Anti-fracking documentarian calls for drilling moratorium
The director of the Marcellus shale documentary "Gasland" is calling on the president to declare a national moratorium on hydrofracking. Brian Tumulty at Gannett reports that filmmaker Josh Fox says the president has to "wake up to this now:"
To Fox, the gas drilling that's occurring around the country adds up to an emergency similar to the BP oil spill. "It's been flying under the radar for long enough," he said. "We're seeing hundreds of incidents on a smaller scale every day spread out across the United States." Might Fox use national television exposure at the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 27 to appeal directly to Obama, who could be watching? "You know, it might happen," Fox said, but he downplayed the possibility he will have that opportunity.
A natural gas pipeline to connect drilling operations with a transmission pipelien has gotten the go-ahead from the New York Public Service Commission (PSC). Jon Campbell at the Press & Sun-Bulletin reports that it's not known when construction will begin. Full details from the PSC are due "in the next few days:"
When finished, the 33-mile, 16-inch-diameter steel pipeline will run northeast from Forest Lake Township in Susquehanna County, Pa., across the Pennsylvania/New York border and under Route 17 before connecting to the Millennium. It will initially serve as a gathering line for nine Susquehanna gas wells operated by Alta Resources, and will have capacity to serve other wells in the future. Karam said Laser plans on hiring 175 union employees to build the project. The company broke ground on the Pennsylvania portion earlier this month, and will begin construction on the New York side as soon as the PSC's decision allows. The company agreed to a road-use agreement with the Town of Windsor, which calls for Laser to put down a $20,000 deposit and $2 million bond at the outset, as well as pay for road repairs caused by heavy truck traffic.
“Let’s not blow it”
A state senator is urging Broome County not to "blow" the potential that natural gas drilling has in the region. Nancy Dooling at the Press & Sun-Bulletin reports that Republican Thomas W. Libous told an audience at the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce that drilling is an "opportunity:"
Libous said he recently spoke to a trucker from Texas who he met by chance at Greater Binghamton Airport. The trucker is moving his family from Texas to Owego, Libous said. The trucker hauls fracking fluid for energy companies in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State allows horizontal drilling -- unlike New York, where there's a hold on the practice pending the long-delayed redraft of drilling regulations by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
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