The Fracking News: WHEN, not IF

The Fracking News
Just before Christmas, the PA House voted unanimously to nonconcur in Senate changes to House Bill 1950. Basically it means they didn’t like the Senate’s changes, which will set up a conference committee.  Here’s a good description of what comes next, with final votes not expected until the third week of the year.

The economic potential that the Marcellus gas play has to offer is still in question. Figuring out how much gas is really available is one problem, some economists are challenging New York’s estimate which has a 600% range of possibility. However, none of that stopped a Pittsburgh area school district from signing a lease to drill on school property.
Hope that works out, because according to a new survey from Deloitte, nearly half of the landowners surveyed who have leased to shale drillers in the north-east regret doing it, despite the money. Yellow Creek drillers MDS were in the news recently too, again in conflict with lease holders and their neighbors – particularly in relation to what they’re drilling near.

Legislation to regulate pipelines have recently been passed in both Washington D.C. and in Harrisburg.  It’s good news there’s regulations, and the state legislation fills in where the federal misses out. Now, pipelines, coming soon to a county near you.
Lastly today, great news from the EPA. They’ve just announced new emmission standards for power plants that will force many of our local plants to clean up their act.  Many CHC members signed a post card supporting these limits on things like Mercury, arsenic, and other particulate matter – time it worked!  

According to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson by 2016 these standards “will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 cases of aggravated asthma among children between six and 18 years old”.  Jackson estimated the value of health benefits associated with compliance at between $37 billion and $90 billion in 2016.
Check out the Sierra Club’s post describing the changes, and stay tuned to Homer City: Beyond Coal to find how how this will affect the Homer City Power Plant.

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