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No one's happy about new fracking rules, Colbert takes on Talisman

Elizabeth Albert
via Flickr
Stephen Colbert says Talisman Energy is coloring outside of the lines with its new PR campaign aimed at kids.

AP has more reaction on the new draft of the regulations for hydrofracking in New York State.  In short, oil and gas interests aren't happy about the Syracuse and New York City exemptions:

“Our biggest concern is the restrictions that have been added,” said John Felmy, chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute. “In particular, the New York City and Syracuse watersheds, and taking state lands off the table. Those are big areas.”

But neither are environmental groups:

Kate Sinding, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the proposal to place the watersheds off-limits to drilling doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t include a sufficient buffer around the ancient underground tunnels that carry water to New York City from its upstate reservoirs. “We’re very worried about that,” Sinding said. “This is a far cry from what the city’s Department of Environmental Protection has argued for.”

AP also reports that Chesapeake Energy is on the trail to encourage natural gas usage, as domestic drilling has produced more of the fuel, dropping prices:

U.S. natural gas supplies have grown dramatically in recent years as drillers such as Chesapeake have learned to tap huge fields of natural gas trapped in shale formations deep under several states. That has driven natural gas prices lower and prompted big users like utilities and chemical companies to use more of it. Natural gas demand has risen to record levels, but supplies and reserves are growing so fast that natural gas prices — and driller profits — have stayed low. “We’ve overwhelmed the traditional demand categories,” [Chesapeake CEO Aubrey] McClendon said.

The PR foibles of energy companies are fertile ground for satirist Stephen Colbert.  He took on fracking on his show last night, zeroing in on Talisman Energy's new coloring book for kids. 

It's a must watch, but we like the warning that Jon Campbell offered at Gannett's Vote Up! blog:

The video is below, but be forewarned: the jokes are a bit … salty … for this family blog. Enjoy.

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Nuclear strike

Syracuse's Nine Mile Point nuclear power plant is still on strike, reports Debra J. Groom at the Post-Standard.  Almost 500 workers have been off the job since Saturday night:

[Constellation Energy spokeswoman Jill] Lyon said the union is “falsely” stating that personnel running the control rooms have had only two weeks of training. She said the control rooms are manned by senior licensed operators who still hold operators licenses issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “These people previously held these positions,” she said. “We have a lot of years of skills and experience here.” [Union president Theodore] Skerpon said Constellation is trying to state the strike issue is primarily wages, which he said isn’t true. He said the union made concessions in one pension program to benefit the other pension program and “the concessions made weren't even one-half of what we’re giving up” in wages.

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