Friday, July 29, 2011

The truck was "incorrectly labeled." Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Today the Wellsboro Gazette's Facebook page featured the following:

"Trucks like this one were spreading what looked like water on River Road, Ward Township, on July 15. The trucks, marked “residual waste,” were keeping the dust down between sites where Talisman Energy USA was drilling gas wells and withdrawing water. After investigating their operations, Talisman discovered the truck was incorrectly labeled. Talisman’s policy is to spread only fresh water for dust control, said Director of Communications Natalie Cox and the equipment on the truck would only be appropriate for fresh water, not brine water. Talisman said the truck was spreading fresh water and they will label their trucks, including those used by subcontractors, accurately in the future. The Department of Environmental Protection does allow brine to be spread on dirt roads, but not brine from the Marcellus Shale where Talisman is drilling."

Report by Jason Przybycien.  Go to to see photo and read other Gazette news.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

PA's Dept. of Health keeps no database of health complaints.

So when I saw the following article by Michael Rubinkam of the AP, I shouldn't have been surprised.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health has no centralized central location...where they're tracking health complaints related to gas drilling.  Why?  Because there's no proven link between health problems and gas drilling.  Really?  Well....I guess it will stay that way, won't it?  Since the Department of Health is a government agency and the current administration was bought and paid for by the oil/gas companies (see Marcellus Money), it really makes perfect sense if one thinks about it.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health said Friday that it does not formally keep track of citizens' health complaints about gas drilling and has not, as a result, linked drilling to any health consequences.

"We have not made a conclusive link between an individual's health and natural gas drilling," agency spokeswoman Brandi Hunter-Davenport said in response to an Associated Press inquiry. "The Department will continue to monitor any citizen complaints which come to our attention."

The AP asked the health department for data on the number of drilling-related complaints it has received from citizens - and whether the agency has ever made a finding that drilling impacted human health - in the wake of claims by a northern Pennsylvania hairdresser who says that a gas well near her home made her sick.

Though gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale has boomed since 2009, with more than 3,200 wells drilled to date, Hunter-Davenport was unable to say this week how many health complaints the agency has received and investigated.

"Currently, we do not have a centralized database but are working with the Marcellus Shale (Advisory) Commission and anticipate that in moving forward we will be more systematically engaged in addressing the health aspects," she said via email Friday.

To read the remainder of the original article, please click HERE.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lowball gas leases haunt Pennsylvania Landowners

Stuck in a lease worth $2 an acre when leases are currently going for thousands per acre?  You'll want to read this.  The following article appeared today on the Corning Leader's website:

Forksville, Pa. --A few short years after agreeing to lease their land to a natural gas company for $2 an acre, Dave and Karen Beinlich could do little but watch, and wait, as an overnight drilling boom turned fellow Pennsylvania landowners into millionaires.

While other landowners were striking increasingly lucrative deals with energy companies, the northern Pennsylvania couple’s suddenly valuable 117-acre parcel netted them $234 per year. And there wasn’t a thing they could do about it.

The Beinlichs are among thousands of residents living atop the gas-rich Marcellus Shale who signed lowball leases in the years leading up to the boom in Pennsylvania. In those early days a half-decade ago, virtually no layperson had even heard of the rock formation, let alone knew that drillers had found a way to access the huge reservoir of natural gas locked inside it.

An untold number of industry-friendly agreements are now approaching their expiration dates. But landowners who expected to sign new leases — and reap windfalls of thousands of dollars an acre — are facing the reality that energy companies with billion-dollar investments in the Marcellus are not about to let their prime acreage slip away.

As landowners in Ohio and New York prepare for their own round of Marcellus leasing, high-stakes battles are developing in law offices and courtrooms throughout Pennsylvania. Landowners who signed early for pittances are trying to get out of their leases, and gas companies are trying just as hard to keep them shackled to the original terms. In some cases, landowners say they were fraudulently induced into signing by high-pressure sales agents known in the industry as landmen. In others, residents contend that companies failed to abide by the lease or act in good faith.

“There’s just too much money at stake — between a $3 lease and a $7,500 lease — for the operators to walk away from,” said Robert Jones, an attorney in Endicott, N.Y., who represented a group of landowners who sued successfully in federal court to shed their old leases. “They’re desperate to hold on to them like the landowners are desperate to get rid of them.”

Click HERE to read the remainder of the article .