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Ohio Utica Shale

Pennsylvania governor attacks anti-drilling activists

By Bob Downing Published: September 20, 2012

From the Associated Press:


Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gov. Tom Corbett today attacked anti-drilling activists as the "unreasoning opposition" who accept the nation can land a space vehicle on Mars but don’t believe energy companies can safely harvest gas a mile under the earth’s surface.

Corbett, speaking Thursday at a Marcellus Shale industry conference in Philadelphia, touted the economic benefits of shale-gas development and hailed drillers as the "tip of the spear" of a new industrial revolution.

"After all the predictions of disaster and the fearful warnings from people with no understanding of the industry, Pennsylvania is reaping a bounty," said the Republican governor. "Marcellus has reached into some very old corners of our economy and our state and brought them back to life."

As Corbett spoke, activists opposed to hydraulic fracturing, the technique that’s allowed drillers to extract natural gas from shale deposits deep underground, were planning their own slate of events outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Protesters portray shale-gas drilling as bad for the environment and a danger to public health.

The second annual Shale Gas Insight conference drew more than 1,000 energy executives at a time of tremendous change for the drilling industry. Companies are shifting rigs to drill for natural gas liquids and oil in the face of historically low natural gas prices. They’re adjusting to a major overhaul of state drilling regulations and recently paid a first-ever state "impact fee" of more than $200 million.

Corbett said the drillers are here to stay. He said shale gas has already spurred a nascent recovery in Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector, pointing to Shell’s proposed multibillion-dollar petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania and a recent deal to prevent a Philadelphia refinery from closing in part by expanding the use of gas from the Marcellus formation, which holds the nation’s largest reservoir of gas.

"We need vision, one that ties this state’s future to an economy unshackled by needless regulation, but which guards against the desolation of cut-and-run practices," Corbett said. "Pennsylvania is getting it right."

Corbett’s environmental secretary, Michael Krancer, later took part in a panel discussion on natural gas and the presidential race. Playing the role of surrogate for GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Krancer attacked President Barack Obama’s energy policy as "nothing but what’s above the ground, or wind and solar above all" while touting Romney’s energy plan.

Krancer, a harsh critic of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, also denounced his federal counterparts as "rogue and out-of-control."

Krancer’s spokeswoman said he took a personal day and paid his own way to the event.

Kathleen McGinty, who led Pennsylvania’s environmental agency under Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, was Obama’s surrogate and said the president favors an "all of the above" energy policy.

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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.