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Ohio Utica Shale

Medina County group submits 5,600 signatures for vote

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2015

From a press release on Thursday:

MEDINA,OHIO, June 25, 2015 - Yesterday, after seven weeks of collecting petition signatures,
Medina County landowners from the group Sustainable Medina County dropped off 214
petitions with over 5,600 signatures to the Medina County Board of Elections in the hopes of
placing a County Charter with a Bill of Rights on the ballot in November for a direct vote from
the residents. The Director of the Medina County Board of Elections said that the Board will
review the signatures and they should have a decision by Thursday, July 2nd as to whether
there are sufficient signatures to place the proposed charter on the ballot for a vote.
The counties of Athens, Meigs and Fulton also followed suit and dropped off signatures to their
Boards of Election.
Many residents of the County who signed the petition voiced their concerns about the effect the
NEXUS high pressure natural gas pipeline (36” or 42”) would have on their property values and
they also voiced their concerns about the compressor station that is to be built in Guilford
township and how it could affect the health of the residents of Medina County.
“Sustainable Medina County advocates for all residents of Medina County to have a direct voice
and vote on matters affecting families, Medina County communities and the environment,” noted
Kathie Jones, the group’s convenor. “All of our residents deserve protection from dangerous
and unwise energy projects like the NEXUS pipeline. Re-routing NEXUS from some property
owners onto other residents will not protect the environment of Medina County. We’re already
seeing how in some communities it has begun to pit neighbor against neighbor. Our campaign
is everyone’s campaign.”
If enacted, the County Charter would not alter any current county orders and regulations or laws
relating to or affecting the County or its officers, agencies, departments or employees. The
Charter contains a Bill of Rights, including rights of initiative and referendum on the county level,
which will untie the hands of our county officials by securing for the county the same level of
authority as a municipality.
To protect the residents of Medina County, we feel the vast majority of voters will again speak
for the charter form of county government this November.

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Marcellus, Utica shales to get 17 major pipelines, firm says

By Bob Downing Published: June 26, 2015

Over the next three years, 17 major pipeline projects will carry up to 17.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, according to IHS Energy.

That natural gas will go to varied markets.

Click  here   to read more from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette earlier this week.

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Two groups sue administration over crude export secrecy

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2015

From Earthjustice today:

Seattle, WA — Earthjustice, on behalf of Sightline Institute, has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration today in hopes of daylighting information behind crucial federal energy policy decisions.

The groups had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request in February to the US Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) seeking details on BIS’s criteria for approving multiple significant exceptions to the nation’s 40-year-old crude oil export ban. For the more than four months since that filing, BIS has ignored multiple attempts by Earthjustice attorneys to obtain the requested information or even a response from agency officials.

Today’s lawsuit in the U.S. district court in Seattle asks the Court to order the Obama administration to disclose the BIS rationale and key documents concerning the new loopholes.

In the past year, BIS has issued secret rulings exempting certain crude oil streams from the licensing process. The agency shares its rationale with industry players seeking to exploit the new loopholes, but hides the full extent of the loopholes from the public.  By quietly eroding the export ban behind closed doors, BIS is initiating a major change in US energy policy at a time when this very policy is being hotly debated in Congress.

In response to similar past FOIA requests by media outlets, agency officials have invoked the Export Administration Act of 1979 to withhold this information. Yet as Earthjustice points out in today’s filing, that law lapsed in 2001 and no longer provides any pretext for BIS to skirt the issue.

Patti Goldman, managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Northwest office, states, “The Department of Commerce is making public policy decisions about America’s energy future behind tightly closed doors. We expect greater transparency and accountability of our government when it is shaping the country’s and even the planet’s energy future.”

Eric de Place, policy director of Sightline Institute, notes, “Given the current upsurge of public concern around oil issues, from the Shell drilling lease in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea to oil trains rolling through communities across the country, this is exactly the wrong time to be engaged in secretive and illegal behavior that further promotes the interests of the oil industry.”

Read more about the filing on Sightline Institute’s website at To learn more about the export ban exemptions, see this Earthjustice article Federal Agency Quietly Allows Oil to Leak Through Crude Export Ban.



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Utica Shale production may be heavily based in four counties

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2015

In the next five to 10 years, 90 percent of the production fromt he Utica Shale will come from four counties in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, says an official of Rice Energy Inc. in comments made this week at a Pittsburgh shale drilling conference.

Click  here  to read more from the Pittsburgh Business Times.

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Carnival switching to LNG to power new cruise ships

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2015

Carnival Corp. is going green at sea.

The cruise company has ordered four new ships, all to be powered by liquified natural gas, a first in the cruise industry.

Each of the ships will handle up to 6,600 passengers.

They are scheduled to go into service from 2019 to 2022.

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Summit County park group is opposed to Ohio's House Bill 8

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2015

From the Friends of Summit Metro Parks:

The Friends of Metro Parks Board has approved taking action to oppose Ohio's House Bill 8.



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ET-Williams deal would boost Energy Transfer in Northeast

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2015

Energy Transfer Equity's proposed $48 billion merger with the Williams Companies Inc. would help boost Energy Transfer Equity in the Northeast and in the Marcellus and Utica shales.

Click  here  to read more.

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States can take lead in reducing methane emissions

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2015

From the World Resource Institute on Wednesday:

Natural gas can offer climate and public health benefits, but its production too often leaks methane, a heat trapping gas that is at least 34 times as potent as carbon dioxide. Estimates show that natural gas production sites leak from 1 percent to 10 percent or more of their methane. Consider the fact that the United States has over 925,000 natural gas-producing wells, and that’s a lot of methane being released into the atmosphere!

While the federal government is taking steps to reduce these emissions, soon-to-be-proposed rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) don’t go far enough. They’ll cover only new and modified natural gas infrastructure, leaving old, leaky equipment free to emit unchecked amounts of methane.

That’s where states can play a role. A new WRI paper outlines the many opportunities that states have to lead in reducing the country’s methane emissions. In fact, it’s in their best interest to do so.

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Columbia Pipeline Group approves $2.7 billion in new pipelines

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2015

From the Columbia Pipeline Group on Wednesday:

HOUSTON, June 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc.  (CPG) (NYSE: CPGX WI), a subsidiary of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI), today announced board of directors approval of a combined future investment of $2.7 billion in new infrastructure projects to support the continued development of gas supplies in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.  The Mountaineer XPress (MXP) and Gulf XPress (GXP) projects will provide 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/D) of firm transportation from Marcellus and Utica production areas to markets served by the Columbia Gas Transmission (Columbia Transmission) and Columbia Gulf Transmission (Columbia Gulf) systems. These projects are supported by long-term, firm transportation contracts with a variety of Marcellus and Utica producers and shippers.

"Today's announcement underscores CPG's commitment to expanding its natural gas pipeline system in the Marcellus and Utica shale areas," said Glen Kettering, President, Columbia Pipeline Group. "These projects will enhance CPG's already substantial footprint to meet the needs of the market in this important region - transporting growing supplies of clean-burning natural gas to high-value markets."

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U.S. refinery capacity reaches 18 million barrels per day

By Bob Downing Published: June 25, 2015

From the U.S. Energy Information Administration today:

Increased refinery runs—based on increases in both capacity and utilization—have helped accommodate increases in U.S. crude oil production. The United States' capacity to refine crude oil into petroleum products—measured as operable atmospheric crude distillation unit (CDU) capacity—increased by 0.2% in 2014, reaching 18.0 million barrels per calendar day (b/d), according to EIA's recently released annual Refinery Capacity Report.

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Tags: crude oil , liquid fuels , oil/petroleum , refinery capacity , refining

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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.