October 20, 2010
The editorial "Hold drillers accountable" (Oct. 7) took a predictable - and wrongheaded - position on a recent announcement made by Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger. For nearly a year, Cabot had been working diligently with DEP to address Carter Road water issues. Hanger told Cabot that the "final solution" to restoring clean water would be installing methane separator systems on the affected water wells. While Cabot does not agree that our activities caused the alleged problems with the well water of certain residents in Dimock Township, we provided potable water for an extended period of time, purchased methane separators, and offered to install them on all water wells deemed by DEP to have been "affected.
October 9, 2010
Charter schools can build character Davis Guggenheim's film Waiting for Superman has become a catalyst and inspiration for the public to be engaged in the conversation about education. However, there also is an interesting study done by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes that found that only 17 percent of charters did a better job than the comparable local public school, while more than a third did "significantly worse. " I think the center's research misses an important point.
October 1, 2010 |
More than the drinking water has become poisonous in Susquehanna County. In a sharp rebuke of one of the state's biggest Marcellus Shale gas drillers, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Thursday ordered an $11.8 million pipeline built to deliver water to 18 rural residences in Dimock Township whose household wells are contaminated by natural gas. In response, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., the Texas driller whose wells the state blames for the pollution, denounced the decision as "unfounded, irrational, and capricious" and accused DEP Secretary John Hanger of "obvious political pandering.
July 30, 2010
Former governors can choose many career paths. Some of them become college presidents. Some go on the lecture circuit. And then there's Tom Ridge, who is set to become a paid shill for the natural-gas drillers swarming his native state. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which represents natural-gas companies, has been negotiating to hire Ridge's lobbying firm. The industry wants the ex-governor's help with a campaign to educate the public about the benefits of drilling. It's unclear how much Ridge will be paid, but he doesn't come cheap.
July 1, 2010 |
Pennsylvania environmental regulators have issued nearly 565 citations against Marcellus Shale natural gas operators so far this year - about twice last year's pace. Five companies were responsible for half the violations, and nearly three-quarters of them occurred in five north-central Pennsylvania counties where shale-gas drilling is most intensely concentrated, according to a report by the Department of Environmental Protection sent Wednesday to the state Senate's Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
June 6, 2010 |
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, a Roman Catholic order based in Delaware County, invested more than $2,000 of its retirement fund last year in Chesapeake Energy Corp., one of the nation's largest natural gas operators. The nuns were not bullish on gas exploration, including the drilling that has expanded dramatically in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale. On the contrary. "As investors and concerned citizens, we believe that it is critical that we engage companies and hold them accountable for all aspects of their operations," said Sister Nora M. Nash, director of corporate responsibility for the activist order based in Aston.
May 23, 2010 |
As big as the Marcellus Shale gas bonanza has become, it's not the only Pennsylvania geologic formation yielding new and unexpected quantities of natural gas. Two exploration companies have reported promising discoveries in rock formations layered around the Marcellus like a geologic parfait. Those finds raise the prospect of even more drilling in a state where the gas boom has generated ardent economic hopes as well as passionate environmental fears. Range Resources Corp.
May 23, 2010 |
As big as the Marcellus Shale gas bonanza has become, it's not the only Pennsylvania geologic formation yielding new and unexpected quantities of natural gas. Two exploration companies have reported promising discoveries in rock formations layered around the Marcellus like a geologic parfait. Those finds raise the prospect of even more drilling in a state where the gas boom has generated ardent economic hopes as well as passionate environmental fears. Range Resources Corp., a Texas company that pioneered Marcellus development in 2003, reported to analysts last month that it had completed horizontal test wells in shale formations above and below the mile-deep Marcellus.
May 14, 2010 |
On the heels of penalizing one natural gas operator $240,000 for contaminating water wells, Pennsylvania's top environmental official Thursday urged the industry to immediately adopt proposed new drilling standards rather than waiting for them to be formally enacted. John Hanger, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, summoned industry representatives to Harrisburg to discuss new construction standards for wells drilled to tap natural gas reserves. The new guidelines are designed to reduce the chance of incidents such as the one that has contaminated 14 water wells in the Susquehanna County town of Dimock.