Billboard in Tioga County, New York; "Drill a Gas Well. Bring a Soldier Home."
Five years ago, the United States did not produce enough natural gas to meet its own needs and was resigned to its status as a long-term gas importer.
Now that has all changed, thanks to the widespread use of high-volume hydrofracking to extract gas from shale formations. Today domestic gas supplies are so high and prices so low that energy companies are scrambling for clearance to export it to countries that will pay three or four times as much for it.
But granting export permits to all who seek them could be a dangerous mistake. The U.S. Department of Energy, among others, suspects that rampant exporting would trigger domestic price spikes that would hurt consumers, electric utilities and manufacturers. Over time, more expensive gas would undercut the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing worldwide. Continue reading The Elusive Promise of Cheap Energy
Protesters chant at the gate of Schlumberger’s fracking supply depot in Horseheads, NY, Aug. 11. Schooled in the art of being arrested, they waited in vain for trucks hauling fracking sand to try to breach their ranks. (Photo: Shaleshock)
ALBANY, NY—Two months ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confidently promised a rapid roll out of his plan to introduce high-volume fracking to New York State in a few rural upstate counties.
But his trial balloon for the initiative drew intense negative reactions, to which the governor has responded with dead silence. That has left both sides of the natural gas drilling debate wondering whether Cuomo will stick with the plan that all but flopped in its public test or go back to the drawing board. Continue reading Cuomo’s Fracking Plan: Politics Trumps Science
ALBANY, N.Y. — Ignoring taunts from anti-hydrofracking protestors marching outside, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered a nearly hour-long State of the State address to lawmakers Jan. 4 without mentioning the hot-button gas drilling technique.
In his speech, the governor skipped over a section of his prepared remarks that had promised to deliver in 2012 both the state’s final rules for new gas well permits and recommendations from his own gas drilling advisory panel.
Asked about the omission, Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing said of his boss’ hydrofracking policy: “We are still waiting for the facts … We base everything on facts.”
Continue reading N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo Sidesteps Natural Gas Hydrofracking Controversies
Exposed Petroleum Pipeline from September Flooding in the Loyalsock Watershed in Lycoming County, Pa. (Photo credit: Carol Kafer)
Severe flooding from Tropical Storm Lee in early September washed away the road that Carol Kafer used to take to work in the rural hills of northern Pennsylvania. Raging waters exposed a petroleum pipeline near the roadbed, complicating repairs and delaying for weeks the reopening to traffic.
At least, Kafer says, the disaster may finally awaken the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to the potential environmental risks of a planned 39-mile natural gas pipeline, called the MARC 1, across her county.
Continue reading Inergy’s MARC 1 Pipeline At Crossroads