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Can You Believe What the Environmental Extremists Are Saying Now? (No)

Dave Hess (former DEP Secretary) writes a blog. Writing about abandoned wells on the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, Dave Hess cites an analysis of conventional gas wells. Hess writes: The analysis includes thousands of conventional natural gas wells drilled in the Allegheny National Forest that EDF's estimates released 6.06 billion cubic feet of natural gas in 2019 causing the loss of an estimated $1.16 million in federal royalties to state taxpayers.

Can you believe what Dave Hess writes? No. Even IF there was that much leaking methane, the Allegheny National Forest wouldn’t get the $1.16 million of royalties. 93% of the oil, gas and minerals under the Allegheny National Forest are privately owned, and royalties belong to families in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

And, examine the last few words of the Hess quote—federal royalties to state taxpayers. Huh? Federal royalties (if there were any) would go to federal taxpayers.

Is it believable that well operators would let methane roll into the atmosphere like Hess claims? A royalty is just a small percentage of total production—so if the Hess claim is $1.16 million of royalties, then the Hess claim is that even more millions of dollars are falling out of conventional operators pockets. Conventional oil and gas operators aren’t that dumb, and the Hess claim about the volume of leaking methane is as unbelievable as his claim of lost federal royalties.

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