SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE: SD) said Jan. 28 that oil and gas industry veteran Paul D. McKinney has been named as the Oklahoma City-based E&P’s next president and CEO. McKinney will join SandRidge, effective Jan. 29, from Yuma Energy Inc., where he served as the company’s president and COO. He succeeds William M. Griffin, who took over as SandRidge’s president and CEO last year after James Bennett was ousted in a victory for activist investor Carl Icahn. SandRidge came under pressure from Icahn, who had objected to Bennett’s compensation and the company’s $746 million bid to buy rival Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. (NYSE: BCEI). Julian Bott, the company’s CFO, was also pressured to leave by Icahn in early 2018.

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/sandridge-energy-names-industry-vet-paul-mckinney-as-ceo/

Tom.jpg?resize=75%2C95Tom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

… 

There’s a huge problem with green energy schemes that no one is talking about; they rely upon planned government activity rather than spontaneous innovation.

Almost all green energy schemes rely upon government support and/or government direction. Dogma is their foundation and coercion of one form or another is their standard operation procedure. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, by contrast, is a matter of spontaneous innovation; a combination of two previous innovations that together have produced the shale revolution.

This innovative combination, moreover, involves no coercion, no subsidies, no renewable portfolio standards and no mandates. It is constantly changing, improving and upgrading with no limits and no end in sight. Meanwhile, the promise of green energy delivered on its own, absent government propping it up and forcing its use, is somehow always in the future, so close we’re told, we can taste it, except that it never happens.

All this came to mind over the weekend as I was finishing a wonderful book called “The Tyranny of Experts,” by William Easterly. He makes an impassioned case for why so many of the efforts by World Bank types, and specifically, the Rockefeller Foundation, to bring poor countries out of poverty have been utter and complete failures. Along the way, he refers to another of my favorite books, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” by Jane Jacobs. Both books are highly critical of top-down planning and argue for individualism and for freedom to invent, innovate and renew.

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Cast-iron buildings in SoHo that were once decrepit old factories and are now part of a very expensive trendy scene

Jacobs made the point, long ago, that attempts at conscious direction of city life as in urban renewal projects then being proposed for a destitute area of New York City were doomed, whereas organic, spontaneous development was the very nature of city life.  She was proven correct years later when that destitute area became what is now known as the trendy SoHo part of Manhattan, where apartments sell for multiple millions of dollars.

We see the same dynamic with green energy schemes. Most of the green energy development we’ve witnessed to date is anything but organic. Rather, it’s planned by supposed experts in government and forced upon us. We’re told we have to do it and we have to pay extra to do it. This means, of course, there is no real incentive to innovate. Why experiment with an alternative idea or a different approach when you’re assured of a market for what you’re doing now?

Compare this to the way the natural gas industry works, with no significant subsidies or requirements that your product be used. The only way to get ahead to is to constantly innovate by finding a better, less expensive way to get your product to market. This is why natural gas development has changed dramatically since I first got involved in promoting it. Then, we were talking about a well pad for every 40 or 160 acres. Now, we’re seeing 1,280 acre units and laterals going out miles with absolutely minimal land disturbance. We’re seeing multi-level drilling, recycling of almost all water used and other innovations too numerous to mention.

This happens, of course, partly due to competition that government guarantees invariably obliterates. But, there’s a bigger factor as well and it is that focusing the attention of 100 green energy experts on a single idea is never as effective as 100 people pursuing 100 ideas. Innovation cannot be planned or forced. It has to be spontaneous to be innovative, something no one thought of before. That only happens when large numbers of people are pursuing large numbers of ideas, with lots of failures and those occasional successes that take everything in an entirely different direction.

This could be happening in green energy, too, but is it? Not really. It’s much too easy to secure tax incentives from Congress for old uneconomical energy. It’s much too easy to get states to impose requirements that utilities use what is produced by the same old green energy schemes. There is no reward in green energy for fooling around with crazy ideas that just might work. Take away the mandates and the subsidies and a thousand new ideas might bloom because some eccentric entrepreneurial mind out there and others like him suppose they know how to turn rain into carbonless gasoline.

But, that’s not happening with green energy schemes. No, all the scheming is going into how to grab government money, which involves zero innovation. The natural gas industry, where there’s not only freedom to pursue new ideas but potentially huge rewards for doing so, is innovating all over the place. This is why green energy schemes never quite materialize as projected. Every advance in green energy is matched by two or more in natural gas. Incentives matter. Spontaneous innovation stimulated by a combination of freedom and competition will always trump the best efforts of the experts trying to plan and mandate it on behalf of government.

The post Why Most Green Energy Schemes Are Doomed to Fail appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/why-most-green-energy-schemes-are-doomed-to-fail/

I must come clean upfront: I am a Baby Boomer.

I grew up during a time when so-called muscle cars really had muscle. There’s never been a better sound to these ears from a non-human source than sitting at an intersection when a 1967 Pontiac GTO, or a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, pulls next to me. The rumble from the V-8, gas-guzzling engine permeates my ears, and I watch slack-jawed as the entire car vibrates from the potential under the hood.

Today, while muscle has returned to the U.S. automobile industry, with 700 horsepower Hellcats and Demons, Shelby Mustang GT 350s, and Camaro ZL1s, hybrid power plants and all-electric vehicles led by Elon Musk’s Tesla, get more press.

Tesla touts looks, speed and technology that matches any gasoline-fired vehicle, but also mathematics, proving it costs less to charge a Tesla, than to fill the gas tank of a comparable car, Kallanish Energy reports.

Maybe – but maybe not. Last week, an article in the publication Techspot raised legitimate questions about whether a match still favors Tesla.

Charging rate jumps

The electric-vehicle maker recently announced what would have averaged a 33% increase in its Supercharging station rates, ironically happening during a time of tumbling gasoline prices, according to energy technology website Electrek.

Since Oct. 10, the national average price for regular gas has fallen 23%, to roughly $2.25 a gallon, according to consumer gasoline website gasbuddy.com.

The drop comes as Tesla also ends its so-called referral program, which provided free Supercharging to qualified buyers. Effective last November, all new Tesla owners must pay the new, higher rates at Supercharging stations.

Price increase rethought

Following a very vocal outcry from its adherents, Tesla rethought the 33% charging price increase, and backed it down about 10%, from $0.31 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), to $0.28/kWh, on average.

Based on average prices, a fill-up and a charge cost nearly the same, running $27 and $28, respectively.  (At $0.31/kWh, charging would have been $31.)

Yet, in many states the price of a gallon of gas remains far below the national average, which alters the math in favor of gasoline.

Low gasoline prices hurt comparisons

For example, at Jan. 27, you could find regular gasoline for as low as $2.14 a gallon in Pennsylvania, $1.66/gallon in Texas, $2.01/gallon in Florida, and $1.50/gallon in Oklahoma.

Using those prices, it’s cheaper to fill a car with regular gas than its batteries with electricity at a Supercharger station.

Industry analysts also question whether some of the recent cost comparisons are fair, claiming key factors and certain nuances are being overlooked.

For example, most Tesla owners charge at home — where rates are cheaper — not at the public Superchargers. On the other hand, most homes aren’t wired to handle 120 kW chargers, which are likely not cheap to install.

Premium gasoline price has dropped

Tesla backers also say when comparing cost, consumers should pair Teslas with equivalent-cost luxury vehicles – Teslas aren’t cheap.

That’s fine, but the Tesla website uses $2.85/gallon for premium – hi-test to Boomers – gasoline, when doing its price comparison. According to AAA, there currently are 33 states in which the average price for hi-test is under $2.85/gallon.

There’s also the matter of the status of the federal electric vehicle tax credit, which had been as high as $7,500, but which depends on how close the manufacturer come to selling 200,000 vehicles since 2010. Tesla actually went over the 200,000-vehicle mark in the third quarter of 2018.

So the Tesla backers and gasoline guzzlers continue verbally sparring, “my car’s better than your car.”

Both are correct – it all depends what a buyer wants. For me, give me that V-8-shaking GTO or ‘Cuda. I like the feel.   

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/tesla-gasoline-powered-cars-line-em-up/

Tom.jpg?resize=75%2C95Tom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

… 

An article in LoHud exposes the real life impacts of pipeline opposition and the lack of critical thinking abilities on the part of so many New Yorkers.

Yesterday, I noted a Westchester County, New York Assemblywoman by the name of Amy Paulin was experiencing some sort of awakening with respect to the impacts of Andrew Cuomo’s maddening pipeline opposition. They have resulted in ConEd imposing a moratorium on new gas connections. “We just can’t stop all economic development, all affordable housing projects, all residential development, which is what this moratorium will do,” she said.

Paulin was, of course, aiming her remarks at ConEd, rather than her fellow Democrat, the governor of New York. The message was, nonetheless, clear; Cuomo’s green appeasement strategy is starting to impact real lives and he’d better be more careful. It was a not so subtle suggestion to rethink his pipeline opposition.

An article in LoHud brings things into focus and here are a few of the moist relevant excerpts:

“The state’s misguided blockade against natural gas infrastructure is hurting New York’s economy through lost jobs and a higher cost of doing business,” said Peter Kauffmann, the spokesman for New Yorkers for Affordable Energy, a trade group representing labor and business leaders in the natural gas business.

ConEd’s announcement may have come as a surprise to many but over the past two years, the company has repeatedly told state regulatory officials a moratorium was looming.

“The Company forecasts that in the near term it may be unable to meet demand from new customers on extremely cold days, resulting in the need to institute moratoriums on attaching new firm customers in areas where pipeline capacity is severely constrained,” the company wrote in a petition to the state Public Service Commission in September 2017.

ConEd noted that over the six years that ended in 2017, the utility’s natural gas peak day demand had increased more than 30 percent and it’s expected to grow an additional 23 percent in the next 20 years.

Much of that growth is being spurred by efforts to wean customers off dirtier heating oil options. Between 2011 and 2016, ConEd converted more than 6,500 buildings to natural gas, an effort the utility says has reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

“In short, natural gas is playing an important role in New York’s path to a clean energy future and has contributed to the highest air quality in New York City in the last 50 years,” the company noted.

ConEd contracts with six interstate pipelines which connect to the utility’s distribution system at multiple points. The company delivers gas to more than 1 million customers in New York City and parts of Westchester County through 4,300 miles of mains and 370,000 service lines.

In recent years, efforts to increase pipeline capacity bogged down.

“Since 2014, the Company has worked with various pipelines to develop new projects that would increase the pipeline to New York City gates,” the company wrote in 2017. “When pipeline development projects in New York recently encountered increased difficulty in securing necessary pre-construction permits, the projects on which the Company was working were not considered viable and therefore not initiated.”

Unfortunately, this part of the article, which tells the truth of the situation doesn’t appear until towards the end of the article. Even then, it doesn’t squarely put the blame for the moratorium on Andrew Cuomo’s demagogic strategy of killing pipelines. It tends, instead, to suggest ConEd might be exaggerating its problems to leverage the situation and secure more gas. It gives radical Food & Water Watch a platform to argue that cutting of pipelines is essential to “get us off fossil fuels altogether” and implies, with no factual support, that renewables could easily substitute for natural gas, which isn’t even vaguely true.

What really stands out to me about this article, though, are two facets of the article.

The first is the real world pain of Cuomo’s misbegotten strategy of pipeline opposition. That comes through loud and clear in the comments made by builders and local officials which echo those made by Amy Paulin.

The second thing that comes through to someone like me reading the article from far across the other side of the Hudson River in Pennsylvania, is the extent to which New Yorkers are capable of denying reality, even in the direct face of it, for the sake of green political correctness. County Executive George Latimer suggests it could be just a matter of how the counting was done:

“We need to understand what led to this moratorium, how the calculation for gas is made, how many customers exist in each municipality, which slated projects are in jeopardy, which are not, the duration of the moratorium, how that calculation was determined, an overview of the regulatory process, and Con Edison’s plan for developing and implementing alternative energy sources,” Latimer said.

Notice there is no mention of Cuomo decisions to kill one pipeline after another to appease a handful of his green-obsessed Westchester County constituents; decisions solely responsible for the crisis. There’s a lot more of this head in the sand mentality throughout the article. Even those most aware of the real problem are generally afraid to state the truth or express anything that’s not green certified. Therein lies the real problem, of course; trendy peer pressure demanding green conformity.

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No, all eyes are averted from the reality there’s no way to economically heat the above 27-story mixed-use project in New Rochelle without natural gas or electricity made from gas. All ears are closed to the reality that it’s the governor, stupid!

The post New Yorkers Grapple with the Real Life Impacts of Pipeline Opposition appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/new-yorkers-grapple-with-the-real-life-impacts-of-pipeline-opposition/

Screen-Shot-2018-08-19-at-5.01.30-AM.jpgKelsey Mulac
Cabot Oil & Gas
External Affairs, Pittsburgh

Kelsey Mulac provides a primer on compressed natural gas or CNG and how it is offering another outlet for dry gas as another face of the Shale Revolution.

Compressed natural gas, or CNG, is natural gas that has been compressed to 1 percent of its original size. After removing impurities like water and natural gas liquids, natural gas is considered dry. This means it’s primarily made of methane, which is necessary for the compression process.

The most common method for compressing natural gas is a diaphragm compressor, which uses a series of chambers to constrict the volume of the natural gas. Natural gas travels through a number of containers that increase pressure and decrease volume until the gas has reached the necessary pressure. CNG is stored and transported under pressure.

Compressed natural gas is known as a great fuel choice for vehicles for its economic and environmental benefits.

America’s abundant supply and strong production of natural gas offer price stability and affordability for CNG. And because CNG is made primarily of methane, its main byproducts are carbon dioxide and water vapor. It does not produce pollutants like nitrogen and sulfur dioxide, and natural gas carbon emissions are relatively low compared to other fossils fuels. Simply put, CNG is a win-win – for both wallets and the environment.

Vehicles that run on natural gas are known as NGVs, or natural gas vehicles. There are three types of NGVs: dedicated vehicles that run on natural gas only, as well as bi-fuel and dual fuel. Bi-fuel systems allow the vehicles to run on either natural gas or gasoline/diesel. Dual fuel vehicles blend natural gas with diesel.

CNG maximizes cost efficiency for vehicles because it leaves less residue than other fuels. This reduces damage to engines and contamination to motor oil as well as maintenance costs. CNG can save a consumer almost 50 percent over traditional petroleum products: you can even calculate potential savings from converting a fleet to CNG.

Safety is also a major factor. CNG has very limited flammability and is lighter than air. In event of a vehicle accident, CNG safely dissipates into the air rather than creating a fire hazard by pooling on the ground.

Cabot’s CNG Use

Cabot has a host of CNG investments. Because of the quality of dry gas that Cabot can produce, up to 97% methane, it has lots of potential as fuel. In 2013, Cabot opened a CNG fueling station in Susquehanna County and began operating bi-fuel vehicles that can switch between gasoline and CNG with the flip of a switch. Cabot also operates drilling and hydraulic fracturing equipment using CNG. All of these measures decrease production costs and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CNG in the News

In early 2016, PennDOT announced its partnership with Trillium CNG to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations across Pennsylvania. These new CNG stations will supply gas to more than 1,600 public-transit buses at the 29 sites. Click here to see the map and the implementation timeline.

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Lebanon, PA

On January 22, 2019 the Wolf Administration announced the formal opening of service at the facility at 200 Willow Street, Lebanon. Under the program, Lebanon Transit will convert eight buses to CNG. The authority estimates saving roughly $50,000 annually based on current diesel costs and their diesel usage of roughly 35,000 gallons per year.

Gettysburg, PA

Rabbittransit launched a CNG fueling station in Gettysburg, PA in October.  According to officials, the new station will meet the needs of the transits growing CNG fleet of buses.

Indiana, PA

In October, new public-private CNG fueling station opened its doors in Indiana County, Pa. It will primarily serve IndiGO’s fleet of CNG buses, but it’s also open to the public, including for light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

To date, stations have also opened at:

  • Cambria County Transportation Authority, Johnstown Facility, includes public fueling.
  • Mid Mon Valley Transportation Authority.
  • Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, York Facility, includes public fueling.
  • Cambria County Transportation Authority, Ebensburg Facility
  • Westmoreland County Transportation Authority
  • Centre Area Transportation Authority
  • Beaver County Transit Agency
  • Crawford Area Transportation Authority
  • New Castle Area Transportation Authority, includes public fueling.
  • Altoona Metro Transit
  • Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority, Allentown Facility

In other news, in November, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded more than $2.6 million in grant funding to municipalities and businesses statewide for 16 clean energy vehicle projects.

As discussed on Natural Gas Now, the program involves buying or converting 99 CNG vehicles, upgrading a CNG station, buying or converting another 33 propane vehicles (propane being a natural gas derivative) and four electric vehicles that will run on electricity mostly made from natural gas. According to the press release, the projects are expected to reduce emissions by more than 2,800 tons and save more than one million gasoline gallon equivalents annually.

As you can see, CNG is working hard throughout Pennsylvania to put dry natural gas to further use, all while reducing costs, improving safety, and helping the environment.

Reposted, with permission, from Well Said Cabot.

The post Natural Gas 101: The Story on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/natural-gas-101-the-story-on-compressed-natural-gas-cng/

SUGAR LAND, Texas—With 45 rigs operating in the Permian Basin—more than any other company—and plans to triple its production in the basin by 2025, it is no secret that Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) is bullish on the long-term potential of the largest oil-producing region in the U.S. “We see clear value for the development today and even more so as we consider what new technology and enhanced development approaches will do to value for the future,” said Staale Gjervik, senior vice president of Permian integrated development for Exxon Mobil subsidiary XTO Energy. Speaking during American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Permian-focused Global Super Basins conference on Jan. 24, Gjervik told the crowd that nearly 1,000 of the more than 6,000 horizontal unconventional wells the company has drilled are in the Permian. The Irving, Texas-headquartered company has amassed more than 1.6 million acres in the basin.

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/exxon-mobil-addresses-license-to-operate-amidst-permian-basin-growth/

Altmaier said half of Germany’s current hard-coal and lignite capacity of just over 40 GW would still be operational in 2030, with any agreed phase-out timetable needing a periodic review based on security of supply and affordability criteria.

German power prices could be 8%-13% higher between 2022 and 2030 under an accelerated coal phase-out compared with a base scenario, analysts at broker Bernstein said Tuesday…

The minister virtually excluded additional coal closures in 2021 and 2022 as over 4 GW/year of nuclear capacity are set to close.

Altmaier warned of blackout risks under various scenarios, but praised grid operators in securing grid stability to date.

Germany, of course, put all its eggs into its Energiewende, which has spectacularly failed to reduce emissions as intended, but has spectacularly increased electric prices. The inability to phase down the use of lignite or dirty brown coal is directly attributable to ideological decisions to get out of clean nuclear energy and to never touch clean natural gas development. Compare this idiocy to the U.S., where the shale revolution has simultaneously lowered emissions and energy costs. But, don’t expect the girl wonder from the Bronx to get any of this. That would demand the ability to think rather than preen.

The post Green Energy Being Abandoned As Economics Go Red appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/green-energy-being-abandoned-as-economics-go-red/

Less than a year after predicting the United States would become a net energy exporter by 2022, the Energy Information Administration issued a new forecast this week: Thanks to record-shattering oil and natural gas production, the United States will actually achieve this status by next year.

EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) found the United States will reverse its status as a net energy importer for the first time since 1953, based on every scenario the agency considered. From the AEO:

“The United States becomes a net energy exporter in 2020 and remains so throughout the projection period as a result of large increases in crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) production coupled with slow growth in U.S. energy consumption.”

AEO2019-USExportImport.png

In addition, EIA predicts that despite a substantial increase in electricity generation, the use of natural gas and renewable sources will help emissions from that sector remain relatively flat.

Oil and Natural Gas Liquids Production

Led by growth in shale production, especially in Texas’ and New Mexico’s Permian Basin, EIA predicts:

“U.S. crude oil production continues to set annual records through 2027 and remains greater than 14.0 million barrels per day (b/d) through 2040.”

AEO2019-RegionalTightOilProduction.png

For perspective, crude oil production was 11.9 million b/d as of January 11, according to EIA. The forecast calls for a more than 17 percent increase in production over the next 8 years, which follows 112.5 percent production growth since January 2011.

In fact, a new report from research firm Rystad Energy predicts U.S. oil and hydrocarbon liquids production will surpass that of Saudi Arabia and Russia combined by 2025.

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EIA forecasts that natural gas production liquids (NGPLs) will comprise one-third of total liquids growth, and alongside natural gas, will have the highest production growth of all fossil fuels through 2050.

AEO2019-RegionalNGPLs.png

According to the report:

“The continued development of tight oil and shale gas resources supports growth in natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) production, which reaches 6.0 million b/d by 2029 in the Reference case.”

AEO2019-NGPLsProduction.png

Natural Gas Production

Natural gas is poised to  have the largest increase in production of all fossil fuels through 2050. From the report:

“Natural gas production in the reference case grows 7% per year from 2018 to 2020, which is more than the 4% per year average growth rate from 2005 to 2015.”

AEO2019-NatGasProduction.png

The Marcellus and Utica Shales in the East will continue to drive this production growth, along with strong contributions from the Eagle Ford and Haynesville plays in the Gulf Coast, according to EIA.

AEO2019-RegionalNatGasProduction.png

Natural gas produced from tight oil formations will also increase according to EIA’s projections:

“Growth in drilling in the Southwest region, particularly in the Wolfcamp formation in the Permian basin, is the main driver for natural gas production growth from tight oil formations.”

AEO2019-RegionalNatGasFromOil.png

Natural gas consumption will be led by the industrial sector, which “becomes the largest consumer of natural gas starting in the early 2020s. This sector will expand the use of natural gas as feedstock in the chemical industries and as lease and plant fuel, for industrial heat and power, and for liquefied natural gas production.” Additionally:

“U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico and U.S. liquefied natural gas exports from Gulf Coast facilities also rise. As a result, the Gulf Coast will become the fastest-growing demand market in the United States.” (emphasis added)

After 2020, the growth of production will outpace that of consumption in most scenarios, the AEO found. This will lead “to a corresponding growth in U.S. exports of natural gas to global markets.”

AEO2019-NatGasProductionVsConsumption.png

Additionally, low natural gas prices will also lead to a growth in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports:

“Three LNG export facilities were operational in the Lower 48 states by the end of 2018. After all LNG export facilities and expansions currently under construction are completed by 2022, LNG export capacity increases further as a result of growing Asian demand and U.S. natural gas prices remaining competitive.”

AEO2019-NatGasExports.png

Low natural gas prices will also help drive “a notable shift” in electricity generation fuel sources, according to the AEO:

“The share of natural gas generation rises from 34% in 2018 to 39% in 2050, and the share of renewable generation increases from 18% to 31%.”

Notably, EIA explains, “the level of emissions remains relatively unchanged in the Reference case from 2018 to 2050, despite a 30% increase in generation during the projection period.”

AEO2019-ElectricGeneration.png

Conclusion

The 2019 Annual Energy Outlook forecasts the strengthening of U.S. energy security, as record oil and natural gas production continues to reduce American dependence on foreign energy. This abundance of U.S. energy will not only provide domestic benefits, but will enable the United States to have an important role in improving the world’s access to energy and decreasing global emissions. And we’re poised to do it more quickly than previously imagined.

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/u-s-to-achieve-net-energy-exporter-status-two-years-earlier-than-expected-eia/

Screen-Shot-2018-05-11-at-6.17.46-AM-68x85.jpgRick Hiduk
Managing Editor of EndlessMtnLifestyles.com

… 

Rep. Jonathan Fritz has, in two short years, proven to be an exceptional leader in exposing Pennsylvania’s double-standard in regard to the DRBC and SRBC.

Jonathan Fritz, Pennsylvania representative of the state’s 111th district struggles daily with the fact that half of his constituents are enjoying a robust economy and reaping the benefits, while the other half have limited employment options and earning potential as the state and federal government prevents natural gas development there.

It’s also the tale of two watersheds. Most of Susquehanna County, the eastern half of which is part of the 111th District, is in the Susquehanna River Basin. Wayne County, the upper two-thirds of which Fritz represents, is in the Delaware River Basin. The commissioners of both are made up of federal and state officials. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission allows drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Bradford, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties, but the Delaware River Basin Commission has yet to allow natural gas production in Wayne County.

“We feel that it is very much an injustice to the people who live there,” Fritz said of his eastern constituents. “They can look over to Susquehanna County and see the opportunity and the jobs – the economic liberty that exists – and at the same time be deprived of it.”

Fritz describes himself as a country boy from Wayne County, proud to have grown up on a dirt road as the son of a life-long water well driller. After two terms as mayor of Honesdale and two terms as a Wayne County Commissioner, he successfully ran for the state seat in 2016. He draws unique parallels between his family’s business and the natural gas industry.

“We would drill into the earth to bring to the surface an essential-to-life natural resource,” Fritz offers. “I really look at natural gas through that same prism. It is an essential-to-life resource that lies underfoot. It can be extracted safely.”

In Susquehanna County, Fritz sees improved roads, an expanded health network, and people finding family-sustainable employment. Act 13 funds (aka – impact fees) have helped municipalities purchase new equipment and build new structures. “That increases the quality of service to the resident,” he stated. “It also levels the tax liability for the people who live there.”

At the county level, there have been no new taxes since Act 13 was established, and funds allowed for a much-needed renovation at the courthouse that effectively tied together three old buildings that now operate seamlessly.

The infrastructure improvements, he noted, result from a combination of the use of impact fees by municipalities and the energy companies themselves. “With the industry comes the realization that we need to enhance our roads. That has been a very serious endeavor by the industry,” said Fritz. “When they come in and repair a road, they often leave it in much better condition than it was prior to their starting to work in the area. That’s a benefit to everybody that travels over that road. Our roads are better now than they have ever been.”

Fritz related that he is often asked by Wayne County residents about the negative impacts of the industry. He tires easily, he explained, of exploitation and misrepresentation of facts put forth by anti-gas activists. They talk about heavy traffic, contamination, and disruption of tourism. While acknowledging the changes brought by natural gas development, he assures them, “the benefits of responsible industrial development far outweigh any negatives.”

He has come to see the increase in traffic as indicative of a healthy economy. “That’s a sound job for that person driving that truck that embodies the opportunity that comes along with it. That’s how I temper the reality that I’m going a little bit slower on this road because of that truck.”

To those with environmental concerns, he maintains “Pennsylvania has some of the tightest and strictest regulations in the country. Negative impacts become easier to identify and mitigate over time.”

His take on tourism and the impression of visitors to Susquehanna County is particularly unique. Noting that spending by visitors has increased steadily throughout the growth of the industry, Fritz suggests, “You want to go where you are warmly received. When you have a region that is doing well economically, the people are happier. Whether that’s the waitress that you encounter at the diner, the checkout clerk at the supermarket, or the person pumping gas, you find that they are happy and smiling, and you have a pleasant exchange with that individual.”

To me, those people are all ambassadors for your region. As a tourist, you’re able to tap into some of that positivity, that would compel you to return,” Fritz continues. “Where the natural gas industry is, people are content.”

Fritz wants his Wayne County neighbors to also enjoy lower unemployment, higher wages, greater job diversity, and the recognizable renaissance of their Susquehanna County counterparts and vows to continue the work with the DRBC to ease the restrictions on natural gas development.

How they can vote and act in one way for one basin and then act and vote in an entirely different way in the other basin…speaks to hypocrisy. It’s very much unfair,” he stated. “We’re going to continue to fight. We feel that there is no reason and logic. The fact that the industry has been very positive overall is the justification to move forward with responsible natural gas development in Wayne County.

Reposted, with permission, from Well Said Cabot.

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The post Rep. Jonathan Fritz Leads the Charge in Exposing DRBC/SRBC Double-Standard appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

https://www.shaledirectories.com/blog/rep-jonathan-fritz-leads-the-charge-in-exposing-drbc-srbc-double-standard/