Thursday, December 5, 2013
Australia: Study Shows Exposure to Oil and Gas Poses Little Risk to People Posted on Dec 4th, 2013 Australia. Study Shows Exposure to Oil and Gas Poses Little Risk to People Monash University released the results of the Australian Institute of Petroleum’s 14th Health Watch Report. The study reaffirms that exposure to oil and gas products poses little risk to people. This study – which has run for more than 33 years – clearly shows that petroleum industry employees have better health than the general Australian community and are less likely to die from cancer and from heart, respiratory and digestive diseases. The report shows that the chance of developing most types of cancer is no different for men and women in the petroleum industry than it is for other Australians and the overall cancer death rates in the petroleum industry workforce are 30 per cent lower than in the general Australian population. APPEA welcomes this study, which it believes will reassure many people who have been concerned by claims made in recent fear campaigns about the safety of natural gas operations. Natural gas is commonly used in households all over Australia with no evidence that it is a health risk. With neither workers nor householders experiencing ill-effects from exposure to natural gas, there is no reason to assume that living near a gas well exposes residents to health risks. The Health Watch study provides robust scientific evidence for the community to understand the health impacts of exposure to petroleum products. Since 1980, the Australian Institute of Petroleum has sponsored the independent Health Watch study to monitor the health of 20,000 past and current employees who have been exposed to oil and natural gas in the course of their daily work. Health Watch tracks the long-term health of these people, both during their industry employment and after they leave or retire. It uses a detailed analysis of job types, workplace practices, lifestyle influences, and illness and causes of death. The health of petroleum industry employees is then compared with data for the Australian community. The 14th Health Watch Report was undertaken by the Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, a leading international centre for epidemiological programs and collaborative research at Monash University. LNG World News Staff, December 04, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
GAIL of India Plans to Buy 19 LNG Cargoes by March Posted on Oct 25th, 2013 with tags 19 LNG Cargoes, Buy, GAIL, India, March, News, Plans . GAIL of India Plans to Buy 19 LNG Cargoes by March GAIL’s chairman B.C. Tripathi said on Friday that the company plans to purchase 19 LNG cargoes by March. Nine of the planned LNG cargoes will be bought from the spot market, Reuters cited Triphati as saying. He also said that GAIL is looking for “good” shale gas assets in the United States. GAIL and the Shipping of Corporation India in June signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate for transportation of 5.8 MTPA of LNG being sourced by GAIL from Sabine Pass and Cove Point terminals in the USA. The cooperation would include SCI assisting GAIL in the charter hiring of LNG ships and GAIL assigning step-in right to SCI in the ownership of LNG ships.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Gov. Cuomo has shown us once again that he can act quickly when he wants to. And when it suits his personal political priorities. Gun control? Cuomo rushed new laws through in record time. Now he is doing the same thing to allow new casinos and more gambling in NY. This time it even requires a change to the state constitution. A problem? Not for him. He and his cronies even reworded the language for the Nov 5 referendum after the fact and to make the whole shmeal sound more positive than it really will be. He also apparently has no trouble boasting that these casinos will bring new jobs and jump start the economy in upstate NY. Really? Of course he sees no harm in accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the gambling folks who want to build the casinos. NY state legislators have received over a million dollars in campaign contributions from the gambling industry. Is this the real reason behind his no-holds-barred support of more gambling in NY? It is clear that Gov. Cuomo can act quickly when he really wants to. And when he doesn’t want to, things come to a screeching halt. The best example of this is his lack of support for natural gas drilling in NY. No permits have been issued in NY to companies who want to drill for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing for longer than he has been in offi ce. Five years and counting. This moratorium in word only is now actually becoming a de facto ban. All he has to do is keep doing nothing. That way he doesn’t have to decide. He will keep the natural gas industry out of NY by not saying no and not saying yes. Just keep studying. You might say Cuomo is one smart cookie of a governor. He knows how to rig the system to get what he wants, that’s for sure. Whether what he wants is what we western New Yorkers want is a whole other question. Did you hear about the country counties in Colorado who want to secede from the state? Sounds like an idea whose time has come in western NY. Oh, and by the way, I’m a Democrat. Perhaps it’s time for those of us who are liberal in nature, but have more than a lick of common sense, to stand up for what we really believe in, regardless of party affi liation. Democrats Opposing Governor Cuomo (DOG Cuomo) anyone? Charles Franklin Woodhull READER VIEW | CHARLES FRANKLIN
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Natural Gas Development Saves the Farm Posted on September 29, 2013 by Tom Shepstone Open Space - Tom Shepstone ReviewsTom Shepstone Shepstone Management Company, Inc. One of the most disingenuous arguments of the natural gas opposition is that development constitutes industrialization. It preserves open space by giving farmers and landowners a means of sustaining it. Nothing will do more to save the farm and preserve open space than natural gas drilling. It is the single most effective tool available for protecting the rural character valued by all who live here, because it rewards landowners for holding onto property and gives them the means to do so. All the government programs combined will not protect as much farm land as natural gas. Vacant farm land in upstate New York typically generates an annual real property tax bill of $6-8 per acre, meaning that just holding onto 150 acres of farm fields costs about $900-1,200 year in taxes before considering taxes on improvements, insurance and other operating costs or the opportunity costs involved, all of which can be considerable. Indeed, a 2011 Cornell study of 190 New York dairy farms found they paid an average of over $30,000 each per year in real property taxes. The same Cornell study found farmers with less than 110 cows had negative labor and management income for three of the last five years and they earned nothing on their equity, indicating the old saying – “the quickest way for a farmer to become a millionaire is to start with $2 million” – is, sadly, all too true. It is ever more difficult for our farmers to stay on the farm and unless they find additional ways to produce income from that farm, it will inevitably disappear, despite whatever heroic efforts we make to save it with this or that program. Ag assessments, conservation easements and agricultural zoning don’t help when you still have to pay to farm. Natural gas is the obvious answer, not only because it offers tremendous income potential but also due to its incredibly small footprint and compatibility with agriculture. The newest approaches to shale gas development provide for units as large as 1,280 acres (two square miles) with all wells for each unit being drilled on a single pad of five to six acres in size. Even after allowing for an access road of three-fourths mile in length to reach the pad, this amounts to total land disturbance of but eight acres, or six-tenths of one percent of the land. Putting this in perspective, a typical home on a three-acre lot will, with driveway and lawn included, disturb a minimum of 5-10% of the land. A commercial or industrial enterprise will often cover more than 50% and is seldom allowed less than that by zoning. Nothing has so little impact on the land we treasure as a finished gas well. You can drive through the beautiful Finger Lakes region and numerous other farming areas and see them everywhere in the middle of farm fields. Anyone serious about farmland and open space protection understands this source of additional income is critical to the effort. Natural gas will save the farm – it’s that simple
Sunday, September 15, 2013
To the editor: I had stopped reading Mr. Mantius a long time ago. His articles are so lacking in the truth element that I felt it wasn't worth getting "cranked up" about them. However, some of my "friends" felt "someone" should respond to his 9/4 article. I had to run down to The Ranch to get a paper - the suburbs of Bradford being too far out for carrier delivery. When I saw the size of the print over his article, by far the boldest I have seen in over fifty years of reading editorials, I knew this one was going to be "good". "... energy industry bent on setting its own rules." That's interesting - I thought all those regulations were finalized by legislatures or environmental departments. Who would have known! "... we can expect an array of deep pockets to submit novel, sophisticated new rationales for why the state's home rule principle needs to be dumped to serve the gas drillers." Besides the valid interest of the drillers there is the "minor" issue of property rights. More specifically, the mineral rights of all the landowners in the state. I recently read "The Founding Conservatives" and was reminded, once again, of how important property rights were to our founders - both the "Radicals" and the "Conservatives" of the day. (See also "The Federalist Papers" if you have any doubts on the importance of property rights.) When a town passes a total ban on gas drilling they are taking away the mineral rights of all the landowners, and probably more important, the rights of landowners well beyond their town. All the other states, and New York up to now, realize the gas industry cannot function in an area that is divided into areas that do, and areas that do not, support gas drilling. I'm fairly sure that this is EXACTLY what Mr. Mantius and his allies want! "Could the DEC possibly make it any more clear that accommodating industry is a higher priority than concerning the environment?" Well, let's see. New York is preceded in allowing hydrofracing by only about thirty states (thirty one if you count California and Illinois). I'm not sure I see the validity of Mr. Mantius's point if we are the last state to allow the process, and the only state sitting on top of a significant shale play not allowing it. For some of us that is proof of the exact opposite - that New York is overly concerned about the "environment". Actually we all like to think we are concerned about the environment - it's just that some of us are more realistic, or honest, than others. For the environmentalists, in the words of one of their heroes - Josh Fox - "the truth is irrelevant". You've got to love that concept! Oops - I forgot, they do! Let's face it - this is totally a political issue in New York. The history, the valid science, the honest experiences of all the other states ( even with the surface accidents - to be expected) lead all of them to continue to allow drilling. New York just missed the train - all the jobs and revenue benefits have gone elsewhere. What a sad day for New York! The track we're on now will someday let us say "Detroit was first!" The lack of support for drilling (the strength of the environmentalist lobby) is only one part of this - but it is a significant part. Drilling was really by far the most realistic hope for the Southern Tier for economic revival - period! We need to thank Mr. Mantius and all his allies for what they have done for (or is it "to") our area. Jeff Heller
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Dominion gets approval for Maryland facility to liquefy natural gas September 11, 2013 1:56 pm By Anya Litvak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The federal Department of Energy cleared Dominion's liquefied natural gas terminal project at Cove Point in Maryland. The facility will be allowed to convert natural gas, much of it coming from the Marcellus and Utica shales by pipeline, into a liquid that can be loaded on ships and transported abroad. This is the third export terminal to be approved by the DOE this year, and only the fourth since 2009 when companies, spurred by shale gas production estimates, began to petition the government to turn import terminals into export ones. The DOE said it reviewed 200,000 comments for Dominion's application and found that Cove Point was in the public interest and was "likely to yield net economic benefits to the United States." The approval allows Dominion to export 0.77 billion cubic feet of gas per day for 20 years. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/dominion-gets-approval-for-maryland-facility-to-liquify-natural-gas-702836/#ixzz2egjmas4j
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Posted on September 2, 2013 by Natural Gas Now Guest Blogger BryantBryant La Tourette Chenango County, New York Businessman and Landowner Governor Andrew Cuomo has surrendered New York State’s future out of fear of big fracking lies being told by a combination of amateur and professional propagandists, demonstrating he’s a leader unwilling to lead. Not even Snake Plisskin could save our governor today. He’s an incurable appeaser. And, he’s running scared of big fracking lies; sacrificing our pride, our land, our youth, our spirit and the greatest economic opportunity New York State ever had in a foolish attempt to appease the unappeasable, which is no way to lead. Real leaders confront liars with unequivocal truths the same way Winston Churchill, against all odds, and the popular will for many years, confronted a false ideology that had consumed nearly all of Europe when he was finally given the reins of government in a last ditch attempt to save what appeared to be a lost cause. He rallied Western Civilization with old-fashioned truth combined with an eloquence we seldom hear today. Cuomo - FenceRiderUnfortunately, no such leadership or eloquence has come from Governor Cuomo. He has stood by, balancing himself on a fence trying to not make enemies; apparently hoping to appease radicals by throwing out occasional inane comments about kids falling down wells, comments that only illustrate his ignorance. He has stood by as the Gasland flaming faucet turned heads even though his Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has undoubtedly told him the truth – that this is common and has nothing to do with fracking. He has stood by as a Rockefeller funded group helped finance a collection of big lies called The Flowback, telling his DEC personnel to keep their mouths zipped at all times. He has stood by as the untested brown jug has been hauled around Albany, as if that was evidence of anything. He has allowed the big lies to take hold as he has stood by trying hard to do nothing, as if that was leadership. Meanwhile, the likes of Yoko Ono have filled the leadership vacuum. They exploited the Manning family in Franklin Forks, for example, until Pennsylvania officials confirmed what the gas company said all along – that their problem had zero to with fracking. Weak towns have fallen prey to moratorium campaigns.by groups using their non-profit charity classifications to unethically lobby local officials. Vocal groups of second-home owners and elitists have anointed themselves as “visionaries” while doing everything they can to divide communities. Corruption has taken hold in the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) as Cuomo’s do nothing position has allowed others to manipulate the agency. Public servants at DRBC, DEC and the Department of Health are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Unchallenged propaganda is robbing New York of one of its greatest economic opportunities ever and leaving behind a trail of collateral damage that will remain when Cuomo is gone. Some people have fallen “hook, line and sinker” for the big lies. Others have thought it was just another fear campaign. Many have believed, given enough time, the truth would come out. The past six years has, to many, seemed to be a race to win the minds of people by way of information vs. propaganda as one side has tried to win people over with facts while the others has relied on emotion and the big lies. What better place, after all, to employ such a tactic and talent but in quaint honest areas where handshakes are stronger than any written contract; where respect is not earned but given until respect is lost? PropagandaWe can look back to our youth to understand the basics of getting attention. Buy a bag of candy, take it on the school bus or playground and all will be your friends until the candy runs out. It is human nature to want attention and, for some, attention is an addiction. Unfortunately for them, the same candy eventually gets old and the attention goes away but many fall for the gimmick in the meantime. The relentlessly negative, attention seeking propagandist knows this and realizes what works in one town (or on one cause) will work in others when the welcome mat is withdrawn. He (or she) simply moves onto the next town or the next cause and starts again, preying on new people with a new cause and new propaganda built around a new slogan or catch phrase. It is all in the slogans and catch phrases, in fact. Invent a word and attach anything you want to it. If you want even more success, alter a word to capture another meaning and capture the world with big lies. Those who have real talent for this sort of thing, instead of having to move onto the next town, become sought after practitioners for political campaigns and utopian social engineering. Some even graduate into dictators to pursue their dreams of reprogramming populations, living by the theory that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself. It’s the big lie principle articulated by Adolph Hitler. I hate to interject a reference to someone so incomparably evil, on the risk that it might diminish the horror of his later acts. I also don’t want to draw comparisons between him and anyone else and won’t. Unfortunately, however, his early writing explains, all too clearly, so much of what happens with propaganda issuing from all hardcore activists, whatever the cause. Here is the relevant statement from Chapter X of the infamous Mein Kampf: …in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. Cuomo’s lack of leadership has allowed both types of propagandists, the amateur as well as the pro, to dominate the fracking debate. Avoiding the decision has, as a consequence, made the decision that much more difficult for him. The biggest fracking lies have been exposed, but traces of the lies keep accumulating, making it harder and harder for him to do the right thing. A little leadership would have turned it all around long ago, but the governor can’t seem to muster it. He’s paralyzed by the thought his constituents will believe the big lies before they believe him, which pretty well sums it all up. Leadership to confront the propagandists of all stripes comes from within and now more than ever a true leader is needed. Cuomo, unfortunately, is no leader and no one, not even Snake Plisskin, can save him from his inevitable fate of being the leader who refused to lead. He might get re-elected as governor in a state as politically correct as New York, but a leader who won’t lead won’t get past the first caucus in the first Presidential primary contest
Thursday, August 29, 2013
NYS COURT OF APPEALS TO REVIEW MIDDDLEFIELD AND DRYDEN DECISIONS August 29, 2013 – Binghamton, NY— “The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and our 77,000 landowners are ecstatic over the New York State Court of Appeals’ decision to review the lower court rulings in the Middlefield and Dryden cases. These decisions have wreaked havoc in our towns. Local municipalities are simply not equipped to decide issues affecting our state and national interests in producing clean domestic energy. New York cannot have a “not in my back yard approach” to energy development.” Scott Kurkoski, attorney for Jennifer Huntington in the Middlefield case said: “The future of New York’s energy policies and the rights of New York landowners now rests in the hands of the Justices of New York’s highest court. We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will protect the rights of landowners and allow New York to realize the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas while allowing our nation to maintain its course towards energy independence.”
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
A Missed Opportunity to Highlight Lackawanna College As I highlighted last week, President Obama’s visit to Scranton last week presented an opportunity to discuss the benefits of expanded natural gas production and drilling in the region. On top of that, he was hosted by Lackawanna College – an institution that has embraced the growing natural gas industry and has remolded its own curriculum to meet the workforce needs in the area. The college recently invested over $750,000 to create the School of Petroleum & Natural Gas in New Milford and to give its students the experience required to secure a job in the natural gas industry. The President, while recognizing a worthy institution, missed a great opportunity to link his education innovation theme directly to Lackawanna College and our natural gas energy future. President Obama explained that educational institutions should provide a life skill that will allow its graduates to make a life-sustaining wage and not bury them under debt without an end in sight. I believe strongly that the School of Petroleum & Natural Gas is the epitome of what the President was talking about in providing a solid education that will in turn help graduates gain employment in their career field and pay down any costs occurred from their college education. With the school’s associates degree in petroleum and natural gas technology, the college and its students — which are being placed into natural gas industry jobs at a rate of 90% — underscore the type of leadership and job creation strategies that President is trying to promote. And as the natural gas industry grows, it continues to have a positive impact on the economy around it: spurring job growth in other sectors such as manufacturing. The Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal recently wrote an article about companies in the Scranton area and how they have been positively impacted by the growth of this industry. All of us at Cabot are proud to produce clean burning, affordable natural gas from right under our feet. And we are even more proud of the thousands of jobs that we are creating for future generations. George Stark Director, External Affairs Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation
Friday, August 16, 2013
To the Editor: Imaginary future audio recording from the Governor's office: 8/30/13, 3:10PM. Andrew Cuomo/Ditherer in Chief (hereafter AC/DC): Gentlemen, I've called this meeting to assess the general situation in New York as far as natural gas and the environmental stuff are concerned. Assembly leader: (hereafter AL) I'm sure I can, and will,speak for all of us in thanking you for this opportunity to contribute to the well being of our highly rated state on this issue. AC/DC: I'm taking a little heat for us being the only state that isn't taking advantage of our shale play - especially from some of my fellow liberal governors - like Jerry in California and my friend in Illinois, and even Governor Rendell! AL: I wouldn't worry about those guys Andy. As long as we can keep Yoko in our camp we should be fine. She is such an authority on the environmental stuff and a great artist to boot! Have you seen her video where she thrusts her abdomen in and out while holding a beach ball and singing " Don't Frack My Mother"! What an artist! We need to keep her, and her wealthy friends, on our side at all costs! Who needs the unions if we can get Yoko? AC/DC: Well, I've always favored Yoko over those robber baron farmers in the Southern Tier. I mean who really believes their song of woe about their poor economic conditions! As I've stated before, surely the increased production of the yogurt industry will be enough to make up for any economic problems the farmers have. AL: Absolutely! AC/DC: I took a little heat about my concern for kids falling into gas wells. I don't see why really. If you took the valve system off the top of a well you could stuff a kid in there - couldn't you? AL: Absolutely! AC/DC: I'm really a little upset at all this belly-aching about all the jobs and economic activity we're missing out on. Our own ads point out how well our state is really doing - don't they? I thought my buddy BHO put the jobs thing in perspective when he said the Keystone Pipeline would only produce 50 jobs! He knows his own people who have put the number up around 20,000 are full of buffalo chips - right? AL: Absolutely! AC/DC: I'm sure all my fellow urban liberals, Democrat and Republican, know more about the real conditions in the rural areas than those hayseeds do! As some of us have stated before, they wouldn't know what to do with the money from gas drilling anyhow! Certainly not like we would! AL: Absolutely! AC/DC: It's probably good we've been able to control any concerns about New York being alone on this stuff. Sometimes I think it sounds a little bad when someone points out that at least 29 states are allowing fracking and at least 16 are allowing horizontal fracking - and I don't think that includes California and Illinois. It is possible, don't you guys think, that everyone else is wrong on this, and we're right? AL: Absolutely! AC/DC: Well, I want to thank you all for coming and contributing so much to this conversation. Yoko and Al Gore have agreed to give me a real education on this stuff in the near future. Can't wait for that day! In the mean time, keep telling everyone you meet what great shape New York is in. We really need to get that message out! Sheldon, if you could stay a minute, I'm sure you'll want to talk a little about this stuff. AL: Absolutely!
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Fracking Nets New Jersey $11.5 Billion Posted on August 6, 2013 by Tom Shepstone Shepstone Management Company, Inc. New Jersey is making out like a bandit on natural gas, achieving consumer savings equal to a 22% state income tax cut – savings that dwarf the gains to oil and gas companies and landowners. Who benefits most by fracking? If you listened to the natural gas opposition or “fractivists” you’d have to conclude it’s those greedy landowners and even greedier oil and gas companies but that’s not the case. No, the greatest beneficiaries of fracking technology are urban consumers of natural gas. A hard look at the data, all available at the Energy Information Administration (EIA) website, indicates just one state’s consumers netted over $11.5 billion dollars of savings from the reduced prices achieved through fracking and the opening up of new shale plays made possible by the technology. It’s New Jersey, giving a whole new meaning to the name of their former basketball team (the New Jersey Nets). New Jersey provides a good test case because, despite being the Garden State, it’s also the most urban state, with a density of 1,189 persons per square mile. Some 74% of homes use natural gas as their heating fuel according to the latest Census statistics: New Jersey is ranked 10th out the 50 states in the amount of natural gas it uses, over 660,000,000 million cubit feet annually, but produces none of it. It is dependent on supplies from the Marcellus Shale and other natural gas regions for its home heating fuel. Several major pipelines deliver that natural gas. These include the Tennesse Gas Pipeline (part of the Kinder Morgan system), for example, which fractivists have fought bitterly as the company has sought to develop the additional capacity to serve New Jersey’s burgeoning demand. Several other pipelines are moving gas from both nearby and far away markets to serve the New York metro area, which includes New Jersey. The availability of nearby natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region, combined with dramatically increased production, both attributable to hydraulic fracturing technology, have lowered prices equally dramatically for New Jersey consumers. The EIA database provides both consumption and price data over time for various classes of consumers, making it possible to calculate the savings to these consumers since fracking, together with horizontal drilling, began in earnest in the Northeast in 2008. Comparing natural gas prices by year with inflation adjusted prices in 2008 when fracking was just taking off in the Northeast indicate New Jersey homeowners and renters have, over the last four years, secured nearly $2.5 billion of savings from what they would have otherwise paid at 2008 prices. The savings are in 2012 dollars (computed using the Consumer Price Index for urban areas) and include estimates of 2012 consumption and pricing based on those months for which data was available. This is just the beginning, though, for more and more of New Jersey electricity is produced using natural New Jersey electric utilities have, over the last four years, saved nearly $4 billion as a result of lowered natural gas prices and increased use, compared to what gas used for electricity generation at 2008 gas prices would have cost. New Jersey commercial gas use Applying the same methodology, commercial and industrial users of natural gas, respectively, saved $2.7 billion and $900 million over the last four years. The following table summarizes for all New Jersey consumers, showing the state saved an estimated $11.5 billion (roughly $2.9 billion per year) from development of new natural gas sources; all accomplished using fracking and horizontal drilling technology in the adjacent Marcellus Shale region and elsewhere. The New Jersey state budget indicates taxpayers were, in 2013, expected to pay about $13.3 billion in corporate and personal income taxes. These savings from natural gas, therefore, are akin to a 22% tax cut for these businesses and individuals. It doesn’t get much better than that. Just imagine where New Jersey would have been without these savings during the economic recession that has plagued the country over the entire period. Now, for some further perspective, consider how the oil and gas companies are doing. Several are experiencing increased profits as a consequence of lowering costs through better application of technology, enabling them to prosper even with the new low prices fracking and horizontal drilling have delivered. New Jersey consumed a total of 660 billion cubic of natural gas in 2012, approximately 1.8 billion cubic feet per day. Two companies combined, Cabot Oil & Gas and EQT, produced roughly the same amount in 2012 and enjoyed combined operating incomes of $264 million that year, roughly 9% of what New Jersey consumers netted. New Jersey consumer savings also dwarf the royalties paid to landowners. Pennsylvania produced 6.1 billion cubic feet of gas in 2012, more than three times the amount New Jersey consumed. Pennsylvania landowners received $731 million in Marcellus Shale royalties paid in 2012, a handsome amount to be sure, but this suggests the New Jersey natural gas usage might generate $231 million annually in royalties. Once again, this amounts to only 8% of what New Jersey consumers netted. This data shows neither landowners nor oil and gas companies have been greedy. Both have done about as well as most reasonable people would say is only fair. Those New Jersey folks sure have done well, though. And, their legislature actually wanted to ban on fracking (turned into a moratorium by Christie)! Never let it be said that politicians will act in the public interest when self-interest in being politically correct intrudes. Still, those of us who have been around know people ultimately vote with their pocketbooks, especially when the opposition consists of nothing more than “crying wolf.” I suspect New Jersey folks are a little tired of that game and are not going to forgo what is, effectively, a 22% tax cut. Then again, they lost the New Jersey Nets, which are now the Brooklyn Nets
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
July 23, 2013 – Binghamton, NY— The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) issued the following statement regarding the 5 year anniversary of New York’s moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF). The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and our 77,000 landowners are extremely disappointed that our state has not been able to complete the SGEIS for hydraulic fracturing after 5 years. Today, Upstate NY state and local elected officials joined the members of the JLCNY to call on our state to complete the SGEIS and move forward with natural gas development now. Our communities have been waiting long enough. Our nation’s leaders are bringing us closer than ever to achieving energy independence, cleaner air and economic prosperity while NY drags its feet, impeding our progress and denying the constitutionally guaranteed rights of NY landowners. US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell recently said: “As the President has made clear, this administration’s priority is to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production”. Approximately 90 percent of wells drilled on Federal and Indian lands use hydraulic fracturing. “We know from experience that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling methods can be used safely and effectively . . . . ” said Bureau of Land Management Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze.http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/may/nr_05_16_2013.html No state in the country has blocked HVHF like NY. Instead, they have worked diligently to prepare their regulations in a reasonable time. Ohio completed its HVHF regulations in 8 months. On June 17, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law Illinois’ regulations for HVHF after a 17 month collaboration among environmental groups, landowners, industry and legislators. Last week, California announced that it is near passage of its HVHF regulations after a 2 year effort, a bill that Governor Jerry Brown has said he will sign into law. Our state’s inability to move forward after 5 years has come at a time when our country has experienced the worst recession of our lifetimes, crippling the Upstate New York economy. High unemployment and property taxes have driven our children, friends and neighbors out of the Southern Tier at one of the highest exodus rates in the country. Farmers have been hit hard driving many to sell their farms, file for bankruptcy or lose their land in foreclosures. The economic benefits from natural gas development are real, proven and desperately needed in NY. Since 2008 Broome, Tioga and Chemung counties experienced a nearly $70 million loss in wages (down 1.2%) while Bradford and Susquehanna counties in Pennsylvania gained $278 million (up 28.3%). According to the Manhattan Institute, the income of residents in the 28 New York counties above the Marcellus Shale has the potential to expand by 15 percent or more over the next four years—if the state’s moratorium is lifted. It also found that had NY allowed its counties to fully exploit the Marcellus Shale, those counties would have seen income-growth rates of up to 15 percent for a given four-year period, or as much as 6 percent more than they are experiencing now. http://www.manhattan-institute.org/pdf/press_release_gpr_1.pdf But it’s not only about economics. Environmental organizations around the country know that greater use of natural gas is cleaning our air and offering a real solution to climate change. According to John Hanger, former Pennsylvania Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection: “Since burning gas emits no lethal soot or sickening toxic metals and about 50% less carbon dioxide than coal, the displacement of coal generation by natural gas slashes the amounts of major air pollutants like mercury, lead, arsenic, soot, and carbon dioxide. America's carbon emissions have dropped 800 million tons since 2007 and are back to 1995 levels, with gas displacing coal and some oil responsible for about half of the total reduction.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/08/shale-gas-fracking-good-for-environment The JLCNY is committed to protecting the constitutionally guaranteed rights of New York landowners. Please visit our website at http://www.jlcny.org for details about our lawsuit against the state. Today’s anniversary marks a sad day for progress in NY. We truly hope our leaders in Albany will agree with our nation’s leaders that it is time to move forward with natural gas development. About The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York The mission of The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (JLCNY) is to foster, promote, advance and protect the common interest of the people as it pertains to natural gas development though education and best environmental practices. JLCNY gathers and provides factual, objective information about safe and responsible natural gas development to landowners and community members.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Governor Cuomo – Stop Taking Our Land and Lead Posted on July 9, 2013 by Natural Gas Now Guest Blogger FrackmanFurmanVictor Furman Chenango County, NY, Landowner Shale Gas Activist Governor Cuomo is following, not leading, in the battle over natural gas and he’s taking our land in the process. It’s time to start acting on behalf of upstate New York State rather than the shrill condescending voices of those who would use the gas without developing it. When I was a small boy growing up on Leroy Street in the City of Binghamton, I spent the long hot summers on the farm of my best friend’s family. The farm was 400+ acres in Brookdale, Pennsylvania. The property to me was an unexplored New World where I would spend all my free time after the chores were done exploring the rock formations on top of the mountains, where the black bears lived in caves and wild turkeys would scurry away as the dried autumn twigs would snap under the soles of my boots. You could drink the water running off the mountain simply by scooping it up in your hands and quench your thirst as you spent the better part of the day with nature in her very own living room. Perhaps it was these long summers as a youth that inspired my dreams of owning land and building my home upon it. I would lay in my bed in a bedroom shared with my two brothers sharing my dreams about how someday I was going to make my dream a reality. Being from a poor family who rented the three bedroom apartment in which seven of us lived in this dream of mine seemed, to the members of my family, well out of reach, and there were no qualms with anyone about telling me that. I learned a lot on that farm as I grew up, I learned important things about forestry and how you should always drink water where it was moving, not still. I learned you don’t shoot a bird or squirrel for the fun of it and that when you hunt for meat you never take a shot that will allow the animal to run off and suffer. Johnny was the man who ran the farm, the uncle of my friend, and he taught me how to sight in my rifle and the importance of a clean kill as well as hunter safety. The owners of this farm were, in fact, my second family. Let’s fast forward a few years, past my service in the Army during the Vietnam War Era, a time when many of us young men were asked to go in service to our country. As I think about it, the seed of my patriotism for America may have been planted by my experiences as I grew up on that farm, but my love for America was fostered in basic training in Fort Dix, New Jersey, where I took an oath to honor our flag and protect our country from all foreign and domestic enemies. I promised to God and to all those who took that oath with me to sacrifice my life, if need be, so that we as citizens of this great country could remain free and follow our dreams no matter how small or big they may be. My pay in the military was $184 a month, but the lessons I learned as I traveled in foreign Asian countries and saw the poverty and oppression of the people was priceless. I told myself that when I got home I would buy land of my own and build my own house. Well, I fell in love with a woman named Barbara and for some reason these kids just started showing up and, man, did they cost to raise, though they were everything to me. I still had the dream but I realized making it a reality would take longer then I originally expected. It wasn’t until 1992, in fact, that I bought some acreage in Chenango Forks, New York. It was one of 16 parcels of land that used to be part of a larger farm but, like many farms in New York, it had gone out of business because of the highest taxes in the country and landed at the auction block. The land I ended up with had to be cleared of briars, other brush and stones. I did it myself with a hand sickle and stone sled. From the ground up I built my 48 foot ranch home with the help of my wife and “How To” books purchased at the local home improvement store, as my home was the first thing I have ever built with wood. It took me three years. There was no one there to help me clear the land, cut the lumber, drive the nails and lay the roof, there was no one there to hang the windows, the doors or set the toilet and build a kitchen, no one but my wife who got sick and died before the completion of our home. Now, here it is 2013, fourteen years after my wife’s death and 20 years after buying the land she and I developed and loved like no other person could ever understand. It is in this home we built together that I feel sometimes my wife’s arms, wrapped around me in the structure we built together. Now people who don’t know me or my history with this land are telling me what I can do or can’t do with it; people who have never cleared a field or swung a hammer or improved a piece of the land of their own. I bought that land with all the property rights attached. Nevertheless, I am now accused, because I want to exercise those rights given to me by the Constitution of the United States, of being greedy and having no concern about my own environment, or that of my neighbors. Being called greedy by complete strangers and told Upstate New Yorkers are too stupid to understand what gas drilling is about as infuriating as it gets. Yet, these were the arrogant words of a lady from New York City who testified at the Assembly hearing on January 10th of this year in Albany. She said, in so many words, ” I am an educated woman who felt the need to get involved against fracking because the average upstate landowner is too stupid to be a good land steward.” This is the condescending attitude landowners like me too often receive from spoiled down-staters who know nothing of the land and little beyond their own little cocoon world of Manhattan. When I was approached to lease my land to a gas company in 2006, I didn’t holler at the moon and claim to be a redneck millionaire. I said “no” because I knew nothing about leasing contracts, nothing about gas drilling or what was involved, or what, if I signed the contract, my property rights be or what would happen to the visual beauty of my property. What would protect my water? These were not only my concerns, but the concerns of my neighbors as well. I was approached again in 2008 with an offer of $3,000 per acre, an offer extended to many of my neighbors as well. We got lawyers involved and created a landowners coalition with contracts that would offer the greatest protections to our lands and water as well as that of our neighbors. We insisted the best technology be used, after self-educating ourselves, and we still would not sign unless all the members of the coalition agreed to the contracts by vote. This might have surprised that city lady who said upstate land owners need protection from themselves, but, in the Sapbush Road Group Coalition, many of our members were holders of degrees in science, geology, math, etc. We have members who are lawyers, doctors, firemen, first responders and teachers. We also have people like me who have a great knowledge of the land and an even greater respect for the nature by which we are surrounded. I still cannot comprehend the argument from those who have no land, yet benefit from natural gas in so many ways living in an apartment building in a city, telling a landowner 200 miles away they can not drill for gas… something we have been doing very successfully here in New York for well over 150 years. Governor Cuomo was recently quoted as saying natural gas is the better choice, but what about the fracking? Well, I have an answer for him. Governor Cuomo, you need to tell the dozens of other states already drilling what you know, because those states and New York have been drilling and hydraulic fracturing gas wells for decades. Moreover, those other state governors have advised you to open the door further to this great opportunity, relying upon your experience if not theirs. Governor Cuomo, you apparently choose not only to ignore these other governors, but to be his own scientist. So, whatever is holding your decision up must be shared, Governor. If there is some imminent threat of which you are aware, then it is your responsibility to share that knowledge and get this country to stop drilling for gas now! But, Governor Cuomo, if you’re holding this up because of the loud, well funded minority, then stop pretending it’s the science when it’s really just ugly special interest politics. You are sacrificing the economic opportunity of a lifetime for upstate New York to regain its financial footing. You are trashing the creation of tens of thousands of well paying jobs to appease the very individuals who live in the cities and use 70 percent of all fracked gas in the United States. Maybe it’s time you led, instead of followed, Governor Cuomo. In the meantime, stop taking my land.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Overall, our situation as landowners is not very good. However, even though I feel the negative features outweigh the positive, we should bear in mind that there is some hope! I'd like to look at some of the stronger points - for and against us. We are at the mercy of a governor that I now have no confidence in at all. Under this clown the most positive thing that could happen to us would be for him to lift the moratorium. If he doesn't lift it totally - which I don't think he would - he could lift it "in the towns that want it." For most of the Southern Tier this would in theory open us up to drilling. We know that the majority of towns across the southern area of the Southern Tier support drilling. However, the key word there is "we", and that may not include the drilling companies. Which leads us to what in many ways may be our biggest problem. The Home Rule issue in our state may be a larger problem than our governor. As that issue now stands, through the first level of appellate courts, three votes on any town board can reverse any prior positive vote on drilling in a town. This probably scares the beejeebers out of a lot of drillers. Why should they invest millions in a town only to have it taken away by a vote of three town board members. I like to think there are some ways to work around this, but that is a huge area of discussion - not for us right now. For example: some sort of entirely different lease agreements; some sort of new commitment from towns; studies or surveys that show how dependably pro-drilling an area is, etc. This is actually a very broad subject area - leading to positives and negatives. On the positive side we know that the majority of our towns support drilling already. We also should be able to assume that that support is going to increase. I can say that, I think, because nationally the news on energy is almost totally positive on natural gas. As more and more residents realize that what they have been seeing in the local newspapers is flagrantly not true, they will become more and more supportive. So far, thanks to the total lack of objectivity in the local media, the environmentalists have had it all their way. Support for drilling grows steadily - and that should increase support for moratoriums. It's also safe to assume that once drilling starts anywhere in the Southern Tier, and people see the benefits, that support will grow - both with residents and the drillers. Another positive for us is the fact that New York stands alone in it's opposition to drilling. Again, as the "good news" soaks in more and more, we should see more and more support for our cause. Related to that, our governor, has to see that he stands almost totally alone on this issue! I don't know how long he can get away with putting more emphasis on Yoko Ono than the working stiffs of New York. Every other governor sitting on a shale play, including several liberals, are in strong support of fracking. Another positive: we are sitting on top of 20 to 30% of the Marcellus Shale, plus an unknown % of the Utica - but it should be significant. That asset is there for the indefinite future, and we still have a better infrastructure for gas drilling than Pa. - even after five years of drilling down there. This is not good news for those of us who need money now. But it is an asset and should play a role for future family generations, or for sale value for those of us who want to, or must, sell. A negative and positive: the low price of natural gas is killing us. However, there are a lot of reasons to believe that prices are going to continue going up. The market is totally flooded right now, and for the near future. This could also be called our biggest problem right now. But on this one there are several reasons to believe the situation will improve in our favor - just not very quickly. A probable positive: as the positive environmental effects of burning more and more natural gas, especially in place of coal, become more apparent, more and more rational environmentalists will back away from the radical positions. Now, a bunch of negatives: First and foremost is the basic political reality of New York - we are a totally, radically, hopelessly, liberal state! We have passed California!! "Old" liberals supported the working stiffs - the new liberals support the likes of Yoko Ono! Cuomo is obviously more concerned about the support of Yoko and her ilk than he is about us. The urban voters outnumber us by a huge margin in New York - at least 2 to 1. Someone in our group once pointed out that landowners of more than 10 acres are 2% of the population! As long as we are a democracy - one man, one vote - we are not just a minority, we hardly exist! We get to pay the bills, the urban voters get to tell us what those bills will be. Others already discussed: Low gas prices , flooded market, Home Rule, the appellate courts, state politics, our governor. For right now, and I stress right now, I would say the negatives outweigh the positives. Not good news for us. However, when you consider all the positives working in the background, I think we can still hope for a win - it just won't be very soon. For now, 3 to 5 years is probably as good a guess as any. And one "morbid" positive: In all probability, even if Cuomo lifted the moratorium tomorrow, and all the towns made it clear they wanted gas drilling, the drillers still wouldn't come, due to the market situation. So, in a morbid sense, you could say the moratorium and our wacko governor are not really hurting our interests. The proper response to that idea is that New York should have been drilling in 08 - like the rest of the world! Just think where we might be! WELCOME TO NEW YORK!!
Monday, June 24, 2013 SCLOC Political Action Committee Minutes. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chairman Jeff Heller at the Thurston Town Hall. Present: Jeff and Kathy Heller, Kenny and LaVera Knowles, David and Karen Ballard, Dana Knowles, Gordon Foster, Leo and Linda Knowles, Mary Hickey, Peter Olausson, Jim and Fran Rising, John Starzec, and Mariann Millan, guest. Jeff talked that it has been a long time since last meetings. (February 11, 2013 Movie night and September 23, 2012 regular meeting) Gov. Cuomo just keeps stalling….No real news to meet on yet…. The Hellers and Ballards are looking at another summer picnic like we had in 2011 :-) They are working on a date in September and will send an e-mail out when all is set. Signs: There are some left if anyone needs any. Please try to get out as many as possible. The more people see, the more positive thoughts in general on drilling. Contact Dana if you need any. Jeff talked about our situation in general. He handed out an outline and read his synopsis on that. (see attached) The news on energy is mostly positive. He feels support will grow with positive media. We are hoping for a win but don’t expect before 3-5 years. Due to market price of gas, if the moratoriums were lifted and the Governor ok’d drilling, the drillers would not come right away. The JLC lawsuit is in process. Sufficient funds were received to proceed, with a large portion of that coming from Steuben County. They continue to ask for funds as more is needed before litigation begins. Mary said JLC will be issuing a press release soon. Jeff talked on the future of SCLOC. We are continuing as a PAC. In May 2008 the concept was to help landowners. That evolved and is falling back to helping landowners with leasing. We need to do some work at the next town elections. Peter will get a listing of potential candidates. It’s not a Republican/Democrat thing but getting the right votes in the interest of the landowners vs. environmentalists. The movie, Frack Nation, is very effective. As soon as it is available we would like to have showings to the public. Mary said it should be out soon. Jeff said it is 1 hour 20 minutes long so we would need to get to bigger town halls, Rod & Gun clubs, and other public places. It is too long for local town meetings. Next meeting will be held when we have something serious to discuss. Jeff assured, the Coalition is alive and well and we are working on things. Kenny made some general comments. Ed Busick is still active. BTO is ready to move in a moment. Jeff will write a general positive update to SCLOC members and Mary will e-mail that out. This meeting ended at 8:15 p.m. Respectfully Submitted, Linda J. Knowles Secretary
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
To the Editor: Is it possible Abe Lincoln foresaw the ridiculous political situation in New York ? Could he have anticipated that 5% of the land mass of the state would have total control over the other 95% ? Could he have anticipated that demographically, under "one man, one vote", it would be impossible for that situation to improve for the minority ? Could he have foreseen that Ithaca, (even more than New York City !) , would consistently vote to the left of Moscow ? Could he have foreseen that a liberal/environmentalist coalition would take away the mineral rights of all the landowners in the state ? Even recognizing that Lincoln was one of our sharpest presidents (not bad for a second or third grade education !), he could not have been that sharp - could he ? " If, by the mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution - certainly would, if such right were a vital one." - Lincoln's 1st inaugural address. I have not really researched the gory details of this speech. However, he could not have been referring to the right of secession from the Union - he was already committed to fighting a war to invalidate that right. I would assume he was more likely thinking about West Virginia. West Virginians were in the process of separating (seceding ?) from Virginia - that is state from state. Virginia (substitute liberal New York City) did not represent the interests of the people of western Virginia (substitute "upstate" New York). We should also be watching what's going on in Colorado - a fairly serious movement to create a northern state - separate from that part of the state that no longer represents the interests of the north. (Sound vaguely familiar ?) This in spite of the fact that Colorado is in excellent economic/fiscal shape, compared to New York. Even the political divide is not as severe as here. Ok, it's a little early to think about names for our new state - but what the heck! North &West New York - too verbal? Upstate New York - most accurate, but doesn't ring right. Second New York - nice play on the different philosophies on the Second Amendment, but really doesn't sound right. New Amsterdam - too historical, and it's been used before. Right New York - most descriptive, for political philosophy, economics, fiscal policies, common sense, etc. All kidding aside: some of us are very, very bitter about what the "down state" majority are doing to us. We have basically three choices - flight, statehood change, or acceptance. To those of us who have lost our mineral rights, and those of us who have lost our Second Amendment rights, our choices are getting more and more limited. For now, flight is the most realistic. Jeff Heller
Friday, June 7, 2013
What the heck just happened in New York State ? Here we sit on top of one or two of the richest shale plays in the world, and all we're doing is watching all the other states (roughly thirty !) take advantage of their opportunities. You can't even pretend that the explanation for New York's plight is scientific, or based on history in the other states. That history proves , beyond any shadow of a doubt, that hydraulic fracturing is safe. "Safe" defined here as safe enough that it is idiotic to define it otherwise. Much the same as driving a car is "safe", that does not mean that it is totally risk free. It means that the benefits outweigh the risks. It would be idiotic to refuse to take a job that would provide a much better living for your family only because you felt driving to work was not "safe". In effect, this is exactly what the "environmentalists" and liberal politicians are doing on natural gas drilling in New York. Why is New York the only state that is not taking advantage of its shale play ? Is New York the only place in the country where, for some special reason, it is unsafe to drill?Are we to believe that all the other states that are drilling have no concern for the environment ? The "environmentalists" would have you believe that all those states are experiencing massive devastation. There is no evidence to support those charges from any state environmental agency, or the EPA ! We all know the "environmentalists" live on half-truths or flagrant non-truths ( some less politically correct would say lies ). The ultimate proof of this is what they have managed to do to make "Fracking" the new ultimate curse word . This has been an extremely effective campaign - and all with no responsible scientific proof or objective historic evidence. In fact, or in truth, hydraulic fracturing has never , repeat never, been verified as a cause of any form of water pollution. Even the EPA , which has tried valiantly to prove it has, has had to back off in its three attempts to associate fracturing with water pollution. The behavior of the "environmentalists", the media, and the liberal politicians on this subject has been nothing short of sickening ! For those of us who are "recovering environmentalists" their behavior has been criminal - they have stolen our best chance for a fairly rapid economic recovery here in the Southern Tier. The motivation of the "environmentalists" you can, at least to some degree, understand. They intend to protect Mother Earth from the ultimate villain - MAN! These are the folks who believe Al Gore is a scientist and Yoko Ono is an artist ! The liberal politicians are a little harder to explain - but only a little. Their ultimate goal in their political career is to get reelected. ( You probably thought it was "public service"!) In New York, unlike even California and Illinois, liberals are convinced the votes and the money are with the "environmentalists". By tradition liberals are supposed to represent the working man - and woman ! Gas drilling would bring thousands of jobs, tax revenue to support entitlement programs, tax revenue for other tax burdens (schools, roads, services,etc.) cheaper energy for lowering heating costs, and lower energy costs to encourage the growth of industry and industrial jobs in our area - all of this well proven as close as Pennsylvania . Thousands of New Yorkers can literally see that prosperity from their front porches. But our liberal politicians who are supposed to represent the interests of those working New Yorkers are choosing instead to support the likes of Yoko Ono ! Natural gas from the Marcellus Shale has the potential to lower heating costs in New York City significantly - a huge savings for every single person who has to heat something! So why in the world are these liberal politicians more concerned about Yoko Ono than New York's working stiffs ? The answer to that is that todays New York Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of a few decades ago. They still pay lip service to the working class, but when they have to choose between jobs and Yoko Ono it's all over! How sad is that? For the blue collar worker, how infuriating is that? It should be enough to create a whole new wave of what was once called "Reagan Democrats." In fact, in view of all the damage these "environmentalists" and their liberal supporters are doing to our state, it should create a tidal wave! The Manhattan Institute has just released a report (5/13) stating that the moratorium in New York has, or will, cost the Southern Tier counties as much as $8 Billion (yes that's a "B") in four years. Those numbers actually seem conservative. With New York's infrastructure (Roads, Railroads, Pipelines) so much better than northern Pennsylvania's it's fairly safe to assume that had New York started drilling in 08, when Pa. did, we would have experienced at least as much economic activity as Pa. has over the last five years. In fact, with our Title V in our tax code, and nothing like it in Pennsylvania, our counties, towns, and school districts would have benefited even more than Pa.'s have! Some state propaganda agency is currently running commercials on TV saying how great the business climate is in New York. 'We're adding tens of thousands of jobs and new businesses.' 'The Yogurt industry is going to pull the Southern Tier out of it's poor economic state' - that last one from our Governor! Here in Steuben County our unemployment rate is "down" to 12% - and still climbing! Is there really anybody out there who believes this kind of hogwash ( no insult intended to hogs) from our state leaders? A recent national poll of businessmen placed New York last (that's 50th) as a location for business. Is it possible that businessmen from around the country see something our Governor is not seeing? It's hard to say how much these "environmentalists" and liberal politicians have really cost us here in New York. Besides all of the lost revenue since 08 we have to consider the long range harm they have done. There is a line of thinking that the gas companies now have very little interest in New York State. The political atmosphere here is worse than in any other state- even worse then California! This represents an absolutely amazing situation. In many ways New York is the worst state in the Union. The "environmentalists" are excited about this! They wear it on their sleeves like a badge of honor! They are absolutely giddy about being the cause of so much misery for so many people! Is there any hope for improvement in the situation here in New York - especially here in the Southern Tier? As long as we live under the principal of " one man, one vote", we are probably in a hopeless political reality. The five percent or so of the state's land mass that includes New York city, will always outvote, and therefore control, the 95% or so of the rest of the state. Secession is almost certainly out of the question, and that would be the only realistic way for upstate residents to get out from under the domination of the urban liberals. In a very real political sense they are from Mars and we are from Venus. On a state - wide level there could be some hope that the Democratic Party could move far enough left that they lose more and more of their "working stiff" base. The Democratic Party has always been perceived as the party of labor - and it still fundamentally is today. Today however, many of those liberals will side with the " environmentalists" over labor every time. The Keystone Pipeline on the national level, and gas drilling in New York state, are prefect examples of this. As more and more evidence accumulates on the benefits of gas drilling in other states more and more blue collar Democrats are going to convert to the other side. It is possible the Democratic Party could move back towards the center - much as it did under the DLC and Bill Clinton. However, there is really no sign of that happening now - especially here in New York. Cuomo now stands totally alone among Democratic leaders nationally in his opposition to hydraulic fracturing. We can only conclude that Governor Cuomo prefers to sacrifice a huge section of his state for the support of Yoko Ono! The most effective area where the residents of the Southern Tier, and upstate in general, can have some effect on their destiny is in local elections. In the county and town level elections we must, repeat must, learn to vote in our own interests. These are the elections that traditionally get the smallest turn-outs. This must change! These low turn-out rates enable the "environmentalists" to win elections they really should not be winning. Too many of our "working stiffs" feel they don't have the time to vote, or that their votes are not important. This is fatal to our, or their, interests. You must get out to vote. You must work on everyone you know who shares your values, to get out to vote. Local elections are often won or lost by very small margins - sometimes by a dozen or fewer votes. For the lack of a very few votes in your local elections you can lose your hopes for economic improvement! It' s that simple. You must vote for your interests. It takes as few as three votes ( yes 3 votes!) on a town board to destroy your hopes - and your rights. If you are a land owner and three board members vote for a ban or a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, you just lost all your mineral rights! Three "environmentalists" just took away all your mineral rights. If it comes down to New York saying they are going to allow drilling, but only in the towns that want it, your local town elections become critical. So far there is a tendency for the bans and moratoriums to be outside the area where drilling would occur. However, every town that passes a ban or moratorium in an area surrounded by towns that favor gas drilling has an effect on those other towns - and it's not good! Previously state law prevented towns from interfering with any gas extraction approved by the state. However, recent judicial decisions appear to be overturning state law. New York may soon be the only state in the Union allowing a small minority of towns to destroy the economic opportunities of all their neighbors. "Welcome to New York!" Jeff Heller - President SCLOC Steuben County Land Owners Coalition
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Economic insanity: Obama spends $11 million to create each 'green' job Saturday, May 18, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes (NaturalNews) There has been nothing you could call "successful" about President Obama's so-called "green energy" initiatives, but the worst thing of all is the billions in taxpayer dollars he has utterly wasted on failed companies who were trying to push unproven, and ultimately failed, initiatives. Indeed, according to new data, the Obama Administration has spent an incredible $11 million for each "green" job that has been created, Breitbart News reports. Recall for a moment that candidate Barack Obama, in 2008, promised he would create a whopping 5 million new green energy sector jobs if elected. "Drilling (for new oil supplies) is not a long-term solution to our problem, not even close," Obama said in Denver. "And that is why I will invest (i.e. spend) $150 billion over the next decade, working in partnership with states and local governments and the private sector...we are going to invest in affordable, renewable sources of energy. Wind power, and solar power, and the next generation of bio-fuels...an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced." Well, that was then. Today, more than four years later, Obama's "vision" has been an abject, expensive failure. Billions tossed in the wind - and solar A study by the Institute for Energy Research found that the Department of Energy, under Obama's tenure, has spent in excess of $26 billion since 2009, creating just 2,298 permanent positions - at a cost of more than $11.45 million per job (see the data chart here). Here are some of the highlights - or lowlights, depending on how you want to look at it: -- The bulk of the projects for which DOE funded with your money were for solar energy, a still-unproven and expensive energy source in which science has yet to make much additional progress; -- Just one project that made the data list dealt with nuclear power generation, but it cost taxpayers more than $8 billion; -- More than $1.5 billion was spent on "wind generation," though there isn't much improvement to be made to a technology that still depends on, well, the wind to blow. In all, especially at a time of dire budget constraints and gross overspending, the money spent was not spent well. "The losers are the American workers who would otherwise be gainfully employed but for the tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars on the administration's obsession with 'green energy,'" IER Policy Associate Alex Fitzsimmons said. "As the economy continues to suffer and dollars for federal programs get harder to come by, it is getting increasingly difficult to defend a program that costs so much and produces so little." Also, notes Breitbart's Winton Hall: "In his New York Times bestselling book, Throw Them All Out, Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer revealed that 80 percent of Department of Energy loans went to companies owned by or connected to President Barack Obama's top campaign fundraisers." It's a lose-lose situation What's more, several companies that received taxpayer-funded loans went bankrupt. According to an analysis by The Daily Caller, more than 50 green energy firms have gone belly-up since Obama took office: The blog Green Corruption's "Obama green-energy failure" list contains 23 bankrupt and 27 troubled green energy companies which were backed by the federal government. ... According to the Heritage Foundation, $80 billion was set aside in the 2009 stimulus package for clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, and 10 percent of these funds have gone to companies that have filed for bankruptcy or are in dire straits. As evidenced by his administration's anti-oil policies, Obama is obviously comfortable with making you pay higher prices for gasoline while he wastes your tax dollars on industries with unproven technologies that aren't doing a thing to lower your energy costs - a lose-lose for most Americans. Sources for this article include: http://www.breitbart.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRpez4BtcQ4 http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org
Thursday, May 16, 2013
To the Editor: Anyone who knows me will know that it is very hard for me to agree with Ms Dupree and Mr Ek. I honestly believe that their "presentation" 0n gas drilling in the Leader has played a part in our area losing millions of dollars and thousands of jobs. HOWEVER, I feel duty-bound, in view of my past criticism, to note my support when I see an area of agreement - no matter how fleeting those moments may be ! My wife and I owned a fishing tackle specialty shop outside of Allentown, PA. for 28 years before we decided to come up here to retire - much against the advice of my accountant. We had two especially "interesting" neighbors. On the lot to our east we had an adult book store - never a real problem except to my wife whenever there were more cars in front of the "book" store than in our lot. Across the street ( four-laned old rt. 22) was a large truck stop. In view of that experience I have to admit that I "generally" agree your antipathy towards the proposed truck stop in Lindley.No one should really support a truck stop in the middle of a "residential area". This is exactly why many areas need some sort of zoning laws. However zoning laws are a two-edged sword. When over-done they are a problem for some citizens - as much as they are a help to others. If you slam the door in the face of business and industry you will probably do more harm to your area than good. You need to protect your "residential" citizens , but part of that protection would include job and tax revenue development. Zoning laws are in many ways a necessity, but in too many cases they may become, sooner or later, an absolute curse. Some of your criticisms of a truck stop are absolutely valid. Truck traffic is truck traffic no matter how you dress it up. We constantly heard references to the "lot lizards"( prostitutes) across the street. In 28 years I don't think we ever saw them. There were occasional stories about "busts" in the local paper, but I always assumed they referred to actions by the state police as opposed to human anatomy features. Road damage was not a problem because we were on a state road. State roads are designed to stand up to truck traffic. Local roads are a different matter, but if you consider the new tax revenue they would bring in I don't think that would be a problem in the long run. Look at PA's local roads in the gas drilling areas to see how more truck traffic can lead to much better roads. There is much more "profit" ( tax revenue) in the sales of gas or diesel than there is for those nasty old gas companies. Finally I have to comment on the concern for the children. How often have we heard the "antis" talk about how the trucks are just going to mow down our children!! Evidently CDL does not stand for "Commercial Driver's License". To hear some people talk it must stand for "Child Destroying License". Having worked with guys who were building Mack Trucks , for 28 years in our business I can assure your readers that it is not true, as implied by some "antis", that Mack Trucks installs a sighting system on their hoods for mowing down civilians. MOST truck drivers are professional drivers. No matter how much "character" they may display in some cases, they make their living driving Truck. Now, SOME car drivers on the other hand... I will have to say however that your concern for children is much more valid than our Governor's concern for our children falling into gas wells. Jeff Heller
Friday, May 10, 2013
The Editor The Leader Pulteney Street Corning, NY 14830 Re: Ms. Elizabeth Whitehouse's letter of March 25, 2013 Have been awaiting your return from Botswana and my "eyes" have informed me of your return. For an "environmentalist of your stature we can rest assured that you did not fly or drive on your trip to and from Botswana. You would certainly not hurry our "path of destruction" by using all those petroleum products...made excellent time in a jon boat with a couple of oars. Congrats! Ms. Whitehouse's problems with "truth" and "facts" is totally understandable as most anti's spend their time wandering around in the darkness "looking" for the truth! Ms. Whitehouse's statements about Mr. Neil Vitale's organic farm states "that with the first Schlumberger trucks to cross his property his certification as an organic farmer would come to an end". You have made a statement, now prove it. Tioga and Bradford counties in PA are near the top of the list when it comes to drilled gas wells and permits issued. That should give you plenty of space to prove your statements. You do not lose your certification because trucks drive across your fields. I need names, addresses, and phone numbers of those who have lost certification. Have fun! Your statements about milk production rates needs a little investigation also. Let's get the "truth" not "strongly suggest" as you stated. Your statements of sympathy for folks needing more money to keep their farms and properties is, in my opinion, nothing but disgusting. If you are so sympathetic, instead of buying a new jon boat for a trip to England, help them out with a substantial stack of $100.00 bills or a conservative pile of $1,000 bills. Or we can frack and make more money. Might even be enough for a new set of oars for the trip to England! Ha ha! Your statements about Jeff Heller are likewise out of line. 2030=fossil free? Very doubtful. If my memory serves me correctly hundreds, if not thousands of windmills, will have to be placed around Long Island and the New York City and northern New Jersey area. Some of these windmills are slated for off shore placement. 2030? Maybe 2070 would be more realistic time frame! Your statements about Mr. Heller are a good bit about money. You anti's have such a problem with people getting gas from their property. How do you make your bucks? From local industry, education, utilities, autos, waitressing, the list is as long as a jon boat trip to Botswana. But when it comes to the gas and petroleum industry and making money by working for them it is evil, evil, evil! Bologna! Ms. Whitehouse...Mr. Vitale and Mr. Heller are so far ahead of you on the issue of hydrofracking that you could not see them if you had the Hubble Telescope! Your statement about suffering in jail because you block a private road is just this one word...stupid! Don't start your martyrdom garbage. Stay out of the road and use your common sense for something other than a space filler. Your statement about Al Gore and his cronies are laughable. Talk about money. Al Gore is as phony as a 7 dollar bill! Why don't you get out his bank records and we will see how much he gets for spreading his B.D. After all, aren't all the anti's supposed to take a vow of poverty? Oh, sorry, that's only for farmers and landowners! Here's a real joke. You, Ms. Whitehouse stated "we stand to lose many of the reasons we live in the Southern Tier-readily available clean water, beauty, tranquility, agriculture, tourism, a great way of life." Well, well...I will make you an offer--a one day trip through Tioga and Bradford counties in PA with all meals provided at no cost. Will pay for gas and soda. (over 16 oz of course) A fun day in northern PA. And, of course, all the clean water, beauty, tranquility, agriculture, etc. etc. Call 523-8981 and we will set up a date for the trip of a lifetime. I have offered this travel package through my many letters, but no one has taken me up on it. Bring your gas detectors. You anti's have stated that the gas drilling(hydrofracking) would devastate PA...What beautiful devastation! Finally, quote from the pages of New York magazine, April 14, 2013. The Governor asked "what if a child falls into a well casing? I don't want the liability, frankly, and I don't have the knowledge." The Governor of New York State is finally telling something truthful...he DOES NOT HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE. James Lundgren
Saturday, May 4, 2013
To the Editor: Is it at all possible to go back to just basic common sense on the issue of gas drilling and New York politics? To eliminate the fear and emotion and stick to the truth - the "known knowns." In New York, for example, there is only one possible way to get beyond the totally irrational and dysfunctional assembly and the almost as bad senate - with good leadership from our Governor. Oops, New York has a problem! One central "known" must be pounded into our brains before we go any further: EVERY other state sitting on a significant shale play is drilling - including such right wing states as Illinois and California. Why haven't any of those roughly thirty states reversed their policies if the drilling process is as damaging as the environmentalists say it is ? Because of another one of the "knowns" - the benefits outweigh the risks! Common sense - it is that simple. It's almost embarrassing that a list of supporters of natural gas drilling has to include so many right-wing radicals: Obama, Bill and Hillary, Lisa Jackson, Ken Salazar, Mayor Bloomberg,Ed Rendell, Jerry Brown, etc.! So we have another "known known" - our Governor stands virtually alone among political leaders in his opposition to gas drilling. But then he's not totally alone - he has Yoko Ono on his side! Anyone who has seen the artistic talent she radiates in one of her song and dance routines surely understands why our governor is more devoted to her than the working stiffs of our state. On April 14 New York Magazine reported that the Governor asked in an interview: "What if a child falls into a well casing." " I don't want the liability, frankly, and I don't have the knowledge." This may be one of greatest statements made by a governor in New York's history. To be as diplomatic as possible it should be fair to say that this is not a statement from the sharpest tack in the box. In an April 19 interview the Governor said: "Economic development no longer works on a big bang theory, we have to develop a thousand economic flowers." He suggested, in effect, that he would rely on the Yogurt industry to lift upstate New York out of poverty! Now there's an "unknown known" - there are more and better paying jobs in the Yogurt industry than in oil and natural gas! Sorry - there's that dull tack again! We need leadership on this issue in New York. We need a strong governor who will, in fact, base his thinking and decision making on science and reason, not on politics and emotion. We need a governor with common sense. This governor displays very little scientific awareness, a lack of common sense, and even less willingness to act in the real interests of his citizens. In fact, in the words of Teddy Roosevelt - a New York Governor who could make decisions - our governor "has the backbone of a chocolate eclair." If Hillary decides to run in the 2016 primary, our governor is toast. However, he could still be picked to give the keynote speech. This would give him an opportunity to point out the thousands of children that fell into gas well casings across the country, and compare all the benefits that have fallen on New York from the Yogurt industry to all the devastation and economic ruin experienced by all the states that are drilling. Now THAT would make a fascinating keynote speech! Jeff Heller
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
On April 22, three members of the Steuben County Landowners Coalition had the opportunity to meet with DEC Deputy Commissioner Eugene J. Leff, and Director of Division of Mineral Resources, Bradley Field. SCLOC thanks DEC for taking the time for this meeting. Many questions were asked by all in the meeting. Very little new information was obtained on the SCLOC end, but Albany knows very well that Steuben County and all landowners in New York are tired of this five-year delay. It’s time for Governor Cuomo to stop caring about what the Hollywood elite think about fossil fuels. There are thirty governors in the thirty states that are allowing hydraulic fracturing. Are they not concerned about health, safety and the survival of agriculture in their states? Is there any common sense left in Albany?
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Written by Mike Morrongiello in Star Gazette.com 4/17/2013 I have good news and bad news. First the good news: The elected representatives of Painted Post (population 1,847) recently agreed to sell 314 million gallons of water for an astounding $4 million per year to a gas-drilling company in Pennsylvania. The money would have enabled them to upgrade the village’s aging water system and more. The Wellsboro and Corning Railroad leased the long-vacated Ingersoll Rand Foundry from the village and agreed to build the needed infrastructure to ship the water. The bad news is that local anti-fracking organizations are fanatically opposed to hydraulic fracturing, to economic development, and to prosperity, anywhere. Now enter the environmental lobbying Goliath, the Sierra Club, which is based in California. The Sierra Club, along with two local anti-fracking organizations and five local plaintiffs, filed suit to stop the water sale. Their stated reasons: the trains are noisy, the engines pollute the air and might pollute the water. A state Supreme Court judge has halted the project. Like many upstate communities, Painted Post is dying, a victim of government policies that destroy business and jobs. They’re losing population, leaving an older, poorer tax base behind. Then the Sierra Club comes to town and uses its bully tactics to slap tiny Painted Post around. The anti-frackers can’t just say no to the gas and oil revolution which is creating prosperity everywhere gas drilling is permitted. They must offer an alternative: theirs is a fossil fuel-free New York by 2030. All we have to do is build 4,020 onshore wind turbines, 12,770 offshore wind turbines and 5 million rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems statewide. It’s a plan only a Stalinist could love: force everyone to buy expensive energy (wind and solar) while squashing the development of affordable energy (gas and oil). Even with massive taxpayer subsidies, rooftop PV systems are still expensive and take many years to pay for themselves; that’s why they don’t sell. Just look at the rooftops in your neighborhood. See any solar panels? We need jobs and growth right now, not sunshine fantasies or winded dreams. The economies of Ohio and Pennsylvania are booming because of gas drilling, and providing real jobs today. That could be us — it should be us. Painted Post is a microcosm of the fracking debate: prosperity versus poverty, jobs versus unemployment, affordable and accessible energy versus a fantasy. The unemployment numbers peal like a funeral bell for upstate: Steuben County at 11.9 percent, Chemung County at 10.5 percent, Schuyler County at 10.5 percent. Yet the anti-frackers squash prosperity wherever they see it, even in tiny struggling Painted Post. They’re on a search-and-destroy mission. Find commerce — stop it. Find jobs — kill them. Find hope — kill that, too.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
SCLOC Thanks Dr. Scott Cline for All He has Done on Educating the Public on the Technology of Shale Development
by EID Guest Blogger . Dr. Scott Cline – PhD, Petroleum Engineering Dr. Scott Cline reports from last week’s Society of Petroleum Engineers Unconventional Resources Conference where engineers and geologists noted that advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are leading to even greater quantities of oil and natural gas being extracted from the nation’s shale plays. This past week I attended the Society of Petroleum Engineers Unconventional Resources Conference in Houston, Tex., where petroleum engineers and geoscientists from around the world discussed cutting-edge advances in shale gas resource estimation techniques and development technologies. Throughout the discussions, one thing was abundantly clear: the shale revolution is just beginning, thanks in large part to technological advancements being implemented in the nation’s oil and natural gas fields. This phenomenon was made abundantly clear by the Potential Gas Committee (PGC), which released its biennial technologically available natural gas resources report the same week as the conference. Taking into account new information, the updated report shows the United States now holds an all-time high of 2,384 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of technically recoverable natural gas, a 22 percent increase from just two years ago. The new estimate indicates a 110-year supply at current consumption. But that is only a part of the story. What’s left untold is that all estimates consider resources that are able to be extracted given the current state of technology. That leaves tremendous room for growth, as the best current technology is only able to recover, for example, less than 25 percent of natural gas entrapped in shale. This means that most of the available energy in any given shale play will be left in place if we assume zero technological advancement. But remember: It wasn’t long ago that folks were saying the exact same thing about virtually all of our shale and “tight” resources. Technological advancement is not a fait accompli, but to assume it won’t happen at all is to ignore history entirely. So with that as background, let’s examine the effect of technology and the historical miscalculation of its importance in increasing our nation’s hydrocarbon reserves. The figures below compare the U.S. Energy Information Agency’s (EIA) 2000 report with its 2012 outlook. EIA recognized the emergence of unconventional resources in 2000, but vastly underestimated their future effect: EIA estimated in 2000 that, by 2010, technological improvements in unconventional resources might add only about one tcf to natural gas reserves, for a total of about five tcf per year from unconventional sources. Fast forward to EIA’s 2012 report and we see that actual 2010 production from unconventional resources was double the predicted amount, and is now projected to increase even more rapidly. This is an important fact to keep in mind. Estimates suggesting the United States has a 100-year supply of natural gas are based on “current” technology and, more importantly, exclude the possibility of technological advancements. How Can We Get More Resource Out of Shale? So what is leading to the continual increases in recoveries per unit volume of rock and where are we likely headed? This was the primary topic of the SPE conference. To understand this in greater detail one needs to understand the shale reservoir from which natural gas is being extracted Because of the quadruple porosity system – consisting of low permeability matrix porosity coupled with organic porosity, natural fractures and induced hydraulic fractures – the flow regime from shale is complex. Without breaking the low permeability matrix into smaller blocks and connecting each of them with high permeability fractures, much of the natural gas will be stranded and unavailable for production. Horizontal wells with hydraulic fractures have been successful in solving part of the problem, but it’s only one step in a much larger extraction efficiency story. Advances in drilling, integration of petro-physical and geo-mechanical data, proppant technology and production process advances are leading to ever increasing recoveries. Further, shale is not homogeneous, so targeting the part of the shale with the largest resource is critically important. Advances in drilling with rotary steerable assemblies, diamond crystalline bits and logging are allowing the steering of wells to target the rock with the best hydrocarbon potential and best fracture ability. Simply put, these kinds of technologies are significantly improving production per well. The latest experimental development in this regard is utilizing complex well trajectories, with multiple horizontal legs radiating from the main horizontal to increase the surface area contact with the geological resource. This allows for a greater area to be targeted, thus allowing for increased production and a reducedneed for fracture stimulation. http://www.slb.com/services/drilling/mwd_lwd/at_bit_measurements/ipzig.aspx?t=2 Drilling multiple branched wells rather than a single horizontal well may also help target previously un-stimulated areas of shale rock identified by combining microseismic, 3-D seismic and flow data from individual perforation clusters. Adding to this, research into newer proppants with even higher strength, lower weight and better transport ability coupled with new injection schemes are enabling better proppant placement. Again, to put it simply, this development mean increased production from each well, which in turn means more energy produced with less surface impact. Advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are also responsible for a surge in U.S. oil production. From a steady decline between 1970 and 2008, U.S. production is rising once again thanks to the combination of these two technologies. As is the case with natural gas, considering we are only extracting less than 10 percent of the oil-in-place in shale reservoirs, there is enormous potential for increased production. In fact, some presenters at the SPE conference believed that North America could even be self-sufficient in oil, assuming wide adoption of natural gas in the U.S. trucking fleet and continued increases in oil production by our neighbors in Canada. Workforce Challenges Loom Despite these significant advancements, there was one overriding concern at the conference. Namely, the challenge of finding enough people to fill all the open jobs created by the oil and gas boom. One approach in correcting this problem, however, is already being implemented in Houston, a city widely viewed as the energy capital of the United States. Efforts are underway, for example, to provide training to high school students interested in working in the nation’s oil and gas fields. The Houston Independent School District recently added an Energy Institute High School to provide rigorous scientific training geared to students interested in the energy field. The magnet school will partner with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which will lend practical experience and training. Three years ago I wrote the Coming Age of Natural Gas in which I expounded on the natural gas opportunity and soundly criticized naysayers like Niall Ferguson (Harvard University) for his “predictions of the collapse of the American Empire,” taking into account the economic progress that shale development would provide. Fast forward to just over a month ago, when a recent Bloomberg article quoted Ferguson as saying, “The benefits of the shale gas type oil revolution are still being underestimated by most observers and I think there’s a lot more upside to come in the United States than most people anticipate.” Ferguson is right. The age of natural gas is no longer coming; it is here and it’s expanding. In the process, it’s bringing our nation phenomenal opportunities for cleaner air, reduced carbon emissions and increased economic vitality. And it’s all made possible by that unique American spirit of innovation and hard work.
Friday, April 12, 2013
To: Stella Dupree
Sent: Friday, April 5, 2013
To The Editor:
Here we go again! The environmentalists, the anti-gas drilling, anti-progress, anti-everything except "green" energy folks, have found a new threat in gas drilling - now that all their other concerns have been largely debunked by reputable science. " Drilling Boom Threatens Forest Wildlife." We know this is true because we saw it on the front page of our newspapers on 4/13/13!
But wait a minute - there's something 'rotten in Denmark' here. The article says the reclaimed pipelines (great picture of a good reclamation job) are a threat to forest wildlife. Why then have wildlife biologists, for at least fifty years, been telling us that food plots in the woods are one of the best things we can do to improve habitat for our wildlife? Those reclaimed pipelines are nothing but huge food plots. They are especially valuable when they are cut through the woods because they offer cover on both edges - an extremely valuable feature to wildlife.
Not pointed out in the article (big surprise here) was the fact that all the pipelines, existing and proposed, might effect as much as 1% of the woodland in Susquehanna and Allegheny counties in Pennsylvania, and most of that is on private land! The devastation is unimaginable. No, I mean it really is unimaginable.
"Hawks swoop down and gobble up songbirds." I guess I have to start shooting those Coopers Hawks and Sharp Shins that visit my feeding station regularly. No, I can't do that! They're federally protected. Some environmentalists think the hawks are more valuable than some of those nice sounding Blue Jays that the hawks love to dust once in a while.
And now I know where all those weeds in my lawn are coming from - the droppings of the Cowbirds at my feeders! We can't have conditions like that in our woods! Especially not in woods with good canopy cover - where nothing can grow on the woods floor. Those barren areas are a high nutrition source for deer and turkey - aren't they? And ground-nesting birds nests are much easier to see in those plush pipelines' ground growth than they are on the barren woods floor - aren't they?
Mr. Begos' story is so bad you have to wonder if at least some of it wasn't written 'tongue in cheek'. But, after five years of debunking so many of the environmentalists' ridiculous statements, it was probably all serious.
So, the moral of the story is, once again: "Beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here".