Phila. Gas Works Floats New Plan for LNG Export Facility

Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), the largest municipal-owned utility in the country, and perhaps the oldest at 181 years old, floated a new proposal yesterday to partner with a private company to build a new LNG export facility at its Passyunk Plant, located in south Philly. This is not the first proposal to build an LNG export plant proffered by PGW. In 2015, City Councilman David Oh organized a meeting to discuss the feasibility of locating an LNG export facility inside city limits. PGW already has a small LNG facility in the city, but currently that facility is set up to import LNG, not export it. Councilman Oh wanted to explore the possibility of converting the site to export LNG. The very corrupt Philly City Council nixed a potential deal to sell PGW to UIL Holdings in 2014 (see Philly City Council Kills the Phila. Gas Works $1.86B Deal). Since that time, City Council members like Oh have tried to save face and figure out how they might turn around the near-bankrupt PGW. One of the most promising ideas is to set up a small export operation. A meeting to discuss that idea was held on the campus of Drexel University in April 2015. A meaningful portion of those attending were anti-drilling nutters who wouldn’t shut up and had to be escorted out by Drexel security personnel (see “Peaceful” Protesters Removed from LNG Export Hearing in Philly). With that as background, apparently PGW thought enough time had passed that maybe they could float a new, scaled-back plan to export LNG. However, the private company they want to cut a deal with, Liberty Energy Trust, is the same company that selfishly helped scuttle the sale of PGW to UIL back in 2014…
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Atlantic Coast Pipe Scores Important Approval in Suffolk, VA

Location of Suffolk, VA (click for larger version)

Dominion Energy’s 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) has scored a second important victory this week. On Monday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lifted a stop-work order for the entire project (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). We’ve just learned that on Wednesday, the Suffolk (VA) City Council voted to give ACP permission to build and operate the pipeline within “city limits.” Which on the surface may sound pretty minor compared to lifting a total stop-work order. But the Suffolk vote is a big deal. Suffolk is itself its own equivalent of a county. Suffolk is an independent city–not part of any county in the state of Virginia. Although its population is only a little over 90,000 people, the “city” covers 429 square miles! It’s huge! It’s the largest city (by land mass) in Virginia. Much of it is rural. Suffolk is located near the coast, in the greater Virginia Beach area (close to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay). ACP will need to pass under some 30 Suffolk roadways and 2 former railroad right-of-ways. The vote was 5-0 with three others abstaining because they own stock in Dominion…
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Empty Victory for Antis: PA PUC Blocks ME2 Valve Stn in W Goshen

Yesterday the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) blocked Sunoco Logistics Partners from building a valve station for the Mariner East 2 (ME2) project in West Goshen Township, Chester County where it wanted to build it. The PUC voted to accept a “Recommended Decision” issued by Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth Barnes that blocks construction of the valve station. Barnes has a history of ruling against ME2 going all the way back to 2014. Fortunately, most of her rulings have been overturned by the PUC. In this case it was not. But in the end, it doesn’t matter, because Sunoco said last December they’ve changed their plans and won’t build the valve station in West Goshen at all (see PA PUC Votes to Let ME2 Pipe Restart Construction in West Goshen). As a way of attempting to block the pipeline through their community, West Goshen objected to Sunoco building a new valve station for ME2 across the street from a valve station for Mariner East 1. West Goshen wanted the valve station built next to the existing ME1 valve station, but Sunoco wanted to build the new station across the street, citing safety concerns. West Goshen appealed to the state Public Utility Commission (PUC). In July 2017, Judge Barnes agreed with West Goshen (no surprise there), stopping not only construction of the valve station, but also construction of the ME2 pipeline itself through the township. The portion of the decision blocking pipeline construction was overturned. In December 2017, Sunoco gave up the fight to build the West Goshen valve station, period. Of course the antis who run West Goshen like a private fiefdom still objected! They said Sunoco hasn’t said what the alternative to building the valve station (a safety feature) would be. Hey, West Goshen’s “leaders” were the ones who didn’t want the valve station in the first place. West Goshen’s “leaders” are the ones who have made the pipeline through their community “less safe” because they didn’t want the valve station. Now they get to live with their actions. So reading that the PUC has, nine months later, ratified Barnes’ decision to block the valve station is somewhat strange. There’s no “there” there anymore. Sunoco dropped the valve station plan long ago. We hope West Goshen antis enjoy their empty victory…
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PA PIPE Grant Funds Pipeline Expansion in Bradford County

Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw–one of our least favorite Republican Senators in PA due to his status as a card-carrying swamp dweller–yesterday announced that a municipality in his district is the proud recipient of $850,000 of PA taxpayer’s money that will be put to good use. The use is expanding a natural gas delivery pipeline to service 66 new gas customers and 7 commercial properties in Athens Township in Bradford County. This is another of PA’s Pipeline Investment Program (or PIPE) grants. We’ve written about many of the (so far) 12 PIPE grant projects in the past (see our PIPE stories here). Like previous PIPE grants, this one covers only part of the cost of building new natgas pipelines. The total project will cost $1.8 million. Valley Energy, Inc. is the company building the pipeline. In general we’re not in favor of corporate welfare, which is what this is (let’s just be honest). However, these PIPE grants are a pretty mild case. We can think of worse ways to blow taxpayer’s money. Essentially these relatively small investments keep more PA gas in PA by running pipelines to residents and businesses that will use it. Think of the grants as seed money to encourage more PA gas staying in PA, generating jobs at the same time…
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Subcontractor Working on Exploded Boston-area Pipes Identified

We continue to track the story we first brought you on Monday of this week, that late last week there was a chain-reaction of explosions in local natural gas delivery pipelines about 25 miles north of Boston (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The explosions and resulting fires tragically killed one teenager and injured 25 others. Local officials ordered some 8,600 residents and businesses in the three communities to evacuate–until Sunday. A major incident. The ramifications of this situation will go on for years. Although it’s still early in the investigation process, the cause of the explosions appears to be a combination of old/decaying pipes with too much pressure flowing through them. According to an NTSB spokesman, the early indicators are that a pressure sensor is the cause (see Pressure in Exploded Massachusetts Pipes 12X More than Normal). Here’s what *may have* happened: A pressure sensor that controls how much gas is pumped through local pipelines was attached to a portion of a pipeline that was capped at both ends and closed off. The sensor detected little-to-no pressure, so it signaled the system to keep increasing the pressure, to flow more gas. The pressure eventually reached 12 times what it should have been, and the older cast iron and steel pipelines couldn’t take it, resulting in explosions and fires. The question turns to who capped off the pipeline with the sensors? Who was working on pipelines in that community on that day? A Boston TV station tracked down the who…
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Antis File Lawsuit Against Reworked Atlantic Coast Pipe Permits

Earlier this week we brought you the good news that the forces of good have overcome the forces of evil–evil being the Sierra Club and the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and their mission to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) from getting built (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). The FERC stop-work order came in early August after a federal court pulled permits for approximately 100 miles of ACP in response to a lawsuit filed by the anti-American Sierra Club and a few other groups, including the radical SELC (see Federal Court Stops Works on Some (All?) of Atlantic Coast Pipe). The Clubbers and their cohorts convinced the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn permits granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), granted to ACP to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. FWS and NPS have reworked and have now reissued their permits, which is why FERC lifted the stop-work order. Predictably, the SELC, on behalf of the Clubbers and a few other far-out leftist groups, has already filed an appeal with the Fourth Circuit to overturn the newly-reworked permits…
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New Study, Video Exposes 19 Foundations Funding Climate Hoax

Our friends at the Clear Energy Alliance have just released a new MUST-SEE video (scroll down to view it). The video, titled “The Cause,” is a spoof on the Wizard of Oz. You know, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” The new video pulls the curtain back to reveal who has been funding Big Green lawsuits, studies and propaganda to convince the general public that mankind is causing catastrophic global warming. The video uses research published earlier this year that exposes 19 major foundations that are colluding together to push global warming hysteria here in the U.S. The four-minute video is enlightening. So too is the study. We have both for you below…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Fri, Sep 21, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: UGI gets conditional OK to merge three natural gas companies into one; The future is bright in Harrison County, OH; Boston University to buy wind power in South Dakota to offset emissions; The U.S. must not lose China’s liquefied natural gas market; The unexpected jump in U.S. natural gas prices; US natural gas in storage increases 86 Bcf to 2.722 Tcf: EIA; Trump set to tap centrist to head EPA’s chemical safety office; U.S. LNG to China cheaper than other origins despite tariff – sources; In big win for Trump, U.S. sanctions cripple Iranian oil exports; India’s monthly LNG imports continue to rise; Mexico should tap natural gas to offset U.S. ‘supply risk’ – regulator.
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NEXUS Pipeline Asks FERC for Sept 28 Startup to Flow 967 MMcf/d

At the end of July NEXUS Pipeline was 80% complete and made big boasts that it would be ready to flow during the third quarter of this year (see NEXUS Pipeline Update – Now 80% Complete, on Schedule for 3Q18). By golly, they are true to their word. Earlier this week NEXUS told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) they are ready to go, and asked permission to begin service by September 28, flowing 967 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) along the pipeline that will eventually carry 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). The NEXUS Pipeline project is owned by DTE Energy and Spectra Energy (Enbridge). It is a $2 billion, 258-mile interstate pipeline that runs from Columbiana County in eastern Ohio across Ohio to an interconnection with DTE Gas in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Eventually, via the Vector Pipeline, gas from NEXUS will flow to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, Canada. Radical environmental groups fought the project tooth and nail. CORN (Coalition to ReRoute Nexus), and the far-left Sierra Club, launched multiple lawsuits and regulatory actions against the pipeline. We’re happy to report they lost. And now NEXUS is ready to flow…
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Atlantic Sunrise Pipe Now Ready to Open Valves and Let it Flow

It’s been a years-long wait, but the week/day/minute Atlantic Sunrise will open the valves and begin to flow natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania is finally here! Yesterday Williams, the company building the 200-mile greenfield pipeline in northeastern and southeastern PA, filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to open up the valves and let it flow. No response yet, but we expect within a day or two FERC will give the high-five to Williams. It’s been a loooong time in coming–overcoming multiple lawsuits by radical leftists who pretend to care about the environment. The startup date was delayed from August to the week of Sept. 10 (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Slightly Delayed, Ready by Sept 10), and then delayed again to the week of Sept. 17 (see Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Delayed Another Week, Now Sept 17). It’s now the week of Sept. 17. and Williams told FERC in a letter yesterday (copy below) that the project is “mechanically complete” and ready. And as soon as FERC gives the OK, Williams will turn the valves and let it flow…
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WV County Court Judge Orders MVP to Stop Work at River Crossing

On again, off again, on again, off again. Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), EQT Midstream’s 303-mile pipeline from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, has had its share of ups and downs. A myriad of lawsuits have been filed against the project. Wacky radicals took to sitting in trees and poles to try and stop it. Most of the illegal protests and lawsuits only served to slow down the project, not stop it. But then a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club (and a few other colluding Big Green groups) yielded fruit in July when a federal court pulled permits for 3.5 miles of the pipeline where it runs through Jefferson National Forest (see Court Cancels Permits for Mountain Valley Pipe on Fed Land). Based on that court action, in early August the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told MVP to stop work everywhere, on all 303 miles (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV, VA). FERC’s stop-work order resulted in thousands of layoffs (thank you, jobs-destroying Sierra Club). A few weeks later, FERC reversed itself and allowed work to restart everywhere, except for the 3.5 miles in JNF (see FERC Lifts Mountain Valley Pipe Stop-Work Order, Rehiring). And now, here we go again. This time a county judge ordered MVP to stop work at the Greenbrier River. Yes, it’s just one isolated location and the stoppage is “temporary”–at least until the next hearing on Oct. 23. But given the way antis have leveraged such minor incidents in the past into larger work stoppages, we’re always weary when it happens. Here’s the latest in the MVP soap opera…
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17,000 Atlantic Coast Pipeline Workers Now Back on the Job

Two days ago we reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had finally lifted the stop-work order for Dominion Energy’s huge 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline (see Victory! FERC Lifts Stop Work Order for Atlantic Coast Pipeline). In a new article talking about ACP workers resuming work on the project, we learn there are a massive 17,000 workers who work on this project. We also learn something else: Even though there has been no work on the project for over a month, since FERC shut down all work on it in early August (see FERC Shuts Down ALL Work on Atlantic Coast Pipeline), Dominion did not lay off those 17,000 workers! When the same thing happened to EQT Midstream’s Mountain Valley Pipeline, EQT laid off roughly half of their pipeline workers–perhaps as many as 3,000 (see Sierra Club Forces Thousands of Pipeline Workers Out of Work). The fact that Dominion didn’t lay off any workers is truly remarkable. Why did’t they lay them off? And what did those workers do in the meantime? The answers will surprise and impress you…
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Cove Point LNG Plant Down for 3 Weeks of Maintenance

In early June MDN told you that Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG export plant is due to shut down–after being online for just a few months–for scheduled maintenance (see Cove Point LNG Shutting Down for Maintenance This Fall). The shutdown will be for “a few weeks” and occur “in autumn,” according to Dominion’s statement back in June. Although we can’t track down an official announcement from Dominion, LNG World News is reporting the shutdown is here now, and that it will last for three weeks, beginning with this week. Does that mean all Marcellus LNG exports will stop for the next three weeks? In June, Dominion CEO Tom Farrell told Reuters: “Asked whether there would be any interruption in LNG exports from the site on the coast of the state of Maryland, Farrell said that would depend on whether gas storage tanks with capacity to hold nearly 15 billion cubic feet of the commodity were exhausted”…
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Ohio Utica Attracts Amazing $70 Billion Investment…So Far

JobsOhio, a private, nonprofit corporation that works closely with the state (works on behalf of the state) to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio by attracting business, has decided it’s time to once again wave the flag, blow the trumpet, and talk about the shale industry in the Buckeye State. And well they should! According to research quoted by JobsOhio, Ohio, largely due to the Utica Shale, has attracted an amazing $70 billion in new private sector energy investments from 2011 to 2017. This is truly stupendous stuff! That’s PRIVATE (non-tax, non-government) money flowing into Ohio mainly because of the Utica Shale. Not only that, but roughly 12,000 high-paying jobs have been created in Ohio thanks to the Utica. Those are “direct” jobs. When you include indirect jobs–such as welders, fabricators and logistical workers–the number goes to 100,000! God bless the Utica. Here’s another fact: Even though Ohio neighbor Pennsylvania produces far more natural gas than Ohio, Ohio’s production (as a percentage) has grown faster than PA, faster than any other state, for four years in a row…
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Further Thoughts on Columbia Gas Disaster in Massachusetts

We spotted an announcement by Columbia Gas (subsidiary of NiSource) that says they are withdrawing a rate case–their request filed earlier this year with Massachusetts to increase natural gas rates by $33 million. Probably a good idea in light of the recent tragedy (see Local NatGas Pipes Explode Near Boston Killing 1, Injuring 25). The rate case got us to thinking about the recent tragedy. It dawns on us that there’s a fair bit of irony in this tragedy–a lesson we can learn. For years political leaders in states like Massachusetts and New York, heavily influenced by radical environmentalists (afraid of their power and money) have trash-talked natural gas. Those leaders, people like Elizabeth Warren and Maura Healey in MA and Andrew Cuomo in NY, have told their constituents that natural gas is evil, it’s “dirty,” it’s unnecessary. “We don’t need more pipelines that will perpetuate another 50 years or more of dependence and reliance on these filthy fossil fuels” has been their message. And so, they are directly responsible for rejecting new pipeline projects to bring cheap Marcellus gas to New York and New England, on the theory that magical, unicorn-like “renewables” will ride in to save the day. “In fact…” (they say), “…if we only had ‘the will,’ we could end our use of evil fossil fuels right NOW, today. Certainly in another 10 or 20 years at most.” And then this explosion occurs, this disaster that killed one, injured 25 and burned some 80 homes and businesses. Columbia has pledged to replace 48 miles of underground delivery pipeline. In the meantime (please don’t misunderstand us here)–some 8,600 homes and businesses are now living what the politicians and radical environmentalists have preached for years–no gas. They are without gas for weeks–likely for months. Can you imagine no gas for your stove to cook with? No hot water for showers or laundry? And as the temps drop, no heat to stay warm? While we’re not excited nor happy to see this (quite the opposite), we’d like to ask those 8,600 homes and businesses–what do you think of your no-gas future now? Is this how you want to live, not only today, but 10 or 20 years down the road? Can you really live without natural gas? Perhaps this situation will give them, and us, a new perspective on all this senseless talk of replacing natural gas with renewables…
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Energy Stories of Interest: Thu, Sep 20, 2018

The “best of the rest”–stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: Dominion Energy announces proposal to acquire outstanding Dominion Energy Midstream common units; Pa. anti-fracking group hiring: no fracking knowledge required – must have ability to regurgitate misinformation; NY Comptroller wants to know companies’ greenhouse gas emissions; Blue Ridge Mountain Resources announces new CFO; Potter Township official shares experience for others about crackers; Slew of environmental lawsuits aren’t about climate change, they’re about attacking energy companies; Cuadrilla bags fracturing permit for second shale well in UK; IEA says near-term natural gas export growth to be fueled by US, Australia and Russia; China LNG tariff casts shadow over new U.S. export terminals; Germany blinks first in ongoing European gas war; U.S. to export ‘tremendous’ amount of LNG to Poland.
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