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Ohio Utica Shale

Interior Department: Local water supplies must be safe

By Bob Downing Published: February 29, 2012

The Obama Administration will require energy companies to certify that they are not threatening local water supplies when using hydraulic fracturing or fracking to extract natural gas and oil on federal land, the Interior Department said today.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a congressional hearing that his agency is working on additional regulations that will lower the risk of water supplies becoming tainted.

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Lawmakers seek hike in Ohio’s severance tax on drilling

By admin Published: February 29, 2012

Democratic state reps. Robert Hagan of Youngstown and Mike Foley of Cleveland announced legislation Tuesday that would boost an Ohio tax imposed on drilling for natural gas.

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New study boosts Ohio economic impacts of drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2012

Drilling into Ohio’s Utica shale for natural gas is expected to create at least 65,680 new jobs by 2014, according to a new study.

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Steubenville selling water to Chesapeake

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2012

The city of Steubenville began selling water to Chesapeake Energy Corp. last week.

The city and the company signed a five-year contract that calls for the city to sell up to 700,000 gallons a day or 7 million gallons every two weeks to Chesapeake.

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Chesapeake still No. 1 in Ohio drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 28, 2012

Pennsylvania gas wells had casing failures in water-pollution complaint area

By admin Published: February 28, 2012

PITTSBURGH: At least two gas wells near a community that’s complained of sudden drinking water pollution had casing failures during the drilling process. A well casing is meant to prevent gas or other fluids from leaking into nearby aquifers.

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Chesapeake was No. 1 in Pennsylvania in 2011 for gas production

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2012

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. was No. 1 in Pennsylvania for 2011 gas production from the Marcellus shale.

Those wells produced 3,329 mcf per day and resulted in 2011 earnings of $879 million, according to state data reported by the Marcellus Drilling News.

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Southern Ohio land leasing for $5,900 an acre

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2012

A Colorado-based energy company is paying bonuses of $5,900 an acre on leases in Ohio's Noble, Morgan and Washington counties.

The company is Antero Resources, a firm based in Denver.

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Second New York judge backs fracking ban

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2012

Last Friday, a second New York judge has upheld a town's ban on natural gas drilling.

The town of Middlefield's 2011 ban on gas drilling including hydraulic fracturing or fracking was upheld by State Supreme Court Judge Donald Cerio.

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Congressional hearing in Steubenville boosts drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2012

Opponents of natural gas production by hydraulic fracturing or fracking clashed with U.S. House Republicans at a hearing today in Ohio aimed to promote the economic benefits of the extraction process.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, told the House Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources that drilling for natural gas in Ohio and other states could create 200,000 jobs at the hearing in Steubenville.

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Ohio consumers saving billions thanks to shale development

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2012

Ohioans have saved more than $1.5 billion in lower natural gas costs, thanks to development of Utica shale and other shales around the United States.

That assessment was offered by Energy In Depth-Ohio, a  pro-drilling group.

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Shale-heating in West runs into opposition

By Bob Downing Published: February 27, 2012

Bloomberg reports that a proposal to tap into the world's largest shale deposits in the western United States by heating rocks until petroleum sweats out has become an election-year conflict.

Companies including Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, an Estonian utility Eesti Energia AS and a joint venture of Genia Energy Ltd. and France's Total SA are seeking to tap into the shale on federal lands in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.

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Texas energy company holds Canton area jobs fair through Wednesday

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 27, 2012

A Texas company is hiring people in the Canton area for its Utica Shale-related business.
McClinton Energy Group is holding a three-day jobs fair and seeks to initially hire 20 to 25 people for various positions. The East Odessa, Texas, company provides wellhead equipment and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, equipment.
The jobs fair runs 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. today through Wednesday, Feb. 29,  at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 5335 Broadmoor Circle NW, Plain Township.
Most of the initial hires are for field and shop technicians, said Travis Emfinger of SWECO Wellhead, a McClinton Energy Group company. Some jobs are entry level. The company intends to hire 75 to 100 people three to six months from now.
People are asked to bring a resume. They can also fill out job applications at the fair.
Candidates ideally will be mechanically inclined with a background in such areas as construction or machine shops, Emfinger said.
For additional information, e-mail temfinger@swecowellhead.com or call 304-641-6399.

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Investment giant PIMCO says U.S. oil, gas drilling a game changer

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 27, 2012

California-based global investment firm PIMCO says in a new report that new natural gas and oil production in the United States is a "game changer."

The report is aimed at investors. PIMCO has more than $1.3 trillion in assets under management.

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State today may announce a major Ohio investment by Texas firm Baker Hughes

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 27, 2012

A formal announcement unveiling additional details of the project is expected to come Monday from Gov. John Kasich’s office following a meeting of the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, which will consider granting the company a Job Creation Tax Credit, according to Katie Sabatino, spokeswoman with the Ohio Department of Development.

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Some states unprepared for shale boom

By Bob Downing Published: February 25, 2012

USA Today's Dennis Cauchon on Friday reported that states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York are struggling to figure out how to tax and regulate natural gas drilling.

For example, Ohio has a minimal severance tax and New York and Pennsylvania have no severance taxes.

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Range Resources focusing on "super rich"

By Bob Downing Published: February 24, 2012

Texas-based Range Resources intends to focus its drilling efforts in 2012 in Pennsylvania and Ohio shale where lucrative natural gas liquids and oil reserves are found.

Other companies, including Chesapeake Energy Corp., have announced similar plans, as natural gas prices remain low.

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EPA chief: Fracking can be OK

By Bob Downing Published: February 24, 2012

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on Wednesday told energy industry leaders and environmentalists that hydraulic fracturing or fracking can be done without harmful impacts.

Speaking at a conference in New Jersey, Jackson said, "I think that fracking as a technology is perfectly capable of being clean."

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Honeymoon ends for natural gas, environmentalists

By Bob Downing Published: February 24, 2012

The Washington Post reports that one-time friendships between national environmental groups and the natural gas industry have ended.

That includes financial ties between the two groups.

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Judge: New York town can ban fracking

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2012

A central New York town can block natural-gas drilling after a state judge upheld the town of Dryden's ban on hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

"I think you'd call this a pretty substantial victory," said Mahlon Perkins, the attorney for Dryden.

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Bloomberg News: Maximize shale gas promise by solving problems

By Bob Downing Published: February 23, 2012

The editors of Bloomberg News on Thursday said shale gas offers America tremendous opportunity, but that environmental problems must be solved first.

"Anything as big and as promising as shale gas is bound to be complicated," the editors wrote.

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Is there enough oil in the world to meet demand? Get the answer here

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 23, 2012

The U.S. Energy Information Administration answers the question, "Do we have enough oil worldwide to meet our future needs?"

The EIA's answer is here.

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Community colleges aim to train people for natural gas, oil industries

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 23, 2012

The (W.Va.) Intelligencer/Wheeling News Register has a story out on how people are taking new community college classes and hoping to land jobs in the natural gas/oil industry.

The story starts:

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U.S. EPA is crafting guide on seismic effects of injection wells

By Bob Downing Published: February 22, 2012

According to Inside EPA, the agency is said to be developing a guidance for states on how to mitigate potential seismic risks associated with injection wells that handle briny wastewater from drilling for natural gas and oil.

That comes in the wake of a dozen quakes near Youngstown since last March that are believed to be caused by an injection well.

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Texas energy company adds Ohio acreage

By Bob Downing Published: February 22, 2012

Houston-based Magnum Hunter Resources reported the purchase oan additional leasehold in Ohio's Noble County.

The company's subsidiary, Triad Hunter LLC, purchased 15,558 gross or 12,186 net acres for $24.8 million. The price per acre is $2,037.

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Anti-fracking meeting in Kent on Thursday

By Bob Downing Published: February 22, 2012

A meeting organized to plan a campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing or  fracking in Kent is set for 6:45 p.m. Thursday.

The meeting, sponsored by several grass-roots groups including Concerned Citizens Ohio, will be held at the Kent Free Public Library on West Main Street.

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Texas company buys brine disposal wells in Ohio, Kentucky

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2012

GreenHunter Energy Inc. announced today that it had purchased three brine disposal wells and associated facilities in Ohio and Kentucky.

The company, based in Grapevine, Texas, is spending $8.8 million through its GreenHunter Water LLC subsidiary for the facilities in Washington County, Ohio, and Lee County, Kentucky.

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New study looks at drilling impacts on New York forests

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2012

On Feb. 14, the Nature Conservancy released a first-of-its-kind report looking at the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing or fracking on forests in New York state.

Tradeoffs will be required, if New York proceeds to approve drillin in the Marcellus shale, the national eco-group said.

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New York wrestling with wastewater disposal issue

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2012

The issue of what to do with millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater from drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale in New York state remains unsettled, according to reporter Mary Esch of the Associated Press.

As New York works on final regulations, environmental advocates say the issue is a glaring gap in preparations.

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Carroll County meeting on March 5

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2012

Ray Rummell of the Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation District will be the keynote speaker at a March 1 meeting of the Carroll Concerned Citizens.

Rummell will provide landowners with insight on best management practices for the design, installation and post-installation reclamation of natural gas pipelines.

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New study says no link between fracking and groundwater contamination

By Bob Downing Published: February 21, 2012

A new study from the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin has found "no evidence" of hydraulic fracturing or fracking leading to groundwater contamination.

Lead author Charles Groat said: "We found no direct evidence of the hydraulic fracturing itself -- the practice of fracturing the rocks -- had contaminated the shallow aquifer."

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News site shows states' fracking chemical disclosure rules

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 20, 2012

The  independent and nonprofit  investigative journalism site ProPublica has published a list of fracking chemical disclosure rules for nine states, including Ohio.

The list can be found here.

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New Pennsylvania law coming under attack

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2012

Public health professionals say that Pennsylvania's new impact fee law signed by Gov. Corbett last week could hurt the delivery of health services to injured workers and residents living near gas-drilling sites.

The legislation allows drillers to withhold information on the chemicals used to hydraulically fracture or frack the wells, if the company deems them proprietary, or a trade secret. That would include the chemical's identity and the concentration level.

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Money being raised for new pro-fracking film

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2012

More than $83,821 from 1,174 backers has been pledged for a new pro-fracking film by filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer.

Organizers are trying to raise $150,000 by April 6 to make FrackNation, a film that is being produced to counter the new Gasland sequel  film.

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Gas production increases in Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2012

Production of Marcellus shale natural gas in Pennsylvania rose again in the second half of 2011, slightly exceeding projections.

The state reported that drillers produced the equivalent of 1.66 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from July through December.

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New York environmentalists still fighting against drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2012

From all indication, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation intends to release a finalized Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement this spring that could allow hydraulic fracturing or fracking as early as this summer.

But environmentalists are convinced that the state's plan is flawed.

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Mystery deepens in Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2012

Drillers into Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale are recyling more and more of their briny, chemical-laden wastewater, but significant quantities of the salty bromides are getting into streams that provide drinking water.

In fact, in most cases, drillers are complying with a state request to keep the salty bromides from being discharged to streams.

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U.S. EPA investigating drilling site in western Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating a well being drilled in western Pennsylvania for possible violations of air, water or hazardous waste rules.

The investigation at the undisclosed site began last September, the agency said last week.

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Chemicals used in fracking will be available to the public, Interior says

By Bob Downing Published: February 19, 2012

Information on chemicals used on public lands by natural gas drillers in hydraulic fracturing or fracking will be available to the public under new rules being developed by the Interior Department.

That news came last week from David Hayes, the deputy Interior secretary, during a congressional hearing.

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Anti-fracking expert to speak March 14 in Stark County

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2012

Sandra Steingraber, a visiting professor at Ithaca College and an author-scientist-ecologist, will speak on March 14 at Kent State University's Stark campus in Jackson Township.

Steingraber, one of the leading American critics of hydraulic fracturing or freacking, will speak at 7:30 p.m.

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Ohio Oil & Gas Commission member under investigation

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2012

The business dealings of a member of an Ohio commission that handles complaints involving oil and gas drilling has spurred complaints from environmental advocates and a state ethics inquiry, reports Spencer Hunt of the Columbus Dispatch.

Robert Chase, head of Marietta College's Department of Petroleum Engineering and Geology,  represents the public on the five-member commission.

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Energy job fair for veterans on Thursday

By Bob Downing Published: February 18, 2012

A Veterans Hiring Fair for jobs in Ohio's developing oil and gas industry will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, 3976 King Graves Road in Vienna Township in Trumbull County.

Eight companies will be looking for more than 100 veterans for positions. Some job openings exist now; more will open soon.

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Community meetings in Summit, Portage counties to address fracking

By admin Published: February 14, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be the subject of four programs in the coming week in Tallmadge, Ravenna and Kent.

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Three informational meetings scheduled

By Bob Downing Published: February 14, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be the subject of four programs in the coming week in Tallmadge, Ravenna and Kent.

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Chesapeake intends to sell off Texas-New Mexico assets

By Bob Downing Published: February 13, 2012

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. said on Monday it intends to seek as much as $12 billion from asset sales and joint ventures to cope with a cash crunch amid rising debt and tumbling natural gas prices.

Bloomberg News reported that the company is expecting to get between $10 billion and $12 billion for selling its assets in the oil and gas fields of the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.

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Fracturing natural gas wells requires hundreds of tons of chemical liquids

By admin Published: February 12, 2012

There are two sides to the debate over the use of chemical additives to complete the process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

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All 12 Youngstown quakes likely at the same site

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2012

Youngstown Vindicator reporter Karl Henkel reported last week that all 12 Mahoning County earthquakes probably had the same epicenter, contrary to original seismic data.

Won-Young Kin of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismic Network said it is likely that all 12 earthquakes were centered near a brine injection well in Youngstown Township.

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Virginia county halts natural gas drilling

By Bob Downing Published: February 12, 2012

The Washington Post reports that Virginia's Rockingham County has, in effect, rejected the first drilling request into the Marcellus shale.

Carrizzo Oil and Gas wanted to drill in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the West Virginia-Virginia border. It would have been the first well in Virginia to tap into the Marcellus shale.

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Chesapeake tidbits

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2012

I spent Wednesday with Chesapeake Energy Corp. officials on a field trip to Stark, Carroll and Columbia counties.

Here are a few tidbits from the day-long trip.

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Ohio EPA finalizes air general permits for drillers

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2012

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has finalized final air general permits to cover production operations at shale gas well sites.

Applicants who meet qualifying criteria, terms and conditions of the general permit can expect to receive EPA approval within weeks of applying, the agency said.

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Statement by chief of Ohio Petroleum Council

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2012

Gas and oil development could blossom in eastern Ohio, but Ohio  legislators need to be careful as they pursue stricter regulations, said Terry Fleming, executive director of the Ohio Petroleum Council.

In a two-page cautionary  statement released on Thursday, Fleming said, "It is critical that we continue to work together to boost Ohio's economy and enhance our nation's energy security and do so in a safe, thoughtful and agile regulatory environment and that state officials base rule-making and enforcement actions on sound scientific principles."

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Marcellus group responds to new Pennsylvania legislation

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2012

Pennsylvania has stricter rules on drilling for natural gas, and an industry group is O.K. with the changes.

"The legislation, while not perfect, provides the industry greater certainty to operate across Pennsylvania and takes a balanced approach," said Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Z. Klaber in a statement released on Thursday.

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Chesapeake is fined $565,000 by Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2012

Chesapeake Energy Corp., the biggest leaseholder in Pennsylvania, was fined $565,000 on Thursday for environmental violations by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection.

The violations include hydraulic fracturing or fracking liquids that entered a local creek last April.

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Shell cracker plant will have big impacts

By Bob Downing Published: February 10, 2012

Ohio could stand to gain thousands of jobs, even if the state loses out on the petrochemical cracker plant planned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Shell is expected to announce by late March whether the multi-billion plant will be built in Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia. The three states are competing and have offered major incentives to attract the plant.

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Fracking explained video

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2012

The Ohio Energy Resource Alliance has posted a new video to explain hydraulic fracturing or fracking.

The alliance is comprised of the Ohio Petroleum Council (a division of the American Petroleum Institute), the Ohio Oil & Gas Association, the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program, Energy in Depth-Ohio and the Buckeye Energy Forum.l

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New Jersey tries again for fracking ban

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2012

Democrats in New Jersey are trying again to prohibit hydraulic fracturing or fracking for natural gas.

Democrats control the Assembly 48-32 and the Senate 24-16, but might need 54 members in the Assembly and 27 in the Senate to override Christie vetoes.

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Federal policing of drilling is lax, House Democrats say

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2012

Federal policing of oil and natural gas drilling on public lands is lax and insistent, according to a report released Wednesday by House Democrats.

Only 6 percent of violations resulted in monetary fines over 13 years, the report says.

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Investors challenge 18 oil and gas companies

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2012

On Wednesday, investors filed shareholder resolutions with Chesapeake Energy, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and 14 other American oil-and-gas companies.

The investors want the companies to disclose their plans for managing environmental and workplace challenges including hydraulic fracturing or fracking, greenhouse gas emissions and worker safety.

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Pennsylvania to allow counties to impose fee on wells

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2012

On Wednesday, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a bill to let counties levy fees on natural-gas wells, which the state estimates may generate about $211 million in revenue in 2012.

Proceeds, based on gas prices, would go mostly to communities affected by drilling in the Marcellus shale under a bill approved 101-90. That was the last legislative hurdle. Gov. Tom Corbett has said he will sign the bill.

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Gas-processing plants in the works

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2012

 Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday touted the economic potential of Ohio's Utica shale in his State of the State speech in Steubenville.

The governor also announced plans for two gas-processing facilities: one in Harrison County and one in Monroe County.

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Association against moratorium

By Bob Downing Published: February 9, 2012

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association is against a moratorium on drilling for natural gas in Ohio.

The statement from executive vice president Tom Stewart came in the wake of Gov. John Kasich's State of the State Address earlier this week.

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Chesapeake unveils system to recycle waste water from ‘fracking’ drill sites

By admin Published: February 9, 2012

CARROLLTON: Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a new system to treat briny and muddy wastewater from its drilling operations in eastern Ohio.

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Ohio AG seeks tougher drilling laws

By admin Published: February 8, 2012

COLUMBUS: Ohio’s top law enforcer says tougher environmental sanctions on polluters in the oil and gas industry and required disclosure of the chemicals used in the drilling technique called fracking are needed to adequately protect residents as shale exploration burgeons in the state.

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Wall Street Journal story says energy boom revving U.S. economy

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 8, 2012

The Marcellus Shale Coalition has posted a Feb. 8 Wall Street Journal story, "Oil and Gas Boom Lifts U.S. Economy."

The link to the full story at the coalition web site is here.

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Exxon Mobil to drill into Ohio Utica Shale, newspaper reports

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 8, 2012

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register newspaper is reporting that an Exxon Mobil subsidiary will be drilling into the Ohio Utica Shale.

The story beginning:

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Sierra Club took more than $25 million from Chesapeake, others

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 7, 2012

Time magazine reports that Chesapeake Energy and others in the natural gas industry paid more than $25 million to one of the nation's oldest and most respected environmental groups, the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club stopped accepting the money in 2010.

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Kent hosting anti-fracking march on Feb. 11

By Bob Downing Published: February 6, 2012

Anti-fracking activists will hold a protest march on Saturday in Portage County.

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Tax on gas wells goes unchecked by state agencies

By admin Published: February 6, 2012

As Ohio prepares to usher in a multibillion-dollar gas drilling industry, it is relying on an honor system with well owners for the purpose of collecting taxes and fees, and the numbers don’t add up.

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Filmmaker handcuffed at congressional hearing on fracking safety

By Jim Mackinnon Published: February 1, 2012

The New York Times reports that "Gasland" documentary filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Josh Fox was arrested Wednesday while trying to film a congressional hearing on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The link to the Times story is here.

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OHIO.COM VIDEOS

See the most recent drilling report and an injection wells map From NewsOutlet.org

Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.