Thomas J Shepstone's Blog – July 2012 Archive (25)

Rally Falls Flat in DC - 1/3 the Vote4Energy Rally in NY

Washington anti-gas rally flops bigtime!



Blame it on the heat. Or the start of the Olympics. Or the ill-timed Associated Press investigation revealing how top anti-gas activists routinely distort science. Or EPA’s decision to announce earlier that same week that Dimock’s water was, is and has always been safe to drink – demoralizing those who have dined-out on that talking point for years.



Whatever the reasons, Saturday’s anti-shale rally in Washington didn’t quite generate…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 30, 2012 at 7:09pm — No Comments

Natural Gas vs. Renewables - No Contest

Dick Downey reports a “fractivist” ended the recent Otsego County Natural Gas Advisory Committee’s meeting by intoning the following statement:

  A dollar spent on natural gas is one less dollar spent on renewables.

Very deep, but what does this mean?  It’s probably about subsidies, so let’s scroll back to Economics…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 29, 2012 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Hey, Leave the Kids Out of It, OK?

Vic Furman says:



Several days ago I sat in the audience at a Town of Coventry Town Board meeting, once again enduring the rhetoric from natural gas opponents who think seeing Gasland made them experts on natural gas, hydraulic fracturing and the environment.  It was one hysteric cry after another, repeated endlessly at one meeting after another, with no facts to back up any of it.…



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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 29, 2012 at 8:45pm — No Comments

EPA Declares Dimock Safe Yet Again in Merciful End to Saga

Well, its been said before and we will say it again.  The water in Dimock is safe.  It has now been declared by Cabot Oil and Gas, Pennsylvania DEP and the Environmental Protection Agency.  The agency’s latest findings match its…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 25, 2012 at 4:20pm — 5 Comments

Resnikoff Radon Rhetoric Reduced to Rubble

Readers of our blog will recall we have previously addressed Marvin Resinikoff’s rhetoric on the subject of radon connected with natural gas, finding his arguments so seriously flawed as to be laughable.  We also heard Resnikoff speak in Steuben County last year and were singularly unimpressed.  Yet, the guy keeps surfacing as a favorite expert of every anti-natural gas interest group out there.  I am a consultant, myself, and often joke about the qualifications, my favorite being “three…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 25, 2012 at 4:03pm — No Comments

Mom's Clean Air Force Obfuscates on Ozone and Shale Gas

Living where I do, near the Delaware Valley, I have accumulated many friends over the years who have somewhat different opinions than me on a host of matters.  They are mostly folks who have “moved up from the city,” as both we and they say.  It’s a culture clash sometimes and often means we end up challenging each other a bit.  That’s, admittedly, a good thing whenever we can keep the debate civil, which is most of the time.  Recently, one of those folks sent around a piece to 300 or so of…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 24, 2012 at 1:11pm — No Comments

Shale Gas Build Hospitals, Roads and Schools

Last week members of several local coalitions in Sullivan County, New York, came together for an educational meeting on the Ad-Valorem shale gas tax, as well as a screening of Truthland.  According to Bob Williams of Windsor in Broome County the tax will work just like property tax and the money will flow directly back to the local community to be used to fix schools, hospitals, roads and more.



We discussed the need to look at Pennsylvania for examples of what occurs during…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 23, 2012 at 7:39pm — No Comments

Penn State, Listening for Missing Voices, Misses The Point

Documenting the obvious is, seemingly, full-time work for some academics.   There are any number of websites offering lists of ridiculous studies funded by government or conducted at major universities.  There was, for example, that Stanford University study finding “athletes who get an extra amount of sleep are more likely to improve their performance in a game.”  Then, there was the study showing “teenagers’ use of cell phones after bedtime contributes to poor sleep.”  There are hundreds…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 21, 2012 at 9:35am — No Comments

What Twitter Tells Us About Shale Gas

The following article was posted on our friend Nick Grealy’s No Hot Air blog on June 12 and is posted here at his request.



I keep on remarking that the actual level of controversy over “controversial” shale gas (156 Google News results in the last 24 hours alone) exists much more in the mind of journalists than the public.



As is obvious, I sometimes have no idea what I’m up to technically.  But according to the professional media, Twitter is the place to be for clued in and…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 19, 2012 at 8:03am — No Comments

Hydraulic Fracturing Halftruths

The latest issue of National Review includes a semi-serious, semi-humorous, essay that discusses the differences between various levels of not telling the truth – with liars holding the top honors.  The essay refers to a 1986 essay (later book) out of Princeton that discusses what makes one particular form of not telling the truth different from terms like “balderdash,” “claptrap,” “hokum,” “drivel” and “quackery.”  We are reminded of all these terms when we try to analyze what the…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 18, 2012 at 8:19pm — No Comments

Frank Andrews Talks Truthland

I had the opportunity to see the film Truthland when it was shown at the Hilton Hotel in Scranton.  It was a good, solid presentation of facts and I especially enjoyed seeing it through Shelly?s eyes.  It gave a down to earth look at the issues.



I had to speak up during the panel discussion.



Most people in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania know me.  I spent 40 years in broadcasting, from radio to TV, serving as reporter, anchor and news director for the local ABC and CBS…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 17, 2012 at 4:47pm — No Comments

Chip 'N Friends Spin Hamilton Shale Gas House of Horrors Yarn

There was a public forum the other night in Hamilton, New York, Madison County featuring three anti-natural gas development speakers, Ron Bishop, Kelly Branigan, and Chip Northrup. As usual their presentations were aimed to make natural gas exploration seem like a terrible thing for an area, without factual evidence to support their horror stories. Dr. Bishop spoke on the chemistry of shale gas development. Branigan spoke very generally about natural gas development, which was a bit of a…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 17, 2012 at 4:06pm — No Comments

NWPOA Tours Cabot - Sees Safety and Responsibility Everywhere

Betty Sutliff writes the following

On Tuesday, July 3rd, several members of NWPOA, along with some students from Lackawanna College accompanied by their instructor,  were granted the privilege of touring a working rig site in Dimock, Pennsylvania.   Rig tour attire included a hardhat, safety…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 15, 2012 at 7:24pm — No Comments

Nationwide Backtracks

Energy insurance expert David Stein wrote this guest column only hours before Nationwide Insurance issued a new statement that backtracks on the company’s prior comments about hydraulic fracturing.  According to this statement, the company “has not changed our policies or guidelines, nor are we cancelling policies.”  The new statement closely tracks what David surmised to be the truth and may be found immediately following his remarks.



The AP broke some apparently groundbreaking…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 13, 2012 at 9:41pm — No Comments

Mike Knapp Exposes Natural Gas Opposition

New York state is nearing the end of its ridiculous four year moratorium on natural gas development. Four years of depriving its residents of access to their Marcellus gas, while painfully subjecting them to watching their neighbors just across the border enjoy the great benefits of harvesting theirs. It?s excellent news for just about everyone who isn?t a ?fractivist?. But as the situation becomes more dire for these anti-drilling extremists, so too are their actions.



The writing…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 12, 2012 at 4:35pm — No Comments

The Two Mansfield Battle and Shale Gas Wins

The shale gas plays occurring in Ohio and Pennsylvania have a few differences, the most obvious being the oil and wet gas rich Utica Shale versus the dry gas of the Marcellus.  Both also present potentially huge opportunities for economic development,…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 11, 2012 at 9:47pm — No Comments

Women of WELC Tell NY to Get It Done

With over 60 people in the audience the Women’s Energy Leadership Coalition held a meeting last night in Oneonta, New York, Otsego County. The meeting began with a social hour and buffet style dinner which helped people in attendance get to know each other and gave people time to carry on casual conversation. After dinner, Uni Blake made some opening remarks explaining what WELC is about and why it began.



The Women’s Energy Leadership Coalition was just an idea in the heads of six…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 11, 2012 at 2:51pm — No Comments

Straddling on Avon

Our friend John Holko, President of Lenape Resources, has had enough.  The Town of Avon, which is home to many of his employees and landowners, and benefits tremendously from the taxes and free natural gas he provides, decided they could take all that for granted and still play games with the anti-energy contingent by fashioning a moratorium that would grandfather John’s existing operations.  Local officials naively believe that all John has to do is to keep pumping his existing wells, keep…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 10, 2012 at 11:10pm — No Comments

Is Journalism Dead or Alive When It Comes to Josh Fox?

Journalism seems to have died in many quarters in recent years as some news outlets have taken to publishing opinion pieces as fact, made up details to fit preconceived narratives and thrown all regard for truth to the wind, regardless of consequences.  The rationalization for this behavior always seems to be along the lines of “I needed to tell the bigger truth as I saw it.”  This is, of course, nothing less than lying by another name.

Nevertheless, we see more and more supposed…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 8, 2012 at 12:26pm — 5 Comments

Oram Educates

Brian Oram educates Susquehanna County folks on water quality and shale gas.  The last Franklin Citizens for Truth informational meeting included a host of speakers from WPX Energy, Williams, and others who came to educate members of the community about natural gas development and the infrastructure (e.g., pipelines) accompanying it. Every speaker was impressive and informative; however, the one who stuck out for me was Licensed Professional Geologist, Brian Oram. This meeting gave me…

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Added by Thomas J Shepstone on July 7, 2012 at 2:21pm — No Comments

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