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November 8 2012 In Wall Street Journal   By Ben Casselman

America’s oil boom is pumping up exports and driving down the trade deficit.

The U.S. trade gap narrowed by $2.3 billion in September, to $41.5 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Oil accounted for more than three quarters of the change, with a $2.2 billion surge in oil exports easily offsetting a small increase in imports.

The one-month change doesn’t mean much — the deficit could widen again when October figures are released next month. But the longer-run trend is unmistakable: The U.S. is importing less oil and exporting more.

The U.S. spent $32.8 billion on oil imports in September and sold $11.2 billion in oil — virtually all of it in the form of gasoline, diesel and other so-called petroleum products — to customers in other countries, for a trade deficit of $21.7 billion. A year ago, that deficit stood at $26.3 billion. Adjusting for inflation, the deficit has shrunk by nearly 40% over the past five years.

What’s going on? Lower demand is part of the story. U.S. oil consumption rose steadily in the 1990s and early 2000s, hitting 20.8 million barrels per days in 2005. But demand leveled off in the mid-2000s due to improved fuel efficiency, changed driving habits and increased consumption of ethanol, then plunged at the end of the decade due to the recession. Consumption bottomed out at 18.8 million barrels per day in 2009, and has hardly rebounded from there.

The major driver, however, is supply. U.S. oil production has risen more than 20% over the past five years, reversing two decades of decline. Drilling techniques that first revolutionized the natural-gas industry have now unlocked vast new oil fields in North Dakota, Texas and perhaps even Ohio. North Dakota’s oil production has more than doubled in just the past two years.

The U.S. still imports far more oil than it exports, a fact that isn’t likely to change any time soon. But the gap is getting narrower: The U.S. now imports about 40% of its oil, down from 60% just a few years ago. That’s shaving billions off the trade deficit and giving a boost to the economy — Thursday’s trade report led Barclays to boost its estimate of third-quarter economic growth by four tenths of a point to 2.8%
Dear Friends and Natural Gas Supporters,
The elections are finally over – and the results are in – anti-gas activists lost. We accomplished a great deal from our get-out-the-vote efforts and for the commitment and hard work on behalf of so many of you who continue to work tirelessly to bring natural gas development to our region.
Across upstate NY, anti-gas activists lost and pro-natural gas development folks won in local elections. Even those who used anti fracing as their signature issue – in particular Dan Lamb (who ran against Congressman Richard Hanna) and Tarik Abdelazim (who ran against Broome County Executive Debbie Preston) lost handily.
We hope this clear mandate from the people speaks loudly and clearly to Governor Cuomo – we want what’s best for upstate NY – and that is safe, responsible natural gas development – which will help clean the air, provide jobs and restore our communities.
Now that the people have spoken – we need to continue our efforts to move natural gas ahead. Now more than ever, we need your financial support . Please send a check in whatever amount you can to:
JLCNY
PO Box 2839
Binghamton, NY 13902
Or make a payment via Paypal at www.JLCNY.org/site.
Once again, a heartfelt thank you to all of you .
Warm Regards,
Dan Fitzsimmons, President
Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, Inc.
I suspect that the JLCNY endorsements had something to do with this result, but do not want to ignore the changing tides about gas drilling in New York. The legitimate polls are showing a change where the majority of folks are in favor of drilling safely.  I assure you that upstate New York is in a world of hurt when it comes to revenue as well as help from our governor. We need good paying jobs, some hope and some support rather than hollow worthless talk from our "elected officials". The antis need to tell us what their alternatives to no income, no jobs and continuing global warming are beside wine brewing and yogurt factories.JLCpulse

By Mary Esch on November 08, 2012 of AP in Bloomberg Businessweek News

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Anti-fracking candidates in the Southern Tier were beaten up and down the ballot after intense campaigns, some of which were framed as referendums on shale gas development.

In the 22nd Congressional District, Republican Richard Hanna, an incumbent whose district was redrawn, beat Dan Lamb, a first-time candidate who was endorsed by New York Residents Against Drilling. In another redrawn district, the 23rd, Democratic challenger Nate Shinagawa lost by about 10,000 votes to incumbent Tom Reed. Shinagawa was also endorsed by opponents of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas.

In the Broome County executive race, Democrat and anti-drilling activist Tarik Abdelazim lost to incumbent Debbie Preston, a strong drilling supporter.

Anti-fracking candidates also fared poorly in local town races in the Southern Tier, a region near the Pennsylvania border where shale gas drilling is most likely to begin if Gov. Andrew Cuomo allows it. New York has had a moratorium on shale gas drilling since 2008, when regulators began an environmental review of fracking, which releases gas from rock by injecting a well with millions of gallons of chemically treated water.

Regulators contend that overall, water and air pollution problems related to gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing are rare, but environmental groups and some scientists say there hasn't been enough research on those issues.

Drilling opponents in Broome County, a likely target for drillers, pushed for a transformation of the political landscape at the local level in hopes that a change in town boards could keep fracking out. Numerous town boards around the state have banned or placed moratoriums on drilling, but their authority to do so is being challenged in a state appellate court.

In the town of Sanford, drilling opponent Brian Stevens lost 661 to 219 against incumbent Town Supervisor Dewey Decker, a landowner hoping for gas wells on his farm. In nearby Vestal, incumbent Steve Milkovich led anti-fracking candidate Paul Logalbo 5,264 to 5,009 on Wednesday, but Logalbo said absentee ballots may decide the race.

In the town of Union, three candidates endorsed by New York Residents Against Drilling lost to incumbents.

It's unclear how much weight voters put on the fracking issue compared to other concerns such as jobs and taxes. But the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, which endorsed pro-drilling candidates, called the election results "a clear mandate. The voters have spoken in favor of natural gas development for upstate New York."

Karen Moreau, executive director of the New York State Petroleum Council, also called the election results a victory for gas drillers. "The results from last night's election in the Southern Tier should serve as a clear call for action in Albany to create jobs through safe natural gas development," Moreau said.

Anti-fracking groups focused their postelection comments on races in other parts of the state where winning candidates had taken a stand against fracking while not making it a central theme.

Sue Rapp of Vestal Residents for Safe Energy, which opposes fracking, said pro-fracking groups should not take the election results as a referendum in favor of drilling.

"All these election results mean is that big money is still a big factor in our electoral process," said Rapp, who said the gas industry and related businesses supported Preston and other drilling boosters. "We believe that the majority of residents understand that we are not ready for fracking anywhere in New York state."

NEWS RELEASE    Nov. 2, 2012

Rural communities in PA, NY could have access to natural gas in the future

Constitution Pipeline Company and Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC have signed an agreement to work in good faith to pursue agreements for the design, construction and operation of delivery interconnects along Constitution's proposed pipeline route.

If constructed, the Constitution Pipeline would be classified as an "open access pipeline," meaning that local municipalities or public utilities like Leatherstocking Gas Company, LLC could potentially tap the line in the future to provide residential, commercial and industrial natural gas service.

"Leatherstocking's plan is to provide lower cost, clean burning, abundant, domestic natural gas to rural communities," said Leatherstocking CEO, Mike German. "Tapping into the Constitution Pipeline would help us achieve that goal."

Leatherstocking's vision is the development of natural gas local distribution systems within Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Madison Counties in New York State and Susquehanna County in Pennsylvania in locations currently without natural gas service. The company plans to begin constructing portions of its natural gas distribution networks not dependent upon Constitution Pipeline in the summer of 2013.

Constitution Pipeline Project Manager Matt Swift says the possibility that local communities, who currently don't have access to natural gas, might be able to take advantage of the resource is very exciting.

"We believe working with Leatherstocking is a great opportunity for the Constitution Pipeline to potentially facilitate a direct, tangible benefit for communities along the pipeline route," added Swift.

Leatherstocking believes providing one of the area's most abundant natural resources to the people living in the region makes good business and environmental sense.

"Our goal is to provide a lower cost, cleaner burning energy source to the people of the region than what they currently utilize," said Leatherstocking Secretary, Lindsay Meehan. "That is very exciting."

Posted by Andy Leahy at 11/02/2012

Please get out and vote pro-gas, our economic future rests on your action.JLCpulse
MARY ESCH, Associated Press in SeattlePI.com

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In some southern New York communities likely to get shale gas wells if Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifts a moratorium on drilling, "fracking" is a key issue in Tuesday's election, with both opponents and supporters working to get out the vote and candidates up and down the ballot talking about it.

Local races are viewed as crucial, since dozens of town boards around the state have voted this year to ban or put a moratorium on gas drilling while other elected bodies passed resolutions making it clear they won't oppose gas drilling. Two of the municipal bans are now being challenged in the state's appeals court in Albany.

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, which supports hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — to retrieve natural gas trapped in shale formations, has released a list of political endorsements for about 20 candidates statewide, saying each of them "has shown a commitment to landowner rights and is vital in moving their agenda forward."

"Electing pro-gas candidates at the local level will be crucial while we wait for our courts to determine the extent of local and state control over natural gas development," said coalition leader Dan Fitzsimmons.


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