ERIE, Pa. — Two men from a Kansas oil-drilling firm were sentenced to three years' probation, including house arrest, for dumping 200,000 gallons of brine water down two abandoned oil wells in Pennsylvania Allegheny National Forest...more
Royal Dutch Shell P.L.C. became the latest big international player to buy a stake in the Marcellus Shale when it announced Friday that it would pay $4.7 billion for East Resources Inc., a Pennsylvania company that has morphed into a hefty natural-gas operator.In buying East Resources, whose headquarters is in Warrendale, Pa., Shell will acquire about 1.05 million acres of gas leases, including 650,000 acres of Marcellus Shale rights in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York.
East Resources, which is based in Allegheny County, is most active in Tioga County, in north-central Pennsylvania, and also owns substantial acreage in Allegheny National Forest....more
More than 10,000 gallons of crude oil spilled out of three oil storage tanks in Forest County Thursday morning when vandals opened the valves on them, and then a fire started during the cleanup effort...more
Forest Service Fights Drilling In Allegheny Forest
Law360, New York (May 07, 2010) -- The U.S. Forest Service has appealed a ruling that derailed a settlement between the federal government and environmental groups by giving Minard Run Oil Co. and others the green light to drill for oil and gas in Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania.
The U.S. government on Thursday appealed a Dec. 15 decision by Judge Sean McLaughlin of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania enjoining the Forest Service's temporary...more
Appeal on Allegheny National Forest drilling filed
(See ADP Comment Below)
By MARCIE SCHELLHAMMER, Era Reporter
May 5, 2010. A group of environmentalists have filed an appeal in the federal lawsuit regarding oil and gas drilling on the Allegheny National Forest.
The appeal, filed by the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, Allegheny Defense Project and Sierra Club, is challenging the preliminary injunction granted by the federal court in December in the case of Minard Run Oil Co. and Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association versus the Forest Service and several of its local, regional and federal officials, as well as the environmental groups.
That injunction bars the U.S. Forest Service from acting on a settlement with the environmental groups. The terms of the settlement, which was reached in April 2009, included the halting of new drilling on the ANF until a forestwide environmental impact study could be conducted. The judge ruled the settlement was a deviation from prior management practices, and was a new legislative rule. Therefore, the Forest Service should have followed the Administrative Procedure Act when implementing it, allowing for public comment and advertising it in the Federal Register before the new rule could be implemented...more (important comment below).
ADP Comment: Please read this article carefully. It continues the Bradford Era's series of articles conveying misleading information to the public, about the Settlement. Note that it states,
"The terms of the settlement, which was reached in April 2009, included the halting of new drilling on the ANF until a forestwide environmental impact study could be conducted."
The Settlement never halted new drilling on the Allegheny - it only required the Forest Service "to conduct the appropriate level of NEPA analysis." Sierra Club, FEESE and ADP never told the Forest Service how to conduct NEPA analysis. The Forest Service could have simply conducted site specific NEPA analysis for ogm development plans like it does for logging which would have allowed the public to be notified and comment with right of appeal.
Instead, the Forest Service chose to conduct a year-long forest wide NEPA analysis called the Transitional Environmental Impact Statement (TEIS) that effectively halted all drilling that Judge McLaughlin reacted against when he issued an injunction against the Settlement.
The reason why the Forest Service chose the year long forest wide NEPA analysis was to create a general permitting scheme that would only allow the public to comment once on the TEIS and then never again on any new ogm drilling effectively taking us back to where we were when we filed our lawsuit. ADP wrote to the Allegheny and Region 9 and confronted them on their authority to attempt to do that.
I also called the Bradford Era reporter and city editor Schellhammer and asked for a correction and to stop misleading the public about the Settlement and giving the ogm industry version of the Settlement which she refused to do again. Furthermore Shellhammer has never read the Settlement and did not know that we filed our appeal of the injunction on Jan. 21, 2010, and couldn't explain why she thought it was a news story on May 5, when she never reported on it in January.
That's why the mast head at the top of the Bradford Era states "The high grade oil metropolis of the world."
Radio Roxanne Earth Day Broadcast Features Allegheny National Forest
"Last month on the first day of spring, the same month in which Obama authorized the destructive offshore drilling-for-oil policy, I toured the Allegheny National Forest with the Allegheny Defense Project, a grassroots environmental protection group, working to save Allegheny National Forest. I gathered about 3 hours worth of audio, and this 3 minute piece is a commentary, based on the questions which arose for me during the tour. I have several other new segments I'm producing from that tour, and more coming down the pike in coming weeks and months."
Two Pennsylvania oil and gas industry trade associations representing hundreds of companies will soon become one.The Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association (POGAM) will soon merge with the Independent Oil and Gas Association of Pennsylvania (IOGA).Together, the groups will create PIOGA - the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.
According to Craig Mayer, who is on POGAM's board of directors and will continue on PIOGA's, the change makes a lot of sense."It became apparent to all of us that were on the boards of directors that the... duality was unnecessary," Mayer said. "The industry interests are really the same; trying to distinguish one hydrocarbon from another didn't make much sense."
Traffic to gas wells concerns Highland supervisors
March 11, 2010
JAMES CITY – The Highland Township supervisors are concerned about the amount of heavy truck traffic en route to Marcellus Shale gas wells near Owl’s Nest.
Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting of the board, Supervisor Charlie Vaughn said “people don’t realize” how many trucks travel on township roads to reach the deep wells on the State Game Lands near Owl’s Nest.
Vaughn, who also serves as the township’s roadmaster, said “I never, ever, ever thought there would be that much activity” associated with a Marcellus Shale well project...More
Judge Denies USFS Motion: Upholds original ruling in favor of oil and gas interests
March 10, 2010
By BRIAN FERRY
Federal District Court Judge Sean McLaughlin was asked on Tuesday to change a ruling he made less than three months ago.
In December, McLaughlin issued a preliminary injunction against a settlement that would require the U.S. Forest Service to perform the "appropriate level of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis" before any mineral extraction operation could take place on the Allegheny National Forest (ANF)....More
Federal judge upholds ruling to permit forest drilling
March 10, 2010. Photo by Ted Lutz
Three Kane area businessmen who are involved in the drilling of gas and oil wells in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) smile Tuesday after a federal judge affirmed his Dec. 12 ruling to lift a Forest Service moratorium on ANF drilling. Gathered in the lobby of the federal courthouse in Erie are, left to right: Steve Dyne, owner of Dyne Excavating of Kane; “Gee” Oakes of Oakes Gas of Kane; and Wally Howard, a partner in Howard Drilling of Mt. Jewett...More
Federal judge upholds ruling to permit forest drilling
A federal judge has upheld a preliminary injunction against a Forest Service moratorium on the drilling of oil and gas wells in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF).
March 10, 2010
By Ted Lutz, Republican Staff ERIE – A federal judge has upheld a preliminary injunction against a Forest Service moratorium on the drilling of oil and gas wells in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). "I find no grounds to alter my opinion," U.S. District Court Judge Sean McLaughlin said Tuesday upholding his December ruling that again permits drilling in the forest. His order to affirm the preliminary injunction came from the bench at the conclusion of a 90-minute hearing Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Erie...More
LTE by Cathy Pedler, Allegheny Defense Project
Forest Watch Coordintaor
Contrary to the assertions of Dave Fredley and Dave Wright in their Op-Ed "Cooperation urged for drilling" (Erie Times-News, Feb. 6), the unlawful approach they advocate has failed to protect the Allegheny National Forest and the Allegheny River Watershed.
Their approach facilitated the degradation of the ANF we witness today, including 3,548 miles of roads -- more than 2,000 miles of which are oil and gas roads, as many as 15,000 active shallow wells (with deep well Marcellus Shale Gas drilling beginning this year) and no accurate accounting of abandoned wells...More
Forest Service seeks reversal in forest drilling ruling
February 18, 2010
By MARCIE SCHELLHAMMER , The Bradford Era
The U.S. Forest Service is asking a federal judge to reconsider a December ruling lifting a ban on oil and gas drilling on the Allegheny National Forest. In a federal lawsuit filed last July in U.S. District Court in Erie, Minard Run Oil Co. and the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association sued the Forest Service, chief Abigail Kimbell, regional forester Kent Connaughton, forest supervisor Leanne Martin and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; as well as environmental groups Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, Allegheny Defense Project and Sierra Club.
The federal defendants filed a motion to reconsider a preliminary injunction enacted in December. The environmental groups were not part of the motion. Arguments are scheduled for 10 a.m. March 9 in federal court in Erie...more
Comment: There was never a ban on drilling on the ANF due to the settlement in FSEEE et al. v. USFS. This is industry spin repeated by the Bradford Era.
East Resources plans to create 128 gas wells in Wetmore Township
February 6, 2010
By JOELLEN CHESNUT, The Bradford Era
East Resources has presented a plan for the creation of 128 gas wells in Wetmore Township.
On Thursday, Wetmore Township Supervisor Chairman Ron Conklin said East Resources already operates in the township. In addition to the wells they currently have in the area, the company hopes to construct 128 additional natural gas wells, mostly along Route 321...more
Gas well drilling project planned in Wetmore Township
February 3, 2010
The Wetmore Township Board of Supervisors held its monthly meeting Tuesday evening at the township building on Spring Street, The supervisors include, left to right: Bill Ryding, Ron Conklin (board chairman) and Steve Dyne (vice chairman). East Resources is planning a project that calls for the drilling of at least 128 natural gas wells in Wetmore Township. Most of the proposed wells are in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) north of Dwight’s Road and east of Route 321 in the township. Some are near the Kane Fish and Game Club on Dwight’s Road. Others are on private property off Greendale Road...more