|Former PA Governor Ed Rendell|
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This isn't the first time lately that Ed Rendell has made news for his industry-friendly behavior.
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|Former PA Governor Ed Rendell|
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|OEPA Director Scott Nally|
Click here to read more.BOARDMAN, Ohio – The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said businesses and regulators need to work together in partnership to ensure that the emerging oil and gas industry will be viable for a long time and small businesses can invest here.“It’s important that we don’t put bull's eyes on our foreheads when somebody does it incorrectly,” said Scott Nally, Ohio EPA director, who headlined a breakfast program Monday hosted by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Government Affairs Council.
Authorities are investigating an explosion at a business in the western North Dakota oil patch that killed one worker and injured another.
Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson says the blast Wednesday happened while 19-year-old Trevor Davis, of Burlington, was cleaning the inside of an oil tanker trailer at the Plains Trucking yard northwest of Ross.Read the short article here.
Read the whole article by clicking here.WHEELING - Not ready to call the measure "forced pooling," Corky Demarco said the bill now under consideration by the West Virginia Senate would allow some unleased land to be included in drilling units."This does not allow someone to force you into a unit if you refuse to sign a lease. This just allows minerals whose owners are unknown or cannot be found to be included," said Demarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association.Two years ago, Demarco and other industry leaders advocated a bill that would have permitted forced pooling, which is now illegal for Marcellus Shale drilling in West Virginia. This concept would allow natural gas drillers to draw gas from land they have not leased.
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Read the whole article here.Extreme environmental activist groups have been put on notice by Ohio’s law enforcement, due primarily to the activities of outside organizations coming into Ohio to disrupt oil and gas development. Authorities like the Ohio State Highway Patrol have begun to acknowledge that these groups’ actions are a threat to human health and safety, and as such are working to ensure they pose no threat to workers or the public in general.As we first reported in the fall, Earth First! Climber’s Guild held a retreat near Athens, Ohio in order to train extreme activists with the climbing skills needed to temporarily disrupt oil and gas activities in Ohio, much like we saw earlier this month in New Matamoras. In the beginning, these exercises were little more than a stunt; we never figured they would actually carry out these sorts of activities in Ohio, a state where we have developed oil and gas for over 150 years. But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when these groups put their practice into illegal action. Even more disturbing: we found out that Ohio is not isolated from these fringe groups infiltrating states in order to disrupt safety protocol, not to mention jobs and prosperity.Earth First! and Appalachian Resist staged a dangerous display of activism a month ago in New Matamoras at aGreenHunter Class II storage site. The event brought out 100 activists dressed in Hazmat suits to demonstrate against the facility, all while a fellow member constructed a pole tied to equipment on site. In the end, they disrupted business activities for five hours and had 10 people arrested. Seven of them were from out of state.
DIMOCK, Pa. -- More than four years after the explosion of a residential water well called attention to the problem, Pennsylvania environmental officials are still trying to solve water pollution in this small town that has become infamous for shale gas development.Read the whole post here.
Recent cases involve two homes in a gas field where the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has banned drilling of new wells in the wake of chronic water pollution tracked to nearby operations of Cabot Oil & Gas. Cabot crews continue to operate a service rig between gas wells and water wells to diagnose problems in an area where the DEP has found dangerous levels of methane flowing into residential water wells near the junction of Carter Road and State Route 3023.
Colleen Connolly, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection, said this week that the agency has not determined when the latest round of testing will be released.
Read the rest of this story here.NATRIUM - Still waiting to process its first barrel of ethane, the under construction $500 million Dominion Resources natural gas facility received its second bomb threat in the last two months Tuesday."The people who do these things are domestic terrorists," said Corky Demarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association.Marshall County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart said the West Virginia State Police, Marshall County sheriff's deputies, officials with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and officials with Dominion explored the construction site Tuesday afternoon. After closing W.Va. 2 between Fish Creek Road and W.Va. 89 for about two hours, officials reopened the road upon determining the threat was not credible.
Read the entire article here.WHEELING - Councilwoman Gloria Delbrugge, Wheeling Jesuit University biology professor Ben Stout and city resident Tom Triveri are among those strongly opposed to GreenHunter Water's plan to recycle natural gas drilling wastewater in Warwood - but company officials contend the water they want to ship via barge poses less of a threat than other potentially hazardous materials transported on the river every day.Representatives of the Texas-based company met with Wheeling officials Tuesday morning to discuss the company's plan, which they expect will create 15 temporary construction jobs and 12 permanent jobs. Earlier this month, the company announced its acquisition of the former Seidler's Oil Service property on North 28th Street for $750,000, as well as plans for $1.7 million in new construction at the plant, which the company wants to be operational by fall.City Manager Robert Herron described Tuesday's discussion as informal and "a good exchange of information," but said it's too early for the city to take a position on the project.
Missy Phillips looks like a typical 30-something mother of three.
That is, until you see...
...and her truck.
Phillips, 37, is a welding foreman on the pipeline. The self-proclaimed “Pipeliner with Eyeliner” has worked in the oilfields for almost eight years, as a welding helper the first year, and a welder the remaining time. She also did minor welding on a drilling rig.
Read the whole article about Mrs. Phillips here.Small in stature, she stands only a few inches over five feet tall, but drives a massive Dodge Ram one-ton black four-door dualie with pink pinstriping and big pink eyelashes. It took her only about one week to build the special welding bed mounted on the truck which holds the Lincoln Arc Welder she uses in the field.
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Read the entire article here.BOARDMAN - The director of the Ohio EPA says his goal always has been to reduce millions of gallons of water used in the state's oil and natural gas drilling process, but though it sounds promising, environmentalists, businesses and local government didn't react with great optimism.Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Nally spoke Monday at a Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber breakfast event here.Nally called water usage and disposal the "main issue" raised by opponents of the hydraulic fracturing process, commonly called "fracking." But he said new methods being explored by the industry are replacing the millions of gallons of water with other propellants such as carbon dioxide or propane.
Read the whole article here.GreenHunter Water officials are familiar with opposition, as Washington County, Ohio sheriff's deputies arrested 10 people in February for protesting at the company's natural gas and oil frack water storage site in New Matamoras.Now, Wheeling City Councilwoman Gloria Delbrugge plans to use her authority to try to keep GreenHunter from establishing its new frack water recycling plant at North 28th Street in Warwood. The facility would be located at the former Seidler's Oil Service site, directly adjacent to the Wheeling Heritage Trail."They say this facility will be the 'first of its kind in the country.' That's because they have been run out of everywhere else," claimed Delbrugge, who represents and lives in the Warwood section of the city.
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Read the entire article here.The increase in vehicle traffic associated with the exploration and production boom in plays such as the Eagle Ford and Bakken has the oil and gas industry grappling with the issue of driver safety as workers drive long distances and work odd hours on the job.To meet this need, Telogis, a California-based provider of cloud-based location intelligence software, in early February began offering the oil and gas industry a comprehensive cloud-based software suite to not only monitor driver behavior in real-time, but provide training for drivers.The system allows Telogis' oil and gas clients to monitor when drivers employ hard braking, accelerate sharply, speed or fail to wear seat belts, said Geoff Scalf, head of business development for Telogis' oil and gas division, in an interview with Rigzone. Telogis' technology will monitor driver behavior based on a company's safety parameters. A particular driver's behavior can be pinpointed through this technology, as alerts are assembled into driver safety scorecards and enterprise dashboards.
Read the whole article here.The share price gain represents perhaps the clearest example of how investors, giddy about an expected boom in Ohio's energy production, have been betting on companies based on some optimistic, but preliminary, production data.But next month a more comprehensive state report will publish new data from Ohio's oil and gas wells that will offer the most insight yet about whether the Utica is the next big thing or a potentially fizzling bust for companies operating there.Energy producers in the Buckeye State have compared the Utica to the giant Eagle Ford shale play in Texas and declared it a boon for a state still weathering an economic downturn. However, enthusiasm has cooled somewhat since drilling began in 2011, after wells produced more cheap natural gas than the more lucrative oil.On March 31 this year, data from between 50 and 60 wells drilled in 2012 will be given to the state. It will then be made available on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' website in April, the department said. It did not give a specific date but last year the report came on the second of the month.
Read the whole article here."A group of well watchers in Wetzel County, W.Va., has had a great deal of success in helping facilitate changes," said Cook. "Especially with regards to traffic related issues."People were sitting in traffic for hours due to trucks blocking portions of the very narrow roads there, according to Cook."They were able to implement a staging area for the company's trucks rather than leaving them on the road," she said. "Instead of having traffic blocked for hours, they were able to voice their concerns and have them addressed."Bill Hughes, a member of the Wetzel County Action Group, said groups like his are the way that many state organizations find out what is happening.Small issues like muddy roads and blocking traffic often don't seem like big issues, but they can get under the skin of citizens, he said.
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A Washington County couple who claimed gas drilling ruined their property and sickened their family admitted no medical evidence existed to show that drilling harmed them before collecting a $750,000 settlement.
Stephanie and Chris Hallowich sued three companies claiming natural gas drilling and other activity on a neighboring property made their home in Hickory virtually unsalable.
Documents released on Wednesday revealed the Hallowiches stated their children “are healthy and have no symptoms that may allegedly be related” to the drilling.
Read the whole article here.The Hallowiches could not be reached for comment.
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HARRISBURG -- Governor Tom Corbett today announced that Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer will step down April 15 to return home to Montgomery County to practice law.“Secretary Krancer has been an invaluable member of our team and I am grateful for his service,’’ Corbett said. “His impressive efforts at DEP have taken the agency back to basics, protecting the environment and making the permitting process more efficient.
“His guidance on a variety of issues related to the environment has been vital,” Corbett said. “DEP has been in good hands under his leadership.”
Corbett appointed Krancer to his cabinet in January 2011, where Krancer oversaw many major initiatives, including the reorganization of the agency, which created an Oil and Gas deputate and improved consistency statewide in enforcing that industry’s regulations.
Krancer also oversaw the Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee, which have brought timeliness and consistency to the permitting process for all agency-regulated activities.
In April 2011, Krancer and the governor issued a call to Marcellus Shale operators to stop delivering shale gas drilling wastewater to plants that were not equipped to fully treat it, which resulted in a sea change overnight and improved the health of Pennsylvania’s waterways.
Krancer also made brownfields redevelopment and abandoned mine reclamation projects around the state a priority and oversaw the implementation of the Covered Device Recycling Act.
Krancer and his agency were also instrumental in facilitating new investments and potential investments around the state, including his role in Governor Corbett’s team efforts to save the three southeastern Pennsylvania refineries and attract to them new environmentally responsible investors, employers and projects.
Krancer also had the opportunity to testify as an expert before several U.S. Congressional committees on many topics.
“Serving Governor Corbett and DEP has been the greatest honor of my career,’’ Krancer said. “Pennsylvania is well on its way to becoming the focal point of an American energy revolution, and I am grateful to the governor for giving me this role in assuring that natural gas and energy development happen in an environmentally sound and responsible manner.
“I owe a tremendous amount of thanks and appreciation to all of the talented, dedicated, hard-working professionals at DEP with whom I have been privileged to work as their Secretary,” he said.
DEP has 2,633 employees and a $655 million budget.
Krancer will rejoin his former law firm, Blank Rome LLP, an international law firm based in Philadelphia.In addition to his previous legal work at Blank Rome, Krancer, 55, of Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, served as a judge on the state’s Environmental Hearing Board for 10 years, including four years as chief judge and chairman. He has also worked as an attorney for Exelon Corp.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Krancer earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University.
“I appreciate Mike’s unwavering commitment to this job, knowing that it took him away from spending quality time with his wife and children,’’ Corbett said. “While I am sorry to lose his expertise in the administration, I am glad this is an opportunity for him to go back home.”
E. Christopher Abruzzo, deputy chief of staff for Governor Tom Corbett, will serve as acting secretary. Abruzzo, who works closely with Krancer and the DEP staff in his position as deputy chief of staff, will hold both positions until Corbett names Krancer’s successor.
The sudden announcement has brought a variety of speculation.
Temporarily filling in the for departing Krancer will be E. Christopher Abruzzo, deputy chief of staff for Governor Tom Corbett. Abruzzo, who works closely with Krancer and the DEP staff in his position as deputy chief of staff, will hold both positions until Corbett names Krancer’s successor. There is currently no speculation who will be the next drill baby in charge of DEP.
Nothing in the news stories to indicate why Krancer is choosing to leave now.
Scuttlebutt speculation includes:
Whatever the reason, you can be assured Corbett’s next appointee will be one who makes sure it’s business as usual at the DEP.Read the rest of that article here.