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Some news links regarding developments on Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania, and related topics. Just FYI.

UPDATE: Please visit these important diaries too:

Stop Tar Sands: While I’ll be Risking Arrest at the White House (and Why You Should, Too)+*
Join the Foes of the Tar Sands Pipeline: Blogathon & DC Civil Disobedience Action
P.M. Steven Harper acting like Canada's George W. Bush on the Tar Sands
US Minerals Management Service launches Bristol Bay drilling review

Please feel free to add your own links in the comments.

Siemens Company develops drilling wastewater treatment process:

Cakes produced daily at Advanced Waste Services in New Castle are not the edible kind.

The dense, 16-square-foot, slate-like rectangles are made entirely of sludge, the dry solid residual that results from treating industrial wastewater. It may sound mundane, but the so-called filter cakes and the technology that produces them are a "perfect storm" of recycling, according to facility manager Pat Russell.

But here's something else to watch for:
Those cakes are placed in landfills; the water is tested again and then discharged to the New Castle Sanitation Authority.
Solid wastes from gas drilling are nto considered hazardous waste under the law (thanks, Dick Cheney, for yet another loophole) and so can de disposed of in regular landfills which occasionally leak.  Remember that the solid wastes contain heavy metals, radioactive, and toxic chemicals used in fracking.

Corbett quietly turning off the lights on renewable energy

The Corbett administration is de-emphasizing renewable energy and energy conservation, eliminating programs created by previous Democratic and Republican administrations as it focuses on natural gas energy from booming Marcellus Shale.

Quietly but systematically, the administration has all but shut down the state Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Energy and Technology Deployment -- the state's primary energy office -- and removed directors and reassigned staff in the Office of Energy Management in the Department of General Services and the Governor's Green Government Council.

It has also forbidden state executive agencies from signing contracts that support clean energy supply.

Forced pooling for Marcellus Shale gas is nothing more than greed  An opinion piece discussing various points of law regarding forced pooling/eminent domain.

Remember how wonderfully responsible oil and gas companies can be, especially when they're given the go ahead to drill in or most fragile environments?

Shell ‘should have been more open about oil spill’

Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said Shell had been slow to release details of Wednesday’s leak, particularly in light of the Gulf of Mexico disaster last year.

He said: “I think they (Shell) do need to try much harder, particularly when this leak started on Wednesday and it was only on Friday night that we heard anything about it.

Shell's drilling off Australia could 'devastate' endangered marine life

"It beggars belief that the government is not requiring a full environmental estimate of this drilling proposal," said Paul Gamblin of the World Wildlife Fund.

Instead, the energy giant must abide by certain conditions, including visual observations for whales. The Australian government said Shell's proposal did not require further assessment.

Shell's Arctic Drilling Plan: Another Disaster Waiting to Happen

As I reported in Rolling Stone a year ago, drilling in the Arctic is far more perilous than drilling in temperate southern waters:

    There's no proven technology for cleaning up oil in icy water, which can render skimming boats useless – much less able to cope with a gusher under the ice. In the worst-case scenario, according to marine scientists, a blowout that takes place in the fall, when the seas are freezing over, oil could flow unabated until relief wells could be drilled the following summer.

Shell's just-approved exploration plan does not account for this kind of months-long catastrophe. Its worst-case scenario describes an uncontrolled blowout in lasting just 43 days, resolved by the arrival of another ship, unimpeded by sea ice, to drill a relief well.

Even so, Shell admits that a massive amount of oil would be released into the environment: 400,000 barrels into the Beaufort Sea, or one-and-a-half times the amount of crude spilled by the Exxon Valdez, in 1989. Shell insists, however, that only a small fraction of that – 10 percent – would remain in the environment. "During these 43 days, it is possible that 40,712 [barrels] of oil would escape primary efforts using mechanical recovery."

Leave aside for a moment the question of how Interior could conclude that even a spill of 40,000 barrels of oil would not "significantly affect" the human environment. Shell is telling the government it can recapture 90 percent of any oil that hits the water. Based on past experience, that claim is "absolutely ridiculous," says Rebecca Noblin, Alaska Director for the Center for Biological Diversity. Only 5 percent of oil from the BP disaster was recovered; Exxon Valdez was marginally better: 8 percent.

Just sayin'.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Forced pooling. (1+ / 0-)
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    The article was a little vague, but I gather they haven't actually succeeded in passing forced pooling.

    They should definitely not do so, it is a corrupt abuse of the government's eminent domain power.  The historical argument for forced pooling (proper exploitation of an oil/gas field through well placement) does not apply to Shale assets, as each well as a tiny drainage radius and there's essentially no flow through the reservoir as a whole.

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