NPR
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Science Environment

Shale Gas Industry Hoping for Statewide Regulations in 2012

The leader of the Marcellus Shale Coalition said that the past year was a mixed bag for Pennsylvania’s shale gas industry, and she expects more of the same next year.
(Dustin Gray/Flickr)
Drilling companies say they would like statewide regulations in 2012.

The leader of the Marcellus Shale Coalition said that the past year was a mixed bag for Pennsylvania’s shale gas industry, and she expects more of the same next year.

Coalition President Kathryn Klaber said that the industry added 200,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania in 2011, and expanded shale gas infrastructure across the state. However, she said that she's disappointed that the legislature didn’t pass a set of statewide laws to regulate industry practices.

I think it’s in the best interest of all stakeholders to have closure on those bills,” said Klaber. “The longer we have uncertainty as an industry, the less we’re able to focus on the business at hand.”

Klaber said that she’s hopeful that next year will bring passage of laws to normalize gas infrastructure zoning laws through all of Pennsylvania’s municipalities, many of which have passed their own zoning laws that geographically limit or outright ban Marcellus Shale well pads and other equipment.

2012 begins at a time when natural gas prices are at an all-time low, said Klaber, which is a challenge for the industry, but good news for consumers.

We expect, in 2012, those low gas prices to result in additional electricity generation using natural gas, hopefully some big, important decisions for various fleet operators, to convert fleets to natural gas,” said Klaber.

All in all, the MSC chief said that 2012 is “not a perfectly rosy picture,” but she said that she’s confident that the industry will continue to grow.

Categories

Marcellus Shale

Comments

Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 9:18 PM
lois wrote:

What does it mean to "normalize gas infrastructure zoning laws through all of Pennsylvania’s municipalities"?  You report this as though it is somehow an abnormality that some municipalities have chosen to restrict or, as you tellingly qualify it, "outright"—how about using a neutral word like "entirely"?—ban Marcellus Shale drilling in their communities.  There are many good reasons why many of us do not want drilling in our communities.  I hope that you will speak with us and report our concerns as enthusiastically as you report on the gas industry's interests. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 9:09 AM
jason wrote:

Thanks for the correction—I've changed the caption.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 5:44 AM
Marcellus Shale wrote:

RE: Photo caption – That isn't a drilling rig burning off impurities, it is a "candlestick flare."

RE: Klaber comment – "The longer we have uncertainty as an industry, the less we’re able to focus on the business at hand.”  That's pretty funny, just check the amounts this industry has "focused" in contributions to the political campaigns of the governor and every key politician in Pennsylvania, not to mention how much they have spent lobbying Harrisburg and Washington DC. Their money is earning great dividends, since delay does not cost them anything at the gas well head. Remember, no legislation (with a Marcellus Shale impact fee or severance tax) equals more money for the drilling companies. That foot-dragging in Harrisburg is making them millions, while the delay is costing Pennsylvanians.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 4:27 AM
Dory wrote:

Pay no attention to the spills, blowouts, explosions, illegal dumping, contaminated wells, truck traffic and accidents…  hey Pennsylvania – YOU are the SACRIFICE for profits, YOU are the COLLATERAL DAMAGE for profits.

It's JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS – keep your eye on the shiney, pay no attention to the destruction behind the curtain.

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