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The Fracking Industry’s Black Swan

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By Aaron Mintzes

January 20, 2012

Part of Skip’s presentation described what companies call the Black Swan for the industry.  Unlike the Natalie Portman film, a Black Swan, in economic jargon, is a low probability, high-impact event.  These include political instability, severe regulatory constraint, and broad systemic risks.  In short, the kind of thing that could devastate an industry, even if the chances are remote.  Among the systemic risks, Skip tells us, are seismic activity and detrimental public health effects. To alleviate investor concerns, both Skip and fellow panelist Regina Hopper, President & CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance, insist that to avoid these risks, the industry must rely on sound science.  


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Tagged with: fracking, hydraulic fracturing, science, energy industry

Maryland Legislature to Debate Gas Drilling

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By Aaron Mintzes

January 13, 2012

This week, the 430th legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) came to order.  During their 90-day session, lawmakers will consider and debate over 2000 bills including a package of legislation related to natural gas drilling.  Geologists have long known about vast supplies of methane trapped in a formation of shale deep below the Appalachian Basin in portions of Western Maryland.  The development of horizontal drilling techniques and high-volume hydraulic fracturing has rapidly accelerated the pace of natural gas drilling in 34 states around the country.  With Pennsylvania and New York quickly working to put in place a regulatory regime to manage the gas boom, Maryland will not be far behind.

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Tagged with: hydraulic fracturing, marcellus, maryland

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