYSEG electric bills for some ideas. The situation in Massachusetts with Russian LNG tankers and spiking bills in the recent cold snap is a gift for our cause. The lack of any significant build out of utility scale renewables means gas is a critical part of the energy mix now and in the future. Sell those ideas relentlessly and stop isolating your selves in these reactionary fantasies.

  2. Regarding the vehicle with the “No Oil” plate, what about all that cement on the roadway? How much fossil fuel energy was utilized to make the cement and then to construct the roadway? What about the tires? One can go on and on about how much our daily lives are impacted by oil and gas use, most of which we never think about or take for granted.

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