It’s Official: Cuomo Bans Economic Opportunity & Prosperity in NY

bannedLet the lawsuits begin! Yesterday the anti-drilling, anti-fossil fuel head of the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Joe Martens, did his master’s bidding (his master being Lord Andrew Cuomo, Earl of the Hamptons) by imposing an official, TEMPORARY (not permanent) ban on hydraulic fracturing in the Empire State. The document issued yesterday by Martens is called a Findings Statement (full copy below) and it provides the DEC’s official rationale for the action they are taking in not granting permits for high volume fracking in the state. News coverage is blaring the trumpets that New York has “banned” fracking. Well, yes, in a sense that’s true. But the implication is that it’s a permanent ban–which is not true. Far from it. Martens uses profoundly weak arguments in the Findings Statement to justify his political action. One of his central arguments is what fracking “may” do to water supplies. A few weeks ago the federal EPA, after four years of intense study, found fracking is perfectly safe for water supplies (see EPA Draft Report Says Fracking Doesn’t Pollute Groundwater Supplies). We’d be embarrassed to try and peddle this horse manure if we were Martens–but he’s shameless. One thing is for sure: landowners and their lawyers, who have had their property rights illegally stripped away by Cuomo and Martens, are reading the Findings Statement and preparing lawsuits even now…
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REX Gets Ready to Ship 1.8 Bcf/d of Marcellus/Utica Gas to Midwest

It takes a long time to turn a big ship around, like a cruise ship or an aircraft carrier. It also takes a long time to turn a big pipeline around–like the Rockies Express Pipeline (REX), which originates in Rio Blanco County, Colorado and sends gas to Monroe County, Ohio. In July 2013 MDN told you that REX was planning to reverse the flow for at least part of the pipeline to start sending Utica and Marcellus shale gas to the Midwest (see REX Reverses Pipeline Flow from OH for Mystery Utica Customer). It’s taken the last two years, but starting August 1 REX will begin to flow natural gas in the opposite direction–from Ohio to Indiana, Illinois and into Missouri–what is called the Zone 3 area of the REX pipeline. RBN Energy calls this a really big deal–one of the most significant events that will happen this year in the U.S. natural gas market. They’re not exaggerating…
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Last Minute Change in PA Budget Stops DEP’s New Drilling Rules

How can we put this gingerly? Pennsylvania Democrats (and Democrats in general) like to do the screwing, but they don’t like to get screwed. That about sums up what’s happening with the Pennsylvania budget and some last minute legislation slipped into a budget-related bill that will tie the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection’s hands on proposed new drilling rules. The 2012 Act 13 law required the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) to update sections of the older 1984 PA Oil & Gas Act (see Rewrite of 1984 PA Oil and Gas Act Underway). That process was pretty much done and dusted under PA Gov. Tom Corbett. But then Tom Wolf won the governor’s race and installed John Quigley to head up the DEP. Quigley re-opened a closed process to change drilling rules for both conventional and unconventional (shale) drillers (see PA DEP Sec Quigley Pulls a Fast One, Changes Drilling Rules). That is, Quigley did some screwing of the drilling industry. Over the weekend the PA House introduced and passed an amendment that would require the DEP to go back and start over with respect the rules they plan to adopt. That is, Quigley has now gotten screwed. And he doesn’t like it…
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US Supreme Court Knocks Down Draconian EPA Emissions Rule

Too little, too late is what sums up yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that slaps the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not considering cost when implementing draconian new rules limiting certain emissions from coal-fired electric power plants. Many coal plants have already shut down and many more are in the process of shuttering–driven out of business by the EPA’s draconian (unlegislated) laws. The small victory is that it pushes back against an out-of-control Obama EPA–perhaps slowing them down just a bit. One analyst said the Supreme Court decision translates into a “big win” for natural gas. How? Because the draconian new rules won’t go into effect right away, that means natural gas will continue to pick up momentum as the best alternative to coal, shutting out solar and wind power as alternatives. Nothing against solar and wind (we love them both), but they’re WAY more expensive than natural gas–and last time we checked, we still live in sort-of free country that sort-of uses capitalism and sort-of has free choice when it comes to power. Which is sort-of good news for natural gas…
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Quigley Not Just Creating New Registry, He’s Dumping FracFocus

Two weeks ago MDN told you that the PA PennFuture Sec. of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, John Quigley, has decided he wants to start his own version of FracFocus in Pennsylvania (see PA DEP Sec Quigley Creating His Own FracFocus; SRBC in Crosshairs). What we didn’t know or understand at the time is that Sec. Quigley, who continues to be antagonistic toward the shale industry, isn’t just creating a PA version of FracFocus–he now arrogantly intends to dump PA’s participation in FracFocus…
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New Natgas-Powered Electric Plant Goes Online in…Maryland?

Maryland, the state that recently banned fracking for another two years (see Maryland’s Pusillanimous Gov Allows Frack Moratorium to Become Law), has a brand new electric generation plant providing residents with 120 megawatts of electricity (powering 120,000 homes) in Harford County. The new electric plant is powered by fracked shale gas. The new Exelon Generation 120 megawatt Perryman 6 natural gas power generating unit began commercial operation on Sunday, June 28. Exelon built the plant to cut down on emissions–providing Maryland with “greener” electricity. And yet the state bans fracking. Anyone else see what a big, stinking pile of hypocrisy that is? Below are details on the new Exelon Perryman project…
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More Pipeline Payola: Williams Doles Out $2.5M in PA Grants

spoonful of sugarWe won’t harp yet again about how we feel about paying local (very worthy) groups and organizations money to support your pipeline project BEFORE it’s approved and built (cough *borderline sleazy* cough). We’ll just bring you the news that Williams has seen fit to dole out $2.5 million to 17 Conservation Fund projects in Pennsylvania. A spoonful of $ugar to help the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline medicine go down–in a most delightful way. (Note that we think the Atlantic Sunrise is a great project and worthy on its own, without need for corporate bribes to hush up local opposition.) Here’s the details of which projects in PA got funded, and where…
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Major Investor Tells Penn Virginia to Take BP’s Money and Run

Last week MDN told you that vile big money investor George Soros has finally forced Penn Virginia Corp.–a driller for which he owns 9.1% of the shares, likely the biggest single outside investor–to consider offers to sell itself. BP has made such an offer (see BP Makes Offer to Buy Penn Virginia, Other Majors Interested Too). Rumor has it that Penn Virginia rejected BP’s offer as too low and is holding out for more. That doesn’t sit well with another shark, er a, big money investor in the company, Lone Star Value Management, which owns 2 million shares of Penn Virginia (2.8%). In a press release, Lone Star essentially asks Penn Virginia if they’re nuts. Lone Star points out the BP offer, if it is what is rumored, is 80% above where the stock has been bumping along. Cha-ching! Lone Star is seeing big bucks swimming before their eyes and they’re hungry for it…
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Join MDN at RBN Energy’s “Summer in the City” Event July 23 – NYC

join usMDN invites you to join us in attending RBN Energy’s “State of the Energy Markets” one-day event in New York City on July 23. Before you hurry to say “yes,” a few caveats. It costs money (a lot of it). It’s aimed at executives working in the industry, as well as traders and investors. If that describes you (and we know that many of you read MDN), you may be interested in attending. We guarantee it will be a great event. Rusty Braziel & company will provide an overview of the key issues facing natural gas, NGLs and the crude oil market. They will explain how the markets for those three commodities interact and affect each other. They will also take a look at prices, where they may be heading, and how infrastructure affects price. If you are really “into energy” as we are, this is a must attend event. Details are below, along with a link to register…
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