drilling http://michiganradio.org en Public hearings on proposed "fracking" rules wraps up, ballot campaign could follow http://michiganradio.org/post/public-hearings-proposed-fracking-rules-wraps-ballot-campaign-could-follow <p>State environmental regulators will put the finishing touches on new rules regarding “fracking” now that public hearings have wrapped up. They expect to have the new rules adopted by the end of the year, but the state’s rules may not be the final word on the controversial drilling process</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“Fracking”</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is a drilling method that pushes water and chemicals into wells to force out oil and gas deposits.</span></p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:58:15 +0000 Rick Pluta 18415 at http://michiganradio.org Public hearings on proposed "fracking" rules wraps up, ballot campaign could follow Energy giant faces criminal trial on bid-rigging in Michigan lease sale http://michiganradio.org/post/energy-giant-faces-criminal-trial-bid-rigging-michigan-lease-sale <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">You might recall that earlier this year</span><a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/state-unfolds-evidence-against-energy-giants-week-conspiracy-case" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">&nbsp;Michigan’s attorney general filed charges against two energy giants</a>.</p><p>Encana<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Oil and Gas USA and </span>Chesapeake<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Energy were accused of colluding to lower the price of land leases for oil and gas exploration.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Last Friday, a Michigan&nbsp;</span>Cheboygan<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> County District Court judge&nbsp;rule</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">d</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;that Chesapeake Energy Corp must face a criminal trial, citing evidence of a conspiracy between the companies.</span></p><p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/10/us-antitrust-chesapeake-enrgy-idUSKBN0FF1Z020140710">Reuters </a>quoted&nbsp;<span style="font-family: georgia, 'times new roman', serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 23px;">Judge Maria Barton of Michigan’s Cheboygan County District Court:</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(119, 119, 119); line-height: 16px;">"The direct and circumsta</span><span style="color: rgb(119, 119, 119); line-height: 16px;">ntial evidence established that the parties did in fact strike an agreement to bid-rig the State sale."&nbsp;</span></p></blockquote><p>Part of that evidence could have come from&nbsp;Encana<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Oil. That company struck a plea deal with the State of Michigan in exchange for its help in Michigan's anti-trust case&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;">Chesapeake Energy. Encana&nbsp;also agreed</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;"> to pay a $5 million fine.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;">This past May, <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/energy-company-agrees-pay-michigan-5-million-anti-trust-fine">MPRN's Rick Pluta&nbsp;reported</a>:</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 22px;">If Encana lives up to its end of the bargain, the state will drop other criminal charges at a sentencing hearing in 11 months.</span></p></blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Chesapeake Energy is the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas.</span></p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:18:35 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 18361 at http://michiganradio.org Energy giant faces criminal trial on bid-rigging in Michigan lease sale Appeals court says no drilling in Pigeon River forest http://michiganradio.org/post/appeals-court-says-no-drilling-pigeon-river-forest <p>The Michigan Court of Appeals says state regulators were correct to deny a drilling permit to developers who want to put oil wells on private land surrounded by a state forest.</p><p></p><p>The developers said the state should either grant the permit, or compensate them for their lost investment. They want to put 11 wells on private property surrounded by the Pigeon River Country State Forest in northern lower Michigan. The state Department of Environmental Quality said the wells were either in designated no-drill zones, or were too close to water.</p><p></p><p>“The takeaway from this decision is that you can’t drill an oil well just any old place in the state of Michigan,” said DEQ spokesman Brad Wurful. “There are some areas that are off limits.”</p><p></p><p>And the decision says since that was clear up front, the developers don’t get a payback from the state.</p><p></p><p>“What the court said was, everybody knew this beforehand going into this and it was clear,” Wurful said. “Nobody got surprised here. They simply wanted to do something that was not allowed and the court upheld that. We’re pretty pleased with the decision, obviously.”</p><p></p><p>The developers can file a new permit request with plans to use different technology, like directional drilling. They can also take their case to the Michigan Supreme Court.</p><p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:31:02 +0000 Rick Pluta 18251 at http://michiganradio.org Appeals court says no drilling in Pigeon River forest New report gathers opinions on fracking in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/new-report-gathers-opinions-fracking-michigan <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">What do the people who run Michigan's towns and cities think about the prospect of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or "</span>fracking" in or near their communities<span style="line-height: 1.5;">?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A <a href="http://closup.umich.edu/michigan-public-policy-survey/33/fracking-as-a-community-issue-in-michigan/">new report </a>from the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State and Urban Policy looks into that question.</span></p><p>In Michigan, only a handful of communities report some type of high-volume&nbsp;fracking operation. It's the controversial process used to extract natural gas by drilling into shale deposits.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The center’s program director, Tom </span>Ivacko<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, joined us to talk about the results.</span></p><p><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">*Listen to the interview above.</em></p><p></p><p> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 22:18:13 +0000 Stateside Staff 17881 at http://michiganradio.org New report gathers opinions on fracking in Michigan State unfolds evidence against energy giants this week in conspiracy case http://michiganradio.org/post/state-unfolds-evidence-against-energy-giants-week-conspiracy-case <p>Today lawyers with Michigan’s Attorney General’s office will begin o<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/big-energy-companies-face-conspiracy-anti-trust-violations-michigan">utlining the state’s case against energy giants Chesapeake Energy and Encana Oil &amp; Gas USA.</a></p><p>The allegations stem from an auction for drilling leases on state land three years ago.</p><p>In May 2010 an auction of drilling leases brought in $178 million. That’s almost as much as all the revenue from all of Michigan’s leases of public land from 1929 to now, combined.</p> Mon, 05 May 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 17457 at http://michiganradio.org State unfolds evidence against energy giants this week in conspiracy case Big energy companies face conspiracy, anti-trust violations in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/big-energy-companies-face-conspiracy-anti-trust-violations-michigan <p>The state of Michigan alleges energy giants Encana Oil and Gas USA and Chesapeake Energy worked together to get cheaper prices to lease land to drill for oil and gas.</p><p>Michigan’s attorney general filed charges against the companies earlier this month. Today, the companies were arraigned on conspiracy and anti-trust violations.</p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 22:36:30 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16906 at http://michiganradio.org Big energy companies face conspiracy, anti-trust violations in Michigan Landowners sue gas companies over leases http://michiganradio.org/post/landowners-sue-gas-companies-over-leases <p>Last May, oil and gas companies spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying up rights to drill in Michigan. By summer, private landowners in northern Michigan had signed leases promising record payments to drill on their land. But by the end of the year, the frenzy over the new gas play had fizzled. And, as <a href="http://environmentreport.org/show.php?showID=518">Bob Allen found out</a>, hundreds of people were claiming they&rsquo;d been cheated.</p><p>The first person to file suit against the gas companies in Emmet County is Mildred Lutz.</p><p>A sturdy 92 years old, she still keeps a garden and cans her own vegetables.</p><p>Last summer, a man knocked on her door and offered to pay her almost a hundred thousand dollars for the oil and gas deep underground beneath her farm.</p><p>Mildred had just lost her husband of sixty-nine years, Carl. And she thought the money would come in handy for a whole list of expenses, including funeral costs. So after talking it over with her five children, she signed a lease and took the document to the bank in Alanson to be notarized.</p><p>She never heard another word from the oil and gas developers and she never got paid.</p><p>And how does she feel about that?</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Well, not very good. I don&rsquo;t know, I&rsquo;ve always kind of had the feeling of trusting a lot of people, I guess. I hate to see people being dishonest. When you do that, you&rsquo;re just really hurting a lot of people that were depending on this.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Attorney Bill Rolinski says he&rsquo;s heard from a lot of people who ended up in the same boat as Mildred Lutz.</p><p> Tue, 05 Apr 2011 14:28:14 +0000 Rebecca Williams 1918 at http://michiganradio.org Landowners sue gas companies over leases Fracking leak in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/fracking-leak-michigan <p>Since producing a Michigan Watch <a href="http://news.michiganradio.org/post/companies-buy-drilling-rights-michigan-part-1">series on the &quot;hydraulic fracking&quot; boom</a> in Michigan last September and October on Michigan Radio, not much has been said or done about this method of drilling for natural gas.</p><p>A leak has now put the issue back in the news.</p><p><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-10/leak-shuts-down-drilling-operation-at-mich-well.html">The Associated reports</a> a leak has shut down a drilling operation not too far from Traverse City.</p><p>It&#39;s not yet clear whether it will damage underground water sources.&nbsp; It does raise questions as to whether Michigan regulations are adequate to protect the environment while exploiting the gas reserves in the state. Fri, 11 Feb 2011 15:37:29 +0000 Lester Graham 1255 at http://michiganradio.org