OH Gov Kasich Keeps Cracker Plant “Incentives” a Secret–for Now

it's a secretWe continue to find it deliciously ironic that the jingoistic man who hates having “foreigners” from places like Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana come to work in his state in the oil and gas fields, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, is the man who is desperately courting a Thai and Japanese joint venture to invest billions in his state. Along with that investment will come workers from those countries. We’re talking, of course, about the recent announcement that that PTT Global Chemical, Thailand’s largest integrated petrochemical and refining company, and money partner Marubeni Corporation, a Japan-based company, have selected Belmont County, OH as the location to build a $5 billion ethane cracker plant complex (see It’s Official: Belmont County Chosen as POSSIBLE Cracker Plant Site). The key negotiator of the deal is JobsOhio, which is an agency set up by Kasich to promote the state. That is, JobsOhio = John Kasich. Now we learn, from none other than PTT, that JobsOhio/Kasich offered “an aggressive incentive package” to lure the project there. How aggressive? JobsOhio (i.e. Kasich) is keeping the details of the incentive package secret until PTT signs the paperwork to proceed with the project–something that won’t happen for at least a year or two…
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Maryland’s Pusillanimous Gov Allows Frack Moratorium to Become Law

Gov Larry HoganWhat a disappointment Maryland’s new Republican governor, Larry Hogan, has turned out to be. On his way out of office, Maryland’s previous governor, Martin O’Malley (Democrat), created strict drilling regulations that would allow fracking in Maryland THIS YEAR (see Maryland Gets Ready to Frack! Gov O’Malley Files New Regulations). O’Malley was a disaster as Maryland’s governor, and even though he lobbed new fracking regs over the wall in a sleazy political move (he’s running for president), we tipped our hat to him for doing the right thing–even if he did it for his own personal reasons. The prospect of any fracking was too much for the environmentally insane that belong to Maryland’s legislature. They passed a two-year moratorium bill and sent it to Hogan for his signature (see Maryland Closer to a 2-Year Fracking Ban, Will Gov have Guts?). Looks like the pusillanimous Gov. Hogan doesn’t have guts after all. He’s already defeated just a few months into his first term. Last Friday the Baltimore Sun quotes his office as saying Hogan, who supposedly supports shale drilling, will let the bill become law without his signature–a cop out if ever we’ve seen one…
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Democrats Admit Wolf’s PA Severance Tax Goes as High as 20%

A diverse coalition of industry and business groups has come together, led by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, to oppose PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s disastrous idea of a severance tax on the Marcellus Shale industry. The coalition has just launched a very effective television commercial. How do we know it’s effective? The Democrat PR machine (i.e. PBS’s StateImpact Pennsylvania) writes about the commercial and shows a screen shot of the Youtube version of it–but they don’t embed the Youtube version so you can actually watch it . Don’t worry, we embed it below. PBS can’t have anyone actually watch the thing for goodness sake! That might actually sway a few people. Amazingly, we do get an admission from the Democrats at StateImpact that if the price of natgas remains low in PA, Wolf’s severance tax actually zooms up to 20%–not the 5% he claims it is. Looks like somebody at StateImpact didn’t follow instructions to let the governor’s office review the story before it was published. Oh oh…
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Lordstown $800M Gas-Powered Electric Plant Gets Village Approval

In April 2014, MDN told you about a proposal from Clean Energy Future to build an $800 million electric generation plant in Lordstown (Trumbull County), OH. The plant will be fired by natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus (see Clean Energy Plans NatGas Electric Generation Plant in Lordstown). At that time, the plan was to begin construction in December 2015 and complete the plant by the end of 2018. There was some initial resistance to the location, so Clean Energy Future changed the location and moved up the timeline to build it (see Lordstown Gas-Powered Electric Plant Moves Up Construction Timeline). Last night the last major hurdle was scaled when the Lordstown Village Council gave the project a big thumbs up. The Village Council voted to offer the project a number of incentives and actively worked to get the deal done–not something you observe very often with these kinds of projects…
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Magnum Hunter Sells 5K Acres for $41M in Tyler County, WV

Magnum Hunter Resources’ drilling subsidiary, Triad Hunter, is selling 5,210 net acres of leases in Tyler County, WV to an undisclosed competitor for $40.8 million, the company announced yesterday. The sale will take place tomorrow. According to MHR, the acreage is “non-core,” “undeveloped,” and “unproven.” The leases on the acreage are also set to expire soon, so it’s drill now or never–and for MHR, it was never. Why not convert that acreage into some cold, hard cash? Incidentally, if you do the math, it works out to be a sale price of $7,831 per acre…
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Washington, PA Neighborhood Concerned about Range Drilling Plan

There are, in MDN’s book, two types of opposition to shale drilling–legitimate and illegitimate. Under the illegitimate heading are the nutters who want to ban shale drilling because it extracts a fossil fuel. We call them global warming Kool Aid drinkers. They lie about shale drilling at every turn in an attempt to enlist the support of the hoi polloi, the common folk, to oppose it. That’s what’s happened in New York. Then you have what we would call legitimate opposition–or perhaps a better word is “concern” about shale drilling. That comes from people who live in residential neighborhoods who aren’t thrilled about the truck traffic, noise, dust, nighttime lights and other negatives that come with shale drilling. The adult approach is to try and find a compromise–a way to accommodate shale drilling but reduce its impact on those who live nearby. Range Resources faces such a situation with a plan to drill a 3-well pad that may eventually go to 10 wells in a residential area of Chartiers (Washington County), PA. The pad would be about 1,000 feet from the nearest home–less than 2/10ths of mile. The neighbors are understandably concerned…
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Canadian LNG Project to Export Marcellus Gas Gets DOE Approval

In April MDN shined the spotlight on one of four LNG export projects planned for Nova Scotia, Canada–Pieridae Energy’s Goldboro LNG project (see Canadian LNG Project Woos Europeans with Promise of Marcellus Gas). There are a number of hurdles Pieridae must overcome before the first shovel hit the ground to build the facility. The Maritimes & Northeast pipeline has to get FERC permission to reverse its flow. The gas has to get to the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline in the first place via new pipelines from either Kinder Morgan or Spectra Energy. The price of oil has to rise to make it economical. And oh, since it will be U.S. shale gas from the Marcellus/Utica feeding the LNG plant getting exported, the U.S. Dept. of Energy will need to approve export licenses for the plant. You can check that last one off the list. The DOE announced last week they are granting Pieridae permission to export up to 292 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year of natural gas (0.8 Bcf per day) to countries that have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. The DOE has not yet ruled on exports to non-FTA countries…
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Broadview Hghts, OH Won’t Appeal Overturned Home Rule Law

In March MDN told you about the crushing defeat of a home rule law in Broadview Heights, a Cleveland, OH suburb (see OH Antis Handed Crushing Defeat in Broadview Hghts Home Rule Case). A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge struck down Broadview Heights’ so-called community bill of rights that bans all oil and gas drilling–including shale drilling. The judge rightly ruled that only the state–and not localities–have the right to regulate oil and gas drilling. That caused the anarchists at the Ohio Community Right to Know Network (OHCRN) to call for an uprising. They “refuse” to recognize the court’s decision (i.e. they’re lawless). Fortunately for the citizens of Broadview Heights, city leaders do still recognize the rule of law. Last week the city announced it will not appeal the decision, because it has no basis on which to appeal it. But that doesn’t stop the nutters from an OHCRN associate group, calling itself Mothers Against Drilling In Our Neighborhoods, from filing yet another frivolous lawsuit, which they’ve done…
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Unusual Move: Rex Energy Adds Analyst to its Board of Directors

Rex Energy has a new member on its board of directors–Jack N. Aydin. We don’t typically report on new additions to boards of directors, but this one is unique and different. Normally board members (of exploration and production companies) have experience working for other E&Ps. Or board positions are awarded to major stockholders–sometimes referred to as “activist investors” (what used to be called corporate raiders). Jack Aydin is the only person we’ve heard of that has made the transition from E&P analyst to the board room…
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