New Castle News

Closer Look

May 1, 2014

Our Opinion: Decision to suspend project may have local benefit

NEW CASTLE — There will be one fewer shale gas pipeline passing through Lawrence County.

At least for the time being.

Backers of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline said they are suspending activity on the project for now, although they left open the possibility they could revisit it in the future.

The reason for the suspension was attributed to a lack of commitments from local gas producers to use the pipeline, which would move shale gas and liquids from this region to Kentucky, where it would then be added to an existing line running to the Gulf Coast for processing.

So what does the decision on the Bluegrass Pipeline mean for the local shale gas industry? We’re not completely sure.

It’s worth noting, however, that Williams/Bluegrass Pipeline, the backers of the effort, described it as a project that was apparently “ahead of its time.”

They suggested the expanding production of shale gas in this region, which includes Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, will require such a pipeline at some point in the future. The implication is that shale gas production within the region remains in its infancy.

Interestingly, they said producers in the region were, for now, primarily focused on unspecified “local solutions,” indicating the gas would be used closer to home.

We view that as encouraging, because shale gas in its various forms has far more economic potential than merely heating homes and buildings. It can be used to generate electricity or it can be processed like crude oil into a variety of products.

From an economic standpoint, there is a greater benefit to keeping the gas in this region for use, rather than shipping it elsewhere. This would mean the industries requiring the gas would be built locally and thus provide more jobs.

You could compare this to the notion of shipping the region’s water supplies elsewhere to aid industry. A better option for the local economy would be to build those industries here, where water is plentiful.

If there is no major pipeline moving gas from this region, perhaps this would be an incentive for industry to develop here. Not the least of these would be the proposed cracker plant in Monaca, which would provide thousands of jobs directly and indirectly.

Natural gas is a raw material that offers financial benefits for those producing it and for those who own the property where it’s found. But what happens with this gas after it’s extracted may promise an even greater economic impact.

While the marketplace will determine what happens with shale gas produced in Lawrence County and other parts of this region, we are hopeful much of it won’t travel too far.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • Lottery.jpg Lottery officials: Seniors should get smaller payout

    State lottery officials say less means more for seniors. The lottery took in $3.8 billion in sales last year and will give more than $1 billion of it — or 28.5 percent — to programs for senior citizens.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • phone.jpg Attorney general warns of phone scams

    Assorted scams in the commonwealth have prompted a warning from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said several scams have been reported to the Bureau of Consumer Protection in recent weeks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • disability.jpg Disabilities group unveils new icon

    Disability Options Network is joining forces with the Accessible Icon Project. Officials of the community organization, located at 1929 E. Washington St., said its new icon will replace the current international symbol for accessibility.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.


    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Shooting witness arrested for giving false name

    State police have arrested a second Detroit area man after questioning him about Sunday’s fatal shooting in Ellwood City. DeMarco Dorian Hoskins, 22, of Highland Park, Mich., was the third man in a private car that transported the deceased to look for a hospital. Hoskins allegedly gave police a false identity when they questioned him as witness.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • bridgerepair.jpg PennDOT seeks outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage