Thursday, August 22, 2019

National Assocation of Royalty Owners is Forming an Ohio Chapter

From The Times Leader:
A new land and royalty owners’ group that is part of the National Association of Royalty Owners is forming an Ohio chapter.

The National Association of Royalty Owners, or NARO, is nationwide organization that encourages and promotes exploration and production of minerals in the United States while preserving, protecting, advancing and representing the interests and rights of mineral and royalty owners. 
Over the past year, a group of Ohio mineral owners has been laying the groundwork to establish an Ohio chapter with the national office. The Ohio chapter grew out of the NARO Appalachia Chapter in order to better focus on land and mineral owner issues in Ohio. 
On Monday, the board signed paperwork to formally apply for tax-exempt status as a state and federally recognized 501(c)6 nonprofit organization. A variety of backgrounds and professions make up a board of directors leading the organization.
Continue reading this article by clicking here. 

Group Pushing for Referendum on Ohio Nuclear Bailout Prepares Revised Petition

From The Columbus Dispatch:
A group that wants voters to decide whether Ohio should bail out nuclear-power plants has submitted new summary petition language to the state after Attorney General Dave Yost rejected its initial petition Monday. 
Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts provided the second summary petition along with 2,246 signatures to Yost and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Friday. In rejecting the original language, Yost said the summary was not “fair and truthful” as Ohio law requires, pointing out what he said were 21 inaccuracies and omissions. 
The group wants voters to decide whether to overturn the new state law that would force electricity ratepayers to subsidize two of Akron-based FirstEnergy Solutions nuclear power plants. 
If the petition clears Yost’s office, it then would go to LaRose’s office. If approved there, the group would need to gather signatures from 265,774 registered voters from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties by Oct. 21, 2019, to make the November 2020 ballot.
The whole article can be viewed by clicking right here. 

Senator Portman Completes Tour of Southern Ohio with Visit to Encino Rig

From The Times Leader:
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman continued a three-day tour of southern Ohio on Friday by visiting an Encino Energy natural gas drilling rig in Bowerston.

His JOBS Act and Workforce Tour spanned over 750 miles across 12 counties. Portman, R-Ohio, is addressing a skills gap by authoring the JOBS Act, bipartisan legislation that aims to make high-quality and rigorous short-term job training programs more affordable by expanding access to Pell Grants for low-income students. President Donald Trump included the JOBS Act in his Fiscal 2020 budget request, and Portman is working to include the measure in broader legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act this year. 
The stop in Bowerston occurred on the third day of the tour and was the only well site the senator visited. The tour was meant to highlight workforce development, tax reform, energy production, agriculture and how small Ohio businesses are helping secure the borders. 
Prior to the senator’s stop at the well pad, he visited Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville.
Click here to continue reading. 

Permitting Pace Picks Up in Utica Shale as Rig Count Holds at 14

WEEK ENDING 08/17/19



New permits issued last week: 9 (Previous week: 3)  +6
Total horizontal permits issued: 3141 (Previous week: 3132 +9
Total horizontal wells drilled: 2670 (Previous week: 2664)  +6
Total horizontal wells producing: 2246 (Previous week: 2240)  +6
Utica rig count: 14 (Previous week: 14+-0

Nuclear Bailout Prompts Cancellation of $1.1 Billion Power Plant Project

From The Business Journal:
Clean Energy Future Inc. has pulled its plan to construct a third $1.1 billion combined-cycle energy plant in the village, the company announced today. 
Clean Energy President and CEO Bill Siderewicz said in a statement that the company pulled out of building a yet-to-be-named energy center because the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 6, which provided subsidies to the nuclear power industry. It was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine in July. 
“There’s sheer disappointment that this is a project we know should be built and there’s demand. But because of artificial legislation efforts, we’re basically going nowhere,” he said in a phone interview. “We’ll take all our information, including our filings with the EPA and PJM, into cardboard boxes.”

Siderewicz said Clean Energy has already spent about $1 million on preparation and permitting. The full statement is available here. Clean Energy Future developed the Lordstown Energy Center and is assembling investors for a second site, Trumbull Energy Center. 
“We’re talking with investors and lenders right now. It’ll be about a $900 million project. The question is what is going on in Ohio,” he said. “In that process, we should probably have completed by this time already, but there’s hesitation to invest in Ohio because they keep changing the rules of engagement.”
He added that plans still call for ground to be broken on Trumbull Energy Center later this year. 
Siderewicz said the costs to the Mahoning Valley are several fold, including the loss of 1,100 temporary construction jobs, $1.1 billion in new investment, $150 million in water purchases from Youngstown, $300 million in local property taxes, and $29 billion of economic benefit to the Mahoning Valley over 50 years.
Read on by clicking here. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Princeton Study Finds That Over 75% of Leaked Methane Comes From 10% of Gas Wells

From Princeton University:
Wells that extract natural gas from underground often leak large amounts of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, into the air. A team of Princeton University researchers has found that, in one of the biggest gas-producing regions, most of these emissions come from a tiny subset of the wells, a finding with major implications for how to control the problem.

Researchers led by Mark Zondlo, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, spent two years sampling emissions from the Marcellus Shale, a basin that stretches from West Virginia into New York State. In research published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the authors reported that 10% of wells account for more than three quarters of gas leaked into the atmosphere as a byproduct of extraction. That has the equivalent greenhouse gas effect of adding 500,000 cars, or about 2% of the U.S. auto market, to the road. 
This finding, however, may have a silver lining for mitigating impacts on the environment, Zondlo said, because fixing a relatively small number of these “superemitting” wells could lead to a major reduction in emissions. He cautioned that identifying the leakiest wells is not always easy, in part because well emissions can change over time.
Read on by clicking here. 

Cornell Professor/Anti-Drilling Activist Releases Another Anti-Drilling Study

From the Houston Chronicle:
Rising levels of the potent greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere have been linked to emissions from the shale oil and natural gas industry, a new study from Cornell University reveals. 
In a study published this morning in the European Geosciences Union journal Biogeosciences, Cornell University Ecology Professor Robert Howarth reported that an analysis of the methane found in the Earth's atmosphere has chemical fingerprints that point to shale, an industry which uses horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to unlock oil and natural gas in tight geological formations. 
A single methane molecule is made from one carbon atom at the center and four hydrogen atoms in orbit. But the study reveals that a rapidly growing amount of methane in the atmosphere is made from the carbon-13 atom, a type of carbon found in natural gas extracted from shale formations.
Click here to continue reading. 

Energy in Depth quickly responded to this study as well:


A new Park Foundation-funded methane study is generating lots of anti-fracking headlines, despite its conclusions being at odds with the bulk of the scientific community. Cornell University professor and Food and Water Watch board member, Bob Howarth, is back and this time he claims that oil and natural gas emissions are the primary cause of recent global methane spikes – a theory that many climate and atmospheric scientists have rejected. 
Howarth’s conclusions were called “far-reaching” and “premature by one of the anonymous experts tasked by Biogeosciences to review the research prior to publication, who explained: 
The advice to move as quickly as possible away from natural gas based on this study does not appear sufficiently conclusive…” 
The research, which Howarth stressed multiple times during the journal’s review process is “in the ‘Ideas & Perspectives’ category and is not a traditional research paper,” also met a healthy dose of skepticism from the scientific community. As Newsweek reports: 
“Quentin Fisher, professor of petroleum geoengineering at the U.K.’s University of Leeds, said he was ‘deeply skeptical’ about the study. ’The results are extremely sensitive to highly questionable assumptions regarding the isotopic composition of methane found in shale. The arguments made by previous studies that increase in methane in the atmosphere is from biogenic sources, such as release from wetlands and agriculture or burning of biomass, seem far more convincing.’” (emphasis added) 
Fisher’s criticism is likely the first of many if Howarth’s previous research track record of rejections is any indicator. EID has the four key facts to keep in mind when reading the study’s media coverage on EIDClimate.org.

President Trump Visits Ethane Cracker Plant in Pennsylvania

From the Pittsburgh Business Times:
President Donald Trump arrived Tuesday to get his first look at the massive construction site in Beaver County where Royal Dutch Shell is building a $6 billion petrochemical plant. 
Trump arrived in Pittsburgh in the early afternoon and traveled to Potter Township, where he spoke before thousands of workers and employees, as well as local and state leaders. He also briefly toured the site, which has been transformed by Shell over the past several years and will become operational sometime early next decade. 
In a speech that lasted more than an hour and sometimes sounded more like a campaign stop than a presidential visit, Trump honored the thousands of workers who are building the plant and said this, and other manufacturing and energy projects, wouldn't have been able to be built without the support and help of the Trump administration. 
"This would have never happened without me or us," Trump said. 
Trump touched on a number of topics, including the need for energy-friendly and manufacturing-related policies. He said that his aim was beyond energy independence from foreign supply.
The whole article can be read by clicking right here.