Archives for June 2010

“Gasland,” the movie

To all who did not have the opportunity to see the HBO documentary Gasland” premiered last evening, June 21, I recommend going to the Diane Rehm interview of June 21 of Josh Fox on NPR.com. Mr. Fox, the maker of the documentary gave a brief synopsis of what he reported in the documentary regarding the adverse impacts of Hydraulic Fracking, the technique used to extract gas from the Utica and Collingwood Shale, located about two miles below the surface.   For those who viewed the documentary, I presume you are as disturbed as I am about both the industry and governmental denial that there are any problems, although faced with countless denial individual circumstances in such far ranging locations as Pennsylvania, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.  The documentary showed several instances where gas and associated chemicals had invaded underground aquifiers that had been providing fresh water, resulting in instances where water from kitchen faucets could be ignited with a match.  Similarly, the documentary showed water seeps which could also be ignited.  The documentary discussed the total absence of Federal oversight due to the congressional exemption of the oil industry from essentially all of the Federal environmental laws including the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act as well as the wholesale surrendering of public lands to oil and gas developers without regard to the adverse impact on both people and wildlife.

If any reader has further information on the foregoing, input would be welcomed.

Gatherings of landowners regarding Oil and Gas Leasing

On Wednesday, June 2nd , I attended and spoke briefly at exceptional educational programs in Cheboygan and Petoskey sponsored by the MSU Extension Service regarding the current activities of several large companies who are offering unusually large sums to lease oil and gas rights. Several hundred persons attended the programs which were standing room only.  The thrust of the speakers was don’t be hasty in signing the leases presented not only because within the fine print are provisions that may not be to a landowner’s best interest but also because the leases lack provisions that could be beneficial to the landowner. On the MSU Extension Service website, www.msue.msu.edu, are educational bulletins that are a Must Read for anyone approached by a lease buyer hired by one of several companies who’s only interest is in acquiring for his employer as many leases as he can at the lowest price for the lowest royalty. If one cannot find the information, a call to the local Extension Service office should get it for you.

In addition to the foregoing we direct your attention to www.oil-gas-leases.com, a good site for a basic education on the issues and possible pitfalls involved in oil and gas leasing.