HUDSON: Bill Rich is troubled by the increasing number of tank cars he sees on the Norfolk Southern Corp. rail line in northern Summit County - rail cars that could be carrying highly volatile Bakkan crude oil.
Mile-long trains dominated by hundreds of tank cars are common through downtown Hudson, and some may be carrying more than 3.5 million gallons of the crude, extracted from North Dakota and Montana and headed to East Coast refineries.
As the U.S. rapidly increases its oil and gas production beyond the capacity of existing pipelines, rail shipments of all types of oil have surged, from 9,344 tank cars in 2008 to more than 434,000 in 2013, says the American Association of Railroads. There was a 75 percent increase in the last year alone.
Bakken is the most volatile, and perhaps more than 50 trains loaded with the North Dakota crude pass through northern Ohio weekly. Safety concerns have mounted as 47 people died in a crash-explosion in 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Last April, a train carrying 3 million gallons of Bakken shale derailed and exploded in Lynchburg, Va. There were other accidents in North Dakota, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New Brunswick, and Oklahoma.To read more or comment...
It is the lawsuit that everyone in Ohio saw coming.
Fairlawn-based Bass Energy Inc. and Ohio Valley Energy Systems Corp. have filed a suit against the city of Broadview Heights and its community bill of rights that blocks new drilling.
The suit is the first of its kind in Ohio with drillers challenging local charter amendments and votes under home rule that ostensibly give communities the authority to ban drilling and hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
The Broadview Heights charter amendment was approved by voters by a 2-1 margin in November 2012.To read more or comment...
Supplies of natural gas are growing in the Appalachian Basin, but the lack of pipeline capacity has hurt drillers in Ohio and surrounding states.
That was the message earlier this week from Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp.
The company has halted its Utica shale drilling in Ohio but intends to drill its first Utica well in Pennsylvania in Greene County..
That will cost about $15 million and is likely the deepest Utica well ever drilled at 13,500 feet deep.To read more or comment...
The company with plans to build an ethane cracker near Parkersburg, W. Va., is promoting downstream manufacturing clusters in the Appalachian Region including Ohio and surrounding states.
That assessment came earlier this week from David Peebles of the Odebrecht Group at a U.S. Department of Energy conference at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Click here to see his PowerPoint presentation.To read more or comment...
From four eco groups:
Denver, CO - In a ruling issued today, a Colorado state court invalidated a local ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, but left the door open for the City of Longmont and environmental groups to file an appeal to overturn a state policy that places the interests of the oil and gas industry over the health and safety of local citizens. In her 17 page ruling granting the industry and the state summary judgment in their challenge to Longmont’s democratically enacted 2012 fracking ban, the judge determined that her hands were tied by a series of decades-old state court rulings, stating that “[w]hether public policy should be changed in that manner is a question for the legislature or a different court.”
“While we respectfully disagree with the Court’s final decision, she was correct that we were asking this Court, in part, to place protection from the health, safety, and environmental risks from fracking over the development of mineral resources,” stated Kaye Fissinger, President of Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont. “It’s tragic that the judge views the current law in Colorado is one in which fracking is more important than public health; reversing that backwards priority is a long-term battle that we’re determined to continue.”
In its decision the Court determined that Longmont’s ban conflicted with the states interests in oil and gas development, ignoring the fact that the state legislature requires oil and gas development to be done in a way that is protective of public health and the environment. “Despite the Court’s ruling, we continue to believe that a fracking ban is entirely compatible with the state's responsibility to safeguard our communities and our natural resources,” stated Sam Schabacker, Western Region Director with Food & Water Watch. “Fracking is an inherently harmful practice that has no place near our towns, homes and recreational areas.”To read more or comment...
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.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
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.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.