Gas Drilling Companies and Businesses

FracFocus Chemical Disclosure Registry, Groundwater Protection Council, and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission , (2011)


This website is a joint project of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.  It was launched on April 11, 2011 and only covers wells drilled starting in 2011.  It appears to be an attempt at Gas Industry "transparency" and has funding support from the U.S. Depatment of Energy (DOE).  It claims to disclose the chemical additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process on a well-by-well basis.


Of all the lobbyists bringing their issues to Capitol Hill, the Groundwater Protection Council is one of the smaller players.  I have to wonder, reading the rankings on Open Secrets, "Lobbying Spending Database: Environment, 2009", why this groundwater organization spends less on its annual lobbying than "Fur Wraps the Hill" or the "Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy"?  Groundwater is a hot button national issue, affecting both the urban and agricultural sectors.

The industry groups proudly stamping their logos on FracFocus need to come up with more cash or be outed as a do-nothing front organization advocating the corporate pillaging of our natural resources in the name of energy development.  They wave the Tenth Amendment around like the flag at Iwo Jima.

How do they demonstrate the committment to "protecting our nation's ground water"?  They conveniently share an address with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC).  13308 N. MacArthur Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK.

IOGCC claims to have a noble mission but talk is cheap... They advocate less intervention by the Federal government on behalf of the shared resources in our environment.  Twenty thousand bucks?

Read between the lines!  Here is a letter written to Congress by the IOGCC calling for the Feds to keep their hands off! The $20,000 looks like a smokescreen to me. Pocket change...(Neil Zusman, 2011-05-24).


From their website:

On this site you can search for information about the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells. You will also find educational materials designed to help you put this information in perspective.

See: Chu Names Panel to Study Fracking.

My critique of the NYT Green report

Broder's piece goes on to offer a smokescreen of protest by the right, but according to Dusty Horwitt of the Environmental Working Group, “An industry insider like John Deutch is completely unacceptable to lead this panel...It looks as if the Obama Administration has already reached the conclusion that fracking is safe.”

Gas Drillers Plead Guilty to Felony Dumping Violations, Sabrina Shankman , ProPublica, (2010)


Since Pennsylvania’s gas drilling boom ramped up in 2008, companies have been fined regularly for environmental accidents — $23,500 here for spilling 5,000 gallons of waste, $15,557 there for spilling 295 gallons of hydrochloric acid. The fines often amount to slaps on the wrist for companies that stand to make hefty profits from their wells.

But the penalties just got a lot more serious for an owner of Kansas-based Swamp Angel Energy and for the company’s site supervisor, who pleaded guilty last week to felony violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

As part of a plea agreement with the U.S. attorney for western Pennsylvania, part-owner Michael Evans, 66, of La Quinta, Calif., and John Morgan, 54, of Sheffield, Penn., admitted dumping 200,000 gallons of brine – salty wastewater that’s created in the drilling process – down an abandoned oil well. The maximum penalty for both Evans and Morgan is three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Sentencing will be June 24. (See follow-up below). Attorneys for both men declined to comment.

Swamp Angel Energy was drilling in the Allegheny National Forest, in McKean County in northwestern Pennsylvania, and the brine was dumped just outside the border of the federal land. In mid-December, a federal judge overturned a ruling that had essentially banned drilling in the Allegheny Forest...

Follow-Up | U.S. EPA Compliance and Enforcement Criminal Case Activities (nz):

EPA's Criminal Enforcement program  investigates and helps to prosecute environmental violations which seriously threaten public health and the environment or involve conduct that may be willful, intentional, or deliberate.

Besides environmental violations, the cases may also have associated U.S. criminal code violations such as conspiracy, false statements, witness tampering, or interfering with a law enforcement investigation. Criminal enforcement sanctions -- which may include incarceration of individuals in addition to monetary fines against individuals, businesses, or corporations represent the enforcement program's strongest sanction and deterrent.

John Morgan and Michael Evans (PDF) (1 pg, 32K)

Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, June 24, 2010, that a resident of Sheffield, Pennsylvania and a resident of La Quinta, California, have been sentenced in federal court in Erie as a result of their felony convictions for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act by unlawfully injecting brine produced from an oil drilling operation.

United States District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin imposed the sentences on John Morgan, age 54, of Sheffield, Pennsylvania, and Michael Evans, age 66, of La Quinta, California. Mr. Morgan received a sentence of three years probation, a $4,000 fine, eight months home detention and eighty hours community service. Mr. Evans received a sentence of three years probation, a $5,000 fine, ten months home detention and one hundred hours community service.

Gasland Trailer 2010, Fox, Josh , YouTube, (2010)

GasLand (2010) Directed by Josh Fox. Winner of Special Jury Prize - Best US Documentary Feature - Sundance 2010. Screening at Cannes 2010. Nominated for 2011 Academy Award - Best Documentary Feature.


It is happening all across America and now in Europe and Africa as well - rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from a multinational energy conglomerate wanting to lease their property. The Reason? In America, the company hopes to tap into a huge natural gas reservoir dubbed the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground—a hydraulic drilling process called fracking—and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.

But what comes out of the ground with that natural gas? How does it affect our air and drinking water? GASLAND is a powerful personal documentary that confronts these questions with spirit, strength, and a sense of humor. When filmmaker Josh Fox receives his cash offer in the mail, he travels across 32 states to meet other rural residents on the front lines of fracking. He discovers toxic streams, ruined aquifers, dying livestock, brutal illnesses, and kitchen sinks that burst into flame. He learns that all water is connected and perhaps some things are more valuable than money.

See PBS interview with filmmaker Josh Fox.

See: Nora Eisenberg. Onshore Drilling Disasters Waiting to Happen: An Interview With 'Gasland' Director Josh Fox | The Nation

See: Drilling Isn't Safe.

Re-Edit by liltrax. July 9, 2010.

Halliburton, Halliburton , Solutions for Today's Energy Challenges - Halliburton, (2010)


Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the oil and gas industry. It employs more than 50,000 people in nearly 70 countries."

See: Halliburton's web site on Hydraulic Fracturing

See: Soucewatch article on Halliburton.

"Halliburton is under Justice Department Securities and Exchange Commission investigation over allegations of improper dealings in Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria," Whitley Strieber wrote March 12, 2007.

See New York time Editorial on the "Halliburton Loophole". (2009)

See LA Times, "Halliburton's Interests Assisted by White House." (2004)

See. John Collins Rudolf. "E.P.A. Subpoenas Halliburton on Fracking." NYT Green Blog. Nov. 9, 2010.

See: Barry Meier and Clifford Krauss. "Inquiry Puts Halliburton in a Familiar Hot Seat". NYT Business Day. October 28, 2010.

See: Dauda Garuba. "Halliburton, Bribes and the Deceit of 'Zero-Tolerance' for Corruption in Nigeria." African Community of Practice on Managing for Development Results. ( August 26, 2010.

EPA Update. November 9-10 2010

On November 9, 2010, EPA announced that eight out of the nine hydraulic fracturing companies that received voluntary information requests in September agreed to submit timely and complete information to help the Agency conduct its study on hydraulic fracturing. However, the ninth company, Halliburton, has failed to provide EPA the information necessary to move forward with this important study. As a result, and as part of EPA's effort to move forward as quickly as possible, today EPA issued a subpoena to the company requiring submission of the requested information that has yet to be provided.

See: Letter sent by EPA to Halliburton PDF (2pp, 516K).

See: The subpoena sent by EPA to Halliburton PDF (11pp, 3.5M).



See: FCPA Blog | UK Court Won't Block Telser Extradition

Judson Berger. "Nigeria Drops Bribery Charges Against Cheney, Halliburton After $250M Deal Struck." Canada Free Press. Dec. 21, 2010.

Nigeria’s government has reportedly dropped bribery charges against former Vice President Dick Cheney and Halliburton, the energy firm he once headed, after the company agreed to pay a hefty settlement.

Haynesville Shale Natural Gas Fracturing Job, ziocody , YouTube, (2008)

Announcer: Paul Bison agreed back in March to let Chesapeake drill a well on his 80 acres in Keithville.

Paul Bison: Nobody in the section, in the neighborhood is gonna ever benefit unless somebody lets 'em drill and when we leased three years ago, we knew what it was for, we took the money and now it's time for somebody to step up to the plate and help em let it happen.

Industry responds to public take on hydraulic fracturing, Cooke, Claude E. , Hart Energy E & P, (2010)


...The fate of bills before Congress related to regulation of hydraulic fracturing is critically important. Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, but a bill was introduced last summer to federally regulate hydraulic fracturing under the act.

Regulations developed by the EPA under such a bill are unknowable at this time, but they could be expensive. Congress continues to debate the need for broader regulation and has asked the EPA to study the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water sources.

The industry needs a better, more effective way to advocate and communicate the benefits of fracturing to media, to the public, and to officials whose decisions could impact the future of the technology — and of the nation’s efforts to achieve energy independence.

Claude Cooke. "Industry responds to public take on hydraulic fracturing." Hart Energy E & P. Mar. 1, 2010.

See: Tom Hamburger and Jim Puzzanghera. "Obama a business booster in Chamber of Commerce speech." LA Times. Feb. 7, 2011.

President Obama seeks fresh start with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with whom he has had a prickly relationship.

Obama sought to distinguish between inefficient government regulation of the kind he raised in his State of the Union speech — over things like salmon — and a more legitimate government role in areas such as the environment.

"Even as we work to eliminate burdensome regulations, America's businesses have a responsibility to recognize that there are some safeguards and standards that are necessary to protect the American people from harm or exploitation," he said Monday. "Few of us would want to live in a society without the rules that keep our air and water clean … yet when standards like these have been proposed, opponents have often warned that they would be an assault on business and free enterprise."

The audience welcomed Obama with a standing ovation and laughed politely when he joked they "would have gotten off on a better foot if I had brought over a fruitcake when we first moved in."

But there was little hearty applause, and after the president shook a few hands and walked back to the White House, Chamber members were guarded in their reviews of his message.

See: Pollution in Your Community

See: Draft Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources

See: Pew Environment Group (PEG) Factsheet: Industry Opposition to Government Regulation (PDF), October 14, 2010.

See: The Yes Men | Climate Pledge of Resistance

Lenape Resources, Inc., Lenape Resources , Lenape Resources, Inc., (2010)


Lenape Resources, Inc. is the operating arm of Lenape Energy, Inc. Along with its sister companies Lenape Drilling, Inc. and Lenape Gathering Corp, Lenape Resources is involved in the exploration, development, gathering and marketing of oil and natural gas resources in the Appalachian basin with a primary focus in the states of New York and Pennsylvania.

Lenape has been disposing of drilling wastewater in Caledonia NY, 27 miles southwest of Rochester, NY on a permit which expired in 2007 but was administratively continued.

See: Public Notice No. 2010- 25 Permit No. NYU119702 Date: August 3, 2010

The EPA oversees the Underground Injection Control Program. Under the Eleventh amendment to the U.S. Constitution, if the state violates a Federal law, then the courts have jurisdiction, but if it's a purely state matter, they don't. How did Lenape manage to go three years without a permit to dispose of it's fracking waste water?

According to the website, Endangered Environmental Laws, "...over time, courts have transformed [the Eleventh Amendment] into a sweeping doctrine of state “sovereign immunity,” unmoored from the Constitution’s text, and in recent years, a conservative bloc of the Supreme Court has further expanded states’ immunity from private lawsuits. In the environmental context, this has led to near-total immunity of state agencies from citizen suits under the federal coal-mining statute; to similar challenges (so far unsuccessful) to citizen litigation under the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act; and to dismissal of state employees’ whistleblower complaints under the Solid Waste Disposal Act and other laws."

See: Babcock, H. “Effect of the United States Supreme Court's Eleventh Amendment Jurisprudence on Clean Water Act Citizen Suits: Muddied Waters, The.” Oregon Law Review 83 (2004): 47.

"The states are permitted to act unjustly only because the highest court in the land has, by its own will, moved the middle ground and narrowed the nation's power.

With rare exception, many people, including Indian tribes, federal employees, patent holders, the elderly, and the disabled, find themselves unable to vindicate rights granted by federal laws in any court when the defendant is a state or a state agency."

Violations are prosecuted only after a dramatic event such as an explosion leading to workers' deaths. Even when the dumping of toxic waste is prosecuted, the sentences' regulatory effect is minimal. Environmental felons absorb these costs of doing business.

However, the Justice Department sees it differently. According to John C. Cruden, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, "The Safe Water Drinking Act and the regulations overseeing oil and gas related injection wells are designed to ensure safe sources of drinking water. Violations of these laws will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." Mr. Cruden was Chief Legislative Counsel, U.S. Army (1988-1991).

See: Oil Company and Two Executives Plead Guilty to Environmental Crimes

See: Texas Transportation Company and Officials Sentenced for Hazmat Violations

See also: Gas Drillers Plead Guilty to Felony Dumping Violations

John Morgan and Michael Evans (PDF) (1 pg, 32K)

United States District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin imposed the sentences on John Morgan, age 54, of Sheffield, Pennsylvania, and Michael Evans, age 66, of La Quinta, California. Mr. Morgan received a sentence of three years probation, a $4,000 fine, eight months home detention and eighty hours community service. Mr. Evans received a sentence of three years probation, a $5,000 fine, ten months home detention and one hundred hours community service.

See: Drilling Wastewater Disposal Options in N.Y. Report Have Problems of Their Own - ProPublica

See: The Effect of the United States Supreme Court's Eleventh Amendment Jurisprudence on Clean Water Act Citizen Suits: Muddied Waters | Mixplex

Marcellus Shale Coalition, Marcellus Shale Coalition , Marcellus Shale Coalition, (2010)

PA Marcellus - Marcellus Shale Committee

[Opportunities? Follow this link to jobs in PA, Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS). Are you a carpenter or mason? Want a job for 23k a year? Frac Operator 1 would earn 24,960/year in Greensburg, PA. That's what I found when I looked for a Gas Drilling job. 4/19/10. (Neil Zusman, 2010-04-23.) and SourceWatch.]

The Marcellus Shale Committee is a coalition of oil and gas industry companies which was formed in 2008 to promote "the responsible development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale geological formation in Pennsylvania and the enhancement of the Commonwealth's economy that can be realized by this clean-burning energy source."

Committee Members

On its website, the Marcellus Shale Committee lists its' members.

Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution, Hawken, Paul, Lovins Amory B., and L. Hunter Lovins , (2008)


Hawken (The Ecology of Commerce) and Amory and Hunter Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental think tank, have put together an ambitious, visionary monster of a book advocating "natural capitalism."

The short answer to the logical question (What is natural capitalism?) is that it is a way of thinking that seeks to apply market principles to all sources of material value, most importantly natural resources. The authors have two related goals: first, to show the vast array of ecologically smart options available to businesses; second, to argue that it is possible for society and industry to adopt them.

--Publishers Weekly

See: Paul Hawken. "Natural Capitalism | We can create new jobs, restore our environment, and promote social stability. The solutions are creative, practical, and profitable." Mother Jones. Mar/Apr97.

Natural gas: the commodity world’s ugly duckling, Saefong, Myra , Marketwatch | Commodities Corner, (2011)



Natural Gas Futures Chart Feb11

Commentary: Is the natural-gas story ready to transform?

“Natural gas is the ugly duckling of the commodities,” said Ben Smith, president of First Enercast Financial, an information vendor serving energy markets.

But just like the beloved Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, the natural-gas story has the potential to transform — if investors are patient enough to wait.

Many commodities had seen a downtrend since the peak in prices in 2008, but copper, gold and agricultural commodities have been making new highs, and oil and iron ore have rebounded, said Evan Smith, co-manager of the $900 million Global Resources Fund, which climbed 38% last year.

“Natural gas is probably the only commodity that has set lows recently, with no rebound,” he said.

At the same time, the natural-gas market has had about $28 billion of capital come in over the last couple of years, in the form of joint ventures, largely from foreign oil companies such as India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. or France’s Total S.A. he said.

There’s too much capital coming in from foreign oil companies, and this “has largely led to continued drilling, which keeps the supply higher than it should be,” he said. And it could take a year before the market sees an incremental decline in drilling activity from companies reducing capital commitments to drill natural gas.

Even then, it could take even longer before the market reacts.

“The market currently believes this massive [shale] supply windfall will keep prices suppressed for many years,” Ben Smith said.

See: Big Money Drives Up the Betting on the Marcellus Shale

See: Krauss, Clifford. “Cheniere Energy, In Reversal, Wants to Export Natural Gas.” The New York Times 27 Jan. 2011. Web. 28 Jan. 2011.

The oil patch is a world of risk takers, but few are as daring as Charif Souki, the chairman and chief executive of Cheniere Energy.

A decade ago, Mr. Souki warned of an impending natural gas shortage, and set out to build a network of gas import terminals after none had been built in a generation. He lured Chevron and the French oil giant Total into signing long-term use agreements, and Cheniere’s stock price rocketed from less than $1 a share in 2002 to more than $40 in three years.

But the sudden boom in gas drilling that took off around 2005 created a glut, ruining Mr. Souki’s dream. Cheniere’s stock price collapsed to $2. And he managed to complete only one terminal, at a cost of $1.4 billion, that stands idle much of the time.

Now he is trying to recoup his investment by making the opposite bet: that he can profitably export cheap American natural gas to Europe and Asia, where prices are roughly twice as high.

...gas producers desperately looking for ways to raise prices view Mr. Souki as a hero.

See: Dave Cohen.  Shale Gas Shenanigans. Energy Bulletin. March 29, 2010.

See: See: Lisa Bracken Website: Journey of the Forsaken.