TransCanada to Buy Columbia Pipeline Group in $10.2 Billion Deal – The New York Times

The all-cash deal will make the Canadian company a major force in the distribution of natural gas produced in the northeastern United States.

Source: TransCanada to Buy Columbia Pipeline Group in $10.2 Billion Deal – The New York Times

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF SHALE GAS EXTRACTION IN CANADA The Expert Panel on Harnessing Science and Technology to Understand the Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction and publications and news releases/shale gas/shalegas_fullreporten.pdf.


The Expert Panel on Harnessing Science and Technology to Understand

the Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction  2014



180 Elgin Street, Suite 1401, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K2P 2K3

Notice: The project that is the subject of this report was undertaken with the

County bans drilling waste – Times Union

County bans drilling waste – Times Union.

PA Releases Unconventional Production and Waste Data

PA Releases Unconventional Production and Waste Data.

Seven Charged with Corruption over Shale Gas in Poland | Energy Management content from IndustryWeek

Seven Charged with Corruption over Shale Gas in Poland | Energy Management content from IndustryWeek.

U.S. GAO – Oil and Gas: Information on Shale Resources, Development, and Environmental and Public Health Risks

U.S. GAO – Oil and Gas: Information on Shale Resources, Development, and Environmental and Public Health Risks.

Breaking all the Rules: Oil & Gas Enforcement

EARTHWORKS | Oil & Gas Enforcement.


Oil & Gas Enforcement


States are failing to enforce oil & gas rules

Thanks to federal loopholes unique to the oil and gas industry, state government is the primary regulator of oil and gas development.

So the public is entitled to know, are states doing a good job overseeing the oil & gas development industry?

Breaking All the Rules: The Crisis in Oil & Gas Regulatory Enforcement, demonstrates that states across the country are failing to enforce their own oil and gas development regulations.

The one-year, in-depth research project examined enforcement data and practices in Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, New York, New Mexico and Colorado and includes interviews with ex-industry and state agency employees.

The research produced the national reports, and six state reports focusing on the pertinent state agencies:

In addition to these publications, supporting data from the research can be found in the For More Information links below.

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.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Petro Plutocracy

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Petro Plutocracy.

Executive Order — Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources | The White House

Executive Order — Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources | The White House.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to coordinate the efforts of Federal agencies responsible for overseeing the safe and responsible development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources and associated infrastructure and to help reduce our dependence on oil, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1Policy.  In 2011, natural gas provided 25 percent of the energy consumed in the United States.  Its production creates jobs and provides economic benefits to the entire domestic production supply chain, as well as to chemical and other manufacturers, who benefit from lower feedstock and energy costs.  By helping to power our transportation system, greater use of natural gas can also reduce our dependence on oil.  And with appropriate safeguards, natural gas can provide a cleaner source of energy than other fossil fuels.

For these reasons, it is vital that we take full advantage of our natural gas resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised.

While natural gas production is carried out by private firms, and States are the primary regulators of onshore oil and gas activities, the Federal Government has an important role to play by regulating oil and gas activities on public and Indian trust lands, encouraging greater use of natural gas in transportation, supporting research and development aimed at improving the safety of natural gas development and transportation activities, and setting sensible, cost-effective public health and environmental standards to implement Federal law and augment State safeguards.

Because efforts to promote safe, responsible, and efficient development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources are underway at a number of executive departments and agencies (agencies), close interagency coordination is important for effective implementation of these programs and activities.  To formalize and promote ongoing interagency coordination, this order establishes a high-level, interagency working group that will facilitate coordinated Administration policy efforts to support safe and responsible unconventional domestic natural gas development.

Sec. 2Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources.  There is established an Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources (Working Group), to be chaired by the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, or a designated representative.

(a)  Membership.  In addition to the Chair, the Working Group shall include deputy-level representatives or equivalent officials, designated by the head of the respective agency or office, from:

(i) the Department of Defense;

(ii) the Department of the Interior;

(iii) the Department of Agriculture;

(iv) the Department of Commerce;

(v) the Department of Health and Human Services;

(vi) the Department of Transportation;

(vii) the Department of Energy;

(viii) the Department of Homeland Security;

(ix) the Environmental Protection Agency;

(x) the Council on Environmental Quality;

(xi) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;

(xii) the Office of Management and Budget;

(xiii) the National Economic Council; and

(xiv) such other agencies or offices as the Chair may invite to participate.

(b)  Functions.  Consistent with the authorities and responsibilities of participating agencies and offices, the Working Group shall support the safe and responsible production of domestic unconventional natural gas by performing the following functions:

(i) coordinate agency policy activities, ensuring their efficient and effective operation and facilitating cooperation among agencies, as appropriate;

(ii) coordinate among agencies the sharing of scientific, environmental, and related technical and economic information;

(iii) engage in long-term planning and ensure coordination among the appropriate Federal entities with respect to such issues as research, natural resource assessment, and the development of infrastructure;
(iv) promote interagency communication with stakeholders; and

(v) consult with other agencies and offices as appropriate.

Sec. 3General Provisions.  (a)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


April 13, 2012.

One analysis:

Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2012 20:58:48 -0400
> From:
> To:
> Subject: Re: [CCNGD] Obama to Planet: BURN BABY, BURN
> > Before we start blaming the POTUS once again for the ongoing affects of
> > previous GOP policies, we should ask ourselves what important budget items
> > were held hostage if the POTUS didn’t sign on to this idiocy.
> Well, sorry, but I don’t buy this. Obama is clearly spooked about gasoline
> prices costing him the election. So, he does this:
> > Today, three federal agencies announced a formal partnership to
> > coordinate and align all research associated with development of our
> > nation’s abundant unconventional natural gas and oil resources.
> Let’s understand what this means. The EPA has just been **STRIPPED** of its
> authority to do its own research. That fracking study that hasn’t quite
> come out yet? Well, that gets to be “coordinated”. With an “Interagency
> Working Group”. Translated into English this means: a group of
> industry-heavy politicos coordinated from the White House. If you saw the
> composition of Secretary Chu’s SEAB (Secretary of Enegry’s Advisory Board)
> — about 2/3 industry types — you’ll get a pretty good forecast of what
> this “Interagency Working Group” will look like. *BUT* it gets worse: What
> do you suppose the EPA is required to do before it can do a rulemaking? Um,
> that little thing called … research …
> So, here’s what this means: As far as unconventional gas is concerned, the
> EPA just got ***EVISCERATED***. It’s over. And no, Obama **DIDN’T** “have
> to” do this. And yes, we do have to call him out for it.
> This is a dark day. There is no other way to say it.