Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets in NYS”: Pro-fracking interests spent $64.3 million from 2007 to 2013

Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets in NYS”: Pro-fracking interests spent $64.3 million from 2007 to 2013.

“Moreland Monday” Analysis of Pro-Fracking Contributions Raises Serious Questions for Commission to Investigate – Common Cause

“Moreland Monday” Analysis of Pro-Fracking Contributions Raises Serious Questions for Commission to Investigate – Common Cause.

Gas Field Attack Is a Blow to Algeria’s Faltering Energy Sector –

Gas Field Attack Is a Blow to Algeria’s Faltering Energy Sector –

Who Fracked Mitt Romney? | Mother Jones

Who Fracked Mitt Romney? | Mother Jones.

CLEAN ENERGY UNDER SIEGE Following the Money Trail Behind the Attack on Renewable Energy

SierraClub-CleanEnergyUnderSiege.pdf (application/pdf Object).

Following the Money Trail Behind the Attack
on Renewable Energy,  2012

Meeting Minard

Meeting Minard.

The Minard Run Oil Company, based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, claims to be the oldest family-owned and -operated independent oil producer in the United States. Founded in 1875 by Pennsylvania Senator Lewis Emery, Jr., the company today is run by four of his great-grandchildren and one of his great-great-grandchildren.

In mid-March, Minard purchased 415 natural gas wells in the Finger Lakes from Chesapeake Energy, the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas—at least for now. Chesapeake, formed in 1989, enjoys none of Minard’s stability: The company has been beleaguered by criticism of its corporate governance, the shenanigans of CEO Aubrey MacLendon (thoroughly documented by Jeff Goodell in Rolling Stone), and a business plan that has left it severely short of cash—perhaps $10 billion short this year alone. The company’s stock price has fallen 50 percent in the last year. How bad is the company’s management? This week, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who heads that state’s pension fund, recommended that Chesapeake’s stockholders refuse to renew the terms of two incumbent board members, saying it was a “necessary first step toward reconstituting a board that is currently entrenched and unaccountable to shareholders.” Corporate raider Carl Icahn, who is circling around the company, has indicated that he thinks the company’s problems are largely the result of poor management at the top.

The sale of Chesapeake’s New York assets to Minard is no doubt part of an effort to meet the cash shortfall. Minard’s new real estate interests, meantime, have augmented the company’s interest in the future of gas well drilling in New York State, especially the future of horizontal, deep-well, hydraulic fracturing, which is the subject of a state review.

Which may help to explain why, in the first week in May, James J. Macfarlane, Minard’s vice president for exploration, acquisitions, and operations, met with Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti in Buffalo’s Donovan State Office Building. Also in the meeting were Brad Gill, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association on New York, or IOGA; Stephen W. Rhoads, manager of state government relations, Appalachia Region, for Shell Energy; and Daniel M. Krainin, an attorney in the New York office of the law firm Beveridge & Diamond, which specializes in environmental and land use law. Macfarlane and Rhoads are both board members of IOGA.

Grisanti, who is chair of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee, has been in a crucible of pressure from both industry-funded proponents of horizontal fracking and environmental activists opposed to the practice. So far, he has declined to take a public position on whether the state ought to permit fracking, preferring to wait until the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation completes its review of the permitting and regulatory scheme it released last year.



Concern: Minard Run now owns one of the state’s three injection disposal wells.  They own fifteen thousand acres of lease holdings in the Marcellus in Bradford County.
We’d better pay attention here.  Minard Run, in their acquisitions  in Cayuga and Onondaga County in March, picked up the injection disposal well near Cayuga Lake not far from Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, name of well on DEC database Quill 672.  
Many  of the wells Minard picked up from CHK were old (1980s) Queenston sandstone wells, lots in Cayuga County.
In Ohio, many of the injection wells are older sandstone wells which were subsequently permitted to flip to injection disposal wells. 

There is no mandated public hearing when the EPA permits an injection well in NY.  (EPA has oversight, NY one of ten states that has not requested primacy for oversight.)   EPA does have to post on their website for thirty days any pending permits – and IF they consider there is sufficient public interest, they MAY issue a press release which the municipality MAY choose to publish.    

John Holko, of Lenape,  who owns another of the injection wells southeast of Rochester, was at the Auburn City Council meeting when they rescinded the ban on taking waste at the municipal treatment plant.  He was also quoted in the NYTimes as saying the infrastructure on waste will be developed as it goes in NY.    His injection well, named Ranous on the DEC site, drilled and permitted for injection in 1985, is 640′ deep.  No zero missing there.  Ranous well is the only one of the three wells exempt from mandated biannual certified sampling of injectate and exempt from nearby ground water monitoring wells required at the two other injection wells.  Interesting as it is the most shallow, the other two wells being 1080′ and 1800′ deep,  shallow still in relation to the injection wells in OH and TX which are several thousand feet deep.

Something to watch, Minard now owning that injection well, they having Marcellus holdings. Waste being a wildcard.  

Mary M

A Climate of Corporate Control

A Climate of Corporate Control

How Corporations Have Influenced the U.S. Dialogue on Climate Science and Policy
Download: A Climate of Corporate Control (2012): Full Report | A Climate of Corporate Control (2012): Executive Summary



Full Report

Executive Summary


Appendix C: Company profiles

Appendix D: Summary of Key Climate-related Votes in Congress

Appendix E: Corporate Interview Questions and Transcripts

An overwhelming scientific consensus supports the reality of human-induced global warming and the importance of prompt action to limit its impact. Constructive, science-based public discussion of climate change impacts and policy solutions is urgently needed.

Unfortunately, many U.S. companies are using their influence to muddy the waters­ casting unwarranted doubt on the science, adding confusion to the policy discussion, and holding back or slowing down action on solutions.

The 2012 UCS report, A Climate of Corporate Control, looks at statements and actions on climate science and policy by 28 U.S. companies, shows how these contributions can be problematic, and suggests steps that Congress, the public, the media, and companies themselves can take to address the problem.

Corporations have the right, of course, to weigh in on public policy issues that affect their interests. But too often they do so irresponsibly, misrepresenting and misusing science at the public’s expense, and in recent years their influence has grown.

Corporations skew the national dialogue on climate policy in a variety of ways ­making inconsistent statements across different venues, attacking science through industry-supported organizations, and taking advantage of the secrecy allowed them by current legal and regulatory structures.

Inconsistency: Having It Both Ways

Some corporations are contradictory in their actions, expressing concern about the threat of climate change in some venues­such as company websites, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, annual reports, or statements to Congress­ while working to weaken policy responses to climate change in others.

For example, Conoco Phillips has acknowledged on its website that “human activity…is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate.” Yet in its comments on the 2009 EPA Endangerment Finding, the company claimed that “the support for the effects of climate change on public health and welfare is limited and is typified by a high degree of uncertainty.”

Using Outside Organizations: Contrarians By Proxy

One way a company can work against effective climate policy while avoiding accountability for that work is to provide funding to outside groups that lobby against climate legislation and regulation or engage in advocacy campaigns against climate science. Such groups range from business associations such as the National Association of Manufacturers to front groups like the Heartland Institute.

Echoing the inconsistency in their other statements and actions on the issue, many companies belong to groups lobbying on both sides of the climate policy debate. For example, Caterpillar is affiliated both with the World Resources Institute and Nature Conservancy, which advocate global warming solutions, and with the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation, which oppose them.

Of course, corporations may point out that the organizations they support work on many issues besides climate­but the fact remains that many of these groups take starkly anti-science positions on climate change and work aggressively to challenge science-based climate policies.

A Lack of Transparency

When business interests can hide their influence on policy-making processes from public view, it becomes easier for them to manipulate perceptions of science and skew policy discussions. There are several areas in which greater transparency is needed:

Charitable contributions. Current law only requires corporate foundations to disclose their donations to the IRS; companies can get around this requirement by making their donations directly, bypassing their foundations. This information is also hidden from shareholders: several corporations have received proposals from their shareholders demanding access to the company’s charitable contributions, and legislation to require such disclosure has been proposed in Congress.

Lobbying and political expenditures. While companies are legally required to report their total expenditures on political contributions and lobbying, they are not required to disclose the particular issues for which these contributions are targeted. So it is not possible to determine how much lobbying corporations are doing on climate issues.

Business risks from climate change. Publicly traded companies are required to discuss risks that might materially affect their business in their annual SEC filings. The report shows that compliance with this requirement with regard to climate change is not consistent; some companies address climate-related risks fully, some discuss only the possible impacts of climate regulation, neglecting the physical impacts of climate change, and others ignore the issue entirely.

Good and Bad Behavior

It’s not all bad news out there: The report shows that some companies, such as NIKE, appear to be consistently constructive in their climate-related statements and actions.

At the other extreme, some companies appear to be almost uniformly obstructionist on climate issues. This list is dominated by fossil-fuel companies such as Peabody Energy and Marathon Oil.

But because of the lack of disclosure, it is impossible to say for sure whether companies are completely constructive or obstructionist.

Solutions: The Path Forward

Inappropriate corporate influence on the national dialogue on climate science and policy is a large-scale, complex problem requiring large-scale, complex solutions. However, there are a range of specific actions that can be taken in the near term to put the United States on the right path:

  • Companies should disclose more information on how they influence the conversation on climate change and other issues of public interest.
  • Congress should investigate ways to require more disclosure of corporations’ political activities.
  • The SEC should require companies to disclose their political contributions and should specifically require that climate change be addressed in reports on business risks.
  • Investors and consumers should continue to work both individually and collectively to demand transparency, accountability, and integrity in the private sector.
  • The media should be mindful of potential conflicts of interest among the experts and other individuals they rely on for information, and disclose such conflicts when found.

Brown ordered firing of regulator who took hard line on oil firms – Page 2 –

Brown ordered firing of regulator who took hard line on oil firms – Page 2 –

Hydrofracking Debate Spurs Huge Spending by Industry –

Hydrofracking Debate Spurs Huge Spending by Industry –

State Democrats Table Votes On Hydrofracking Ban, Millionaires’ Tax At Testy Meeting | Politics on the Hudson

State Democrats Table Votes On Hydrofracking Ban, Millionaires’ Tax At Testy Meeting | Politics on the Hudson.