Fracked Gas Pipelines Planned for Ohio and Kentucky
By Andrew Morris
A wave of anxiety and outrage grips Newton County, KY, as a proposed natural gas pipeline would rend a path through Ohio and Kentucky. The Bluegrass Pipeline—put forward as a joint venture by Williams Companies Inc. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP—would carry an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 barrels a day of shale gas from western Pennsylvania to Texas, where it will likely be shipped to overseas markets. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2015.
According to Christopher Smith of the Oil and Gas Journal:
“Bluegrass would include building a new NGL [Natural Gas Liquids] pipeline to a Hardinsburg, KY, interconnect with Boardwalk’s Texas Gas Transmission LLC system and converting a portion of Texas Gas from Hardinsburg to Eunice, LA. (the TGT Loop Line) to NGL service.”
In addition to new pipeline infrastructure, the project would necessitate construction of additional facilities throughout the South—including a facility in Louisiana. The project would also upgrade older infrastructure incapable of handling the potential influx of Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania.
According to Erich Schwartzel from an article in the Pittsburgh’s Post-Gazette:
"As development in the region’s Marcellus and Utica shales has ramped up, producers have found themselves stuck with an underdeveloped infrastructure that can’t yet handle processing or transporting all the oil and gas extracted here."
Much like Kentucky, Ohio has been swept up in the massive oil and gas boom. In addition to the Bluegrass Pipeline, Ohio will see the construction of the Hickory Bend cryogenic processing plant, a $150 million project developed by Pennant Midstream LLC—a joint venture of NiSource Midstream Services LLC and Hilcorp.
According to the Business Journal Daily:
An additional $150 million will go toward building a pipeline for Utica shale gas from western Pennsylvania to Mahoning County in eastern Ohio. The project could exceed $1 billion in the future.
The feverish rush by oil and gas companies to exploit the apparently lacking infrastructure that begs for new pipelines offers an easy opportunity for companies to get in the game. Despite efforts by the aforementioned ventures to address concerns of environmental damage—Pennant Midstream LLC paved two roads in Mahoning County and claims it will use electric rather than diesel fuel—many questions remain as to what long-term effects, including leakage and explosions, both pipelines could have in Ohio and Kentucky.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.