North Carolina gives mineral rights owners the right to drill on land
without a property owner’s consent. A bigger problem is that some of
its citizens live on plots of land with severed mineral rights and don’t
...A split estate applies to someone who owns a parcel of property, but not the rights to the minerals beneath it. It was adapted from a 16th century English law that declared the monarchy as the rightful owner of all the country’s buried gold and silver deposits.
I guess we're about to find out who wears the crown around here.
The claim that fracking is safe when it's done right always makes me wonder: If we don't take the time to create serious and sensible regulations for this new-to-NC industry, who is going to make sure it's done right?
Meanwhile, a signer of a pro-veto letter votes for the override, saying she signed the letter by mistake. In all fairness, she may have been distracted by the appearance of a large pork-scented object above her district.
UPDATE: Sykes says in the comments that the alleged object of Hamilton's horse-trading was killed by the Senate anyway. Also, this post has been changed to correct my inability to distinguish between Sens and Reps, as pointed out in Jeff's comment.
UPDATE 2: Binker reports that Hamilton's goodie is still alive.
The state Senate approved the legalization of fracking in North Carolina on Wednesday just hours after the U.S. Geological Survey issued an estimate that the state has far less gas than earlier assessments showed...
“The only way you’ll ever know is by actually punching down some wells,” Rucho said during the Senate debate...
Rucho said that no gas drilling would take place for at least two years until all safety provisions are in place and approved by the state legislature.
The devil's in the details, so we should probably get those right.
With gas prices low, rushing through the process would seem to benefit the drilling companies much more than it would North Carolina property owners.
ead more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/06/2117412/federal-estimate-of-nc-gas-reserves.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/06/2117412/federal-estimate-of-nc-gas-reserves.html#storylink=cpy
"[Citizens] don’t want to be handcuffed to an Ayatollah whose name they can’t pronounce in a country that they don’t know where it is," said Bill Weatherspoon, executive director of the N.C. Petroleum Council, the state branch of the American Petroleum Institute, the nation’s leading oil lobby.
The real story here is about fracking law and I agree that we need more energy independence, but didn't he just call you ignorant?
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County, is controversial even within the Republican-dominated legislature. It will compete for votes against a more moderate approach expected from Sen. Mitch Gillespie, a McDowell County Republican who favors greater public safeguards.
What's the hurry? Gas prices are low. We should take our time and do this right.
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/05/16/2068152/fracking-bill-advances-in-nc-legislature.html#storylink=cpy
Some Durham County homeowners are getting back the rights to the oil, natural gas and other materials under their land after Texas-based home builder D.R. Horton Inc. said it didn’t disclose that it was reserving those rights in those buyers’ contracts.
Hoping for fair treatment of North Carolinians in any coming gas boom is, I realize, pretty much equivalent to arguing against the use of fossil fuels, and also it coddles weaklings who should be prepared at all times to take on a fleet of corporate sharpies by themselves, but I just can't help myself.
Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Greensboro Democrat who is closely associated with many environmental causes, stood with Gillespie at the news conference. She said during the newser that her presence endorsed parts of the Gillespie approach that went slow and the fact that the bill as conceived now wouldn't life the ban on horizontal drilling. However, she too different with Republicans on the ultimate end game.
"If it can be done safely and protect the environment, protect the public health ... If all those concerns can be met, I'm for it. But I haven't been convince yet and I haven't been convinced by DENR's study...I just want to tread safely and slowly because there's no rush, there really is no rush."
Congress has exempted fracking from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, leaving it largely to the states to police this industry. North Carolina, which has slashed the budget of its environmental agency by more than a third, will be hard-pressed to provide adequate protection for the state’s waters and rural lands.
EPA is taking action to ensure delivery of temporary water supplies to four homes where data reviewed by EPA indicates that residents’ well water contains levels of contaminants that pose a health concern.
Methane in three private water wells in Lenox Twp. seeped there from a flawed natural gas well drilled by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., state environmental regulators have found.
An investigation by the Department of Environmental Protection determined that the gas migrated from at least one of three Marcellus Shale wells on the Stalter well pad about a half-mile west of Interstate 81 in Susquehanna County.
Good thing fracking is 100% safe and not even worth debating anymore, otherwise I'd be kind of worried about plans to fast-track it in North Carolina.
Federal environmental regulators took steps Friday to deliver drinking water to several Dimock Twp. homes where tainted well water has been tied to nearby gas drilling, according to three families who spoke with EPA officials.
“I’m a conservative Republican, and this goes against all my principles,” said Brian Coppola, the chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Robinson Township. The pending legislation, he said, “is an enormous land grab on the part of the industry. Our property rights are being trampled.”
NYT follows the Inquirer's lead on the erosion of local control in the shale gas boom.
In what is shaping up as a key victory for the shale-gas industry, Gov. Corbett and the legislature appear close to stripping municipalities of the power to impose tough local restrictions on wells and pipelines. Under a pending measure, wells and pipelines would be permitted in every zoning district - even residential ones - statewide.
And the industry isn't stopping there.
Two pipeline companies are seeking the clout of eminent domain. While the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has yet to rule, it signaled this year that it was leaning toward giving firms condemnation power to gain rights-of-way for their pipelines.
UPDATE: Part 2 of the series includes this thumbnail history of pipeline regulation: "The same pattern has been repeated ever since - explosion, deaths, reform." Maybe NC could learn for the experience of others and skip the explosion and death part?
Pennsylvania's regulators don't handle those pipelines, and acknowledge they don't even know where they are. And when he reported what he saw to a federal oversight agency, an inspector told him there was nothing he could do, either.
PA was unprepared to deal with its natural gas boom.
We know North Carolina's laws are not up to date in some relevant areas, which is one good reason not to rush to punch holes in the ground.
Alternative explanations were carefully considered to explain individual sets of data. However, when considered together with other lines of evidence, the data indicates likely impact to ground water that can be explained by hydraulic fracturing.
Here's that big EPA report on fracking and ground-water pollution.
Industry pushback was instantaneous, so I guess it's OK to start drilling holes in North Carolina now.
Americans have signed millions of leases allowing companies to drill for oil and natural gas on their land in recent years. But some of these landowners — often in rural areas, and eager for quick payouts — are finding out too late what is, and what is not, in the fine print.
I understand that commerce is a morality play in which the weak get what they deserve, but maybe North Carolina should think just a little about this kind of thing before we commence with the fracking.
A pair of environmental monitoring wells drilled deep into an aquifer in Pavillion, Wyo., contain high levels of cancer-causing compounds and at least one chemical commonly used in hydraulic fracturing...
Yet another reason to fast-track fracking in NC, right?
It was a gathering of professionals to discuss “media and stakeholder relations” in the hydraulic fracturing industry — companies using the often-controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as “fracking.”
But things took an unexpected twist.
On the one hand, blustery self-styled bad-asses are not uncommon in the business world.
In booming North Dakota, where fracking has helped increase US oil production beyond the dreams of the Drill Baby Drillers, natural gas is burned as a low-value byproduct (as it is, at least for the moment, at the GSO landfill).
Which suggests a couple of things: fracking is likely to remain a part of the energy business toolkit, and there's no reason for North Carolina to rush into allowing it.
Packed house at Kathleen Clay Edwards branch! I counted 7 rows of 10 chairs, all full, with several extra chairs brought in for latecomers. Steve Sumerford had invited someone from Piedmont Natural Gas to speak in rebuttal, but they just sent a recommendation--which was announced--that everyone see a video, "Debunking Gasland," which I assume is by the Energy-in-Depth crowd who did the lengthy textual attack by the same title.
The crowd was very positive to the film--no pro-frackers spoke out, if any were there.
The recent report of the Shale Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board emphasizes the importance of domestic natural gas production, but warns about the dangers of ignoring possible environmental consequences:
There are serious environmental impacts underlying these concerns and these adverse environmental impacts need to be prevented, reduced and, where possible, eliminated as soon as possible. Absent effective control, public opposition will grow, thus putting continued production at risk. Moreover, with anticipated increase in U.S. hydraulically fractured wells, if effective environmental action is not taken today, the potential environmental consequences will grow to a point that the country will be faced a more serious problem. Effective action requires both strong regulation and a shale gas industry in which all participating companies are committed to continuous improvement.
I see fracking as inevitable; I don’t see a way to stop it. The real breakthrough would be if industry were willing to work with the scientific community, which hasn’t been done so far. We were hoping to build those bridges, but it’s tough...
For decades, oil and gas industry executives as well as regulators have maintained that a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that is used for most natural gas wells has never contaminated underground drinking water...
...But there is in fact a documented case, and the E.P.A. report that discussed it suggests there may be more.
A new coalition of outdoors groups is emerging as a potent force in the debate over natural gas drilling. The Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation isn't against the process of fracking for gas, but its members want to make sure the rush to cash in on the valuable resource doesn't damage streams, forests, and the various creatures that call those places home.
Conservationists were the first enivonmentalists, and the hook-and-bullet crowd is a logical constituency in this debate.
The burden now falls on the shale industry to restore the public’s confidence. Rather than denying or bemoaning their woes, shale gas producers should be calling for firm but sensible oversight of their activities, both at the state and the federal level. Otherwise, public antagonism may put a big damper on the industry—an outcome that not only producers but also the broader public should want to avoid.