range resources targets farmers in SWPA on TV!
September 30, 2010, 3:55 pm
Filed under: marcellus, utilities | Tags: , , ,

Ah, so here it comes folks. We heard that a new marcellus drilling tax is coming to the legislature, no doubt the politicians are eager to get their hands on all that cash! It’ll be the highest tax in any state if it passes. Sigh. See here Post Gazette, or here, which talks about the Republican plan to convert the state’s vehicle fleet 16000 cars to clean burning natural gas. Hmm.

Anyhow, we were sitting around watching tv on the weekend, and there it was. Even though we were chitchatting something about the commercial caught my eye.

Alas youtube and google let me down and I couldn’t find it online to share with you all. It was a most interesting commercial! It caught my eye even before I saw the tag line. It showed a farmer, going on about how hard it is to be a farmer (yeah I’m with you man). How he had to take two jobs to keep the farm. Working 16 hours (right on bro!) Look at those poor cows, the dejected older man. Working so hard his whole life. Ok…???

And, punch line–so now it’s MY turn. My opportunity. Or something like that. Yep it’s his turn–just sign on the dotted line and here comes payday! Sign over the land, and get the gas paycheck. I see that Range Resources (who did the ad) has just built a big office in WV.

What was scary about the commercial was just how in line it is. We noticed on our drive way back when–that in fact, the area is quite poor. Lots of folks would easily jump at the chance for a big payday. Why wouldn’t they?

It was all rather depressing. You can watch a bunch of different ads on their website.

Here’s an interesting article about the issue from the business side of things. According to Forbes, Range Resources is King of Marcellus Shale. And there are a few farmers who are making a stink about their water issues, but meh, no biggie. The “paranoia” should die back.

And RR stands to gain– pretty much no matter what happens. They bought a lot of land at 1000.00 an acre (now it’s 14,000 an acre). Of the 500 trillion estimated available in the Shale deposits–or a 20 year supply for the US, Range has 3.1 trillion. And they can separate out those other products (ethane, propane, isobutane) and sell them at a premium! (My understanding is that those specialty items are not included in the farmer’s lease either–so more $ to the corp!

Final interesting point from article: They can still be profitable even if gas prices drop 50%. Our friend noted that this particular company is doing a lot of PR work out east of here. You know–building a big hockey complex for the local town, or buying the best in show hog for an outrageous of money at the county fair! I haven’t located media references for these endeavors, but it seems that they’re really doing their homework–and they realize they need to work a tad bit harder–people are suspicious!


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