Drill Bits: "It's Just a Coloring Book," Emergency Regulations in WV, and a Spill on the Yellowstone River | StateImpact Pennsylvania Skip Navigation

Drill Bits: "It's Just a Coloring Book," Emergency Regulations in WV, and a Spill on the Yellowstone River

Your morning Drill Bits:
Stephen Colbert zinged Talisman Energy’s fracking coloring book  on his Monday show. Not surprisingly, the company didn’t appreciate the humor. “I can’t stress this enough: it’s just a coloring book,” a spokeswoman told the Inquirer.
The book, featuring Talisman Terry the Frackosaurus, was created in 2009, and first garnered attention in a Post-Gazette article.

StateImpact’s Susan Phillips is currently working on a story about natural gas pipelines. Yesterday, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered to berate Exxon-Mobil for its response to an oil pipeline spill along the Yellowstone River. During the interview, Schweitzer channeled his inner Mr. Wizard — or, if you prefer, Bill Nye — and urged listeners to try an at-home science experiment in order to understand the spill’s impact.

Go to your kitchen and get out a big cookie sheet, you know, those ones where you bake brownies or cookies, and put that on your counter. Then take the biggest bowl you own and put it in the middle of it. Fill that bowl within an inch of the surface with tap water. And then get out some olive oil or some other dark oil that you have and fill the bowl to the brim. Don’t spill any yet; that’s bank fill. That’s when the Yellowstone was just to its bank but not flooding.
But on the night that this pipeline burst, the Yellowstone was over its banks. So now, what I want you to do with this bowl is add another glass of water, pour it from three feet in the air and then take a big spoon and splash it a little bit, and it will now go over the side of the ball. And it will spread evenly as a thin film across that cookie sheet. Leave it alone for a day. The water will evaporate, and what you’re left with is a thin film of oil. That’s what happened on the Yellowstone River.

Checking in on our neighbors:
In West Virginia, Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed an executive order creating emergency rules to govern drilling in the state’s Marcellus Shale formation, while lawmakers debate new statutes.
At the same time he made his announcement, environmentalists swarmed the state’s capitol to lobby for a full moratorium

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