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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

   20140901MetroCastweb

If McDonnell resigns, will Bolling run?

Many, and this has been brewing for several months now, have been urging Bolling to mount a write-in campaign

The first popularly elected governor of Virginia was voted into office in 1851 and since then no Governor has ever resigned from office.

However, there is a first time for everything and Governor McDonnell, with revelations about the Star Scientific scandal getting progressively sleazier, may be the first.

Read more: If McDonnell resigns, will Bolling run?

Veterans are an untapped resource

The unemployment rate for returning veterans in Virginia is 12.2% as compared with 5.5% for rest of the working population. It’s a serious problem. However, its solution, narrowing that gap, and getting veterans back into the workforce isn’t necessarily a government responsibility. Rather, it’s something that we as a community need to encourage and support.

Read more: Veterans are an untapped resource

A breach of trust - Sexual assault in the military

Not too long ago, a friend of mine told me that his daughter wanted to join the military. She hadn’t decided on a branch of the service, at least not yet, but his quandary wasn’t in advising his daughter about whether to choose the Navy over the Army or to suggest the Air Force or the Marines.

Read more: A breach of trust - Sexual assault in the military

Ken Cuccinelli for President?

There are a host of prominent tea party conservatives who are interested in running for President in 2016. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Governor Rick Perry, and libertarian/conservative Senator Rand Paul.  That isn’t the entire list.  There are others who believe that if the timing is right, the party might turn to them.  One of them, to many people’s surprise is our own Attorney General and GOP candidate for Governor Ken Cuccinelli.

Read more: Ken Cuccinelli for President?

The unsinkable Mr. Kennedy!

Just after college I had a job at a Northern Virginia credit union and as a part of my job I picked up the loan applications that had come by teletype from our overseas offices. The man who watched all of the teletype machines and coordinated the various transactions was in his mid-to late 60s. This was a post retirement job, and his name was John McGuire. In the course of getting to know him I learned that just like my father he had been in the Navy, and just like my Dad he had served in the Pacific. He had been a PT-Boat sailor. His service

Read more: The unsinkable Mr. Kennedy!

Some of our own Jed Clampetts

Shale deposits cover vast portions of the United States and they have the potential of producing large amounts of oil and natural gas. The Marcellus Shale deposit runs from New York to Tennessee and includes parts of Virginia. The Bakken Shale formation includes large portion of Montana and North Dakota. The Barnett and Eagle Ford formations take up over half of Texas. There are several more formations in the United States that are just as large. Some are producing oil and gas, with thousands of wells, and some are in the early stages of exploration.


These are large sites. Most cover thousands of square miles. However, for some time, geologists have been aware of much smaller formations and several are right here in our backyard. There has been little if any oil and gas production in the eastern part of Virginia. For the most part, the oil and gas wells we do have are in the far western regions of the Commonwealth. That, however, may be changing.

About 230 million years ago, the rifts created as the continents started to form left behind a series of basins. Over eons, these were filled in with sediments that eventually formed limestone, coal and shale deposits. One of these is the Taylorsville Basin which runs from roughly Clinton, Md. to Richmond. Most notably it includes King George County. There are other formations nearby, such as the Richmond Basin and the Culpeper Basin. They are even smaller.

There is evidence, based on test wells drilled back in the 80’s that the Taylorsville Basin contains oil and gas bearing shale. At the time the evidence from the test wells didn’t indicate a commercially productive formation. But that was before “fracking.”

With fracking the Taylorsville Basin could become productive. Fracking uses high pressure water, pumped deep underground, to break up shale formations, and release natural gas and oil. Whether it can make our Taylorsille Basin economically viable is an open question. But some people think it might. For the past three years a Texas based company, Shore Exploration and Production, has been entering into leases with property owners up and down the Taylorsville Basin, including many in King George, to secure mineral rights.

While the Taylorsville Basin may run right under our feet, we still don’t know exactly what’s in it. The analysis we do have is based on the geological history of the area, aeromagnetic analysis (using an aerial magnetometer to map geological formations) and a few test wells. That’s a good start and there is a strong indication that there is shale and with it probably natural gas. However, being only 175 miles in length and 45 miles wide, it has to compete with the much larger and far more explored shale formations for investment dollars. The big question is whether there is enough gas-bearing shale, accessible enough, to make it worth the investment. Hopefully the answer is yes.

Not too long ago, thanks to my great-grandfather, my family signed a lease for the mineral rights to the old homestead which is a part of the Marcellus Shale formation in West Virginia. I felt like Jed Clampett from the TV Show “The Beverly Hillbillies.” I also don’t mind the possibility that shale oil and gas are gradually freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil. Many industry experts think that if this resource continues to be exploited that by 2025 the U.S. could become an oil and gas exporter. We haven’t been a net exporter of oil and gas since the 1950’s.

The Taylorsville Basin isn’t large, but the return, if there is shale, and with it, natural gas, could be substantial. Conceivably, King George could have its own oil boom. And, who knows, maybe, in the process, we might have a few home-grown Jed Clampetts of our very own.

—You may reach David Kerr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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