PA Court Delivers Split Decision in Remaining Ch. 78a Regs Case

Mainstream media, via a single Associated Press story, is reporting a decision by Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court yesterday is largely a “win” for the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection with respect to Chapter 78a regulations. The AP story de-emphasizes what we consider the larger story–that the drilling industry already won most of the case last year (see PA Supreme Court Gives Drillers Victory in Chapter 78a Regs Case). In yesterday’s court ruling, the judges split the final pieces of the case, awarding victory to the DEP in some areas, and the Marcellus industry in others. We sort it all out below.
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EQT Pauses Lawsuit Against Former Rice Employees

In February, EQT filed lawsuits in both Pennsylvania and federal courts against two former employees it had fired, claiming the employees, before they were fired, had systematically copied confidential information from company computers and took it with them when they left (see EQT Claims 2 Fired Workers Stole Confidential Information). In March, EQT alleged the employees “stole” the information to help Toby and Derek Rice in their bid to take over EQT via a proxy war (see EQT Accuses Fired Employees of Colluding with Rice Boys). At least one of those two cases has just been put on hold.
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Court Shoots Down Anti Lawsuit Against Pipe Thru NJ Scrub Pines

NJ protected scrub pines

New Jersey Natural Gas’ (NJNG) $130 million, 22-mile natural gas pipeline project called the Southern Reliability Link has been in the works since at least 2017. A 10-mile section of the project passes through “protected” scrub pines and swamps. The project is plagued by political opposition from NJ’s Democrat Party (now in charge of the state) and by lawsuits filed by leftist Big Green groups, including the Sierra Club. A NJ state appeals court has just shot down a lawsuit filed by the radical group People Over Pipelines. It’s rare we get to celebrate a victory like this, so let’s celebrate!
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Fed Court to Otsego 2000: No Standing in NY Pipe Case, Get Lost

A radical anti-fossil fuel group (rich snobs) from Cooperstown, NY, in Otsego County (calling themselves Otsego 2000), sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in federal court a year ago to try and stop a project to build a couple of compressor stations in upstate New York, using the argument global warming wasn’t factored into the decision-making process (see Otsego2000 Snobs Appeal FERC Approval of New Market Pipe Project). Because neither of the compressor stations are located in Otsego County, the court ruled Otsego 2000 had no standing to bring the lawsuit in the first place (see Fed Court Rules Against NY Antis in “Landmark” Dominion Pipe Case).
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Weymouth Compressor Construction Not Likely to Begin This Year

click for larger version

Last week we told you the good news that the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has granted an air permit for a compressor station in Weymouth (see Mass. DEP Issues Air Permit for Weymouth Compressor Station). The compressor station is the final component of the Spectra Energy/Enbridge Atlantic Bridge expansion project–a federal project overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Although MA issued the air permit (the main permit), anti-fossil fuelers are doing their best to continue delaying the compressor in hopes of killing it outright.
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NET Power Pioneers “Zero-Carbon” Gas-Fired Electric Plants

In 2017 and again in 2018 we brought you news about a Texas-based company called NET Power (see The World’s First Zero-Emissions Natgas-Fired Power Plant and Natural Gas with Zero Emissions? This Will Give Antis Heartburn). It seems a group of smart people at NET Power have figured out a way to capture all, as in 100%, of the carbon dioxide that comes from burning natural gas to produce heat to turn a turbine. There are no CO2 emissions that escape into the atmosphere. A company spokesman teased at a workshop held yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences that the company now has multiple plants under development around the world.
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Energy Stories of Interest: Tue, Jul 23, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: PJM Interconnect records record electricity use Friday, over weekend; 10 arrested during climate change sit-in at Pa. Democratic HQ; Philadelphia Energy Solutions files for bankruptcy after refinery fire; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Blackstone weighs Cheniere Energy Partners stake sale; NATIONAL: Halliburton cuts 8% of North American jobs in frack slowdown; U.S. Shale: Peak oil [production] finally arrives; Icahn launches proxy fight after stalled talks with Occidental CEO; INTERNATIONAL: No, natural gas is not as bad a coal – IEA; Western Canada’s natural gas production is nearing all-time highs; LNG demand to spike five-fold in parts of Asia; RBC – Natural gas glut will last into 2020s.
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Range Resources Sells 2% Royalty Interest + 20K Acres for $634M

On Friday Range Resources, the very first company to sink a Marcellus well back in 2004, announced two deals that will net the company $634 million total. In the first deal, Range sold a 2% overriding royalty interest on 350,000 acres “in southwest Appalachia” for $600 million. In the second deal, Range sold ~20,000 non-producing acres in Armstrong County for $34 million ($1,700/acre).
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What Route Will New Fortress LNG Train Take from NEPA to NJ Pier?

As we have and continue to cover, there is an exciting development happening in northeastern Pennsylvania. New Fortress Energy has begun to clear the site where they will build an LNG liquefaction plant in Wyalusing (see Work Begins to Clear Site for NEPA Landlocked LNG Export Plant). Wyalusing is hundreds of miles from the nearest port where ships can load LNG. The LNG has to get from Wyalusing (point A) to a proposed new pier New Fortress plans to build on the Delaware River (point B).
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Cement Plant Near Allentown Converting from Coal to Marcellus Gas

A new Pennsylvania PIPE (Pipeline Investment Program) grant for $320,950 will help extend a natural gas delivery pipeline to the Keystone Cement Co. near Allentown, PA, which will allow the plant to replace coal with natural gas, used to manufacture cement. Total cost of the new pipeline project is over $2 million. The grant helps. According to the engineer working on the plan, it takes truck traffic off the roads and lowers costs to the plant.
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3 PA Senators Still Trying to Join Lawsuit Against DRBC Frack Ban

In May 2016, a landowner in Wayne County, PA filed a lawsuit against the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) asking a judge to declare that the DRBC does not have jurisdiction to prevent construction of a natural gas well (see Wayne County, PA Landowner Sues DRBC Over Fracking Ban). Last fall three PA State Senators asked the court to allow them to join the lawsuit on the side of the landowner (see 3 PA Senators Seek to Join Lawsuit Against DRBC Frack Ban). In May the judge turned them down. The three brave Senators have filed an appeal of that denial.
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Drumbeat Grows Louder for WV to Release Details on China Deal

A week ago MDN told you that Joe Manchin, one of West Virginia’s two U.S. Senators, is not happy that details of the deal signed between WV and China in which China agreed to invest $83.7 billion (with a “b”) in WV’s shale and petrochemcial industries is secret (see U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin Demands Details on China’s WV Deal). Manchin claims the Chinese want to abscond with WV’s natural resources–natural gas, ethane, propane, etc.–and create jobs back in their own country. Otherwise why would the projects China is looking to invest in remain secret?
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CNX 2018 Corp Responsibility Report – Proud of NatGas

CNX Resources Corporation, formerly CONSOL Energy, released its “Corporate Responsibility Report” on Friday. CNX is headquartered in Pittsburgh and focuses totally on the Appalachian region. Corporate responsibility, sometimes called “Corporate social responsibility” (CSR), is an effort by a company to be socially accountable…to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. Companies like CNX aim to be conscious of the impacts they have on all aspects of society–including economic, social, and environmental. CNX (and others) want to leave the world a better place. How did CNX do in 2018?
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Long Island Community Fights Back Against Cuomo Pipeline Ban

Lynbrook, NY

Lynbrook, New York is a village in Nassau County–on Long Island. Lynbrook’s leaders are organizing an August 8 rally to push Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow the Williams Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project to get built. In May, Cuomo’s corrupt Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) rejected the project, at the direction of Cuomo himself (see NY Gov. Cuomo Denies Permit for Williams NESE Pipeline to NYC). As we said at the time, Cuomo has unleashed an economic atom bomb on the Greater New York City region, because the region’s two gas utility companies are now refusing to hook up any new gas customers–residential AND business (see Economic Fallout from Cuomo’s Decision to Kill NESE Pipeline).
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Energy Stories of Interest: Mon, Jul 22, 2019

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Workforce development in Susquehanna County takes place on its own; NATIONAL: Schlumberger Appoints Olivier Le Peuch as CEO; U.S. natural gas prices sinking again; INTERNATIONAL: LNG Limited move business to USA; So you think we’re reducing fossil fuel? — think again.
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