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Northern Gas Pipelines is your public service 1-stop-shop for Alaska and Canadian Arctic energy commentary, news, history, projects and people. It is informal and rich with new information, updated daily. Here is the most timely and complete Arctic gas pipeline and northern energy archive available anywhere—used by media, academia, government and industry officials throughout the world. Northern Gas Pipelines may be the oldest Alaska blog; we invite readers to suggest others existing before 2001.  -dh

 

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4-14-15

14 April 2015 2:15am

LEGISLATIVE NEWS RELEASE: New Bills Seek Savings for Electricity Along Railbelt

SB105 and HB187 would create the Railbelt Electric Transmission Authority

FROM ALASKANOMICS: 

Update on the Alaska LNG Project- Anchorage Make it Monday Forum

Posted: 13 Apr 2015 04:16 PM PDT

The companies working on the Alaska LNG project are working hard to keep the project rolling through the next stage. In the summer of 2015, there will be continuing fieldwork as the project prepares for the Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will conduct one EIS for the project that will be accessible to all federal agencies. A 550-800 acre land acquisition is in the works to provide space for the liquefaction plant and marine terminal in Nikiski. The US Coast Guard is also working on the Cook Inlet Waterway Suitability Assessment that will be needed for the project to proceed. Community meetings are continuing at all levels of the project. FERC has opened a 9-month scoping period for the public to bring forward their concerns and questions about the project.

The Legislature and the Governor are locked in a battle over Alaska’s future for LNG. Governor Walker wants the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) to move forward on a project with a higher volume pipe, as an alternative to the AK LNG project. He states that it is good to have alternatives to make sure LNG is viable in Alaska. The Legislature wants to pursue only the AK LNG project and feels that splitting focus will create market confusion and instability in the Alaska oil and gas industry. Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Make it Monday Forum Presenter Larry Persily noted that he felt that AGDC was like a child in the middle of a highly contested divorce/custody battle. The internal battle between the Governor and the Legislature continues to cause frustration for many working on LNG in Alaska.

There are reasons that the AK LNG project could fall apart as well as reasons for optimism that it will continue and become a reality. The global demand for LNG could come up short, Alaska’s competitors could beat us on price, Russia could pull Asian markets to their product, and Alaska politics could get in the way of success for the project. However, there are still reasons to be optimistic moving forward. Alaska’s LNG has high BTU content, we have proven reserves with no exploration work needed, we are a proven supplier, and Alaska is the shortest distance to Asia from the other North American markets.

AK LNG will continue to move forward in their work and the Governor and the Legislature will continue their battle through the end of session next week and beyond. There will be many more discussions on this in the coming months and even years.

JUNEAU-Two bills have been introduced this week to help reduce electricity costs for a majority of Alaskans by creating the Railbelt Electrical Transmission Authority (RETA) to manage electrical transmission along the Railbelt.  The Railbelt is Alaska’s largest interconnected electric transmission area and home to the largest population centers: from Fairbanks in the north through the Mat-Su Borough, Anchorage, Seward and Homer in the south.  

The House Special Committee on Energy, co-chaired by Representatives Liz Vazquez, R-Anchorage, and Jim Colver, R-Palmer introduced House Bill 187 on Friday, while Senator Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, introduced its companion bill, Senate Bill 105, in the Senate on Saturday.  

“Historically, we have had three generation and transmission (G&T) utilities along the Railbelt which had regional responsibility and voluntary compliance,” said Senator McGuire.  “Now we have five G&T utilities, each with their own regional challenges that cannot be resolved with the current structure.  We need to find a way to establish predictable, reliable and affordable economic dispatch across the Railbelt with open access policies for independent power producers.  There are tremendous savings possible for the consumer with a unified transmission system.” 

“Delivering affordable energy efficiently is absolutely crucial for Alaskan families and for our state’s economic development – and our Railbelt grid needs to be up to the task,” said Representative Liz Vazquez, R-Anchorage.  “As a former utility board member, I’ve seen this problem first-hand, and we’ve been working very hard this session to start developing a long-term solution. These bills are the first step in solving the problem and bringing affordable energy efficiently to the Railbelt.”

The legislation proposes the Railbelt Transmission Authority would be a division of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) which is currently the agency that oversees and regulates Alaska’s utilities.  Several similar concepts have been proposed by various utilities in recent years including the Alaska Railbelt Cooperative Transmission and Electric Company (ARCTEC) and Transco (a Railbelt transmission company).  Though ownership structures differ in all three proposals each have similar goals: economic dispatch of electricity across the Railbelt, open and non-discriminatory access, regional planning of future transmission infrastructure and reduced end-user costs. 

“It is important to state that this bill is a starting point,” said Representative Colver. “We are starting a conversation that I hope results in a more efficient use of our power generation and transmission systems on the Railbelt.  Our goal is to lower the costs of energy to consumers.  I look forward to working with the RCA and engaging with all stakeholders.”

The sponsors of the legislation do not plan on advancing the bill during the current legislative session, but plan to hold meetings over the interim to further develop the plan in preparation for next January.

For more information, please contact Josh Walton in Representative Liz Vazquez’s office at 907-465-3892David Scott in Representative Colver’s office at 907-465-4859, or Jesse Logan in Senator McGuire’s office at 907-465-2995.

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4-13-15

13 April 2015 2:23am

Juneau Empire/AP by Mark Thiessen.  The federal government began the review process Friday on Royal Dutch Shell’s plans to continue a drilling program it halted in 2012 in Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern shore.


Today's relevant energy links from Consumer Energy Alliance: 

Jack Belcher, OCS, East Coast, Consumer Energy Alliance, Dave Harbour PhotoCarteret County News-TimesHearing focuses on seismic testing (working story) The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has heard from a variety of people on proposals to conduct seismic surveys off the coast of North Carolina. Seismic surveys are a method of searching for offshore oil and gas deposits. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has received applications from four companies to conduct surveys off North Carolina.  ...    Jack Belcher (NGP Photo) of the Consumer Energy Alliance also supported the surveys. He said he thinks it only makes sense to know what energy resources are off the coast.  “Sound energy policy needs to be made with good data,” he said, “and to get that we need to survey.” 

Wall Street JournalNew U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling Rules Seen Imminent
The Obama administration is expected to propose in the coming days an offshore oil and natural gas drilling regulation aimed at preventing the kind of explosion that erupted five years ago on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig, killing 11 people and causing the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
 
The New York TimesNew Sea Drilling Rule Planned, 5 Years after BP Oil Spill
The Obama administration is planning to impose a major new regulation on offshore oil and gas drilling to try to prevent the kind of explosions that caused the catastrophic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, administration officials said Friday.
 
The Washington PostGreenpeace group leaves Arctic drill rig after six-day stay
Six Greenpeace activists opposed to offshore drilling in the Arctic have abandoned a Seattle-bound drill rig they boarded in the Pacific Ocean six days ago, the organization said Saturday. Rough seas prompted the decision, Greenpeace said in an email. The protesters rappelled off the rig and got into inflatable boats before returning to a Greenpeace ship stationed nearby.
 
Associated PressRough seas force Greenpeace activists to abandon Arctic drill rig after 6 days
Six Greenpeace activists opposed to offshore drilling in the Arctic have abandoned a Seattle-bound drill rig they boarded in the Pacific Ocean six days ago, the group saidSaturday. Rough seas prompted the decision, Greenpeace said in an email. The protesters rappelled off the rig and got into inflatable boats before returning to a Greenpeace ship stationed nearby.

FuelFixFeds launch review of Shell’s Arctic drilling plan
The Obama administration on Friday launched a formal, 30-day review of Shell’s broad plan for boring up to six exploratory oil wells in Arctic waters near Alaska, even as the company moves drilling rigs and equipment to the area.

Washington ExaminerObama climate agenda faces first big test
President Obama's legacy climate agenda faces its first major challenge next week as over a dozen states have their day in court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear oral arguments April 16 from states and industry contesting the Environmental Protection Agency's emission rules for power plants. The rules are at the center of the president's legacy agenda for battling the threat of global warming.

ForbesStates Ignoring Mitch McConnell, Working On Clean Power Plan: EPA
Last month Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged states to ignore the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, but the states are ignoring McConnell and working toward compliance, EPA Admninistrator Gina McCarthy saidFriday at the University of Chicago.

The Arizona RepublicEPA regulations good for economy? Bah!
Will it be good for Arizona's economy if (and/or when) the Environmental Protection Agency takes control of the state's energy production? To some of us, it's silly to even bother asking such a question. The EPA intends to force clean-air regulations on Arizona power plants intended to reduce carbon emissions by 52 percent within 15 years. The regulations would shut down coal-fired plants, which produce by far the highest percentage of Arizona's energy.

The HillAnti-fracking groups send a letter to Clinton
More than 100 environmental groups are pressuring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to oppose hydraulic fracturing, days before her expected presidential campaign announcement. The coalition of mostly local anti-fracking groups noted that New York, the likely host to her campaign and the state she represented in the Senate for eight years, banned fracking in December.
 
NPRIn Pennsylvania, Employment Booms amid Oil and Natural Gas Bust
Lower oil and natural gas prices have the petroleum industry laying off tens of thousands of workers. It looks like a decade-long trend of job growth in the U.S. oil business may end. But there are parts of the country where those job numbers are still rising. Pennsylvania is one of them. Randy Stroup sees evidence of that where he lives in Williamsport, Pa. "You can drive down the road and see the amount of oil and gas trucks with their names on the side," he says.
 
Public Radio InternationalFracking is about to change, and almost no one is happy about it
The Obama administration recently announced new rules to regulate fracking. But no one, it seems, is entirely happy with them. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of drilling and injecting fluids into the ground at high pressure to break up shale rock formations and release natural gas that's trapped inside. The practice has helped make the United States the world’s top producer of oil and gas, and has spurred an economic boom in places like North Dakota.
 
Times RecordForestry Association OK with ‘Threatened’ Bat Status
The Arkansas Forestry Association says it can live with a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to list the northern long-eared bat as a threatened species while allowing most forest management practices to continue unabated.
 
Arkansas Democrat-GazetteTanks full of oil, U.S. refineries to pump out cheap summer gas
The United States has so much excess oil -- a product of booming production from the nation's shale formations -- that it is running out of places to store it. But before storage tanks begin to spill over, relief is on the way as refiners are set to churn out record amounts of gasoline this year, turning the oil surplus into a gasoline glut.
 
24/7 Wall StreetLow Crude Oil Prices Leave Thousands of US Wells Uncompleted
There are roughly 2,500 to 3,500 drilled but uncompleted oil wells in the United States, according to analysts at IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS). As many as 1,400 of those wells are located in the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas.
 
Fort Worth Star-TelegramCities concerned about state urban-drilling bill
Senior gas well inspector Tom Edwards weaves his van through the tight spaces of the drilling site, keeping a close eye on the tangle of pipes, hoses and valves pushing water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to break up the tough shale rock below.
 
San Antonio Express-NewsPipeline bound for pristine Big Bend
In the wide-open Big Bend, where private property rights are sacrosanct and a “no trespassing” sign means just that, unwelcome interlopers, from nosy environmentalists to federal employees, always have been quickly sent packing. Thus, the news that a couple of billionaire businessmen intend to run a large natural gas pipeline through 143 miles of mostly private ranch land to the Mexican border has folks here in shock.
 
Midland Reporter-TelegramBig Bend pipeline proposal has residents riled up
In the wide-open Big Bend, where private property rights are sacrosanct and a “no trespassing” sign means just that, unwelcome interlopers, from nosy environmentalists to federal employees, always have been quickly sent packing. Thus, the news that a couple of billionaire businessmen intend to run a large natural gas pipeline through 143 miles of mostly private ranch land to the Mexican border has folks here in shock.
 
The Denver PostColorado's big coal-burning utilities take a turn to renewable energy
Most of the electricity produced in Colorado still comes from burning coal, but even the state's two largest coal burners are adding more renewable energy. The Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and Platte River Power Authority each recently announced plans for new renewable energy sources.
 
ColoradoanAnalysis: What's in Larimer County fracking fluid
More than 100 different ingredients have been used at 30 hydraulic fracturing sites in Larimer County since 2012. Missing from 80 percent of those jobs was an oft-cited cause for health and safety concerns: benzene, a known carcinogenic.
 
Casper Star-TribuneMead: Federal fracking rule is wrong approach
Wyoming has a proud history of leading the nation with responsible natural resource development. We have a state energy strategy that balances energy production and conservation. We support advanced energy research at UW’s School of Energy Resources and conservation projects through the Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Fund.
 
The Detroit NewsFracking opponents try again
The wheels begin to turn in earnest next week on efforts to bring a ban on hydraulic fracturing before Michigan voters in 2016. When Michigan's Board of State Canvassers meets Tuesday, the four-member panel will review forms for the collection of signatures to initiate legislation.
 
Crain’s Detroit BusinessGroup seeks to put fracking ban on November 2016 ballot
A Michigan group is seeking to put a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing up for a statewide vote in November 2016. Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams saysFriday that petition language will be discussed Tuesday at a Board of State Canvassers meeting.
 
Associated PressUtica shale gas to fuel new eastern Ohio power plant
A Swiss company says it's planning to use natural gas from the Utica shale formation to fuel an $899 million power plant that will be built in eastern Ohio's Carroll County.
 
Baltimore SunLegislature sends fracking ban to Hogan
Maryland lawmakers on Friday voted to send Gov. Larry Hogan a two-year ban on the natural gas extraction process known as fracking. The action marks the first time the legislature voted for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and its most decisive statement yet on curbing the controversial practice.
 
The Patriot-NewsCourt blocks environmental group's plea for radioactivity data on Marcellus Shale drilling
An environmental group can't have access to raw data collected during a state probe into potential exposure to radioactivity from Marcellus Shale gas and oil drilling operations, a Commonwealth Court panel ruled Friday.
 
Pennsylvania Business Daily: Marcellus Shale Coalition reports record base of natural gas
Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) President David Spigelmyer said Wednesday the Potential Gas Committee’s most recent assessment shows the U.S. had access to a recoverable resource base of 2,515 trillion cubic feet of natural gas at the end of 2014.
 
State JournalMarcellus tops U.S. gas fields reserves list
The Marcellus Shale area in West Virginia and Pennsylvania has been ranked first in the U.S. Energy Information Administration's top 100 U.S. gas fields list for 2013. The EIA called the addition of the Marcellus Shale to the top 100 “notable,” as the last time the data was updated, in 2009, the relatively young Marcellus region wasn't even part of the top 100.
 
Wheeling IntelligencerMarkWest Growing In Spite Of Market
Even faced with lower oil and natural gas prices, Marcellus and Utica shale processors continue building billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure throughout the Upper Ohio Valley.
 
The Charleston GazetteTest well in Putnam County leads to gas speculation
As gas companies continue to develop the Marcellus Shale in Northern West Virginia, recent gas exploration in Putnam County and Eastern Kentucky have people speculating about the possibility of a future gas boom in the southwest part of the state.
 
Breaking EnergyDon’t Blame Fracking for California’s Water Woes
It’s inevitable. In comments to nearly every story about California’s drought, someone will rage that if Gov. Jerry Brown really wanted to do something to save water, he’d put an end to fracking in the state.
 
NewsmaxNY Post: State Killing Job Opportunities by Rejecting Fracking
The Start-Up NY program, created to promote the state and its opportunities, has already spent $28 million, but only attracted 76 new jobs, a New York Post op-ed saysSunday, for a tally of $368,000 per job, but when it comes to the fracking industry, the state's government wants no part.

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4-9-15

09 April 2015 9:10am

Reports coming....

4-8-15

08 April 2015 9:54am

Shell, BG Group Merger Signals Huge Changes in Energy

The $70 billion acquisition of BG Group by Royal Dutch Shell will set off some huge, and profitable, changes in energy... Full Story.

FROM ALASKANOMICS: SEATTLE BENEFITTED BY ALASKA.  Earlier this year, the Seattle Metro Chamber released a study that shows continued growth to the Puget Sound region due to Alaska’s economic impact. The report shows that Alaska’s impact can be seen in a number of sectors including freight/cargo, seafood, passenger transportation and tourism, maritime support, refining, health care, and education. In 2013, Alaska accounted for 113,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs that generated $6.3 billion in wages for the Puget Sound region.

Last week, Seattle hosted a panel of Alaska experts to discuss the impact of low oil prices and how it relates to business throughout the Northwest. The Puget Sound is not expected to feel a real impact in 2015 but could start to feel a pinch in 2016. Puget Sound businesses provide $5.3 billion in goods and services to Alaska, which travel through Puget Sound ports. 2015 contracts are already set, so traffic is not expected to change, but could drop in 2016 if Alaska changes its spending plan for the coming year.

As is the case with the Alaska economic environment, 2015 will not be a crisis for the Puget Sound region, but businesses are more cautious moving forward and planning for 2016. Bill Pedlar, Executive Committee Member with the Alaska Travel Industry Association noted that in 2015 the number of people taking Seattle-based cruises into Alaska is expected to rise 5 percent to record levels, but it could change next year. Marketing budgets will be tight, which will make it harder to win passengers. More than 1 million people pass through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on their way to an Alaska cruise.

The Puget Sound and Alaska will always be strongly linked and the Pacific Northwest is watching the Alaska economy closely as they plan for the future.

For the “Ties that Bind” report, visit http://www.seattlechamber.com/home/business-tools/community-news/detail/2015/02/06/ties-that-bind-puget-sound-to-alaska-stronger-than-ever

4-7-15 Gasline Confirmations Today

07 April 2015 3:46pm

 

Calgary Herald by Stephen Ewart.  Record oil production, increasingly complex energy transportation issues and unprecedented public engagement aren’t enough to prevent a nearly 25 per cent cut to the budget and large reduction in staff at the National Energy Board over the next two years.

News of the “operational realities” confronting the NEB — which will mean 73 fewer employees — emerged late last week with release of its 2015-16 Report on Plans and Priorities.

The reason for the drop-off in funding is easily explained.(More)

KTOO.  The Senate Finance Committee plans confirmation hearings for Gov. Bill Walker’s appointees to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. board.

The hearings for Rick Halford, Joe Paskvan and Hugh Short are scheduled for Tuesday (Today).

They would replace three members removed by Walker earlier this year, including former pipeline and oil company executives.

Some lawmakers have raised questions .... (More)


Today's RELEVANT Consumer Energy Alliance energy links: 

Bill Martinez Live: Bill Martinez Show April 7, 2015 Michael Whatley (NGP Photo) Interview 
 
Michael Whatley, Consumer Energy Alliance, Bill Martinez Interview, Photo by Dave HarbourAssociated Press: Greenpeace activists board drill rig retained by Shell for Arctic offshore drilling
Six Greenpeace activists protesting Arctic offshore drilling on Monday boarded a drill rig as it was transported across the Pacific Ocean toward Seattle, where it will be staged for drilling on Shell leases in Alaska waters. The 400-foot Polar Pioneer, owned by Transocean Ltd., was on board a heavy-lift vessel about 750 miles northwest of Hawaii when the activists approached in inflatable boats and used climbing gear to get on board, Greenpeace spokesman Travis Nichols said.
 
Real Clear Energy: Keystone XL Traded For Arctic Drilling Rights?
Few debates in energy have been more contentious than Keystone XL (KXL). Environmental groups opposed the pipeline and turned out a grass roots movement that astonished even battle weary Enviros. It also caused serious problems for the industry as their assets became stranded and they were forced to ship crude by rail and barge. It is estimated that this amounted to approximately $17B over the past few years in lost revenue due to public accountability campaigns. But it looks as though the Obama Administration and Big Oil merely traded KXL for Arctic drilling rights.
 
National Journal: Life After Keystone: The Future of the Climate Movement When the Pipeline Battle Ends
President Obama could reject or approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline any day, week or month now. And as a decision looms, environmentalists face a daunting question: Can they recreate the kind of mass appeal that Keystone inspires when the pipeline battle ends?
 
The New York Times: Laurence Tribe Fights Climate Case Against Star Pupil From Harvard, President Obama
Laurence H. Tribe, the highly regarded liberal scholar of constitutional law, still speaks of President Obama as a proud teacher would of a star student. “He was one of the most amazing research assistants I’ve ever had,” Mr. Tribe said in a recent interview. Mr. Obama worked for him at Harvard Law School, where Mr. Tribe has taught for four decades.
 
CBS News: Is oil and gas to blame for Okla. earthquakes?
Kim Hatfield, with the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, says the science to prove a definitive link simply isn't there. "Coincidence is not correlation," said Hatfield. "This area has been seismically active over eons and the fact that this is unprecedented in our experience doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't happened before."
 
The Independent: A disaster waiting to happen in Oklahoma?
Until very recently earthquakes were a rare occurrence in Oklahoma. Not any more. In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded just two earthquakes above 3.0 on the Richter Scale in Oklahoma. In 2014 it recorded 585, including 15 that measured over 4.0. The state is on target to break through 800 in 2015, taking California’s crown as the most active seismic state in the country.
 
Wall Street Journal: Fewer oil trains ply America’s rails
The growth in oil-train shipments fueled by the U.S. energy boom has stalled in recent months, dampened by safety problems and low crude prices.
 
Associated Press: Oil train cars need urgent upgrades
A spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute said the organization supports a "science-based" approach to safety that includes track maintenance and repairs in addition to any tank car upgrades.
 
Bloomberg: Safety Board Urges Aggressive Timetable to Replace Oil Tank Cars
U.S. railroad cars used to haul oil should be upgraded or replaced within five years with sturdier models better able to prevent explosions after derailments, federal safety investigators said in a proposal made public Monday.
 
Houston Chronicle: Oil's jolt means jingle for summer travelers
The global crude collapse that has jolted the oil industry will usher in the least expensive driving season in years, with pump prices expected to hover near $2 per gallon at some stations. Peak-season gasoline hasn’t been that low since 2009 during the economic downturn.
 
Statesman Journal: Oregon debates HF moratorium
A legislative committee will hear testimony Tuesday on a bill that would put a 10-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas exploration and production in the state. Proponents tout the economic benefits brought to communities with wells and the energy independence they afford.
 
The Motley Fool: The Biggest Threat Facing Offshore Drillers Keeps Getting Worse
Few industries have been so negatively affected by the oil crash as offshore drillers. In the past I've attempted to find drillers whose contract backlogs were relatively insulated from the downturn. To this effect I recommended SeaDrill Partners, because just 20% of its rigs had contracts expiring through 2016. Now however, news of contract cancellations from BP mean that the risk of contract cancellations -- which I believe to be the biggest risk to the industry -- is rising and in a most alarming way. Find out why and what it might mean for your portfolio.
 
The Hill: Hope for bipartisan action on energy
Hold onto your hats, there just may be bipartisan legislation on the horizon. And who would have guessed that after the hyper-partisan Keystone XL showdown, the topic to come together on would be of all things, energy? First, in the wee hours of March 27, after the contentious budget resolution was passed at 3 a.m., Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) appeared on a nearly empty Senate floor and quietly passed a stripped down version of their energy efficiency bill with a unanimous vote of two.
 
Fuel Fix: U.S. refiners can bulk up to consume more domestic oil
The United States can boost its consumption of the light oil increasingly flowing out of domestic wells today, a new government report finds, even as it warns that potential changes to the nation’s longstanding ban on raw crude exports risk undermining those investments.
 
Fuel Fix: Tensions ignite on East Coast as White House weighs Atlantic drilling
The prospect of a new generation of Atlantic drilling is stirring a heated debate up and down the East Coast, as fierce opponents warn that offshore oil development could jeopardize marine life and tourism-based economies. Oil industry leaders, meanwhile, are touting the potential jobs and economic gains that could flow along with crude from wells drilled at least 50 miles off the shores of Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. They envision a new frontier of Atlantic production that could emerge as a profitable replacement to shale oil extraction or continued pumping from the heavily tapped Gulf of Mexico.
 
Huffington Post: Illinois poll shows strong opposition to HF
Nearly half of Illinois voters oppose fracking, according to a new poll by the Simon Institute. The statewide poll reveals 48.6 percent oppose fracking while only 31.8 percent believe it should be encouraged, even if there are economic benefits. Opponents outnumber supporters in all regions of the state, including downstate where fracking is promoted as a jobs plan.
 
Philadelphia Inquirer: Gas tax can’t ignore prices
It's Wolf's misfortune to be attempting to address this failure in the midst of a gas glut. Given that the regional natural-gas price has plummeted by more than half over the past year, legislators and others have rightly questioned whether the governor's projected $1 billion a year in revenue from the levy is realistic.
 
Lancaster Online: Restoring aging county-owned bridges tied to impact fee
The Lancaster County commissioners are addressing the problem by turning to impact fee revenue from natural gas drillers. As of February, the county had $2.2 million available, said county engineer Scott Russell of Rettew Associates. The commissioners are counting on continuing impact fee revenue to help fund the replacement or repair of nearly all 44 county-owned concrete or steel bridges over the next five years.
 
Power Source: EPA analysis details water usage in HF
The EPA’s report shows that many drillers in Pennsylvania and Ohio are reusing water more often than their counterparts in the West. More than 70 percent of disclosures that identified water sources in Ohio and Pennsylvania identified some amount of reused and associated types of water in base fluids.
 
The Post and Courier: Seismic testing permits go to public hearing
Nine companies so far want to use seismic guns to search for oil and natural gas off the South Carolina coast. The federal permits for them are up for public hearingWednesday. The hearing comes amid a swell of opposition that has been mounting since federal regulators last year gave a preliminary nod to the permits, opening an evaluation period by federal and state agencies.
 
Baltimore Sun: HF moratorium passes senate
By a 45-2 vote, senators sent the measure to the House, which has passed a version of the bill that environmental advocates believe is stronger. The House bill calls for a three-year moratorium and further study of the health and economic development impact of the practice. The Senate bill does not require a study.
 
Associated Press: ‘Fight Club’ actor speaks out against HF
In films, he’s played poker with Matt Damon and fought with Brad Pitt. Now actor Edward Norton is lending his voice to the anti-fracking campaign in Maryland.
 
San Antonio Business Journal: Series of earthquakes shakes Permian Basin in recent weeks
A series of three earthquakes hit the Permian Basin along the oil and natural gas-rich lands along the Pecos and Reeves county lines over the past two weeks, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
 
Santa Fe New Mexican: NM oil production holds steady
Newly released numbers indicate that the pace of oil production in New Mexico did not slow in January. According to figures from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, oil-and-gas companies doing business in the state in January reported a production level of almost 13.6 million barrels of oil.
 
CBC News: HF criticism spreads, even in Alberta and Texas
The Alberta Energy Regulator, which is responsible for enforcing industry policies, rejects claims that fracking affects human or animal health. The AER says hydraulic fracturing, in use in Alberta since the 1950s, is one of several well-established methods of recovering oil and gas.

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