WV Supreme Court hears argument that families living near gas drilling operations are disproportionately burdened

In one of a number of disputes between landowners and energy companies in West Virginia, a nuisance lawsuit by four Harrison County families claiming that they are disproportionatelyburdened by Antero Resource Corp.’s Marcellus Shale drilling is being heardby the state’s Supreme Court. The families claim they can’t sleep because of the bright lights and can’t sit on their porches because of the dust.

A lawyer for the families says the questionisn’t whether drilling is OK or not but rather if the landowners should have to bear the costs and burdens of the drilling without compensation. A lower court has already ruled that Antero obtained property rights that were sufficient to allow the operations. Lawyers for Antero believe the Supreme Court should uphold the lower court’s rule. There are hundreds of similar cases pending in the state of West Virginia and the Supreme Court’s decision could set precedent. The court is expected to issue an opinion by June 12.

House Republican files bill to ban fracking in Florida

photo from www.foodandwaterwatch.org

With support from Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, Representative Heather Fitzenhagen, a House Republican, has filed a proposal to ban fracking in the state of Florida. Fracking is an oil and gas drilling process that involves injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into rock to create fractures, allowing natural gas and oil to be released.

Senator Linda Stewart, a Democrat, filed a similar bill last month. Both bills are filed for consideration during the legislative session beginning March 5. Supporters of fracking say it increases production and keeps energy costs low. Opponents argue that fracking threatens water supplies, pollutes the air and causes environmental damage.

West Point cadet with ties to NC qualifies for Olympic Marathon Trails

West Point cadet Kate Sanborn, 21, started running in elementary school in Fayetteville, NC. Sanborn continued running in high school where her performances landed her a spot on West Point’s cross country and track teams. But she soon burned out, quitting the teams her sophomore year.

Nothing could stop Sanborn’s love of running, however, and at the beginning of her junior year, Sanborn joined West Point’s Marathon Team, following a training plan that built up to the Richmond Marathon in Richmond, VA on November 10, 2018.

On the day of the race Sanborn started out at a conservative pace of 6:35 per mile. But she felt good and realized she was capable of more. By mile 20, Sanborn had moved into third place for women, and then knocked off miles 20 through 24 with a pace between 6:06 and 6:10.

She finished mile 25 in 5:50 and wrapped up the final 1.2 miles at a 5:30 pace, crossing the finish line of her first marathon in a time of 2:44:04 and qualifying for the Olympic “B” Marathon Trails. She’ll next compete in Oregon’s Eugene Marathon in April where she hopes to earn the Olympic “A” standard time of 2:37. “I’m excited to see where I shake out among America’s fastest runners,” Sanborn told Runners World.