Friday, April 29, 2011

Gubernatorial Candidates Discuss Natural Gas Issues During Newpaper-Sponsored Forum

The Wheeling, W.Va., newspaper held two forums this week for candidates seeking nomination in the special gubernatorial Primary Election, which will be May 14. One forum was for the Republican candidates, and the other was for Democratic candidates. Here are articles on both forums:

Article about forum for Republican candidates: click to read

Article about forum for Democratic candidates: click to read

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pressures, Problems Growing For Eastern Horizontal Gas Producers

Horizontal producers in the eastern U.S. could be facing even more increased pressures and problems:

Article - New York’s Attorney General threatening to take legal action against hydraulic fracking if feds don't act soon (click to read)

Article - U.S. Energy Secretary Chu: The U.S. government should investigate safety of hydraulic fracturing (click to read)

Article - Pennsylvania’s new Republican Governor says he is opposed to “forced pooling” (click to read)

Monday, April 25, 2011

W.Va. Gubernatorial Candidates Agree, Disagree On Marcellus Shale Issues

Marcellus Shale is a key topic of discussion on the campaign trail in West Virginia, as candidates seek votes in the May 14 Special Primary Election. The candidates are vying to be their respective party's gubernatorial nominee to fill the unexpired term held formerly by Joe Manchin. The candidates' views about Marcellus Shale regulation and taxes were the topics of an April 25 article written by the Associated Press. The candiates all agreee that Marcellus Shale production holds significant promise for the state and indicated that the resource should be developed. However, the candidates had differing views on associated regulatory and environmental matters. Click to read the article.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 20 Is "Day Of Action To End Extraction," According To Environmental Extremists

Environmental extremists are hoping to mobilize widespread protest activities against extraction industries and supporters on April 20. According to a group called, Rising Tide North America, April 20 has been deemed "Day of Action to End Extraction."

Here is what the group is saying on the World Wide Web:

"Communities around the world are under attack from extractive industries that poison our families, kill our loved ones on the job, and destroy the ecosystems we cherish. The BP oil spill was unfortunately just one of an endless string of disasters born of an economic system that must endlessly consume the Earth’s resources.

"Extraction is the act of taking without giving anything back. Extraction takes workers lives so corporations can make a few more bucks. Extraction takes clean water and air and gives us blackened oceans and a climate in chaos. Extraction takes the natural wealth of communities and ecosystems and leaves behind poverty and ecological wastelands.

"For a stable climate, clean air and water, we must stop the extraction of fossil fuels and other 'resources.' From the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf Coast, people are fighting back against the extractive industries that have declared war on our planet. Rising Tide is calling for a day of direct action against extraction on the 1 year anniversary of the BP oil spill.

"On April 20th take it to the point of production. Shut down a well site, occupy a mine, take over an office, blockade a bank. Nobody’s community should be a sacrifice zone."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Legislators To Gather For Interim Meeting On May 16; Decision To Be Made About Unitization Study

The West Virginia Legislature has announced dates for interim meetings in May. Lawmakers will gather in Charleston May 16-18 for the first of their series of monthly interim meetings in 2011. During this upcoming meeting session, legislative leaders will decide whether to pursue legislative studies related to Marcellus Shale production as well as unitization (SCR 62). LGCR Government Solutions will monitor the interim committee meetings and provide updates as things develop.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Marcellus Industry's PR Efforts Under Fire

A Pittsburgh-based weekly newspaper is suggesting the region’s natural gas industry continues to be behind the curve when it comes to issues involving Marcellus drilling and production. The article, “Gas companies waging PR battle over Marcellus Shale,” highlights continued public relations issues and environmental complaints facing the industry. The April 7 article notes: “What exactly the industry has done in terms of PR, and how effective it's been, is open to debate. Industry experts themselves acknowledge that PR hasn't been a focus of natural-gas drillers.”

Click to read article.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Morgantown City Council Calls For Drilling Regulations, But Holds Off On Moratorium

Last evening the Morgantown City Council met and took up two resolutions involving the state’s oil and natural gas industry. The first resolution was to ask the Governor to call a special session to pass Marcellus/horizontal drilling regulations. The second was to call for a moratorium on drilling of Marcellus wells until legislation is passed to regulate the same. Several people from the industry, including the executive director of the W.Va. Oil & Natural Gas Association, spoke against a moratorium. There were a couple of residents from the city who spoke for a moratorium, as well as two students, a retired USGS employee, a former engineer from Consol Energy and a member of the Sierra Club. Council members debated the matter and offered amendments before finally adopting a resolution that was silent on the issue of a moratorium. The resolution calls for the city to join legislators, the city of Beckley, the Dominion Post and the Beckley Register-Herald in asking the Governor to call a special session to pass legislation.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Concerns About Horizontal Drilling Prompting Calls For Permit Moratorium

The specter of a moratorium on horizontal drilling in West Virginia continues to loom. Now that the 2011 regular legislative session has ended, a group of lawmakers is calling for the state DEP to put a halt to new drilling permits for horizontal wells. They want this imposed until the Legislature enacts tougher regulations and hires more natural gas inspectors. However, Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has rejected the call for a moratorium. This pressure continues because a general viewpoint has arisen in the media and among certain elected officials that the state of West Virginia is behind the curve on responding to the sudden increase in horizontal drilling activities. A DEP-proposed legislation would have imposed new regulations and requirements on oil and natural gas drilling activities in the state. Over the past month media outlets and some local officials (including in Morgantown) have joined the moratorium bandwagon. They are concerned about the Legislature’s failure to respond to perceived regulatory and environmental challenges that accompany horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities.

Lewis Glasser Casey & Rollins PLLC and LGCR Government Solutions continue to monitor the situation.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine Profile The Promise Of Shale Gas

Two leading national publications have feature articles on the promise of natural gas from shale formations:

Time Magazine

Wall Street Journal