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NEWS
November 16, 2010
The Nov.16 Commentary piece by Mark Olsthoorn, "A sensible shale gas policy," was remarkable for what it omitted. After reading about Mr. Olsthoorn's work in the Netherlands on sustainability, I am flabbergasted that he managed to write a whole piece on extracting natural gas without once mentioning the unconscionably high price that comes with this "clean" energy. He mentions hydraulic fracturing without telling readers that the toxic stew pumped into the earth to unlock this gas is polluting the drinking water of millions of Americans.
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NEWS
July 28, 2014
I'm confused about your report that Virginia-based energy company Dominion wants to convert it's little-used natural gas import terminal at Cove Point into an export facility ("A key win for LNG facility," July 24). According to your story, shale gas extracted "from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and elsewhere would be piped there, liquefied and shipped via tankers to lucrative foreign markets. Business, labor and many local elected officials back the project, arguing it will generate jobs and help the nation achieve energy independence.
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NEWS
January 4, 2011
Just shortly before Christmas, the op-ed section of this fine newspaper was used to perpetuate a message of fear and to spread half-truths regarding a real opportunity for Maryland. Del. Heather Mizeur, our esteemed colleague from Montgomery County, implied, as her central thesis, that if Maryland does not follow New York's lead and pass a "moratorium" on a certain technique for natural gas drilling in the state, then the Chesapeake Bay would likely be set ablaze. Putting a moratorium on natural gas drilling for fear that some may eventually find its way into the Chesapeake Bay would be akin to eliminating Maryland's burgeoning bio-tech industry as a way to prevent bio-terrorism.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 14, 2014
Maryland regulators are weighing some of the strictest limits in the country on shale gas drilling, but a scientist Monday suggested they still may not go far enough to protect drinking water wells from contamination by methane leaking from drilling sites. Gas drilling rigs would generally have to be at least 2,000 feet from public or private water wells under rules being considered by the Maryland Department of the Environment, officials said Monday during a meeting of the governor's advisory commission on the issue.
BUSINESS
Jay Hancock | January 30, 2012
Reports that shale gas may not be as plentiful as people thought are getting lots of attention. Last week the Energy Information Agency sharply cut its estimate of shale gas -- from 827 trillion cubic feet to 482 trillion cubic feet, reports the New York Times . Estimates for the Marcellus Shale in Appalachia cut cut from 410 trillion cubic feet to 141 trillion. But this is like telling a Powerball winner: Oops, you only won $50 million when we told you it was $100 million. Even 482 trillion cubic feet of accessible shale gas is a huge increase over what was thought available in the nation five years ago and will have profound effects on the energy economy.
NEWS
August 21, 2013
In a recent commentary ("The importance of Maryland's leadership on climate change," Aug. 18), former presidential adviser Carol M. Browner praised Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposals to reduce carbon pollution. But she curiously left no mention of shale development, the only proven carbon reducing strategy that doesn't increase the size and power of government. The United States already leads the world in reducing carbon emissions, primarily due to our switch from burning coal to natural gas for electricity generation, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency.
NEWS
By Mark Olsthoorn | November 15, 2010
The Wild West scene playing out in western Pennsylvania holds warnings for Maryland on the need to manage a precious, finite resource like shale gas with great care. If you haven't heard about this energy source yet, you will soon. Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and other Appalachian states all have a rich vein of Marcellus shale, buried thousands of feet underground. Locked in the shale is a huge quantity of natural gas. Combining two technologies — hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling — allows energy companies to free these valuable reserves.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | March 20, 2012
The House today passed legislation aimed at safeguarding western Maryland landowners from potential harm from drilling for natural gas in shale deposits in mountainous Garrett and Allegany counties. One bill,  HB1204 , would require the gas industry to finance the state's ongoing study of safety questions around the widely used but controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking. "  Amid fierece debate over fracking's impact in other states, Gov.Martin O'Malleylast year ordered his administration to conduct a wide-ranging three-year review before approving any drilling permits - but state officials had said they lacked funding to carry it out.   By a vote of 88-49, delegates approved a one-time fee of $15 per acre on all new and existing drilling leases so the Maryland Department of the Environment could complete the study.  In deference to industry supporters who complain the delay in drilling is excessive, the fee was scaled back, and lawmakers directed the department to speed up its review, finishing in 2013 rather than 2014, as now called for under the governor's executive order.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | April 4, 2010
D rill, baby. Just not in the ocean, where there probably isn't much new oil anyway. Head for the mountains, where newly available reserves might hold 10 times the energy estimated to be off the East Coast. Hopes for a new way of extracting natural gas have been bright for more than two years, after claim-staking "landmen" stormed Appalachia from New York to Tennessee. Now interest from Exxon Mobil and other corporate giants has prompted some smart people to start portraying "shale gas" as a very big deal that shatters assumptions about energy prices, America's power supply and the future of transportation.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | January 25, 2012
President Obama's State of the Union speech to Congress last night focused largely on jobs, taxes and income inequality, but it had plenty of red meat in it for those concerned about energy and the environment. He vowed to continue to push for "clean energy" while touting the economic potential of shale gas and defending environmental regulations.  He defended government incentives for developing solar, wind and high-tech battery industries, but called for an end to longstanding subsidies for the oil and gas industry.  "It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable and double down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising," he said.  But he renewed his call for an "all-out, all-of-the-above strategy" to develop every available source of American energy, and said he was directing his administration to open up more than 75 percent of potential offshore oil and gas resources for drilling.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | January 10, 2014
Seeking to highlight her green credentials in the race for governor, Del. Heather Mizeur took issue Friday with the environmental platform posted this week by the front-running ticket of Lt. Anthony Brown and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. Mizeur's campaign issued a statement accusing Brown and Ulman of glossing over the dangers of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and making "vague statements" about how to exploit the energy deposits in western Maryland without harming the environment or people's health.
NEWS
August 21, 2013
In a recent commentary ("The importance of Maryland's leadership on climate change," Aug. 18), former presidential adviser Carol M. Browner praised Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposals to reduce carbon pollution. But she curiously left no mention of shale development, the only proven carbon reducing strategy that doesn't increase the size and power of government. The United States already leads the world in reducing carbon emissions, primarily due to our switch from burning coal to natural gas for electricity generation, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency.
NEWS
March 11, 2013
The oil and gas industry promotes the myth of shale gas providing energy security and economic growth, but those claims are based more on hype than fact ("Anti-fracking legislation is premature," March 7). A Food & Water Watch study in 2011 showed that one job claim was exaggerated by 900 percent. Betting our future on the supposed abundance of natural gas - likely about a six-year supply - would simply perpetuate America's destructive dependence on the oil and gas industry. The only security enjoyed by fracking would be the security of the industry's profits when they turn Maryland into a dumping ground for wastewater and a way station for exporting fracked gas overseas through Cove Point.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 9, 2013
Times are good these days at the Linde Corp., where despite a sluggish economy nationally, the company is on a hiring binge. The construction company, based near Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania, has seen its workforce nearly triple over the past five years as it switched from helping to build big-box stores to laying miles of natural gas pipelines connecting hundreds of gas wells drilled in the rolling rural terrain here in Susquehanna County....
NEWS
By Harry Alford | March 6, 2013
With many important issues before the Maryland legislature this year, it is a shame to see time and effort being wasted on unnecessary proposals regarding natural gas development in our state. Pursuing such legislation right now is putting the cart before the horse — and could have a significant negative impact on our economy and efforts to create new jobs. Let's look at the facts. Today, there is no natural gas development under way in Maryland. In fact, there currently is a moratorium on gas development in place until summer 2014, due to an executive order signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | December 5, 2012
A new study predicts that exporting the nation's cheap, seemingly abundant supplies of natural gas will boost the U.S. economy, giving a nudge to prospects for shipping liquefied fuel abroad from a nearly idle terminal in the Chesapeake Bay. The report, commissioned by the Department of Energy , finds that the economic benefits gained from exporting liquefied natural gas, or LNG, outweigh the impact that higher domestic fuel prices may have...
NEWS
October 21, 2011
Commentator Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr.'s arguments in favor of shale oil drilling are deeply flawed ("Fracking: Don't let fear hold us back," Oct. 12). After a summer of record flooding, we are entitled to a healthy fear of what gets flushed from old wells, industrial sites and waste water holding pits. More to the point, hydraulic fracturing to extract shale oil and gas is a frightening health threat. Dr. Walter Tsou, past president of the American Public Health Association, told the Philadelphia City Council that "politicians have explicitly avoided the public health question because if they were really confronted with it, they would stop hydraulic fracturing.
NEWS
November 29, 2012
In a recent commentary ("Say yes to LNG," Nov. 13), Dan Ervin of Salisbury University correctly asserts recent industrial innovations in drilling technology - known generally as fracking - have led to an enormous surplus of natural gas in our domestic market. Resulting historic low gas prices benefit the consumer but challenge the profit margins of the energy industry. Mr. Ervin argues exporting LNG can raise the price of natural gas and therefore re-start high production rates, in the process creating jobs and revenue.
NEWS
November 29, 2012
In a recent commentary ("Say yes to LNG," Nov. 13), Dan Ervin of Salisbury University correctly asserts recent industrial innovations in drilling technology - known generally as fracking - have led to an enormous surplus of natural gas in our domestic market. Resulting historic low gas prices benefit the consumer but challenge the profit margins of the energy industry. Mr. Ervin argues exporting LNG can raise the price of natural gas and therefore re-start high production rates, in the process creating jobs and revenue.
NEWS
November 22, 2012
In his recent commentary, ("Say yes to LNG," Nov. 14) Dan Ervin does The Sun's readership a disservice by glossing over the risks of exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Maryland. Mr. Ervin ignores the fact that such exports will increase Marylanders' gas bills and impose serious health and environmental risks by driving up dangerous natural gas fracking. Exporting LNG is the natural gas industry's solution to an unprecedented surge in domestic production. Faced with a glutted marketplace and always looking to increase profits, the industry is seeking to liquefy the gas and send it overseas from places like Cove Point.
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