Have you noticed the the out-of-state license plates around the county? I have. I have spotted them mostly in Warren, mostly on heavy-duty trucks. The plates are from Texas, Oklahoma and more than usual from New York. It has to be due to the shale developments that are coming.
I thought I would round up some headlines from across the country as they relate to shale and gas and oil drilling. Here are a few by The Associated Press from Ohio and other places:
Oct. 3: Airline to cancel federal subsidy for N.D. airport
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - An airline that for two decades has received federal subsidies to fly to a small North Dakota city says it no longer needs taxpayer help because the oil boom in the area has made the service self-sufficient.
Great Lakes Aviation will stop collecting a $2 million annual subsidy for its flights to Dickinson when the current federal contract expires on Feb. 1, spokeswoman Monica Taylor-Lee told The Associated Press on Monday.
"We will continue to provide service without subsidies," Taylor-Lee said.
In just six years, North Dakota has risen from the nation's ninth-leading oil producer to No. 2 behind Texas, with advanced horizontal drilling techniques in the rich Bakken shale and Three Forks formations in the western part of the state.
Only 3,722 boarded airplanes in Dickinson in 1993, the first year of service by the air carrier, Taylor-Lee said. The Dickinson airport had about 19,000 boardings last year and has recorded about 17,000 boardings through August, she said.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A state judge invalidated Binghamton's two-year moratorium on natural gas drilling, marking the first time a local law that would ban or delay hydraulic fracturing in New York has been struck down.
State Supreme Court Justice Ferris D. Lebous became the latest New York judge to weigh in on local bans or moratoriums Tuesday, ruling that the city law approved December 2011 failed to meet the standards of a properly enacted moratorium. Lebous said the city never established that there was a "dire emergency" regarding a practice that is still not allowed in New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration is considering whether to allow natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process involving the injection of wells with chemically treated water that is denounced by many environmentalists.
Oct. 4: By CARL E. FEATHER of the Ashtabula Star Beacon
Down in Jefferson County, where Ed Looman is executive director of the Progress Alliance, 1,200 new jobs were created in seven months this year. And that job wave is headed north to Ashtabula County.
Looman, along with Nathan Paskey of the county's Soil and Water District Office, and David Marrison of the county's OSU Extension Office, were speakers for the October Profiles Breakfast, held at KSU Wednesday.
The topic, Ohio shale gas exploration and its implications for the county, was a hot one, drawing what may have been the largest crowd ever to a Profiles Breakfast, about 150 people.
Paskey addressed the environmental issues related to the hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," method of gas drilling. He said that whenever stories of water contamination from this process are presented, the geology of the area where the contamination occurred must be taken into consideration.
Paskey said that Ashtabula County's water table is very shallow. Further, there are large layers of either shale or sandstone between the water and the area of exploration.
"We have a huge buffer," he said.
Oct. 5: Property owners sue over gas drilling waste wells
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A group of residents in Independence and Faulkner counties are suing three natural gas drilling companies, claiming that waste fluids are improperly being pumped underneath land the companies don't own or lease.
An amended version of the lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, adding several plaintiffs and two of the drilling companies. The lawsuit seeks class status for affected landowners living above the gas-rich Fayetteville Shale formation in central Arkansas.
Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co. was the only company named in the original version of the lawsuit, which was filed in August. Southwestern Energy filed a motion to dismiss the original suit, arguing the plaintiffs didn't show they had a claim.
Added to the amended version were Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Fort Worth, Texas-based XTO Energy Inc.
The plaintiffs, led by Robbie and Gwenna Hill of Quitman, argue that fluid that's injected at disposal sites is migrating beneath their property as it fills cavities in porous rock deep below the surface.
Oct. 5: Governor unveils new energy policy for Conn.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday unveiled an energy policy that promotes increased use of natural gas and improved energy efficiency.
Malloy, who rolled out the new policy in a speech in Cromwell to the state's largest business group, tied together the environment, energy and the economy. Policy makers can make the state more competitive for business by cutting the cost of electricity for homes and businesses, he said.
"The most dramatic element of this strategy is the opportunity presented to us by the increased supply of low-cost domestic natural gas," the Democratic governor said at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.
Weekend of OCT. 6-7: Owner guides N.D. company to oil industry merger
WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) - When Mark Johnsrud bought PowerFuels in 2005, he employed 40 people.
Today, the Watford City-based oil services company has more than 1,100 workers, and Johnsrud expects to close on a multimillion dollar merger this year that will make him the CEO and majority shareholder of a publicly traded company, Heckmann Corp.
Dick Heckmann, who will serve as executive chairman of Heckmann Corp., gives Johnsrud a lot of credit for seeing the needs of North Dakota's oil industry and having the skills to manage the company that grew rapidly with the boom.
"I think that he saw the shale development coming before virtually anybody else did on the service side," Heckman said. "He had the guts to borrow the money from the bank and put his money where his mouth was."
The services that PowerFuels provides include hauling crude oil ; hauling, storing and disposing of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing or fracking and renting oil field equipment.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - A North Dakota geologist says an earthquake in the western oil patch is not connected to hydraulic fracturing.
The Friday quake about 11 miles southeast of Williston registered at magnitude 3.3 - enough to be felt but not strong enough to cause damage.
Geologist Fred Anderson with the state Mineral Resources Department tells The Bismarck Tribune that the quake was consistent with historical seismic activity in the region. He says speculation that oil field fracking might have caused it isn't plausible.
Sept. 26: Report criticizes Pa. gas drilling enforcement
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pennsylvania regulators aren't inspecting tens of thousands of oil and gas wells even once a year, a new report says. But state officials say they're inspecting most new wells in the Marcellus Shale region, which is the right place to focus.
The report issued Tuesday by Earthworks, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, found that more than 66,000 active wells weren't inspected by the Department of Environmental Protection last year, and that many companies cited for violations aren't punished.
DEP spokeswoman Katherine Gresh said in a statement that the agency inspected 78 percent of newer shale gas wells last year, and that older conventional wells usually operate for decades without problems. She said that failing to note the major differences between old and new wells "is comparing apples to oranges and misleading the public."
Our next issue of the newpaper's Shale Play publication comes out on Thursday. Remember, they are free and available at newstands in the Valley.
Robinson is the editor of the Tribune Chronicle. Email him at email@example.com.